"Let me guess," I hear you say. "TikTok tops the list?"
Actually, it doesn't, but it's right up there. Apple has this week released its listings of the most downloaded apps for 2019, based on App Store activity over the past eleven and a bit months.
And while there are separate lists for paid apps, games, and iPad apps, the most important one is probably the overall listing of most popular free apps - which is:
- Google Maps
Most of the app ranking data throughout the year has focused on the rise of TikTok, which, as you can see, comes in at fourth most popular. But really, the listings are another reminder of the digital dominance of Google and Facebook. Google-owned apps come in at 1, 6 and 9, respectively, while Facebook also has three spots in the top 10 (2, 5 and 8).
Snapchat has also held its ground, despite all the attention that TikTok has garnered. In fact, considering that billions of people have already downloaded most of the apps on the list, it's somewhat surprising that TikTok isn't right up on top.
Questions have been raised about TikTok's usage stats - TikTok hasn't released any official update in its active user count since reporting 500 million monthly actives in July last year, though it has, more recently, suggested that it's now somewhat higher than that. Some industry watchers have suggested that TikTok's advertising blitz (TikTok was the number one advertiser on Snapchat in September, and the number 2 advertiser on YouTube) has belied the actual user interest in the app. With TikTok pouring so much money into its ad blitz, it seems like the app is everywhere, but really, possibly, users may not be as engaged as this would suggest.
Given that Snapchat has come in ahead of TikTok on the App Store list, and Snapchat has 210 million daily active users, it's hard to imagine TikTok would have any more than that, especially when you also consider Snap had a head start on TikTok in terms of downloads by virtue of being in the market for longer (though TikTok was originally Muscial.ly, which had some 200 million users by late 2017).
But really, overall, there are no big surprises in Apple's list. Other than TikTok, most of these apps have floated around the top download charts for the past few years, and you would expect them to stay there, given the usage of each.
In terms of marketing insight, the listing shows that YouTube should probably be higher on brand priority lists, while the rise of TikTok - aforementioned concerns aside - makes it one to watch and consider.
You can check out the rest of the apps in the App Store download report for 2019 here.