Mark Zuckerberg dominated people's phones over the decade. Here are the 10 most downloaded apps, nearly half of which Facebook owns. (FB, GOOG, MSFT)


A person with an iPhone

  • App analytics firm App Annie recently released data about the most downloaded apps of the decade.
  • Facebook-owned apps took the top four spots, with a combined 16 billion downloads.
  • Messaging and calling platforms were clearly popular, with the dominance of Facebook and the prominent spots for Snapchat and Skype.
  • TikTok, a relative newcomer that’s growing faster than Facebook and Instagram, also landed on the list.
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Facebook faced scandal after scandal over the past ten years, but you’d never know it by looking at the download numbers. Despite concerns about data sharing, spreading misinformation, and questionable moderation, Facebook-owned apps were downloaded a combined 16 billion times this decade, according to app analytics firm App Annie.

The second half of the decade has been particularly tough for Facebook’s reputation, when the tech giant was implicated in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and faced criticism over the social network’s role in inciting genocide in Myanmar. Still, Facebook’s various apps account for nearly half of the top 10, and it seems to be looking to expand that dominance even further. This year it was reported that Facebook tried to buy No. 7 on the list, TikTok’s predecessor, in 2016, and it continues to experiment with launching new social media apps.

Here are the most downloaded apps of the decade.

10. Twitter, which launched in 2006, made the list with one billion downloads over the decade.

9. YouTube was downloaded 1.3 billion times, and is the highest-ranking Google app on the list.

8. Chinese Internet giant Alibaba’s UC Browser was downloaded 1.3 billion times, and in some parts of Asia the browser is more popular than Google Chrome.

Source: Business Insider

7. TikTok is one of the newest entries on the list, as it was only released in the US in 2018, but it has already been downloaded 1.3 billion times, according to App Annie.

Another analytics firm, Sensor Tower, puts TikTok slightly higher with 1.5 billion downloads as of November.

6. Video-calling app Skype was downloaded 1.3 billion times over the decade. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2012, and got a major upgrade in 2017 to stay competitive against Facebook Messenger.

Source: Business Insider

5. Snapchat is the only app not owned by Facebook to crack the top five, and the photo-messaging app has been downloaded 1.5 billion times.

4. Instagram has 2.7 billion downloads, nearly twice as many as Snapchat at No 5. Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.

Source: Business Insider

3. WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging service Facebook bought for $19 billion in 2014, has 4.3 billion downloads.

Source: Business Insider

2. Facebook Messenger, another messaging service owned by Facebook that spun out of its in-app chat feature, beat out WhatsApp with 4.4 billion downloads. US regulators are reportedly considering blocking Facebook’s plans to more closely tie its messaging services together.

Source: Business Insider

1. Finally, Facebook itself topped the list with a whopping 4.6 billion downloads over the last 10 years.