Worldwide and US Download Leaders 2022
Jan 04, 2023
Welcome in to our sixth annual worldwide and U.S. download leader charts, the full year scoreboard of user acquisition winners - the most in-demand apps on the planet. We have 33 top charts below for you to review. Did your company's app make it this year?
Before you start, you may want to understand what a mobile app download is, what this metric is good at measuring and what it does not measure. You can see 2021's worldwide download leaders here.
About the data:
All data is iOS + Google Play combined, except for data from China which is iOS only. Data is from 1/1/2022 through 12/20/2022.
While many of the listed categories are official App Store / Google Play categories, there are some that we created, such as QSR (quick-service restaurants) or Airlines. For official store categories, we are only using apps whose primary category is that category.
Jump to your industry of interest:
Social Networking Music & Audio
For the third year in a row, TikTok was the most downloaded mobile app across the globe. TikTok's publisher, Bytedance has another app in the top 10 for the second consecutive year in CapCut, a video editing app. Meta owns three of the top 10 most downloaded apps of 2022; Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook. And Telegram continues to be a viable independent alternative to Meta's WhatsApp.
Subway Surfers is as iconic as mobile games get. It's an endless runner game from 2012 that always pulls in the most or second most downloads for a mobile game. I can't even remember the last time it changed its app icon. Other stalwarts on our chart include Candy Crush Saga (2012) and 8 Ball Pool (2013). I'm surprised to see Among Us! on the top charts for the third year in a row. When it burst onto the scene in 2020, I thought it would be a fad that was largely created from social changes stemming from the pandemic.
For the first time ever, SHEIN is the most downloaded Shopping app this year. It was #4 in 2020 and #2 in 2021. Wish is notably absent from our charts for the first time since we started creating them (2017). Interesting enough, Temu (owned by Pinduoduo) has made the U.S. list and its value proposition reminds me a lot of Wish. What makes Temu's arrival so impressive is that it only launched in late August of this year.
Nike has always been a top downloaded Shopping app in the U.S. and easily tops our first ever chart showing direct-to-consumer apps. Its management team is actively invested in leveraging digital channels to improve customer experience. Recently Lululemon has been following Nike's lead, enabling it to become the fastest growing D2C app in the United States.
Chinese ride hailing app Didi (#6 in 2021) is gone from the top charts as China's zero tolerance COVID policy took hold. Another sign of the times is that Upside made it into the U.S. top chart, an app that enables consumers to save money on gas and groceries by trading their spending data for discounts. In 2022 we saw both gas and grocery prices rise, followed by downloads of grocery store and membership club apps as people searched for mobile coupons.
Compared with last year, the final three spots on the U.S. OTA top chart have been swapped out. KAYAK, Skyscanner, and Tripadvisor have replaced Travelocity, Orbitz, and Hotwire and with lower numbers than those apps received last year.
The biggest change this year is that we finally pulled the trigger on classifying TikTok as an entertainment app and not as a social networking app, thus taking Netflix's crown as the most installed entertainment app globally. While the numbers and the order are slightly changed, most of the apps in this section are the same ones we saw last year.
There are not any Crypto or stock trading apps this year in the top charts this year. The most installed finance apps are those enabling the movement of money from person to person.
Delivery apps make up seven of the top 10 Food & Drink apps. Still, the focus McDonald's puts on mobile (and its enormous number of locations) enabled it to rack up 112% more downloads than the next closest Food & Drink app on the global chart. If you want more data-driven insights into the QSR industry or QSR loyalty dos and dont's, click those hyperlinks.
For the first time, Sweatcoin becomes the most downloaded Health & Fitness app globally. In April of this year, it announced its brand currency (sweatcoins) would be minted as a cryptocurrency, with the tokens being harder to mint over time. This drove an increase in perceived value for early adopters, and installs skyrocketed.
We're used to seeing both Calm and Headspace on the U.S. top chart, but this year Headspace fell off as meditation app usage fell significantly. Planet Fitness downloads really popped during the summer months due to a promotion which gave free memberships to high school students. Unfortunately for Planet Fitness, they don't appear to be holding onto those users as DAU is now flat year-over-year.