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Apps of the Decade – which apps top the charts?

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As we close out another year – another decade, in fact – it’s human nature to look back and try to make sense of the past. It’s pretty clear that in the digital world, smartphones and apps have transformed the way we live our lives. Let’s try to make sense of that with some lists, eh?

Apple has already revealed the most downloaded apps of 2019, and TIME Magazine recently announced the best gadgets of the decade. Now mobile analytics firm AppAnnie has combined the two and released the top apps of the decade, with data combining both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

It’s no surprise that Facebook is the most downloaded app of the last ten years, but it might surprise you that second, third, and fourth place also go to apps owned by Facebook. It’s easy to forget that Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram are all owned by the same company, but this data really goes to show what a massive impact Facebook has had over our lives for the past ten years.

Snapchat ranks as the fifth most-downloaded app and the highest entry that isn’t associated with Facebook. Skype, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter also made the top ten of the decade, along with UC Browser, a popular alternative to Safari in China. None of these come as a huge shock, but they’re not ordered as we would have expected.

Ranking by consumer spend tells a different story, with streaming service Netflix raking in the most money and dating app Tinder in second. YouTube is the only app to feature in both lists.

Moving onto games and we’re met with a bunch of familiar faces, though it’s interesting to note that the gaming top ten features apps developed across eight different countries – by comparison, every one of the top apps came from China or the US. We didn’t expect to see Subway Surfers ranked as the most downloaded app of the decade, but here it is. (For our money, Fruit Ninja is the best game to make the top ten – but it’s a list pretty low in quality.)

Meanwhile, Clash of Clans earned its makers the most money over the last ten years despite only being the fifth most popular download.

For more detail, check out the full rankings here with AppAnnie. These lists are interesting to look through as they give a pretty good indication of the trends of the decade – they’re far from the greatest apps and games ever made. Rest assured we’ll keep reporting on the best and most interesting new apps each week right here!