Facebook rules the app world.
The top four most frequently downloaded apps in the first quarter of 2017 belong to the behemoth social network. Ah, hell, why are we still calling it just a social network? We all know by now Facebook wants to be your only portal to the digital world.
And unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this week (with good reason) you probably know by now Facebook also wants us all to travel exclusively with it into augmented reality and virtual reality. (What? It could be worse than reality?)
But those are other pieces to the puzzle. For now, it’s about Facebook ruling all apps.
The top four most downloaded apps in the first quarter of this year, according to the analytics firm, Sensor Tower, are (in order): WhatsApp, the Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram. Snapchat is listed as the fifth most frequently downloaded app. (And we all know what Facebook is doing to Snapchat.)
By contrast, Google’s only app in the top 10 is YouTube, according to Sensor Tower, which is listed as No 8.
“Facebook’s WhatsApp regained the title of the world’s most-downloaded app last quarter, having ranked third in Q4 2016,” reported Sensor Tower. “The No. 1 apps in terms of downloads on the App Store and Google Play were Messenger and Facebook, respectively, giving the social networking giant a commanding presence across the board.”
But that’s just download numbers.
The real money in apps is, well, money – revenue. And it’s Netflix which garnered the honors as top in-app earner in the first quarter of 2017, according to Sensor Tower.
“The rise of Netflix is not a new phenomena, and the app’s revenue growth only seems to be gaining momentum worldwide,” said the firm. “Last quarter, it grossed approximately $133 million globally, an increase of 286 percent (year over year) from about $34.6 million in Q1 2016. In December, Netflix became the top grossing iPhone app in the U.S. for the first time.”
Big money in apps – for the stores
The big money in apps continues to be the stores from which we get our apps – primarily, of course, Google Play and the App Store.
“Gross revenue from non-game apps on the App Store and Google Play worldwide last quarter totaled approximately $2.19 billion, up from $1.34 billion in Q1 2016, an increase of about 63 percent (year over year), according to Sensor Tower.
“Gross revenue on Apple’s store grew 55 percent YoY from $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion. By comparison, Google Play’s gross revenue grew 101 percent from $251 million to $504 million. While this growth by Google’s store, driven in part by Android’s success in developing markets, is impressive, Apple’s platform continued to be the dominant earner, generating more than 3X its rival’s revenue last quarter from non-game apps.”
Apps in the U.S.
Facebook’s app stable garnered three of the top five positions for downloads in the U.S. market, according to Sensor Tower with Messenger at No. 1 followed, in order, by Bitmoji, the Facebook app, Snapchat and Instagram.
“On the revenue side, it was Netflix claiming the No. 1 position as it did on the worldwide chart,” explained Sensor Tower. “It was the top grossing app overall and on the App Store, ranking at No. 8 on Google Play. While Q1 was the first quarter Netflix topped the worldwide revenue ranking overall, it actually made No. 1 in the U.S. for Q4 2016.
“Another app that held its revenue ranking from Q4 of last year was Pandora, which again ranked No. 2 on the overall list. It was also No. 2 on the App Store in Q4 2016, but moved up from No. 2 on Google Play that quarter to No. 1 in Q1.”