Google Play Store app stats prove we’re all just wasting time scrolling through TikTok

You’ve probably downloaded apps from Meta, too

Your smartphone wouldn’t be nearly as handy without third-party apps. Whether it’s free downloads or paid services, you probably have dozens of great applications and incredible games downloaded onto your device. If you’ve been wondering whether your collection of apps matches other Android users across the globe, the answer’s probably yes – at least, if the latest statistics on the most popular downloads from the Play Store are anything to go by.

Analytics firm Sensor Tower issued its latest report covering app downloads on the App Store and Play Store for Q1 2022, highlighting some of the most popular selections from both digital storefronts worldwide. All told, users downloaded 37 billion apps between January 1st and March 31st, 2022, with 28.3 billion of those coming from the Play Store. That’s up 1.1 percent compared to this time last year.

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In terms of individual app downloads, TikTok remains the top app worldwide on both platforms, surpassing 3.5 billion downloads overall – the only non-Meta app of the five so far to hit this target. Everyone’s favorite time-waster has managed to get more downloads than any other service since the start of 2018.

Things get a little more interesting when you focus on the Play Store specifically. Worldwide, Instagram is the most downloaded app overall. TikTok holds that top spot in the US and Europe, but Meta’s photo-sharing service reclaims it when looking at Asia. Many of the top five slots are similar between regions – Facebook and WhatsApp appear on most lists, for example, although the ever-popular messaging service has been replaced with Facebook Messenger in the US. Cash App is an outlier in that region as well, while the top five apps in Asia include Shopee and Meesho.


Games follow similar patterns. Worldwide and in Asia specifically, Garena Free Fire was the game with the top downloads. Count Masters grabbed the top spot in the US, while the ever-familiar Subway Surfers landed number one in the EU. Candy Crush, PUBG Mobile, and Roblox were some of the more familiar names among the top downloads globally. Games remain far and away the most popular category on the Play Store, leading “Tools” and “Entertainment” by nearly 10 billion downloads.

The entire report is worth skimming through for deep dives on download trends in Australia, a spike in gas price tracking apps amidst rising fuel costs, and the impact Wordle had on apps sharing the same name as the popular web-based title.


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