The four most downloaded mobile apps of the decade are all owned by Facebook, according to new research from App Annie. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram are the top four in that order, with Snapchat in fifth as the first app not owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
The data used combines iOS and Android data beginning in January 2012, with data up to December 2011 from iOS only.
WhatsApp and Instagram were, in 2010, plucky start ups with visions of making it. Skip to 2019 and Facebook has acquired both companies – a state of affairs that has had some calling to break up the tech giant.
There are questions as to why the company was allowed to buy both platforms, creating this obvious monopoly.
Skype, TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, YouTube and Twitter rounded out the top ten list as the other most downloaded apps. It’s notable that YouTube is the only Google-owned app in the list, and every other entrant not owned by Facebook is the only app from that company in the top ten.
As App Annie points out, seven of the ten apps are communication and social media apps.
In a separate list, App Annie ranks top ten apps by consumer spend during the decade, where results are very different. The top four in that list are Netflix, Tinder, Pandora and Tencent Video – showing Facebook’s dominance of free apps.
Facebook doesn’t need to charge you to use its apps – you pay for them with your personal data, as this decade has made all too painfully clear.