App 2021: Telegram grows a lot, TikTok mines Meta | Annie application


the 2021 is coming to an end and, like every year, it is time to balance sheets also for the world of Android and iOS apps. the App Annie’s new report – you can find it in THE SOURCE – which photographs the state of mobile apps in 2021 (updated October), showing us which ones have been the most successful, how much the market has grown and in which direction it is going.

So let’s start with the general data relating to non-gaming applications, so the one that illustrates which have been downloaded the most, which have experienced the highest level of user spending and which have recorded the strongest growth. The download data immediately shows us an interesting scenario, given by the presence of tons of video sharing and editing apps, like the tool CapCut used to make videos for TikTok, while MX TakaTak – an Indian alternative to TikTok, as the app is banned in India – ranks second in the download rankings.

At this point, the common thread begins to become clear: the new social model launched by TikTok has taken root all over the world and has involved many users, who are from passive viewers to true content creators, as evidenced by the high number of downloads linked to the applications which make it possible to prepare the content to be published on the platforms.

Effects that are also felt in the classification of application where he spent the most. Youtube ranks first, followed by TIC Tac and the main streaming platforms such as Disney + and HBO Max. Curious is the absence of Netflix, an element that will also be found in the category dedicated to video streaming applications.

Rather turning to the applications that have seen the higher growth of their user base, on the highest step of the podium we find Telegram. Telegram’s 2021 was incredibly positive, but we can’t say it was completely unambiguous.

On the one hand, in fact, we have seen how the platform has I took advantage of the WhatsApp problems: not only in relation to the inefficiencies that arose during the year, but also of the whole affair relating to the implementation of the new confidentiality policies. Telegram has also particularly renewed its offer in recent months, expanding the potential of groups, video calling and voice rooms, quickly becoming one of the most versatile messaging platforms in the world.

The dark side of Telegram, however, is that part of its growth is inevitably due to the increasing use of the platform as a coordinating channel for activities aimed at spreading disinformation, buying and selling. illegal objects and services and the ease with which it is possible to find content. pirate.

Among the other applications to have recorded the best user growth, we also find Instagram, Zoom and – in fourth place – TIC Tac. In the ranking we also find generally less popular apps such as Signal, also motivated by WhatsApp issues.

Turning instead to data on spending volumes, App Annie’s analysis highlights how the app market for Android and iOS has hit a new high and is poised to achieve revenue equal to 135 billion dollars in 2021, against 112 billion in 2020.

Revenue generated mainly by iOS, given that Apple’s platform generated almost double that of Android. What the two operating systems have in common is the enormous propensity to spend on games: 60% of revenue on iOS comes from the games sector, while on Android it even reaches 80%. A figure that appears even more interesting in view of the number of downloads.

In this case, in fact, Android comes first – with more than 100 billion downloads – while iOS barely exceeds 30 billion. This is a figure that reflects – for better or for worse – the market share between the two platforms (in fact, downloads on iOS are higher in proportion), but the interesting aspect is that only a small fraction of the total downloads on iOS are games, while on Android we are almost 50% of the total.

This means that many of the most downloaded non-gaming apps on both platforms are free and that user spending on games is much higher than in any other category of apps. Suffice it to say that the category of non-game applications in which the highest spending was recorded is that which includes social and entertainment: by 2022, it is expected to reach $ 12 billion in revenue (double the amount of that of 2020), but the game is almost in its own right. 90 billion.


So let’s take a closer look at the gaming world, with the rankings of downloads, spending, and active users across major games. The data aggregates both Android and iOS and shows us that among the 10 most downloaded games, there is no major title – the podium is occupied by Bridge Race, Hair Challenge and Count Masters -, while if we look at income, Genshin Impact dominates the ranking, followed by Uma Musume Pretty Derby (you don’t wanna know what it is believe me) and ROBLOX. In the top 10, we also find an old acquaintance with the world of mobile games, that is to say the immortal Candy Crush Saga which takes a very honorable tenth position, despite the years of honorable service.

Moving on to the games with the fastest growing number of users, we find a top 3 that includes two of the most downloaded titles (Count Masters in first place and Bridge Race in third), with Project entering in second place. Makeover. The ranking also includes ROBLOX in sixth place again and we also find Among Us! in fourth position, a sign that the enthusiasm for the famous title has not yet died down. In seventh position we also find Pokémon Unite and its presence is really interesting, because the data reviewed by App Annie is updated in October and Unite landed on mobile in the last days of September, so it could be in a much position. higher in the next leaderboard update.


We end our look at the App Annie report – which we invite you, however, once again to explore by consulting the full version in THE SOURCE -, with the category dedicated to video streaming app, this time, however, considering the time spent by the users within them. Anyway, let’s see what they are the most used.

YouTube dominates global rankings, but it’s interesting to see how it is completely absent from the top 10 in key markets such as the US and UK, in which it also has a more articulate on-demand content offer than in the rest of the world. Greatly absent, as expected too Netflix, this does not enter any of the top 10, giving way to competitors like Hotstar, Disney + And HBO Max, which consolidate their position in the market after the launches and renovations of last year.

Twitch positioning is also important, which ranks fourth globally, while second and even first in the US and UK respectively. The purple platform’s content offer is now incredibly diverse and no longer has an exclusive link with the gaming world, becoming the first choice of many users who aim for pure entertainment through content from their favorite creators (and we are there too!).

Finally, note that even a niche streaming service such as Crisp – whose offering is mainly based on the anime – has managed to enter the top 10 most used apps in the United States and the United Kingdom (in ninth place in both markets), further sign of the way in which this category is gaining more and more weight in the tastes of viewers.


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