Prime cell apps of 2020: TikTok, Fitbit, ‘Roblox’ and ‘Amongst Us’ prepared the ground

(Bigstock photo)

The market research company Apptopia published its report on the most downloaded mobile apps of 2020. In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the behavior of many people online and offline changed dramatically, and there is much to learn about the year that it was not and was not installed on phones and tablets.

In apps, TikTok dominated both the global and US charts for mobile downloads in 2020. Despite a crazy year, TikTok managed to gross well over half a billion dollars in gross sales worldwide, ahead of other high earners like Tinder ($ 513 million), YouTube ($ 478 million), and Disney + ( $ 314 million).

One unsurprising newcomer to the top 10 at home and abroad was Zoom, which went from an occasional option to a necessary work tool in the 2020 quarantines. There were 477 million downloads worldwide, and 81 million in the US. Google Meet was way behind with 254 million downloads worldwide and did not crack the top 10 in the US rankings. Nobody seems to like zoom, but everyone seems to be using it anyway.

TikTok may have ranked first, but Facebook has a lot of mobile properties. (Apptopia picture)

Similarly, four of the top ten most downloaded apps on Apptopia’s chart are owned by Facebook. This underscores to a large extent the extent to which Facebook has integrated itself into the basic structure of life in the 21st century. The dedicated mobile apps for WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger achieved almost two billion downloads worldwide. Given that Facebook is currently in the FTC’s crosshairs for anti-competitive behavior, it will be interesting to see if and to what extent the hammerlock in the cellular market is affected.

As Apptopia notes, Netflix managed to get into the top 10 top-selling apps for 2020 both domestically and globally, despite the fact that the app has not accepted new customer payments through the app stores and has not done so for two years. This is proof of the extent to which Netflix is ​​still running the streaming business even with the harvest of well-known competitors last year. It’s a rare month when Netflix isn’t hosting at least eight of the top ten rated shows on Nielsen’s streaming.

Another sign of 2020’s impact on the world are the charts for health and fitness apps, which ranked two sleep and meditation programs, Calm and Headspace, surprisingly high. Calm, in particular, is both the most downloaded and top-selling app in this category for the year, just beating Fitbit in the latter category. No, you are not the only one who had a hard time falling asleep in 2020.

Just like the PC and console market, the top five mobile games of 2020 weren’t released in 2020. (Apptopia Image)

The big winner of the year in the mobile gaming scene was, unsurprisingly, InnerSloth’s Among Us. Apptopia credits it with 264 million downloads worldwide, of which 41 million are from mobile devices in the United States. This makes it the most downloaded mobile game of 2020.

This puts Among Us ahead of some established hits worldwide such as Subway Surfers (No. 2), a shockingly popular “endless runner” from Denmark; Garena Free Fire (# 3), a Unity powered battle royale game that was one of the biggest global hits of 2019, mostly in Latin America and Asia; and Gardenscapes, a 2016 Playrix puzzle game based in Dublin.

Between us, developed The Seattle area was dark for most of the two years after it launched in 2018, but thanks to regular updates from its small development team, it built stable word of mouth before suddenly going viral this summer. One can only imagine if Among Us will continue its current momentum into the new year, but it has beaten perennial juggernaut Roblox for all US downloads this year, and that’s a significant feat.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ponders her vote in a group among us. (Jerking screenshot)

Roblox is currently one of the most successful apps in the world, although it is almost invisible to anyone who has no children. Roblox had 158 million downloads and $ 487 million worldwide in 2020.

Interestingly, the mobile charts are a part of gaming that isn’t dominated by Activision’s Call of Duty franchise, which usually releases its latest installment in the fourth quarter for PC / console and instantly becomes the best-selling game of the year. The Warzone mobile game has recorded 29 million downloads in the US, which puts it in fourth place, but does not crack the top 10 internationally.

Conversely, a lot of PC / console gamers have been sleeping on PlayerUnknown’s battlefields recently. PUBG effectively invented the action game battle royale subgenre and famously borrowed it from the plot of the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, but many in recent years have viewed it as lunch eaten by high profile competitors.

Between Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone, there’s not much oxygen left in this particular room right now, and PUBG’s player population is respectable and stable at all times, but a relative fraction of the competition. There are a number of people who play it at a specific time, which is usually somewhere in the high six figures. That may sound good, but keep in mind that several million people are playing Fortnite in the same window.

On mobile, however, PUBG is the top-earning game of 2020 with total international sales of $ 1.1 billion, well above other hits like Pokemon GO ($ 757 million) and Roblox ($ 487 million). Dollar). PUBG isn’t chartered at all in the US, but it makes hand-over-the-fist money in other areas, with a total of 175 million downloads (# 4 total) in 2020. If you’re one of the players who has been wondering, What if you’re keeping PUBG afloat in a world where Fortnite is basically a nation-state of its own, now you have an answer.

What strikes me here is that the numbers are impressively high, especially on the international market. In Apptopia’s top 10 list of games, measured by global gross sales, Westward Journey, the mobile adaptation of a popular Chinese massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is the highest-earning game of 2020. Last year, “only” 468 Earned millions of dollars, which was barely enough to make it into the top 10.

The mainstream gaming press tends to ignore most of the mobile market due to a variety of factors (innate prejudices, poor quality control in app stores, many of the games are quite simple and difficult to discuss meaningfully, etc.). But honestly, a lot of money is made here. Some sources will attribute well over half of the video game industry’s global sales to the wireless market. This is easier to believe when you see how much money the top mobile games are making.

The report uses the company’s special combination of models and analytics dashboards, which it claims to be within a 20% error rate for absolute values. It also relies on combined information from iOS and Google Play, adding data for “lite” versions of a given app to the grand total of that app. Chinese dates are specifically limited to the iOS platform.

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