Facebook owns the four most downloaded apps of the decade | Sunday Observer

Facebook owns the four most downloaded apps of the decade

5 January, 2020

The four most downloaded apps of the decade are all owned by Facebook, according to app tracker App Annie.

Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram top App Annie’s list, which was published on Monday.

The most downloaded app between 2010 and 2019 was Facebook’s main app, followed by the company’s Facebook Messenger app.

WhatsApp came third, and Instagram fourth.

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1bn (£760m), and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19bn. The App Annie ranking highlights just how much power and control Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has.

The four main apps that Zuckerberg oversees boast more than a billion users each.

“It is not ok,” said Taha Yasseri, a senior research fellow in computation science at the Oxford Internet Institute.

“One company owning four of the most popular social networking and communication apps, at best, can be described as a data monopoly.”

Mr Yasseri added: “Combined, the data from multiple platforms can lead to an extremely high level of precision in modelling our traits and behaviours. This amount of power should be regulated.”

The UK “should tackle dominance of online giants,” the UK’s competition regulator said on Wednesday.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns that people using these platforms may not be in control of their data.

Snapchat and Skype came 5th and 6th, followed by TikTok and UC Browser, which is owned by China’s Alibaba.

YouTube came 9th and Twitter was in 10th place. Eight of the top 10 apps are owned by US corporations, while two are owned by Chinese firms.

“Mobile has been at the heart of major changes in consumer behaviour this decade,” wrote Adithya Venkatraman, a market insight manager at App Annie, in a blog.

The most downloaded game of the decade was Subway Surfers, which is made by Denmark firm Kiloo. Candy Crush Saga beat Temple Run 2 to second place, while Clash of Clans came in fifth.

“Communication and social media apps are consumer favourites, accounting for seven of the top 10 apps by downloads this decade,” wrote Mr Venkatraman.

“In terms of consumer spend, video streaming and music apps were well represented, with Netflix, Pandora Music and Tencent Video all appearing in the top five.” Tinder ranked second on the highest spend list, behind Netflix.