TikTok beats out Facebook to become the top app worldwide by downloads in 2020

Time spent in business apps surged, Zoom use skyrocketed, and apps made for Apple’s iOS platform took home 65 cents of every dollar spent.

TikTok beats out Facebook to become the top app worldwide by downloads in 2020
[Photo: cottonbro/Pexels]

Mobile app analytics firm App Annie has released its annual report on mobile trends for the year. 2020’s report is all the more interesting considering how the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns reaffirmed the critical hold mobile applications and services have in our lives. As a matter of fact, App Annie’s report points out that the coronavirus crisis accelerated “our mobile adoption by 2 to 3 years.”


And with that acceleration came new records. For starters, when it came to the top app downloaded worldwide in 2020, there’s a new king in town. TikTok jumped up the most-downloaded list by three spots, overtaking Facebook to become the most-downloaded app of 2020 when iOS and Android downloads are combined. And it’s not just Facebook that TikTok delivered a massive blow to. The über popular app is cutting into other apps as well, as App Annie’s report notes:

TikTok’s tidal wave continued throughout 2020 — particularly as content-hungry consumers flocked to the app to create, socialize and stay entertained — even increasing its cross-app usage with major video streaming players like Netflix, indicating that TikTok is not only blurring the lines between social and streaming but is a force to be reckoned with in the streaming world in its own right and is set to break into the 1 billion monthly active user club in 2021.

Besides a reorganization of the top downloads chart, the report also highlights other notable changes and shifts that occurred in 2020, including:

  • Global spending across iOS and Google Play stores rose 25% to $112 billion in 2020.
  • Though Android has more users, Apple’s iOS App Store still managed to take 65 cents of every dollar of that $112 billion spent.
  • Games were the driving force behind that $112 billion, too. Games across iOS and Android took 71 cents of every dollar of the $112 billion spent.
  • In total there were 130 billion downloads of apps and games in 2020—a 10% growth year-over-year.
  • Unsurprisingly, the time people spent in apps also grew in 2020, with the time spent in business apps growing 200% YOY, video streaming apps growing 40%, games 35%, finance and shopping apps 25%, and social and communication apps 20%.
  • And it almost goes without saying that Zoom had a banner year. It rose a staggering 219 spots to become the fourth most-downloaded app worldwide in 2020.

You can check out App Annie’s full 2020 top 10 charts for downloads, consumer spend, and monthly active users worldwide below.

View image larger here. [Image: App Annie]

About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at


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