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Mobile analytics firm App Annie released a report on app trends on Wednesday that sorts out what kind of software people downloaded on their phones and tablets in 2014. The answer: Facebook-owned apps, including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, were the four most-downloaded apps worldwide when combining iOS and Android downloads in 2014, according to the report.
Because App Annie doesn’t put games and apps in the same category, the global list doesn’t include titles like Candy Crush Saga or Subway Surfers, which might account for more total downloads than Facebook’s utilities. But Facebook’s performance is still impressive, and an indication that the company’s multiple-app strategy might be a success. On the other hand, most of Facebook’s homegrown apps — such as Paper, Groups and Rooms — do not show up on any other top charts provided by App Annie. Facebook purchased both Instagram and WhatsApp.
The top app worldwide in terms of revenue in 2014 was Line, a Japanese-based messaging service popular in parts of Asia. Its sibling gaming app, Line Play, clocked in at number three in terms of worldwide iOS and Google Play revenue. (Pandora was second.) On the gaming side, Clash of Clans generated the most revenue, although fellow freemium sensation Candy Crush Saga was the most downloaded.
In a reminder of why both [company]Google[/company] and [company]Facebook[/company] want to break into China, neither company placed a single app in the top ten iOS apps either in terms of revenue or downloads, because neither company widely offers its services in China. The Chinese app leaderboards are filled with apps from Chinese web companies like Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu.
Reflecting the fact that China is quickly becoming the the biggest market for iOS devices, App Annie found that China generated the third most revenue for iOS among countries in 2014, taking the third-place spot from the United Kingdom. Japan ended up being the country that generated the most revenue for Android developers during the period. Games remained the most downloaded category of apps across countries.
The single most downloaded app in the United States in 2014 was Facebook Messenger, thanks to Facebook requiring its users to download a separate app to use the service. Pandora Radio was the most downloaded music app in the United States, landing at the fourth most downloaded app excluding games, and number one in terms of getting people to pay.
App Annie reported that there were more Google Play app downloads than iOS app downloads, but iOS apps still brought in significantly more revenue. Google Play accounted for 60 percent more downloads than iOS, but iOS apps generated 70 percent more revenue.
The entire App Annie report is worth a look and you can find it here.