The 2021 of the apps: Telegram grows a lot, TikTok undermines Meta | Annie app


The 2021 is nearing its conclusion and, like every year, it is time for balance sheets also for the world of Android and iOS applications. The App Annie’s new report – you can find it in SOURCE – which photographs the state of mobile applications in 2021 (updated to October), showing us which ones have fared better, 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, therefore the one that illustrates which were the most downloaded, those that saw the highest level of spending by users and those that recorded the highest growth. The download data immediately shows us an interesting scenario, given by the presence of tons of video sharing and editing applications, such as the tool CapCut used to make videos for TikTok, while MX TakaTak – an Indian alternative to TikTok, as the app is banned in India – takes the second place in the download chart.

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 went from being passive spectators to real content creators, as evidenced by the high number of downloads related to applications that allow you to prepare the contents to be posted on the platforms.

Effects that are also felt in the ranking of app where he spent the most. YouTube holds the first place in the ranking, followed by TikTok and major streaming platforms such as Disney + and HBO Max. Curious is the absence of Netflix, an element that we will also find within the category dedicated to video streaming applications.

Turning instead to the apps that have seen the higher growth of their user base, on the top 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 great advantage of the problems of WhatsApp: not only in relation to the inefficiencies that occurred during the year, but also from the whole affair relating to the implementation of the new privacy policies. Telegram has also particularly renewed its offer in recent months, expanding the potential of groups, video calls and voice rooms, becoming in a very short time one of the most versatile messaging platforms in the world.

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

Among the other apps to have recorded the best growth in users we also find Instagram, Zoom and – in fourth place – TikTok. In the ranking we also find usually less popular apps such as Signal, also driven by WhatsApp problems.

Turning instead to the data relating to spending volumes, the analysis of App Annie underlines how the market of apps on Android and iOS has reached a new record and is preparing to reach revenues equal to 135 billion dollars in 2021, against 112 billion in 2020.

Revenue Driven Primarily 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 revenues on iOS derive from the gaming sector, while on Android it even reaches 80%. A figure that appears even more interesting when compared with the number of downloads.

In this case, in fact, it is Android that leads – with over 100 billion downloads -, while iOS is just over 30 billion. This is a figure that – for better or worse – reflects the market share between the two platforms (indeed, the 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 vastly higher than in any other app category. Suffice it to say that the category of non-gaming apps in which the highest spending was recorded is the one that includes social and entertainment: in 2022 it should reach 12 billion dollars in revenues (double that of 2020), but gaming is almost at its share. 90 billion.


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

Moving on to the games with the fastest growth in 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 the entry in second place of Project Makeover. The ranking also includes ROBLOX in sixth place again and we also find Among Us! in fourth position, a sign that the enthusiasm surrounding the famous title has not yet died down. In seventh position we also find Pokémon Unite and its presence is really interesting, as the data examined by App Annie are updated in October and Unite has landed on mobile in the last days of September, so it could be in a much higher position in the next ranking update.


We conclude our look at the App Annie report – which, however, we invite you again to deepen by consulting the full version in SOURCE -, with the category dedicated to video streaming app, this time, however, considering the time spent by users within them. In short, let’s take a look at what they are the most used ones.

YouTube dominates the world rankings, but it is 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 articulated offer of on-demand content than in the rest of the world. Great absent, as anticipated, too Netflix, that does not enter any of the top 10, giving way to competitors like Hotstar, Disney + And HBO Max, which are consolidating their position in the market following last year’s launches and renovations.

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

Finally, we point out that even a niche streaming service such as Crunchyroll – whose offer is mainly based on anime – has managed to enter the top 10 of the most used apps in the US and UK (in ninth place in both markets), further sign of how this category is taking on more and more weight in the tastes of viewers .