Meta's Threads is Making a Run for It - The Most Downloaded Apps in the World

Ariel Ariel
Jan. 26

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Can You See It?. Check out the full article for more insights.


December was a good month for Threads as daily downloads nearly tripled! Was that enough to make it the most downloaded app in the world?

Let's have a look at our rankings for December:

It wasn't.

Instagram was the most downloaded app in the world in December. We estimate it saw 54M new downloads from the App Store and Google Play - mostly from Google Play - as it overtook TikTok for first place.

TikTok came in second in December adding 47M new downloads. Unlike Instagram, which got 80% of its downloads from Google Play, TikTok's downloads were more balanced with 60% from Google Play and 40% from the App Store.

A small but significant signal that TikTok is more in demand.

Facebook, WhatApp, and... CapCut round out the top 5. Facebook and WhatsApp have been glued to those spots for most of 2023 with a few blips where they shifted down a bit, and it makes sense considering Facebook's brand and WhatsApp being the most used communication tool outside of the US.

CapCut isn't. Well, not recently.

Earlier in 2023, CapCut was in the top 5 nearly every month but that ended in June and it dropped to the bottom of the chart. I wonder if this will become a seasonal trend for TikTok's video editor.

Wait, Where's Threads?

Threads did manage to rank in December's charts on the App Store, Google Play, and combined! Just not high enough to make the top 5.

Our estimates show that on the App Store, Threads ranked 4th with 12M new downloads. It got a bit more, 16M from Google Play, but that only got it to the 8th spot. On the combined list, Threads made it to 6th place.

I explored the trend a bit more in-depth and it's clear this was a holiday special. I say that because you can see downloads ramp up and then down, though downloads in January are still a bit higher than November, so maybe the push helped.

Together, the top 10 most downloaded apps saw 334M new downloads in December, according to our estimates. A modest 7% increase over November's total, which might seem weird considering the holidays, but we're talking apps and not games here so it's expected.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.


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