Facebook owns the four most popular apps of the decade

WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger all join main Facebook app at the top of rankings

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 18 December 2019 17:30
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The Facebook logo is displayed during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California
The Facebook logo is displayed during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California

Facebook owned the four biggest apps in the world this decade, data shows.

The main Facebook app was the most downloaded app between 2010 and 2019, according to analytics firm App Annie.

But the three runners-up were all owned by the company, too. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram came second, third and fourth.

Messenger was created by the company, while the other two were bought during the decade.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, when the app was already shooting to popularity.

Two years later, Facebook also bought WhatsApp, in a deal worth $19 bilion.

Each of those deals gave Facebook control of the biggest apps in the world, the new data shows.

In 2019, Facebook stayed dominant: the most popular app was Messenger, followed by Facebook and then WhatsApp. But Instagram was edged out by TikTok, App Annie claimed.

As free apps, Facebook's suite of products do not pull in money from consumers – all four are primarily paid for by ads.

The same data showed that the biggest app for generating money from users over the decade was Netflix. The company said YouTube – which has launched a number of premium services in recent years – was the "biggest breakout app" in 2019.

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