The Most Downloaded Apps of All Time

The Most Downloaded Apps of All Time

This is it. This is the list that every app designer and tester hopes to land on someday. If you’ve been wondering, “What app has the most downloads?”. These are the apps that found an audience and delivered. Some offered something new, some offered a better interface, and some were in the right place at the right time. No matter what your favorite apps may be, this list tells us what works globally. Let’s dive in and take a look at the apps that captivate the world.


TikTok reigns supreme as the app with the most downloads. At the end of 2022, it had reportedly been downloaded over 2 billion times worldwide. One billion of those users are active. Its short videos morphed from entertainment into big business.

TikTok got a hefty pandemic boost. People flocked to the app for distractions and connection. TikTok is easy to use. Creators can upload and edit videos and easily share them with the world. Its continued popularity speaks to the universal desire for casual entertainment. Most users scroll through the site many times a day.

TikTok also caught the attention of the celebrity world. As global superstars took to the app, their fans joined as well. Those accounts and others became revenue streams for their owners. The heady combination of fame, fortune, and fun keep TikTok firmly entrenched at #1.


Also among the most downloaded apps in the world is Instagram. This multi-functional social media app is used monthly by up to 1.4 billion people. Introduced in 2010, Instagram was a photo-sharing app with some decent filters. Over time, Instagram improved and expanded its platform.

It introduced hashtags and picture tagging. In 2013 came short videos to compete with Vine, later expanding into longer videos and live streaming. Stories that disappear after 24 hours added a popular Snapchat feature. Easy-to-use business tools make it a favorite for small businesses.

At every turn, Instagram has its finger on the pulse of its competitors’ popular features. It upgrades to stay relevant. For the most part, those upgrades have been smoothly integrated into the app. Ongoing functional testing helps Instagram provide a stable, enjoyable experience for both users and creators.


AOL chat rooms crawled so MySpace could walk so Facebook could run. It has a staggering 2.9 billion active users every month. It’s certainly one of the most popular apps of all time.

The hallmark of Facebook is connection. Whether it’s looking at family pictures, finding old friends, or meeting people with shared interests, Facebook gives people what they’re looking for. The ability to easily post pictures or text, share, and comment forged the way not only for Facebook but for most of the social media apps that followed. It’s the model everyone used and tweaked and expanded.

Facebook has a bumpy history with changes. Some have been poorly received by users, but they do an excellent job of performance testing for stability before they roll out end-user upgrades.


A lot of us first heard of WhatsApp as a way to message and talk to people internationally using Wi-Fi or mobile data. Launched in 2009, it served as a way to avoid the high cost of international calling through your network. Because it’s internet-based and free, WhatsApp is extremely popular worldwide with an estimated 2 billion users. Those free international calls, texts, and video chats are still the service’s most popular feature.

Two other hallmark features of WhatsApp are its cross-platform functionality and its encryption services. It doesn’t matter what device you’re using, it’s compatible with WhatsApp. It does everything your cell plan messaging does, for free. It also offers a desktop platform and document sharing.

End-to-end encryption is available on WhatsApp, and you can set up a PIN for two-step verification. For the security-minded user, these are great features.


The pandemic saw the rise of Zoom as the dominant video conferencing app. It had over 38 million downloads in January 2021 alone.

Zoom had some bugs to work out. In the early days of COVID, meetings weren’t secure and Zoom bombing was common. In their defense, the platform grew so fast, so quickly, that they had little time for testing. They are a cautionary tale. Use a testing platform like Kobiton to check your code against the most stressful possibilities. Zoom managed to rein in their errant security, but not without losing some customers.

Zoom’s ability to host large meetings with functions like Salesforce integration keeps it relevant. It has a free version, but businesses that want greater versatility pay for a subscription.


CapCut is the world’s most popular video editing app. With the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, it isn’t surprising that some enterprising company filled this niche.

It also isn’t surprising that the company to do it was ByteDance, owners of TikTok. CapCut has a lot of editing tools. You can reverse a video, speed it up or slow it down, and the app has a music library. It’s free and compatible with Apple or Android devices.

Introduced in April 2020, CapCut has seen a meteoric rise in popularity. In its first year alone it was downloaded over 250 million times. It is designed so that even beginners can use it with ease. This undoubtedly helped boost downloads and users.   


Turning to music, the most downloaded app is Spotify. Its catalog of songs, artists, and podcasts is enormous. Personal playlists, instant song sharing, and private listening all contribute to the app’s 320 million monthly users.

Spotify is free with ads but also boasts 144 million subscribers to its premium service. Running as little as $4.99 a month for students, these subscriptions make it easy to get hooked on ad-free music streaming.


YouTube is everywhere. It’s installed by default on most Android devices, which contributes to its massive 10 billion downloads. It isn’t only unintentional downloads fueling the video giant’s popularity. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, bested only by its parent company, Google.

YouTube and Facebook share the distinction of massively popular apps that also have full desktop capabilities. Founded in 2005, YouTube made pivoting to mobile look simple.

But we know it wasn’t. Interface changes that helped the platform adapt were introduced in 2011 and 2013. Those changes probably went through thousands of hours of testing before they were ready to be rolled out to (nearly) the entire world.    

Cash App

When you live in a digital world, you pay for things digitally. PayPal was the first, but it isn’t the most popular. That distinction goes to Cash App. With over 100 million downloads and 44 million monthly users, Cash App is king. Originally powered by Square, this app makes it easy to send and receive money.

You don’t have to link to a bank account to use your Cash App money, and it can be used for direct deposits. It’s a little more nimble than rival Venmo. Cash App also has features for buying Bitcoin and stock investments. 

Wrapping Up

For developers, the first step toward having one of the most downloaded apps in the world is testing. These mega-popular apps didn’t get where they are without testing their code. We may see their mistakes on occasion, but only because they’re so dominant. You can be sure that the early iterations of these super-sites were tested time and time again.

Contact us at Kobiton to learn how our robust testing platform leads to faster development, more downloads, and happier end-users.