Since the Facebook has entered the mobile app business, the network's flagship app has been the most popular among its app store tits. However, this crown seems to have been misused very recently.
According to App Annie data, the WhatsApp Messenger surpassed the Facebook app as the most popular. The chart below shows the growth in use of Facebook's top four apps between January 2017 and December 2018, showing WhatsApp overtaking in September last year:
Overall, over the past two years, the Facebook app has seen its popularity increase by 20%, while WhatsApp has jumped 30% on this same metric. Instagram has grown even more (35%), but is below the two other apps and the Facebook Messenger in terms of general use.
It's worth noting that while WhatsApp took the lead in September and is maintaining it so far, the Facebook app still won the 2018 app crown. In addition, in one of the world's most important markets, the United States WhatsApp didn't even list 10 of the most popular apps in the country, while Facebook and Messenger ranked first and second, respectively.
On the other hand, WhatsApp is the most popular app in the world in many major markets like Germany, Brazil, Spain, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Russia.
In the past, this data (and possibly the WhatsApp leadership's finding) would be revealed by Facebook itself, which used to disclose very definite numbers about the users of each of its applications. Recently, however, the company has commented on this data in a much more widespread manner: At the company's last financial results conference, Mark Zuckerberg merely stated that “over 2.6 billion people were using Facebook, WhatsApp , Instagram or Messenger every month. ”
Still, App Annie's data seem to reflect the findings of other digital analytics firms. Apptopia and Sensor Tower, for example, have made WhatsApp the download champion among the top three Facebook apps for some time now.
So in the end, it looks like Facebook's $ 16 billion deal went really, really well.