This year has seen a huge shift in the way apps and mobile devices are used. In the first quarter of 2016 Google and Facebook were the owner of the top ten most popular apps on GooglePlay. Today they still hold a those ten top spots but have expanded thier reaches to the top 18, with all these apps reaching over 1Billion downloads. I didn’t put them in my list of GooglePlay Allstars because many of the apps controlled by Facebook and Google come preinstalled on most devices, I would like to point out, that is not entirely correct Instagram reached 1B downloads and doesn’t come preinstalled; Instagram was the last app too reach 1B downloads though according to Wikipedia(1).
Pokemon Go is second in my list but I am putting it first because I find it more interesting than Uber. As with any App on GooglePlay they only disclose an average grouping number of downloads between too values (10M-500M Downloads), so I chose from the apps listed as passing 100M but not more than 1B downloads, and then cross referenced across multiple sources. Even the most educated sources can only estimate downloads though.
Pokemon Go simply put was a massive success(2), Pulling the branding power of one of the worlds oldest and most recognizable companies, Nintendo. That compounded with the brand power of the Pokemon brand that has been around for 20 years, as of 2017(3), any game created by Nintendo being power by this much brand recognition had to succeed. As of November 2016 Pokemon go has seen nearly 500M downloads on GooglePlay, as well as having 20M active daily users(4).
With a gross income of 600M USD to date Pokemon Go’s success is unquestionable, that being said gross daily income of the the app for its developers has reduced recently. On day one Pokemon Go saw around 5M(4) USD, before a lot of the media started focusing on Pokemon Go. As of today 132 days have passed since the release of the app on July 6th, 2016 that averages out to 4.5M USD a day; but that math isn’t exactly unbiased. At release the app only saw minor media coverage and then saw massive media attention that died downed very quickly, the correlation can be drawn as two parables with one off set slightly representing the public interest in the app and the first representing media attention, as media attention goes up interest in the app follows suit and vice versa as media attention dies down.(I would post a diagram but my scanner is low quality).
Uber I am putting last because I don’t find the appeal in the app/service. Uber is a taxi service that allows anyone with a car, a mobile device, and a credit card to become drivers, with little to no vetting of applicants.(5)(It only takes 10 mins to become a driver, trust me, I tried it). Uber has seen a consistent cultural presence unlike Pokemon Go, becoming a popular culture norm, in many shows animated and live action you can hear “Call an Uber” or something about an Uber. It may be a consistent presence because it allows users to make money or something. In the last year Uber has seen many controversies, losing 1.2B USD early in the year(6) and having a few accounts of drivers assaluting passengers, or just being overly creepy(7). Nonetheless Uber is still a very successful app. Uber has had a bumpy but fun ride, as a business. As of this posting I couldn’t find any sources on app downloads that were consistent across websites, but if you’ve read this far; there was a chart on one of the sites linked in the sources(I think), but I did link another chart(8)