Facebook and TikTok Lead in Overall App Downloads in May

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Facebook remains the most popular social app, even in terms of new downloads, while TikTok and Snapchat also continue to hold attention. These are the key trends of note in the latest app download rankings for May 2019, as provided by SensorTower.

SnesorTower app rankings

As you can see, Facebook sits atop the overall chart, showing that privacy concerns and misinformation issues are not slowing The Social Network’s ongoing expansion, at least in terms of audience growth.

“But haven’t reports shown that people are using Facebook less than they have in the past?”

Yes, there have been a number of usage studies conducted which have shown that Facebook engagement is dropping, that people using Facebook less. But that doesn’t mean Facebook isn’t adding new users. 

Indeed, Facebook’s quarterly reports show that, despite reports of lower usage overall, Facebook has continued its growth momentum. As we’ve noted previously, it’s quite possible that both of these findings are correct – Facebook may well be expanding its audience, while users, at the same time, could be spending less time in the app, which is what appears to be happening.

A key point in Sensor Tower’s data is exactly where Facebook’s new downloads are coming from exactly:

“The markets with the most new Facebook installs during this period were India at 24% of total downloads, followed by Indonesia at 12% and Brazil at 8%.” 

That aligns with what other reports have shown  – Facebook’s expansion is largely coming from its reach into more markets, while user counts in North America and Europe, where the platform is well established, have, somewhat logically, slowed significantly in recent times.

Facebook MAU Q1 2019

But again, this is different to time spent on-platform. While Facebook may be expanding, it may also be seeing less time spent within the app per person, on average – a stat which Facebook hasn’t reported in some time. And worth noting too, Facebook has also announced that it’ll soon switch its quarterly reports to showing total user counts across its entire ‘Family of Apps’, which will lessen the focus on Facebook itself. Make of that what you will.

But really, seeing Facebook on top of the chart here is no surprise. What’s more interesting is the sustained popularity of TikTok, and the resilience of Snapchat – though the latter’s download numbers have reportedly been propped up significantly by the popularity of its ‘Baby’ and ‘Gender Swap; Lenses.

TikTok remains the trending app of the moment, and is maintaining its growth momentum – which may be a surprise to many. It’s very difficult to predict which app is a fad and which will stick. These stats show that TikTok is holding, it’s still popular, despite its main surge in notoriety coming some eight months ago

Is it time to take a deeper look into the potential of TikTok for your marketing efforts yet?

There are few surprises in the remainder of the May app chart – though the popularity of short-form video app Likee is interesting.

Likee screenshots

According to Sensor Tower’s data, Likee has over 200 million users worldwide, though it seems many of them primarily use the app’s editing tools in order to create content to post on other platforms.

But it may be another one to watch, or even to use to help improve your content. 

You can read SensorTower’s full app marketplace report here.

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