Popularity of apps did not falter in 2022 with the app market looking stronger than ever as we end this exciting year. In the third quarter of 2022, users downloaded approximately 27 billion apps from Google Play and 8.2 billion from the Apple App Store. Approximately 49% of people open an app 11 times each day and mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion in revenue by 2023.
To celebrate the end of the year we have rounded up the most popular mobile apps of 2022 as we take a look at exactly what makes them so successful.
BeReal took the number one spot on Apple’s App Store in the United States in July 2022, with many young Amercians abandoning Instagram or Facebook for this new social media app. BeReal has 73.5 million monthly active users and an astounding 20 million daily active users. BeReal has been downloaded 67 million times since its 2019 launch, with the vast majority of those downloads happening in 2022.
What Made BeReal Successful?
BeReal takes a unique approach to a traditional social media app as one of the most popular mobile apps in 2022. The app's goal is to get away from detailed curation and professional influencers. It aims to give a real glimpse into users’ lives. Because the app only allows users to post one picture a day, there is a level of scarcity that is also what helped Wordle grow retention. BeReal doesn’t allow users to browse friend's photos until they post their own, which also helps boost daily engagement.
Between the daily motivation to post on the app in order to see what others are doing and the fact that BeReal isn’t cluttered with ads, users are drawn to the app versus other forms of social media.. The app is currently free to download and is not monetized by ads making it one of the most popular mobile apps in 2022. It is likely that BeReal is waiting to expand its user base and then will start to add in paid features in 2023.
TikTok remains the most downloaded app with around 656 million downloads worldwide this year. It launched back in 2016 and originally only had traction in China. After launching an international version in 2017, TikTok gained 655 million new users by the end of 2018. With the pandemic forcing individuals to stay indoors, this dance and short video platform took off. In 2020 alone, the social media app gained 980.7 million first time installs, which was a 28% increase compared to the following year.
What Made TikTok one of the Most Popular Mobile Apps in 2022?
TikTok originally launched as a short-form video sharing platform, primarily for lip syncing and dancing videos. However, in the past few years TikTok has grown into a fully-fledged video service, with content available for all types of viewers and influencers alike. Part of TikTok’s success can be attributed to its appeal to shorter attention spans. Even though users can make videos up to 10 minutes long, the majority of TikTok videos are short and easily scrollable.
Another factor behind TikTok’s success is their advanced algorithm. TikTok’s algorithm is able to learn what a user is interested in based on their activity within the app and serve content based on that information. Users only see videos that are relevant to them, inspiring longer sessions of engagement.
TikTok also offers numerous different ways for advertisers to make money on their platform with everything from in-feed ads to branded hashtag challenges. It also gives influencers a platform to connect with users through video versus a static photo.
Roblox is one of the most popular mobile apps in 2022 that allows users to play a wide variety of games, create their own games, and chat with others online. It combines gaming, social media, and social commerce and is on its way to becoming a “super app”. Roblox markets themselves as the “ultimate virtual universe” as Roblox experiences are places where users can socialize, build their own spaces, and even earn and spend virtual money. In the third quarter of 2022, Roblox had over 58.8 million daily active users of Roblox games worldwide. Roblox had previously reported a peak daily active user count of 52.2 million.
What Made Roblox Successful?
One of the biggest components of Roblox’s success and one of the most popular mobile apps in 2022 is that it is free to play. This is a contrast to many of its competitors that have upfront costs that can deter kids who don’t have funds to spend on games yet. While there are certain elements of the game that users can spend money on, for the most part, players can enjoy the game without ever spending a penny. This low barrier to entry is extremely important for the 67% of Roblox users who are under 16.
Another contributing factor is the variety of games within the platform. Roblox is more of an app store than it is a standalone game. Users have access to a plethora of different game modes, game types, and game genres. They can play anything from murder mysteries to role-playing games all within the Roblox app. This creates a wide user base and gives users a reason f to keep returning to the app to find something to entertain themselves. Roblox also serves customized ads to introduce relevant games to users based on their preferences.
Subway Surfers was the most downloaded mobile game worldwide in May 2022 with 30 million installs. This represented an 86.5 percent increase from the previous year. It also holds the title as the most downloaded mobile game of the decade, with 1.8 billion downloads making it one of the most popular mobile apps in 2022.
Subway Surfers is a single player mobile gaming app with the goal of outrunning a train inspector while dodging oncoming trains, barriers and other objects. Collecting coins on the way gives players advantages such as new features and objects to help them achieve high scores.
What Made Subway Surfers Successful?
Frequent and thoughtful updates sit at the heart of Subway Surfers' wild popularity. The app creates seasonal content during the holidays to entice users to play.
Subway Surfers’ simple yet high quality graphics and animations is also a factor behind its success. Subway Surfers’ aesthetic pays homage to urban street culture and plays off a common youthful theme – getting in trouble with authority. It puts the players into a rebellious state of mind and appeals to younger audiences.
Takeaways of the Most Popular Mobile Apps in 2022
In the third quarter of 2022, users downloaded approximately 27 billion apps from Google Play and 8.2 billion from the Apple App Store. Mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion in revenue by 2023. To celebrate the end of 2022 we have rounded up the most popular mobile apps in 2022 as we take a look at exactly what makes them so successful.
- BeReal: BeReal flips the traditional model of social media by giving a real glimpse into users’ lives. Between the daily motivation to post on the app in order to see what others are doing and the fact that BeReal isn’t cluttered with ads, the app has attracted many users from other forms of social media.
- TikTok: Part of TikTok’s success can be attributed to its appeal to users with shorter attention spans. Additionally, Tik Tok owes its success to its advanced algorithm. Which serves content based on users’ interests.
- Roblox: One of the biggest components of Roblox’s success is that it is free to play. This low barrier to entry is extremely important for Roblox’s 67% of users who are under the age of 16.
- Subway Surfers: Frequent and thoughtful updates sit at the heart of Subway Surfers' wild popularity. They create seasonal content during the holiday months to stay relevant and to entice users to play. Subway Surfers also can attribute their success to its simple yet high quality graphics and animations.