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Google Play app downloads in India down 4.3% to 6.62 bn in Q4 2021: Sensor Tower

India has retained its position as top market in app downloads on Google Play, followed by Brazil, Indonesia, the US and Russia, as per Sensor Tower's Q4 2021: Store Intelligence Data Digest report  

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jan 11, 2022 9:13 AM  | 4 min read
Google Play

The total app downloads from India on the Google Play Store have declined 4.3% to 6.62 billion in Q4 2021 from 6.92 billion in Q4 2020, according to Sensor Tower's Q4 2021: Store Intelligence Data Digest report.

This report explores top apps of the Quarter from across the world.

India has retained its position as the top market in terms of app downloads on Google Play, followed by Brazil, Indonesia, the US and Russia. While the top four markets saw downloads decline year-over-year, the installs remained well above pre-pandemic levels as each country saw a huge boost at the start of the pandemic. The one exception was the US, which saw roughly the same number in Q4 2021 as it did leading into the pandemic.

Russia also reached an all-time high for downloads on Google Play with a 6.1% growth year-over-year. Its previous high was in Q2 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the App Store, China held the lead again in Q4 2021 with a 12% year-over-year growth even as the US’s installs fell 3% Y/Y. The US overtook China for five straight quarters between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021 but the latter regained the top spot in Q3 2021. The rest of the top five markets all had positive year-over-year growth. Russia’s downloads have climbed 12.7% to nearly 300 million, an all-time high for the country.

Worldwide app downloads totalled to 36.1 billion in Q4 2021, a 2.7% year-over-year increase. Full-year downloads have grown 0.9% to 144.2 billion, including 32.8B on the App Store and 111.4B on Google Play.

Top Apps Worldwide

According to the report, TikTok from ByteDance was the top app globally for the second straight year. It managed this despite being removed from the app stores in India in Q2 2020. It added that India was the biggest market for other top apps like Facebook and Instagram. Meta had the next four apps, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Zoom, the No. 4 app in 2020, fell four spots to No. 8 in 2021.

Top Apps on Google Play - Worldwide

Meta had the top two apps on Google Play for the second straight quarter, with Instagram passing Facebook for the first time since at least 2014 to take the top spot. Meta-published apps WhatsApp, Messenger, and WhatsApp Business were also among the top 20. Shopee and Meesho saw a huge growth to reach the top five for the first time amidst shopping holidays across the globe. The vast majority of the download growth for these apps has come from India.

Top apps in Asia

Instagram has seen a steady growth in Asia, largely driven by an ascent in India following the removal of TikTok from the country’s app stores in Q2 2020. Instagram’s installs in India climbed 135% from Q2 2020 to Q4 2021. Meesho and Shopee were two shopping apps that ranked amongst the top five apps. These apps also led the way in download growth in Q4 2021, with Meesho and Shopee’s downloads each climbing by more than 33 million Q/Q.

Top Apps on Google Play - Asia

Garena Free Fire exceeded 40 million downloads in Q4 2021, with nearly 20 million from Garena Free Fire MAX. The new version offers better graphics and smoother gameplay than the original. Ludo King from Gametion ranked either first or second each quarter in 2021 on Google Play. Eighty-eight percent of its downloads in Q4 2021 were from India, followed by Indonesia at 8%.

According to Sensor Tower, the figures cited in this report reflect App Store and Google Play download estimates for January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2021. Download estimates presented are on a per-user basis, meaning that only one download per Apple or Google account is counted towards the total.

Further, downloads of the same app by the same user to multiple devices, updates, or re-installs of the same app by the same user are not counted towards the total. Android app install estimates represent downloads from the Google Play Store only. Sensor Tower does not provide download estimates for third-party Android stores.

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