Four months ago, we saw history being made as Play Store metrics revealed the first Android software package to be downloaded over one billion times: Google’s Gmail app. While that was still a pretty notable milestone, Gmail being a Google app sort of took the air out of the news – of course a Google app, and such a core one to the Google ecosystem, would be at the front of the downloads race. But as we noted at the time, we were quite interested in seeing who would be next to follow Google across that billion-download line. This week, we’ve finally spotted a non-Google app pull in one billion downloads of its own, with Facebook joining Gmail up at the top of the Android app mountain.
Again, this is an app that no one’s going to be surprised attracting quite so many downloads, but the fact that there are users installing this one on their own sure gives it an extra boost of relevance. This is the core Facebook app we’re talking about, rather than Messenger, but with the way Facebook’s been pushing users to Messenger for their IMing needs, it may only be a matter of time before it similarly follows the main app to billion-download-land; right now, Messenger’s still in that vast 500M-1B category, but having only hit 500M a couple weeks back, we wouldn’t hold our breath.
Now we find ourselves wondering who might be next to reach one billion downloads. WhatsApp is north of 500M right now, while many other popular social apps like Instagram haven’t even gotten that high yet. Any guesses who it could be?