Top global smartphone apps, who’s in the top 10

We’ve identified the apps that are actually used by the 969.49m strong global smartphone population.

So here is GlobalWebIndex’s top 10 of actively used smartphone apps, based on the % of global smartphone users who have taken advantage of the services they offer in the last month.

It’s no surprise to see that Google Maps is No. 1 Used by 54% of the global smartphone population in the last month, it’s the go-to solution for lost and confused consumers. Apple Maps is nowhere to be seen but Nokia’s Ovi Maps is used by 9% of smartphone users and ranks No. 11 in our chart.

In the No. 2 spot in Facebook’s Mobile App, used by 44% of global smartphone users to keep in touch with friends, family and brands.

Facebook also has two other players in the top 10 – of which more later – but Google as well as taking No. 1, also takes No 3 with YouTube (35%) and No. 4 with the G+ Mobile App (30%).

Weixin / WeChat makes it to No. 5 and our research reveals that the Chinese-based service is being actively used by the 27% of the global smartphone population. It’s an impressive performance considering that is basically used only in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

In at No. 6 is Twitter’s Mobile App with a 22% active usage number, closely followed by Skype and Facebook Messenger, which both score the same active usage number.

Online messaging service WhatsApp has now serves the 17% of the global smartphone population and takes the No. 9 spot. Despite massive publicity it attracts, however, it’s worth noting that Weixin/ WeChat and Facebook Messenger, which both provide a similar service are more widely used on a global basis.

Finally at No. 10 is Facebook-owned vintage picture app Instagram, which has been actively used by the 11% of the global online population in the last month, but growth since Q1 2013 has been rather stagnant.

I was expecting to see Vine ranking higher than No. 17 but globally only 2% of respondents admit to have used it in the last month. Whilst its growth is quite encouraging, Vine still has long to go to catch up with Instagram and is also behind Foursquare, Shazam, Flickr and Yelp.

The app World small

9 comments on this post

  1. biscuit on

    Thanks for the article. I’m interested however, when you asked ‘which of the following mobile applications have you used?’ what did that list of apps consist of? Was the gmail app (for example) on there?

    Also, you don’t mention how many people you surveyed which would be useful to know (I have read your research and methodology page so I understand you use random samples).

  2. Patrick on

    I can’t understand how many participated in your survey, and where do they live. Could you please provide these details?

    1. Marcello on

      Hi Patrick,

      This inforgraphic refers to our latest Wave of surveys Q2 2013 that involved 35,000 respondents in 31 countries in the world.


      1. Patrick on

        Hey Marcello,
        how can you explain the high (and a bit surprising) ranking of Google+, and the absence of Gmail or any other email provider from your list?
        In addition, did you put any restrictions on the answers, or did the participants could mention any mobile app they’ve used?
        What about games, or popular tools like flashlight? I would have guessed that those apps will be more popular than Yelp or Foursquare, for instance.

        Thank you!

        1. Marcello on

          Hi Patrick,

          We’ve been tracking the growth of Google Plus for quite a long time now and we already announced almost one year ago that it was the second most actively used Social Platform in the World. So for us is not really suprising.

          For more information on this please have a look at our latest Stream Social Report:

          Many people have also asked the same question during our webinar:

          Regarding the list of app. we included in our survey, we usually includes brands based on client demand and brand popularity. We have data about users accessing Gmail from mobile phones already, but not in the app section. For more information please visit our Insight Store:

          Please let me know if you have more questions,

  3. Eoin McKenna on

    Hi Marcello,

    Thanks for the article. Very helpful. I’m looking for global app usage stats to compare international markets. I can’t really find a good source. Would you have anything on this?

    Many thanks

    1. Marcello Mari on

      Hi Eoin, I’m glad you enjoyed my article. Here is a link where you can find a data pack with specific mobile applications used in 32 markets – Please let me know if you need anything else

  4. Tamori on

    Hi Marcello

    I’d like to ask if the statistics you presented in this blog post appear somewhere in a formal report of GWI that can be cited in a publication. If yes, could you please give me the full citation (with report title, publication year, pages where those stats appear, etc.)?

    Many thanks in advance.

  5. Mark on

    Thanks for the great post. very informative stats. i’d never heard of OviMaps before.

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