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The decade’s most downloaded apps have one scary thing in common

The four most-downloaded apps of the last decade are all owned by Facebook, the App Annie tracker has claimed. Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram top the combined iOS and Android list of downloads between 2010 and 2019.

The rest of the top ten was largely comprised of communications and social apps apps with Snapchat (5), Skype (6), TikTok (7) and Twitter (10) also feature prominently. China’s UC Browser (8) and YouTube (9) round-out the top ten.

The dominance of social apps isn’t unexpected, but the pre-eminence of Facebook’s properties may be of some concern to privacy advocates worried about Facebook’s ever-growing monopoly.

“One company owning four of the most popular social networking and communication apps, at best, can be described as a data monopoly,” Taha Yasseri, senior research fellow in computation science at the Oxford Internet Institute, told the BBC.

“Combined, the data from multiple platforms can lead to an extremely high level of precision in modelling our traits and behaviours. This amount of power should be regulated.”

The revelation comes after the UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority announced it was considering whether to “should tackle dominance of online giants,” like Facebook.

Elsewhere, App Annie revealed the apps with the top consumer spend for the decade. Netflix, Tinder and Pandora were the top three, while Spotify, YouTube and HBO Now were in 7th, 8th and 9th respectively.

In terms of games, Subway Surfers, Candy Crush Saga and Temple Run had the most all-time downloads worldwide between 2010 and 2019. However, when it comes to consumer spend, it’s no surprise to see Clash Of Clans, Monster Strike and Candy Crush Saga top the list.

App Annie wrote: “It might surprise some to know that Subway Surfers was the most downloaded app game of the decade, driven by its strong adoption in India which accounted for over 15% of its all-time downloads (iOS & Google Play combined).”

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