It’s always interesting to monitor the most downloaded apps during holidays and key cultural moments, and Christmas Day is no different. The Verge editor Casey Newton recently shared a snapshot of the most popular apps on Dec. 25, and some of the trends might surprise you.
Below is a breakdown of the most-downloaded smartphone apps for both Apple and Android devices.
The top five apps downloaded in the App Store:
- Amazon Alexa
The top five apps downloaded in the Google Play Store:
- Facebook Messenger
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Home
So, what do these charts tell us?
Alexa, have yourself a day
Per a recent Amazon press release, “Amazon Devices had its best holiday yet, with tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices sold worldwide,” earning the Echo Dot the title of best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across the entire company. This explains why Amazon Alexa took the top spot in the App Store and rounded out the top three in the Google Play Store.
Trending apps can reflect which hardware products are rising in popularity, so Amazon Alexa’s holiday surge is a strong indicator that Echo devices were among the most popular gifts given and received in 2017.
Another popular hardware gift this year? Fitbit devices, as evidenced by the corresponding app’s place within the Top 5 in the App Store. reported that, in addition to the Amazon Echo Dot, the Fitbit Charger 2 fitness tracker was a “best-selling product.”
People still love Snapchat filters
Consistent with Apple’s list of 2017’s most popular apps, Snapchat also had a notable performance in terms of downloads on Christmas. While there are likely numerous factors one could attribute to this, it is likely due to one of the key themes that dominated “app culture” this year: augmented reality. With this said, one can reasonably infer that most people who didn’t already have the Snapchat app likely downloaded it to take advantage of the various holiday-themed filters.
Instagram reaches peak adoption?
Surprisingly, Instagram didn’t make the top five list when it came to Christmas downloads by Andriod users and ranked lower compared to Snapchat when it came to downloads for iOS users. Nevertheless, it ranked higher in comparison to Snapchat on Apple’s overall 2017 list—the apps earned the number three and number eleven spots respectively.
Perhaps Instagram didn’t rank high on the holiday download lists for the simple reason that people already have the app on their phones. Per Statista, Instagram has 500 million users as of Sept. 2017. Snapchat has under 200 million daily active users.
Streaming video was also a trend across the top 5 charts for both Apple and Google devices. YouTube took the number three spot on the Apple store’s list while Netflix came in at number four in the Android store. This isn’t exactly surprising given that according to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Netflix is now neck-and-neck with cable TV with regards to subscribers.
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