Most Downloaded Apps of 2016: How Are They Doing Now?


Apple regularly releases a list of most downloaded apps in different categories at the end of every quarter and at the end of the year. The 2016 list was very interesting, with apps such as Snapchat ranking high in the Free Apps category.

Just like anything in tech, the market for apps changes rapidly. We’re almost at the end of 2017, which is why we are going to take a look at some of the popular apps in the Free Apps category from 2016 and see how they are doing today. Let’s get started, shall we?


Snapchat topped the list in December 2016. It garnered a lot of attention and was acquiring users at a staggering rate. The live filters and the ability to share everyday videos in a fluid way made Snapchat an instant success.

2017, however, hasn’t been a good year for the company. The success of its IPO earlier this year quickly turned into a flop. Snapchat is also struggling to acquire new users and maintain its active user count. The app, on the other hand, is still very popular among its avid fans.


Messenger by Facebook is a rather controversial app. According to DesignRush, it was built on the idea of separating Facebook’s extensive set of features into smaller, more manageable apps. Users can then choose which apps they want to use based on their personal preferences.

Since the Messenger app is needed to use Facebook’s chat feature, the app rose to the list of popular free apps rather quickly. It was in 2nd place back in December 2016, but it is now sitting comfortably in 4th place and holding strong.

Pokémon Go

This game was an instant success. Pokémon Go combines augmented reality with a simple and engaging gameplay. Whether you are a Pokémon fan or just a casual gamer, you will certainly love the gaming experience offered by Pokémon Go.

Unfortunately, the game’s reign over the 3rd spot in the popular apps list was short lived. It has since dropped out of the list, although loyal fans of Pokémon are still making Niantic millions in in-app purchases. The game has also introduced group raids and other exciting new features recently.


It is difficult to accept that Instagram was only the fourth most popular app in 2016, considering how popular it is today. It now has more than 800 million users, but the app’s popularity – based on the number of downloads – isn’t improving.

Instagram has added some new features, such as InstaStory and live broadcasts, attracting the majority of Snapchat’s users to the platform due to the higher user base and the fact that most Snapchat users already have a huge following on Instagram.


The last app on our list is Facebook, the original social media app. A lot of new features have been designed to keep users interested, but it is still a step behind Instagram in terms of popularity. Facebook is now 8th on Apple’s list and it will probably stay there when this year’s popular apps list gets announced later in December.

A full list of the most downloaded apps of 2016 can be found here: https://www.designrush.com/design-corner-listing/the-most-downloaded-apps-on-the-app-store-and-google-play.  However, the most popular have all been covered above for your convenience.