Year after year, the same old social media apps have gotten the top spots on Apple’s annual list of most downloaded apps. But not this year, my friends!
The most downloaded free app of 2020 in the U.S. was…ZOOM Cloud Meetings! Pop that bottle of quarantine isolation champagne, because it’s a truly astronomical rise that shows how different 2020 was from past years thanks to the pandemic. Zoom did not even crack Apple’s chart of the top 20 most downloaded free apps last year.
After Zoom, streaming and social media apps make up a big chunk of the top 10 for 2020. TikTok, which President Donald Trump threatened to ban in the U.S., was the second most-downloaded iPhone app, followed by Disney Plus in the number three spot.
YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger rounded out the top eight for 2020.
Zoom, the video conferencing app, was the most downloaded free iPhone app of 2020 in the U.S., Apple announced on Tuesday.
There were other reshuffles and surprises. The second most downloaded app was TikTok, and the third was newcomer Disney freaking Plus. All anyone wanted to do in 2020 was connect with friends and consume snackable or comforting content.
Apple does not share the number of downloads of its top apps, just the relative rankings. Here’s the full list.
Top Free iPhone Apps:
1. ZOOM Cloud Meetings
10. Cash App
The top downloads in the paid app category were photo editing app TouchRetouch, drawing app Procreate Pocket, and, the Apple-acquired weather app Dark Sky. The top free games were Among Us ( thanks, AOC!) and Call of Duty: Mobile, while the top paid games were Minecraft and — wait for it — the pandemic simulation game Plague, Inc. Zoom was also the most downloaded free iPad app.
Zoom’s overall popularity is no surprise, considering the need to socialize remotely and work from home thanks to the pandemic. As of the end of February — when the pandemic had barely started in the U.S. — Zoom said it had already added more users in the first two months of 2020 than all of 2019. That growth reached its peak in April, with 300 million meeting participants every day. While Zoom hasn’t shared user stats lately, its revenue and number of paid users has continued to climb.
The rest of the free iPhone app list looks more familiar. Facebook again captured three of the overall top 10 spots, with Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger downloads. YouTube, Snapchat, and Gmail also stuck around from past years.
However, 2019 honoree Netflix got bumped by the Square-owned money app, Cash. Last year, Cash competitor Venmo made the top 20. The times they are a-changin’.