App downloads grew 2.7% to 36 bn lifted by shopping, finance, entertainment

The growth in worldwide app downloads was 2.7 percent to reach 36.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
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The mobile app space is still in a state of transformation amid the ongoing pandemic. Categories such as Shopping, Finance, and Entertainment came out on top at the end of 2021, while others are still trying to bounce back, according to Sensor Tower.

Finance and Tools were among the quarter’s top categories with 39 percent and 26 percent year-over-year growth on Google Play, respectively.

This year, cryptocurrency and investing apps gained momentum with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) emerging as a hot trend. The report also digs into the success of Instagram last quarter as the first app from Meta to reach the top of the downloads chart for a quarter since WhatsApp in Q4 2019.

Meanwhile, record-breaking eight mobile games, including PUBG Mobile from Tencent, Honor of Kings from Tencent, and Genshin Impact from miHoYo, have generated more than $1 billion globally from the App Store and Google Play last year.

PUBG Mobile, localised as Game For Peace in China and Battlegrounds Mobile in India, and Honor of Kings rank as the number 1 and number 2 revenue generating mobile titles this year, accumulating $2.8 billion each, up 9 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively.

Ranking at number 3 last year was Genshin Impact, which has stormed to $1.8 billion in revenue so far in 2021.