Mobile applications have taken over almost every sphere of our lives. From finance management to e-learning apps, consumers heavily rely on mobile technology as a convenient means of getting services on the go.
Global app spending attests to the growing dominance of mobile applications. In the first half of 2022, mobile users spent $167 billion. And by 2026, global app spending is projected to hit $233 billion.
But while some applications settle for less, other apps strike it rich with the consumer. Today, we'll go over the top trending apps whose features and market positioning have secured them a spot in the hearts of app users.
Top 31 Trending Apps in 2023
Below, you will find a list of 31 popular apps highlighted in the reports by SensorTower, Data.ai, and other leader matrixes. The insights obtained allowed us to present a breakdown of trending apps that have gained a foothold in the app market.
No app-related rating is complete without the Amazon app. In 2022, the eCommerce giant clocked another successful year, with net sales increasing 9% to $514.0 billion.
From robotic systems in their fulfillment centers to shoppable advertising streams, Amazon remains at the forefront of innovation. Its latest addition, Inspire, adds a new flare to the app and offers users to scroll through a TikTok-like shopping feed for outfit inspiration.
In 2022, it was the most downloaded e-commerce app in the United States on both iOS and Android devices, amassing around 35 million downloads.
A subsidiary of Amazon, the Audible app is a mobile extension of Amazon’s online audiobook and podcast service. The application allows users to purchase and stream audiobooks and other kinds of spoken word content with A-list celebs interpreting books.
Along with affordable prices, here’s what makes Audible a hit among other apps in the category:
- “Whispersync for Voice,” which allows book lovers to switch seamlessly between reading and listening;
- Gamified elements (badges) for completing reading goals;
- Social media integration for sharing favorite picks.
Bigo Live is a live streaming app that allows users to share their lives with others in real time. Launched in 2016, the app has since gained popularity among users all over the world thanks to its focus on interactivity and unique features. Here, users can chat, send gifts, share gaming experiences, and much more. Another thing that makes Bigo Live unique is its use of Bigo Diamonds to buy virtual gifts for the broadcasters.
In 2022, the live streaming platform also became a global avenue for World Cup fans, providing daily football highlights to users on Bigo Live’s “Community” feature. The same year, Bigo Live became an official streaming partner of The Game Awards 2022. Unsurprisingly, the average mobile MAUs of Bigo Live grew in Q4 2022 by 14.3% to 36.8 million — from 32.2 million in Q4 2021.
A leader among dating applications, the Bumble app allows users to find a potential match by swiping. Unlike other solutions in the niche, Bumble doesn’t limit the search by geography and distance. Daters can also add a "virtual dating" badge to their profile to show that they want to date via video calls.
The year 2022 has been successful for Bumble App, with revenue growth of 18.7% compared to 2021 — from $760.9 million to $903.5 million.
Here are some differentiating features of this dating application:
- “Swipes” and “SuperSwipes” to indicate increased interest in a user;
- Advanced filtering to find the right match;
- Bumble profile badges to show others your non-negotiables (including the newest Reproductive Rights badge);
- “Night In” feature to play games over one-on-one video chats;
- Only women can message first;
- "Compliments" — a message-before-match feature.
This Chinese feature-packed video editor app gives users access to advanced editing features, fonts, effects, and everything they need to capture the moment. Formerly known as Viamaker, CapCut shares the same parent company as TikTok; hence TikTok users can both edit and export their CapCut videos directly to TikTok.
In 2022, the app surpassed 200 million monthly active users, which ranks CapCut first among other trending video editing apps.
A livestreaming sports app, DAZN gives access to an ever-growing archive of on-demand boxing, documentaries, shows, and other sports events. Launched in 2016, the application now covers over 200 countries with a streaming platform initially focused on boxing.
The core features of DAZN include the following:
- Live streaming up to HD;
- On-demand video streaming;
- Compatibility with connected devices, including Apple TV, gaming consoles, and others;
- Simultaneous video streaming on two devices.
The streaming haven for Disney, Marvel, and other top publishers, Disney+ is a world-known exclusive streaming platform. The service has gained dominance in the market thanks to its famous owner company and exclusive partnerships.
Among the core features of Disney+ are:
- Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices;
- Free 4K UHD streaming with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support;
- A parental controls system;
- Simultaneous streaming on up to four screens;
- Group watch for virtual viewing parties.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Disney Plus added 12.1 million subscribers, with a total number of paid subscriptions reaching 164.2 million in revenue. In 2021, this figure was considerably lower at 118.1 million paid subscribers.
ESPN app is an all-in-one sports content platform from the Disney bundle that offers live and on-demand sports events, including live games, highlights, sports news, and more. In 2022, the service took the lead in terms of consumer spending, topping the best sports apps.
Its subscription-based service, ESPN+, is the exclusive distributor for UFC pay-per-view events in the U.S. In 2022, the number of paid ESPN+ subscribers sat at 24 million, the majority of whom are U.S. users.
As our data needs grow, cloud storage apps like Google One help us take care of our files and documentation. Google One backs up important phone data using free 15 GB of storage offered with every Google account. This service was launched in 2018 as an alternative to a Google Drive subscription.
Google One users can get 24/7 assistance and share their storage allotment with up to five family members. The storage covers Google services, including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos.
In 2022, the Google One app was the No. 6 non-game app globally in terms of consumer spending. Though most customers are buying the subscription for the extra storage and backup — Google’s alternative to Apple’s iCloud, in a sense — it’s also another way for Google to lock in customers into its app ecosystem, even if they don’t use its Pixel phones or even an Android device.n $1 billion in consumer spending.
Serving as a portable addition to the main HBO content, this premium streaming app invites the user into the world of gripping blockbuster movies, popular TV shows, and premieres. The application launched in 2020 as a successor of HBO Go and HBO Now. The app's unique selling point is its varied content library that combines classic HBO shows with a trove of popular Warner Bros movies and Max Originals.
The mix of core features is similar to other competing streaming services, including:
- On-demand movies;
- Paid HD streaming;
- Advanced sorting by type, genre, and others;
- Offline downloads, playback;
- Accessibility and parental control.
As one of the leading entertainment companies in the market, the Warner Bros. Discovery company reported an increase in global direct-to-consumer (DTC) subscribers across HBO, HBO Max, and Discovery+, thanks to the re-launch of HBO Max on Amazon Channels in December 2022.
Also known as Disney+ Hotstar, this video-on-demand service operates in Central and Southeast Asia. As India’s largest streaming service, Hotstar’s content library draws from Star India's television networks and process access to region-specific sports, movies, and shows.
The core features resonate with other streaming apps and include:
- Simultaneous streaming;
- Multi-platform compatibility;
- And more.
The app's paid subscriber base hit 61.3 million in October 2022, compared to 43.3 million in the same period in 2021.
This Meta-owned photo and video-sharing app has come a long way since 2010. Once a 1:1 photo posting app, Instagram is now among the top social media apps with a rich feature set of social, business, and creator tools.
The app’s toolset is impressive and includes trendsetting features:
- “Reels,” “Stories,” “Highlights,” and “Boomerangs;”
- AR filters and effects;
- Live streaming and Instagram video;
- Instant messaging with vanish mode;
- Emojis, stickers, quizzes, and others.
Each year, Instagram rolls out new features to match evolving user needs and make content more interactive. In 2022, this social media app focused on new sharing features, including Notes, Group Profiles, and more.
The Chinese counterpart of Netflix, iQIYI, is among the top video streaming apps in China that offers the best and latest Asian drama, anime, shows, and other must-sees. The application is branded to be a user-friendly service with offline viewing, immersive viewing experience, cross-platform support, and subtitles.
Due to the cutthroat competition and dominance of Tencent and Alibaba, the service has struggled to stay in the black. Since its 2018 debut, iQIYI has lost about 70% of its market value yet gained its first quarterly profit of over $169 million in 2022, thanks to a more significant focus on profitability.
The LINE app is an Asian communication app that stepped on the scene in 2011. Owned by LINE Corp, this app aims to go beyond basic messengers by offering stickers, social games, video calling, and a wide array of value-added apps that integrate with communication services.
Launched as a messenger, LINE has also become an ecosystem of apps that includes everything from news and social feeds to banking services. In 2022, the company also launched LINE NFT, LINE's NFT marketplace in Japan, where users can easily buy and trade NFTs.
LINE has evolved into one of the most trending apps, with 178 million users in its four main markets, with 92 million in Japan alone.
The Meesho app helps anyone start their online business by reselling items for an open profit fee and earning weekly bonuses. The platform also caters to small businesses that list their products for reselling. The app hosts a collection of catalogs with various items sold wholesale.
Users share images and descriptions of these products with their contacts via Whatsapp, Instagram, or any other social media and determine the reselling price for the product. Resellers then place the orders directly on the app, and Meesho handles the delivery.
In 2022, the application was revamped into an integrated solution where users can switch between the buyer and seller interfaces with a single click. The Meesho app now also offers advanced e-commerce features such as order processing and payment tracking that used to be on desktop only.
In 2021, this shopping app acquired over 100 million transactors on its platform.
A pioneer of video streaming, the Netflix app delivers a wide variety of top-selling TV shows, movies, and others directly into viewers’ smartphones. The app offers a whole range of the latest streaming features, including 3D surround sound format, HD quality, offline watching, and others. Netflix is an advocate of an AI-enabled experience and widely employs intelligence to personalize recommendations, create teasers, and offer playback and other features.
The resounding success of the app is an accumulation of various factors, including the binge-watching trend Netflix started, unmatched personalization, and partnerships with top content creators and distributors. Today, Netflix has 231 million paid memberships in over 190 countries with $7.85 million of quarterly revenue.
Nubank is a Brazilian neobank and the largest financial technology bank in Latin America. Branded as the world’s largest neobank, Nubank has acquired its reputation as an antidote to traditional banking systems and helps over 70 million people solve their financial problems through technology.
The app itself is a payment account that allows users to make an unlimited number of transfers to any bank, pay bills, earn points, and apply for a loan. Its unique feature is that any funds deposited into a Nubank account immediately begin earning 100% interest.
Since its early days in 2013, the Nubank app has reached incredible heights as its user base has almost tripled from 12 million in 2019 to 34 million in 2021. Today, it’s also the fifth top-downloaded app in the category, according to data.ai.
If you’re looking for a personalized listening experience, the Pandora app is a radio-like streaming application that combines the best of AM/FM and on-demand music streaming. As a radio service, the app lets users create a radio station based on an artist they enjoy. Once a user creates a station, Pandora selects songs and artists that resonate with that artist.
In addition to music, Pandora also offers podcast and comedy listening experience, a digital audio advertising platform, and 2000+ integrations with other products such as Sirius XM content and Waze. In 2022, Pandora had 47.6 million monthly active users, while Pandora and Off-platform revenue for the year reached $2.1 billion.
Piccoma is a Japanese webtoon manga service geared towards a mobile-first community of comic lovers. Launched in 2016, the application has made big inroads in Japan by pioneering widely-known systems like the “Wait, it’s free” model, story sales, and full-color vertical scrolling. The application offers around 70,000 titles of manga, SMARTOON, novels, and audio titles.
The company now stands at the helm of the world’s comic kingdom, with quarterly revenue of over $87 million in 2022.
Another trending app on our list, PicsArt, is a full-featured AI-powered editor with a whole array of dynamic tools to bring your unique creative vision to life. Along with a great collection of stickers, backgrounds, and stylized photo filters, the app also offers an innovative AI image generator. The latter enables users to create images from simple text prompts using artificial intelligence.
In 2022, PicsArt enjoyed its view from the top as the most downloaded app in the category, with over 1 billion downloads.
SHEIN, an eCommerce application, is an on-the-go version of a Chinese online fast-fashion retailer. The application has every feature reputable online shopping apps have, including advanced catalog search, payment gateway, shopping cart, online live events, and others. Since SHEIN controls the entire production chain, the application can churn out hundreds of new items at a daily rate.
To win over shoppers, SHEIN combines influencer programs and social media advertising. Also, the Chinese brand relies on artificial intelligence as its central insight engine to identify trends and predict consumer demand.
To date, the application has gained almost 196 million app downloads across the world.
Snapchat is among the most popular social media apps in the category, with 375 million daily active users in 2022. This trending app was launched in 2011 as a mobile messaging application for sharing photos, videos, text, and drawings.
Users can also add filters, draw their own images, and use geofilters and other nifty features. One of the differentiating app features is the ability to video-chat, like Skype. Other fundamental features of Snapchat include:
- “Self-destructing” messages with varying time settings;
- “Snapchat Lenses” for adding fun real-time special effects and sounds;
- “Snapchat Memories” for uploading saved “Snaps” from the device;
- “Snapchat Discover” and “Live Stories;”
- AR-based Snapchat games.
In June 2022, Snapchat introduced paid subscription plan, Snapchat+, which now offers 12 exclusive features. Its launch has already reeled in 2 million users. Overall, Snapchat's revenue climbed to $1.300 million, compared to $1,298 million in the prior year.
Another popular app, Spotify, is a music and podcast streaming giant with smart algorithms for granular recommendations. Along with easy music discovery, playlist curation, and friend's playlist following, users can also download playlists, listen to video podcasts, participate in Q&As and polls, share playlists, and voice-control their in-app experience.
In 2022, the service kept experimenting with new features, releasing beta in-app audio creation for creating reactions and Karaoke mode. Spotify wrapped up 2022 with 205 million subscribers and 489 million monthly active users.
Following the walk-to-earn model, Sweatcoin is a history-making fitness app that rewards users for completing their daily activity goals with in-app currency and rewards. Users can then spend rewards on branded products and charity or convert rewards into “SWEAT tokens.”
Thanks to 600+ partnerships, Sweatcoin offers trailblazing incentives for healthier living with the potential of becoming a prevention tool for sustained behavior change. Since its 2015 launch, the application has welcomed over 120 million registered users. Its shift to the Web3 economy was supported by $13 million in funding.
A Chinese juggernaut, Tencent Video is a leading video-streaming platform in the Chinese market owned by the Tencent company. A massive user base from other Tencent-owned platforms (WeChat, Qzone, and others) has given Tencent Video a head start.
Tencent Video has become the largest distributor of British video content in China thanks to its partnership with the most prominent British content providers. It also has acquired the rights to stream HBO shows and NBA games.
According to the company, 120 million subscribed users are hooked on Tencent's premium content. In addition, the number of daily active users on mobile devices has risen by 20% in July 2022 compared to June 2022.
TikTok is the app with potentially the most significant short-form video presence worldwide. Made in 2016, TikTok absorbed another video-sharing karaoke app, Musical.ly, which added to TikTok's following. The app has become widely known for all the trends and challenges which make up some of the platform's most popular videos.
Thanks to TikTok’s license agreement with labels and artists, users can integrate popular royalty-free tracks into their videos. TikTok is also famous for its unique algorithm that casts a wide net to determine which videos to show users. Other differentiating features of TikTok include:
- A wide range of creator tools, including filters and effects;
- Reactions and duets for reacting to and building on existing videos;
- Video live streaming where streamers can earn virtual gifts;
- QR code scanners to find other accounts;
- Geolocation for finding other users in proximity.
From an immersive concert performed by Calvin Harris to TikTok Trivia, TikTok continues to reimagine our definition of entertainment apps. In 2022, TikTok became the second non-gaming app to surpass $6 billion in all-time consumer spending. Its cumulative number of app downloads is unprecedented — over 3.5 billion, twice as many as its closest rival, YouTube.
During the lockdown, Tinder emerged as one of the few places where people could charge up their social batteries. According to its owner company, Tinder's popularity remains resilient in 2022, with it being the most downloaded dating app on the planet. However, in 2022, Tinder's revenue plateaued with a 3% payers growth to 10.8 million.
Tinder is a dating hub with a diverse selection of tools and features, including:
- “Swipes,” since Tinder was the first to create and popularize this iconic feature;
- “Matches” indicate mutual interests;
- Live chatting;
- Filter-based search, and others.
A ride-hailing giant, Uber is an app that allows users to request a car from Uber's fleet of drivers. The app will then connect the rider with the nearest driver and give them an estimated time of arrival. The fare is automatically calculated and charged to the user’s credit card on file.
As a true trendsetter in the category, Uber offers a great number of trailblazing features, including split fares, scheduled rides, multiple drop-offs, and others. At the core of the app is DeepETA, Uber's sophisticated algorithm for estimating arrival times using deep learning.
According to the company, trips during the fourth quarter of 2022 increased by 19% year-over-year to 2.1 billion, which is an all-time quarterly high.
WeChat is a multi-purpose Chinese super app that combines messaging, social media, and payment features. As one of the largest social networks in China, it’s a ‘one-stop’ shop for social and transactional moments in China with a rich feature set:
Instant messaging, including hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast messaging and conferencing;
WeChat Moments — a social feed with status updates, pictures and videos that users can share with their friends in their Moments feed;
WeChat Channels — a public feed of video and photo content, including live streams;
WeChat Pay —in-app payments, and others.
In 2022, the United States was the most important new overseas user source for WeChat, with 2.08 million app downloads.
Yet another bright spot on Meta’s portfolio, WhatsApp Messenger offers exactly what its name implies — real-time communication. This messenger bundles a variety of interactive features, including disappearing messages, audio and video calls, chat wallpapers, voice status, communities, and others. WhatsApp Business also offers businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their customers directly and showcase their services.
Today, WhatsApp caters to over 2 billion people in over 180 countries. According to data.ai, it's the fourth most popular social media app in the world and the second non-gaming app in terms of monthly active users.
The YouTube application is a source of unlimited content served to the user based on granular algorithms. In 2022, the app had a revamp with a handful of new features and designs, including a pinch-to-zoom tool, smart skipping, Super Thanks expansion, and other add-ons.
In 2022, its TikTok-inspired feature, YouTube Shorts, accumulated 50 billion daily views. The ad revenue, however, slightly declined, with an 8% drop in the fourth quarter of 2022. Its cumulative consumer spending surpassed $5 billion over the past ten years.
Leverage These Trends
Top trending mobile apps vary by category and unique selling proposition. However, all of them share a commonality: a high-quality user experience accompanied by a set of tech-savvy and customer-driven features.
If you want your application to hit it off with the customer, Orangesoft knows how to tap into users' minds. Our mobile app development company combines decade-long experience with your unique business targets to create a mobile application doomed to succeed.
Contact us and tell us more about your project.