When we look at India as a country, we often fail to fully realize how much its market, especially the one related to smartphones and apps, is growing exponentially. One of the main reasons for this development is that India is facing a transition from old phones to new smartphones, which means that the growth is higher than in other areas of the world.
In fact, in 2021, we’re talking about $139 billion, and double-digit growth is expected through 2028 to reach $281 billion. And this obviously also affects app downloads, which are increasing at a dizzying pace, and creating a huge market for app developers.
Apps, our great friends
Smartphones are nothing but souped-up mobile phones. The main difference between them is that smartphones are like small computers, tailored to use different mini-programs called apps – and they can do what they do thanks to the large number of apps dedicated to all sorts of functions. This allows us to customize the device according to our requests and personal needs, so much that it is very difficult to find two identical smartphones personalized with the same set of apps.
Among the most popular that we can find in the appverse, we encounter communication, work, e-commerce and entertainment apps. Among the many, it is worth mentioning 10CRIC, India’s favorite betting and online casino app, which allows Indian players to connect directly to the portal and place their bets without having to start up their computer or internet browser. Like most others, the app is available for users with Android as well as iOS smartphones.
But back to our main topic, let’s examine together which are the most downloaded and used apps in India in 2021 – which, as we’ll see, are quite different from those used in the rest of the world, bearing substantial variations from them.
1 – Instagram – 205 million downloads
Among the different social media apps, Instagram takes the lead. Surprisingly, Instagram became the most downloaded app in India during the past year, especially after the government ban that knocked out the previous year’s leader, namely TikTok. Indians jumped on Instagram (up 62% year-over-year), which provides similar functionality of the Chinese-made app, albeit more tuned towards images. They also appreciate the e-commerce features offered by the platform.
2 – Facebook – 163 million downloads
The world’s best-known social media app has seen an excellent result in downloads, allowing it to take second place, with a growth of around 10% compared to the previous year. As in the rest of the planet, Facebook offers any functionality to everyone, and it is ubiquitous, which makes it always popular. It is used by both individuals and companies who open professional profiles to interact with their audience.
3 – Meesho – 162 million downloads
In third place is a real outsider. This is Meesho, which in 2021 stopped just below Facebook, with an increase in downloads over the previous year of more than 460%. Meesho is a 100% Indian app founded in 2015 to help professionals and small businesses develop their e-commerce on Whatsapp and Facebook, creating an authentic online store that its users can manage directly from the app.
4 – Snapchat – 155 million downloads
Snapchat is a hybrid messaging and social networking app that was very successful a few years ago but has somewhat lost its luster. Despite everything, it took the fourth position in the 2021 ranking of apps, with an increase over the previous year of 63%. It lets you contact other users by sending them short videos combining them with effects and graphics.
5 – MX TakaTak – 133 million downloads
Another “home-grown” player, MX TakaTak, is the Indian equivalent of YouTube and had a year-over-year increase in downloads of 65%. Launched in 2011 as a video player, it now provides video streaming and video-on-demand services for TV series, music, and games totaling about 150,000 hours of available content. After launching in India, MX TakaTak is offered to other selected markets, including the US.
6 – Josh – 125 million downloads
Josh is an Indian app created to share short videos – usually music or technical instruction – for an audience of fans who can search for them within different categories. It, therefore, allows all content creators to present them on the platform and thus facilitate their contact with the audience. The app has seen meteoric growth, reaching the sixth position among India’s most downloaded apps within a year.
7 – Moj – 122 million downloads
Another app dedicated to social networking based on sending short videos (from 15 to 60 seconds), Moj secured a significant market immediately after the 58 Chinese apps ban that affected its direct competitor, Tik Tok, and in a very short time became one of the most used apps in the country, with over 100 million users. Last year, it grew by 28%.
8 – Ludo King – 121 million downloads
This app, also of Indian production, is the first game to enter our ranking. It replicates the game of Ludo, a path game based on the ancient Indian game of Pachisi, where the goal is to be able to move four tokens from the starting square to the center of the board. There are several ways to play, including an online multiplayer version, which has brought this fun game well-deserved popularity.
9 – Flipkart – 115 million downloads
If you want to buy something, you’ll find it on Flipkart, the country’s leading e-commerce platform that offers really everything – owned by the US Walmart group. Founded in 2007, it has now become the e-commerce of choice for clothing and electronics. In addition, Flipkart also owns several service companies for electronic transactions and shipping.
10 – PLAYit – 105 million downloads
PLAYit is a video and music playback app created in India. Users can also download both audio and video in this app which has proved to be very popular among users. Moreover, it allows users to handle different formats and exchange files face-to-face. This extraordinary flexibility and convenience have permitted PLAYit to report significant growth in downloads compared to 2022, over +123%.