When Facebook announced in April it was removing the private messaging feature from its primary app, it sparked an outcry online. But the move also appears to have helped the Facebook Messenger app, which was the third-most-downloaded app across iOS and Android last month, according to new data from app analytics firm App Annie.
Facebook-owned apps, in fact, held the top four slots by combined downloads across the two platforms, with Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, leading the way. Rounding out the top five was hugely popular game Candy Crush Saga.
Facebook and Google hold the top two positions in monthly combined iOS and Android downloads, followed by China-based Internet giant Tencent. On iOS, Google had the two top apps in April with YouTube and Google Maps. The latter made especially strong gains in the U.S. and Japan, coinciding with a Google April Fools’ gag promising Pokemon integration in Maps.
The release of Office for iPad app suite helped Microsoft rise to No. 3 for monthly iOS downloads and revenue outside of games. Making Microsoft Office Mobile free to download for Android devices and the iPhone also gave the software company a boost last month.
Among other app publishers, Amazon moved into the top 10 on the Android side in revenue (excluding games) after acquiring digital comic book store comiXology in early April. An updated version of the company’s Comics app following the acquisition eliminated the ability in-app purchases, directing users to buy through the comiXology Web site instead.
That suggests Amazon doesn’t want Apple making money from one of its properties.
In terms of revenue, Finnish game maker Supercell and Candy Crush-maker King Digital were the highest-ranked companies in April. King reported adjusted revenue of $608 million in the first quarter, with its signature game accounting for two-thirds of gross bookings, and underscoring concerns about it becoming a one-hit wonder.
Not counting games, Japan-based Line, maker of the messaging app of the same name, was the top company by revenue last month, followed by Pandora, Microsoft, MLB and Disney. In April, Line said it had passed 400 million registered users and hit a new record of 10 billion messages sent in one day. Unlike WhatsApp, Line has embraced advertising and e-commerce in its app.