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Google Beats Facebook In Global App Downloads

For the first time in more than five years, Google surpassed Facebook to become the top mobile publisher of worldwide app downloads.

That’s according to the latest report from Sensor Tower, which assessed mobile market shifts in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

During that period, YouTube’s parent company racked up 841 million first-time downloads, which was up 27.6%, year-over-year, while Facebook came up just shy of 800 million. 

Google’s strong showing points to the increasing prominence of video-based apps, which is due to several factors, including better mobile technology, more mobile-friendly video services, and more content options.   

Case in point, Disney took the market by storm with the launch of its Disney+ service last quarter.

Stateside, Disney+ quickly became the top downloaded app, after surpassing 30 million U.S. downloads during the period. 

More impressive still, Disney+ grossed more than $50 million in its first 30 days on the market, according to Sensor Tower. 

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Offering a very different array of video than Disney, TikTok was another success story last year. 

The video-sharing service ended the year as the second most popular app in terms of global downloads (behind WhatApp), as well as U.S. downloads (behind Disney+). 

During the fourth quarter, the Chinese-owned app saw its revenue skyrocket by 540%, year-over-year. (The vast majority of that growth occurred within China.)

More broadly, worldwide app downloads totaled 28.7 billion, last quarter -- which had a 4.7% increase, year-over-year. 

Throughout all of 2019, app downloads grew 9.1% to 114.9 billion, including 30.6 billion on the App Store and 84.3 billion from Google Play. 

Sensor Tower’s download estimates are based on a per-user basis, meaning that only one download per Apple or Google account is counted toward the total. Downloads of the same app by the same user to multiple devices, updates, or reinstalls of the same app by the same user are not counted towards the total.

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