Apps – Snapchat Pulls Ahead in a Photo Finish

The App Annie Apps Index brings you the top-performing publishers and apps outside of games across both the iOS App Store and Google Play. To find out what’s happening in game apps, please check out our Games Index.
Snapchat became the #1 downloaded non-game app in the iOS App Store for the first time in May 2013. The popular photo and video messaging app had been gaining steam over the prior months. Meanwhile, Pandora continued to be the top-grossing non-game app and publisher in the iOS App Store for a second month in a row.
The rest of the May 2013 Apps Index continued to feature several photo & video apps in the download rankings, and social networking and communication apps in the revenue rankings.
Compared to the Games Index, the Apps Index tends to include more United States-based publishers, particularly on iOS. The exceptions in this list were Out Fit 7 and Chinese heavyweights Tencent and Baidu.

In the May 2013 rankings:

Google again led in non-game app downloads. Google showed a lot of depth in its top-downloaded apps; YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome, Google Search, and Google Earth were highly downloaded apps in the iOS App Store.
Apple also kept its #2 position for another month in a row.
Publisher Facebook rounded out the top three, with Instagram, Facebook.
WeChat’s increased downloads outside of China helped Tencent improve by five slots and move into the top five at #4.
Baidu moved up 8 spots to give China two publishers in the top ten. Entertainment app Love Fantastic Art Video was the leading app in Baidu’s portfolio.
Publisher Smule used various musical apps, including Guitar!, to jump 13 spots to reach number ten in iOS App downloads.
Compared to the iOS App Store, Google Play had a more diverse international presence among the top publishers based on non-game downloads, though the United States still had many of the top ten publishers in May, as it did in April. Overall, the top ten did not see a lot of shake-up this month. At the very top of the chart:
Facebook continued to lead in Google Play non-game downloads. Its top ranking came from the standard Facebook app, followed by Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.
Google remained in the #2 slot. Its top apps in Google Play were Google Translate, Chrome, and Google Drive; this difference from the iOS App Store is expected, since the top Google apps in the iOS App Store come preinstalled on some Android devices.
KakaoTalk helped Kakao gain three spots to reach the top ten.
As with April, the top ten publishers in May were mostly based in the United States. The top three publishers remained the same from April to May, with Pandora, Apple, and LINE forming the top trio of iOS App Store publishers by non-game revenue. Disney and Microsoft were the two additions to the top ten list in May.


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  • BMNY Chat is available on Google Play Store and TBL team developers are getting ready for its next iOS launch.
LINE and GREE led for another month. Meanwhile, Pandora moved one rung up the ladder into third for Google Play non-game revenue, which was based on the performance of a single app. Netherlands-based publisher TomTom moved up two spots to enter the top ten.
Photo & Video apps represented four of the top ten spots in May. The United States was again well represented in iOS App Store non-game downloads with eight of the top ten apps coming from publishers headquartered in the United States.
Snapchat traded spots with YouTube to reach the top spot in iOS downloads for the first time this year. Google made a good showing overall, again with a diversity of offerings; Google placed three apps within the top ten.
Two new entries made large gains to enter the top ten:
  • The children’s app Ginger’s Birthday, a sequel to Talking Ginger, moved up 52 spots to rank #6.
  • Moldiv, a collage photo editor, surged up the Photo and Video category to become one of the top overall downloads. Its rise in the rankings coincided with being featured on the iOS App Store Home Page in over 120 countries across the globe from May 2 to 15.
  • United States publishers continued to be well-represented among the top-downloaded apps across both platforms. The top five apps in this Google Play list all hailed from the United States, similar to what we saw the previous month.
Overall, these Google Play app download rankings continued to be dominated by Communication and Social apps:
  • Facebook and WhatsApp Messenger continued their trend of leading in downloads throughout the year, and Facebook again had three apps ranked in the top five in May.
  • WeChat also moved into the top ten this month, improving its rank by three.
  • Tiny Flashlight + LED moved into the top ten to become the lone app to fall outside of this Communication and Social clique.
Most of these top-grossing non-game apps were again published by United States-based companies, as was the case in April.
Pandora users kept the app at the top of these non-game rankings for a second month in a row. Among the rest of the top 10, Social Networking apps were prevalent; there were a total of six in the May rankings, the highest total to date in 2013. Skype moved up ten spots to round out the list. Dating app Zoosk was another big mover, sliding ahead three spots to reach the top five.
Asian publishers continued to have a very strong presence when it came to Google Play non-game revenue; publishers from Japan, South Korea, and China represented five of the top ten apps in this list. Communication apps also had a strong presence on Google Play, though a wide range of other apps also made appearances.
LINE and GREE again topped the list. Pandora continued its steady climb and moved up one spot into the top three. LINE 占い (Fortune-telling) made the largest leap to the top ten by moving ahead 96 spots.