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Facebook’s dominance of the internet continues, as reports say the company owns 4 of the 5 most downloaded apps in the world this year.

App Annie’s year-end report shows that Facebook helped drive a worldwide record for app downloads with 120 billion apps downloaded between iOS and Android in 2019 – a 5% year-over-year increase.

According to App Annie’s data, the top 5 app downloads of the year are:

  1. Facebook Messenger
  2. Facebook
  3. WhatsApp Messenger
  4. TikTok
  5. Instagram

10 Top Downloaded Apps in 2019

TikTok is the only app in the top 5 not owned by Facebook.

Breakout Apps

In addition to the top app downloads over the past year, App Annie also detailed the top “breakout apps” which showed the largest growth in downloads between 2018 and 2019. While most are still relative unknowns, they could potentially be chart-toppers in the near future.

  1. Likee
  2. Noizz
  3. Helo
  4. Hago
  5. YouTube Music

Top 10 Breakout Apps of 2019

Based on the its current estimations, App Annie believes 2020 is posed to be even more lucrative for app downloads and consumer spend. Excluding games, the report predicts spending to reach more than $30 billion in the coming year.

As promised, Google is launching ads in Android search results which will allow users to test out games before deciding whether to download them. Google announced the feature was coming in the next few weeks during its Developer Day at Game Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday.

With the launch of AdWords Search Trial Run Ads, app advertisers can now create ads with a “Try now” button as well as a download button. If Android users choose to try out the app, they will be able to preview the app for 10 minutes before deciding if they want to download it from the Google Play Store.

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Google has been testing out the feature since December, however, those app previews were limited to just 60 seconds. The longer trial period should allow test-drivers to get a better feel for the app and make a more informed decision.

The new feature is aimed at helping users choose to download only apps that will actually be used. According to Google, just one in four apps are ever used after being downloaded. Hopefully, the test-drive feature will increase the chances a user will stay engaged with the app beyond the time of install.

During the conference, Google also announced that Portrait Video Ads in mobile apps will be coming shortly. The company says 80 percent of video ad views in mobile apps on the Google Display Network are viewed vertically, however, the majority of ads are created to be viewed in landscape orientation. Early tests suggest the new ad orientation significantly improves both click-through and conversion rates. This leads to lower cost per install and more installs overall from Portrait Video Ads.

Apps

While apps have become the hottest trend for smartphones, the market for apps can be incredibly competitive and hard to break through. Mobile users have limited space on their phone for apps, so they can be hesitant to try out new apps, especially if they are new or relatively-unknown. Even when users do download apps, they often only use it once and forget about it.

Now, Google has launched a new service to let users try out any app they want without having to use up their precious hard drive space. The company has launched a new streaming mobile ad feature that allows users to access a short 60-second or less version of the app that responds just like the full app.

Sissie Hsiao, Google’s head of product for mobile ads, says the goals of this new feature is to help app developers connect with the right users. In a statement to TechCrunch, she explained:

“You can buy ads, you can get apps installed. But a lot of apps are used once or they’re never used, even after they’re installed. We found that 1 in 4 apps is never even used, and there’s often this ‘try once’ experience, and then [the app is] never used again.”

The new streaming mobile ads, called “Trial Runs” allow users to try the app without downloading, which will hopefully help limit the number of “one and done” app downloads. Instead, it will motivate developers to focus on targeting a more refined audience who will be more likely to gully engage with the app.

The new feature is currently available to a limited number of testers, with no word of when to expect a full rollout.