Messaging apps, both private and public, continue to dominate the app charts on iOS and Android in 2016, but the likes of WhatsApp and SnapChat are joined in the UK top 10 lists by games both new and established.

According to the latest stats from AppAnnie, Facebook remains king of the most popular apps across both leading platforms, with Facebook-owned apps making up nearly half of the top tens. The Facebook app remains popular, but with the dedicated Facebook Messenger app, WhatsApp, and Instagram, Facebook is more powerful than ever and the undisputed king of social. Snapchat the only real competitor in the top ten, with Twitter, Pinterest, and Skype all in the 20s.

2014/15 saw live streaming apps that let users “explore the world through someone else’s eyes” hit the mainstream, with Twitter’s Periscope the market leader. While the hype surrounding these apps has started to die down this year, those that have interesting stories to tell have found great uses for such services, and there is a strong crossover between YouTubers and Periscope users – popular YouTuber Matthew Santoro is currently the Number 1 most subscribed Periscope broodcaster.

Simple games have always found a home on mobile, and this continues to be the case in 2016 where the top two free games on both platforms, Color Switch and Stack, are less well known, but both offer wonderfully creative graphics and gameplay.

Long-term favourites like the various iterations of Candy Crush Saga remain very popular and producing huge profits for developer King, and Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Boom Beach have enjoyed massive success with the backing of a television advertising campaign featuring the Hollywood star Christoph Waltz.

The paid game market offers a little more variety, and in some cases a remarkable amount of effort and care clearly pays off. The fantastic Thomas Was Alone brings a few abstract, 2D characters to life with ease, breaking new ground for a market that generally has very little depth to it. Other titles are veterans of the gaming world, like the titanic Minecraft or the cult classic Football Manager. Even FIFA has a mobile version to it – though those expecting good quality gameplay will be left disappointed.

Gaming-related app have been making strides in the app charts in recent years, with a handful of such apps always within the top 50 top grossing apps on both platforms. However, many of the larger gaming operators continue to only offer access to their games on the open web, such as Coral’s games which are found exclusively here, so that they can control all of the user experience and customer information – something which otherwise would be held mostly by Google or Apple.


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