Instagram Reels Is Paying Off—App Now Beats TikTok in New Downloads

which app is the most downloaded app in the world 2024
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which app is the most downloaded app in the world 2024
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Photo Credit: Instagram

Instagram has surpassed TikTok as the world’s most downloaded app—and its copycat feature Reels is what’s driving those downloads. Here’s the latest.

In 2020 Instagram added Reels to its platform as a competitor to TikTok’s short-form video dominance. Now according to Sensor Tower data, Instagram was downloaded 767 million times worldwide in 2023—a 20% increase in downloads compared to 2022.

Meanwhile, TikTok averaged 733 million downloads, with only a 4% increase compared to 2022. Sensor Tower attributes the surge in Instagram downloads as “likely driven by the popularity of its Reels feature.”

The data analytics firm estimates that Instagram has nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users, with TikTok having around 1.1 billion. While Instagram may have more MAUs, people still spend more time on the TikTok platform with an average of 95 minutes per day for TikTok compared to 62 minutes for Instagram.

As Instagram grows in the United States, TikTok is facing stiff opposition in Congress. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to require ByteDance to divest the app or face a total ban in the United States.

Referred to as the “Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” the bill would make it possible for the President to identify and designate social media platforms under the control of countries considered adversarial to the U.S. as national security threats.

The bill itself does not mention TikTok by name, but several aspects of the bill are aimed at TikTok and its ByteDance owner. “This is my message to TikTok—break up with the Chinese Communist Party or lose access to your American users,” said Rep. Mike Gallager (R-WI) who introduced the bill in the House. “

So long as [TikTok] is owned by ByteDance and thus required to collaborate with the CCP, TIkTok poses critical threats to our national security,” adds bill co-sponsor Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).