Apps are becoming more and more popular.  Which is no surprise as we use them constantly in order to keep our lives moving.  Whether we are using them to communicate with friends and family members, or we’re using them for productivity – we need them.  Now more than ever.  The top downloaded apps for 2017 might actually surprise you.  What didn’t make the list is Facebook.  It’s standalone DM app, Messenger did.  I wonder why that is?  Are fewer people using Facebook these days?



The basic premise with Bitmoji is that you’re creating a cartoon-ish version of yourself that you can insert across a variety of web-based services, from Snapchat to Gmail and beyond. It’s definitely about adding some fun to your communications—there are no real productivity-minded features here, and it’s mostly intended to work with your chat apps. The brand uses the slogan “Your personal emoji.” And more than just letting you create a cute, surprisingly accurate digital version of yourself, Bitmoji offers lots of different versions of your avatar — with different captions, different emotions and more.



Although Snapchat was originally focused on private, person-to-person photo sharing, you can now use it for a range of different tasks, including sending short videos, live video chatting, messaging, creating caricature-like Bitmoji avatars, and sharing photos and videos via a chronological “story” that’s broadcasted to all your followers. There’s even a designated “Discovery” area within the app that is designed to showcase short-form content from major publishers like Buzzfeed and Dailymail. Snapchat has also recently added a “Memories” feature, allowing you to save snaps (aka photos and videos) and stories to a private storage area. Other features include the ability to send money through an integration with Square Cash, create city-specific stickers that can be placed on snaps and messages, add filters and AR-based lenses to snaps, and show your live location on a world map.



There’s not a lot that I can say about YouTube.  It’s a place where you can watch all your videos. Either the ones you create yourself, or ones you find online.  Over the last year, YouTube has worked on cleaning up some issues.  I know that kids were running into problems where they thought they were accessing “kid-friendly” material and it turned out that it wasn’t.  I’m not surprised that YouTube made this list because if you want to watch videos online these days, you have to do it through YouTube.



As I mentioned in my introduction, I’m surprised that Facebook didn’t make the list.  Messenger, if you’re not familiar, is Facebook’s standalone direct messaging app.  You need to have a Facebook account for Messenger to work, but you don’t have to have the account active.  That seems suspicious to me.  Facebook seems to be taking over the world.  More and more people are using it as their main way to communicate with friends and family.



Instagram is my favorite social networking app.  I love looking at other people’s photos.  I love sharing pictures of my nephews with the world.  It brings me joy to be able to share in adventures with my friends and family.  Instagram, however, is constantly becoming a Snapchat clone.  So both apps making this list is interesting to me.  I prefer Instagram to Snapchat, but that’s just my opinion.

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