Google tops Apple as leading App Store publisher

App Store Apps

Obviously, home field advantage doesn’t hold sway when it comes to app stores. That’s the message from a new report showing Google the leading publisher on Apple’s App Store while Facebook downloads outnumbered Google on the Mountain View, California company’s own marketplace.

Although Apple led apps downloaded from its App Store in December, iOS video and mapping apps from Android’s Google topped its smartphone rival during January and February. Meanwhile, a Facebook app grabbed the top spot on Google Play, reinforcing the importance of social networking downloads in generating app store revenue…

According to researchers at App Annie (via The Next Web) YouTube and Google Maps snatched the top two spots for most downloads.

That’s quite a feat, given Apple junked the Internet giant’s mapping service for its own. Google Maps eventually returned as an iOS app after Apple Maps literally and virtually fell off a cliff.

In a similar turn of events, Google found itself outmaneuvered by social networking giant Facebook on its own home turf.

Despite publishing 62 apps for Android devices at its Google Play site, the company ranked only second in terms of download popularity, according to the app analytics firm.

App Annie best mobile games 201302

Instead, Facebook apps took three of the top five apps downloaded: the social network’s main app, the company’s Messenger app and the recently-acquired Instagram app.

The dominance of Facebook app only supports an earlier App Annie report which indicated social networking apps are becoming the key downloads, other than games.

Signaling how gaming apps can overwhelm the entire mobile app sector, App Annie also announced it has begun separating its research of game apps from other app categories.