Half of all Google Chrome extensions have fewer than 16 installs

Around 87% of all Google Chrome extensions have fewer than 1,000 installs.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
Chrome Web Store

There are 188,620 extensions available on the Chrome Web Store, and while you might think this provides a wide variety of choices for Chrome users, in reality, most of these extensions are dead or dwindling, with very few having active installations.

All in all, about 50% of all Chrome extensions have fewer than 16 installs, meaning that half of the Chrome extension ecosystem is actually more of a ghost town, according to a recent scan of the entire Chrome Web Store conducted by Extension Monitor.

Further, 19,379 extensions (just over 10%) have zero installs, and 25,540 extensions (13% of the total) have just one user.

The scan found that there are very few Chrome extensions that managed to establish a dedicated userbase.

According to Extension Monitor, around 87% of all extensions have fewer than 1,000 installs, a number that many extension devs would consider a failure, taking into account that the Chrome browser has over one billion monthly active users, a huge potential market for any extension developer.

Only 13 Chrome extensions have over 10 million users

At the other side of the spectrum, only 13 extensions have managed to break over the 10 million mark -- the highest user count threshold available on the Chrome Web Store.

Those 13 are Google Translate, Adobe Acrobat, Tampermonkey, Avast Online Security, Adblock Plus, Adblock, uBlock Origin, Pinterest Save Button, Cisco Webex, Grammarly for Chrome, Skype, Avast SafePrice, and Honey.

There are a few extensions that are getting close to the 10 million threshold, such as the ones listed below, but the number of extensions with multi-million userbases is still quite small, especially when we compare Chrome extensions with Android apps, Google's other successful ecosystem, also with over one billion monthly active users.

Google Photos9,288,594
LastPass: Free Password Manager9,173,056
Avira Browser Safety8,782,312
Rung Rinh: Free Cash Back Shopp...8,538,120
AVG SafePrice | Comparison, de...8,363,869
Video Downloader for Chrome8,281,833
Google Hangouts7,711,927
Hola Free VPN Proxy Unblocker7,533,902
Amazon Assistant for Chrome6,805,38

The Extension Monitor research shows that the Chrome extension ecosystem is largely made up of a very few large players, while the rest of extensions wobble in anonymity.

A summary of Extension Monitor's scan results is below. The company promised two future scans that will include details about the most populated extensions categories, and how extensions handle permissions and content security.

  • Total number of Chrome extensions: 188,620
  • Minimum number of Chrome extension installs: 1,230,081,087
  • Number of extensions that have reached 10m+ installs: 13
  • 19,379 extensions (10%) have zero installs
  • 25,540 extensions (13.5%) have one install
  • 50% of extensions have fewer than 16 installs
  • 87% of extensions have fewer than 1,000 installs
  • Paid extensions account for 8.9% of all Chrome extensions
  • Paid extensions account for 2.6% of all installs
  • 5,885 of the 16,718 paid extensions (~35%) don't have any users at all
  • Top paid extension, IE Tab, has 4.1 million installs
  • IE Tab accounts for 31.5% of all paid extension installs
  • Top 5 paid extensions make up 48.5% of all paid extensions installs

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