Counting Chrome Extensions – Statistics on the Chrome Web Store

30 Jun 2020

For my report on extension performance I first needed a list of Chrome extensions. This post takes a deeper look at the full list, looking at the most popular extensions, extension ratings, paid extensions, and top extension authors.

I also put the full list Chrome extensions I found on GitHub.

How many Chrome extensions are there?

I found 137,345 Chrome extensions and 39,263 themes – 176,608 items in total.

This result broadly matches those by Extension Monitor from August 2019 where they found 188,620 items. Note that their analysis also included Chrome Apps, which Google has since announced they are ending support for.

Some extensions will be missing from my list, for example, not all Chrome extensions are listed publicly. In general, please view the numbers in this blog post as rough estimates based on the available data. Not all extensions are available in all countries. The numbers below refer only to extensions, not themes.

Also, keep in mind that extension publishers have incentices to game install counts and ratings.

Number of Chrome extensions by category, most are in the Productivy, Fun, and Photos sections

This table shows the 20 most popular Chrome extensions. 17 of them have been installed more than 10 million times.

ExtensionCategoryInstalls
Google TranslateProductivity10M+
Google HangoutsSocial & Communication10M+
Netflix PartyFun10M+
TampermonkeyProductivity10M+
AdBlock — best ad blockerProductivity10M+
Adblock Plus - free ad blockerProductivity10M+
uBlock OriginProductivity10M+
Adobe AcrobatProductivity10M+
Chrome Remote DesktopProductivity10M+
Pinterest Save buttonProductivity10M+
LastPass: Free Password ManagerProductivity10M+
Avast SafePrice | Comparison, deals, couponsShopping10M+
Avast Online SecuritySocial & Communication10M+
SkypeSocial & Communication10M+
Cisco Webex ExtensionSocial & Communication10M+
Grammarly for ChromeProductivity10M+
HoneyShopping10M+
AVG SafePrice | Comparison, deals, couponsShopping9M+
Screencastify - Screen Video RecorderProductivity8M+
Hola Free VPN, unblock any site!Productivity8M+

Next, lets look at developer tools.

ExtensionCategoryInstalls
TouchEn PC보안 확장Developer Tools5M+
Full Page Screen CaptureDeveloper Tools4M+
EditThisCookieDeveloper Tools2M+
CryptoPro Extension for CAdESDeveloper Tools2M+
React Developer ToolsDeveloper Tools2M+
ColorZillaDeveloper Tools2M+
Tag Assistant (by Google)Developer Tools1M+
User-Agent Switcher for ChromeDeveloper Tools1M+
JSON FormatterDeveloper Tools1M+
Proxy SwitchySharpDeveloper Tools1M+
JSONViewDeveloper Tools1M+
Web Developer ToolbarDeveloper Tools1M+
Web DeveloperDeveloper Tools1M+
Proxy SwitchyOmegaDeveloper Tools1M+
WappalyzerDeveloper Tools1M+
Vue.js devtoolsDeveloper Tools1M+
Facebook Pixel HelperDeveloper Tools1M+
WhatFontDeveloper Tools1M+
Redux DevToolsDeveloper Tools900k+
ColorPick EyedropperDeveloper Tools900k+

TouchEn PC isn't really a developer tool, but an extensions required by some Korean banks and other institutions. CryptoPro is similar, a review mentions "tax inspection" making them use it.

Install counts

70% of Chrome extensions have fewer than 100 users, but together they only make up less than 0.1% of installs.

The median install count is 17, on average each extension has 12,304 users.

Number of Chrome extensions bucketed by number of users. 337 extensions have more than 1 million users

In total I'm counting a minimum of 1.69 billion installs. The real number is higher, since the Chrome Web Store doesn't provide precise numbers. Especially in the "1M+" bucket a lot of installs aren't counted since the displayed install count is capped at "10M+"

Most Chrome extension installs are attributable to extensions that have more than 100k installs individually.

Ratings

Here I'm only including extensions with at least 10 ratings. The median overall rating is 4.4, the average is 4.1.

Number of overall extension ratings by bucket, most commonly in the range of 4-5

The median rating doesn't vary much by category, it's a bit over 4 but almost 5 for the Photos category.

The ratio of installs to ratings is about 140, so 1000 installs will result in 7 ratings. I'm fairly uncertain about the accuracy of this, especially since Chrome doesn't report precise install counts.

Ratings to installs by extension category

Free vs Paid

4.7% of extensions support some kind of payment, mostly as a one-off purchase rather than as a subscription.

86% of paid extensions use a one-off payment, 6.3% use in-app payments, the remainder use a subscription model

In most categories 1-3% of extensions are paid. The Fun category is a clear outlier here, with 15% paid extensions.

Extensions in the Fun category most often support payments, followed by Shopping and Productivy. Photos extensions are least likely to have a payment model.

Pricing

89% of one-off prices are $0.99.

The most expensive extensions tend to be Chinese, with a $500 Tmall store tool topping the list.

Looking only at English-language extensions, someone is trying to sell a snake game for $299. The most expensive extension with actual users is SquarespaceWebsites Tools PRO, which costs $199 and reports 358 installs.

One-off extension price by category

Outside the Fun category extension prices tend to be higher than $0.99.

Median one-off price by category, up to $5 for Developer, Search, and Social tools

I've excluded the News & Weather category here, where the median price is $110. It contains a bunch of extensions like "Weather Meter" and "Climate of Antarctica" with no information about what the extension does. The description is copied from Wikipedia, and the extension image is a generic weather-related landscape picture.

Monthly subscriptions

The median subscription price is $4.99/mo, with an average of $8.35/mo.

Number of extensions by monthly subscription price

What Chrome extension makes the most money?

This is hard to answer:

  • Do free trials count towards the user count?
  • How long do monthly and annual subscribers stick around?
  • Prices vary by country
  • There's no data about in-app purchases
  • Some users will be test accounts that aren't paying anything

But anyway, here's a table showing the top extensions based on made-up revenue figure. I multiplied the one-off price or per-year subscription cost by the number of installs.

Please don't take these figures too seriously! They may well be off by an order of magnitude.

Extension Price Installs Super Wrong
Revenue Figure
Beebs - Watch iPlayer, ITV & C4 Abroad $44.99/yr30k+$1.35M
Simple Posher $9.99/mo6k+$719k
Relay Auto-Refresher $49.99/mo1k+$600k
Social Lead Machine $39.99/mo1k+$480k
Shopping researcher $39.99/mo977$469k
Speech Recognition Anywhere $39.99 10k+$400k
AMZ Review to Order Matching $29.99/mo1k+$360k
Leads Extractor $29.99/mo1k+$360k
Twitter Follower $34.99/yr10k+$350k
Relay Auto Booker $49.99/mo419$251k
ZTrade $97.00/mo213$248k
KW Index Checker $39.996k+$240k
Saturation Inspector $19.99/mo1k+$240k
Shortkeys $2.9980k+$239k
PixivDownloader EX $1.99/mo10k+$239k
Website AdBlocker+ $99.992k+$200k
DS Amazon Quick View Extended $19.9910k+$200k
What is my IP address? $1.99/mo 7k+$167k
Linkedroid $29.99/mo450$162k
StubTabs $49.99/mo254$152k
Site Geo IP Locator $1.99/mo6k+$143k

To further discredit the numbers here, two of the supposedly top earning extensions are no longer in the Chrome Web Store. Open SEO Stats supposedly had 100k users, at a price of $3.99/mo. Another extension, SpeechNotesX, would also have been listed with a revenue of $791k. The original extension doesn't exist any more, but now there's a SpeechNotes extension for $5.99/mo with 2000 users.

Also, the price for Social Lead Machine varies from $0.72/mo in the UK to $41.83 in Ireland. Using the method above, that means revenue could be between $8k and $502k a year.

Social Lead Machine price in 8 different countries

Authors

71,557 different authors have published Chrome extensions. The top 24 have published 5% of all extensions.

Here are the top authors by the number of published extensions. Many of their extensions only change the New Tab page.

Author Top Extension #Extensions #Installs
lovelytab.comFortnite Season 6 Wallpapers HD New Tab (6k+ installs)1189208.6k
choosetab.comDragon Ball Z Kai New Tab (2M+ installs)89342.2M
Chrome HD ThemesAnime New Tab, Customized Wallpapers HD (1k+ installs)5868.4k
MegathemesStranger Things Season 3 Wallpapers New Tab (2k+ installs)51216.8k
Super TabPeppa Pig HQ Wallpapers New Tab (2k+ installs)39014.5k
www.newtabs.proNew Tab - Billie Eilish (50k+ installs)35513.9M
www.newtab.funNew Tab - Sonic the Hedgehog (50k+ installs)3207.7M
New Tab GalleryBlack Red Shards Wallpaper New Tab Theme (2k+ installs)27513.3k
SupertabMoney Heist Wallpapers and New Tab (429 installs)2567.3k
Wallpaper AddonsWheel Of Fortune Casino (569 installs)2358.1k

And here are the top authors by total number of installs.

Author Top Extension #Extensions #Installs
chromenewtab.comZombie Tsunami New Tab Theme (1M+ installs)12663.4M
choosetab.comDragon Ball Z Kai New Tab (2M+ installs)89342.2M
Wallpaper TimeSuper Mario Run New Tab Theme (900k+ installs)4729.3M
Wallpaper New TabSpiderman HD New Tab Theme (1M+ installs)3125.7M
Chromenewtab.comRoblox New Tab & Wallpapers Collection (1M+ installs)4023.6M
Avast SoftwareAvast SafePrice | Comparison, deals, coupons (10M+ installs)220M
New Tab ProFortnite New Tab (1M+ installs)1919M
Mindspark Interactive Network, Inc.PDF Viewer & Converter by ProPDFConverter (2M+ installs)6617.5M
H Covers MediaOverwatch New Tab & Wallpapers Collection (1M+ installs)3714.7M
www.newtabs.proNew Tab - Billie Eilish (50k+ installs)35513.9M

Keep in mind that doesn't publish exact install figures, and extensions with more than 10 million users are reported as 10M+. Presumably there are some extensions with 20 million users and more.

Directory size

This measures how much disk space the extension code uses – excluding extension data. I only have this data for roughly the top 1000 extensions.

In most cases the folder takes up less than 30MB, but in the case of ClaroRead it goes up to 130MB.

Disk usage by Chrome extension

Permissions

Extensions have a manifest that defines what permissions are required. For example, the tabs permission allows an extension to see what tabs are currently open.

Again I only have data on the most popular extensions. I excluded extensions that only change the New Tab background – this biases the sample, since these simple extensions presumably need fewer permissions.

I also counted URL permissions like https://*/* as <all_urls>.

Percentage of extensions requiring a permission. Most common permisssions are storage, tabs, and <all_urls>

Removed extensions

I originally collected this data in May 2020, but noticed that some extensions have since been removed or saw a big drop in install counts.

Out of 17414 extensions with at least 1000 installs and at least one rating, 921 (5.3%) are now no longer available. 79 (0.5%) now have less than a tenth of their install count a month ago.

What's causing this? I think in part publishers are gaming the number of installs. For example, I found two extensions with the same code that have now been removed. One had its install count drop from 2M to 20k. The other was less than a week old, had 1M installs, and no ratings. I'm not sure what the goal was here – maybe get a lot of users and then upload a new version of the extension that's malware?

That said, extensions being removed is not always due to fraud. Publishers may remove extensions just because they don't support them any more. The Chrome Web Store also recently deleted one of my extension that I hadn't updated for a while, presumably because it stopped working.

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