Earlier this week the app reached a billion installs in Google Play. That's one install for each dollar Facebook spent on Instagram, or one install for (about) every seven people in the world.
Initially launched in late 2010, Google Play Books grew out of the Google Books book-scanning project as it slowly morphed from an effort to make all the world's books searchable (a pre-Kindle goal) to selling those books (a post-Kindle goal). The store is now open for business in over 60 countries.
Along with Facebook and WhatsApp, Play Books is only the ninth app in Google Play to have the counter tick over into 10 digits. It passed the milestone before Games, Music, Movies, and Newsstand (which makes sense given that those other apps are considerably newer).
At this point I am sure some are remembering that Play Books comes pre-installed as part of Google's bloatware, but I wouldn't be so quick to discount today's news. Google has said in the past that they don't count pre-installed apps when reporting app downloads, and instead only count actual downloads.
That said, for the longest time I've been saying that Google Play Books does more business than the Nook Store. I first suggested that possibility in July 2014, and over the past 11 months Play Books installs continued to rise while Nook digital revenues continued to drop by 50% quarter after quarter (it's down to $41 million at last report).
If that hypothesis wasn't true in July 2014, it has to be true in June 2015. But unfortunately for me, I can't prove it. Google still hasn't told us how many ebooks they sell each quarter, and that leaves me in the position of having to ask a question and let you decide:
Do you think Google sold more or less than $41 million worth of ebooks in the first quarter?
With a billion installs, I don't see how it could be less.
image by Vala Run