What Are Some of the Most Famous Real-World Examples of Progressive Web Apps? Top 3

What websites, visited by millions of users on a daily basis, have mobile-like counterparts, “turbocharged” with powerful native apps-specific features? In other words, what are some of the most famous real-world examples of progressive web apps?

For, there's no better way of convincing yourself that PWAs are (far) more than just a buzzword than by witnessing big names rushing to invest in this “trend”, right?

Well, I've done my research and hand-picked 3 of the highest trafficked progressive web apps for you to... get inspired. 

First, a Recap: From Static Web Pages to Native Apps, to... PWAs

Do you remember those (not so) golden days when static web pages ruled? When every click would automatically trigger a refresh? Long before we even heard about asyncronous web, we would reload entire pages whenever we wanted to give their content a quick refresh...

And then: native mobile apps stole the spotlight...

Man, they were fast! And man did they reclaim so much of our devices' storage space, didn't they? Not to mention that top performance did come at a cost...

And now we're living in the “progressive web apps' era”. These are their very days of glory... 

No wonder that there's so much hype around this new “web meets mobile” kind of concept:

  • on one hand, they ship with native-like features: push notifications, fast load times, smooth navigation
  • on the other hand, they are served via HTTPs and added straight to your home screen
  • they're accessible via a URL, like any other website
  • they're less expensive, way quicker to develop 
  • they won't take that much of your storage space as native apps
  • can be run across an entire ecosystem of devices
  • you have total control over its looks, content and implemented features
  • they're built to work even under poor network connectivity circumstances (their cache system comes to the rescue)

In short: your PWA's users will enjoy an app-like experience, while you'll get to leverage all the other benefits (fast and less expensive development process, enhanced control over your app's distribution...)

And here are the 3 most famous real-world examples of progressive web apps:

1. Pinterest's PWA

Have you already enjoyed Pinterest's mobile web experience? 

It's part of the company's strategy to boost the conversion rate, as their old web experience had been so slow that it converted only 1% of users into... Pinterest native app users or logged in/registered users.

The 2 main “culprits” for their PWA's boosted loading speed on mobile devices?

  • the Service Workers they adopted
  • their lean JavaScript bundles


2. Forbes, One of the Best Real World Examples of Progressive Web Apps

Accessible at m.forbes.com, the American business magazine's mobile version is a PWA.

One that has rewarded the company's decision to invest in a progressive web app by:

  • 43% more sessions per user
  • 100% higher user engagement


3. Twitter Lite Progressive Web App

Twitter Lite is, in fact, Twitter's default mobile experience. The company's “gift” for all its users who prefer accessing the social network in a mobile web browser, rather than via one of their multiple native apps for Android and iOS.

The app ships with multiple “baked-in” native and modern web features:

  • native app-like push notifications
  • “Add to Homescreen” prompt
  • a data saver mode, aimed at cutting down the load of mobile data used

The END!

These are the 3 most famous real-world examples of progressive apps to get inspired from/by.

What other highly trafficked PWAs would you have added to this shortlist?