Zynga’s Draw Something Slingshots Past Angry Birds in App Store

OMGPOP’s Draw Something is once again the top-selling iPhone application, after being knocked off just two weeks ago by the launch of Angry Birds Space.

The top ranking will go a long way in quieting the critics who believed Zynga was foolish to acquire OMGPOP for $180 million on the day of Rovio’s big launch, only to see it fall to second place the next day.

In addition to climbing its way back to the top, Zynga also disclosed that the game has now been downloaded more than 50 million times in 50 days, making it the fastest-growing mobile game ever — or so it believes.

In other words, that would be like everyone in England downloading the app in less than two months.

While it still may end up being true that Zynga overpaid for OMGPOP, there is little doubt that the game is an overnight success.

If you are one of the few people who haven’t already played it, Draw Something challenges players to use their finger to draw a picture of a person, place or thing; for example, “hoodie,” “golf cart” or “Rihanna.” The completed picture is handed off to another player, who must guess what is being drawn, sort of like Pictionary.

Inside the game, players can pay for additional features, such as new colors that can help make the illustrations easier to guess, new words if they don’t like the choices that are presented to them, or bombs that will eliminate some of the letters to make guessing an illustration easier. The free version has ads; users can pay 99 cents to get rid of them.

Zynga also said that since the game launched, more than six billion drawings have been created (that’s 120 for every resident of England), and that at the game’s peak hours, it generates 3,000 drawings per second. The most popular words are “starfish,” “pregnant,” “six-pack,” “Hangman” and “boom box.” The least popular word is “latrine.”

The mobile game also registers as the most popular game on Facebook, because it allows people to log in to the game on the phone using their credentials.

However, people do not have to register using Facebook, so the number of players using it is actually bigger than what’s being reported by AppData, which tracks application usage on Facebook.

Still, AppData reports that the game has 14.4 million daily active users, where it has plateaued for the past week. The next most popular game, also owned by Zynga, is Words With Friends, which draws about eight million daily users, slightly more than half of Draw Something’s crowd.

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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google