Using free and open source software (FOSS), advocates like to say, is not a popularity contest. It's about doing what's right. However, the Debian and Ubuntu Popularity Contest projects might disagree.
Read more here
Popularity-contest reports four main statistics for each package: The number of installations, the number of hosts on which the program in the last 30 days (or Votes, as the package calls this statistic), the number of hosts on which the program was not used in the last 30 days (or “Old”), and the number of hosts on which the package was upgraded (“Recent”).