Surprise! Facebook is the year’s most popular mobile app

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Nielsen's sample of the year's most popular apps.
Photo: Nielsen

With 2016 coming to a close, Nielsen has ranked the year’s most popular mobile apps in the U.S. and — wouldn’t you know it! — Facebook takes the top two spots with its Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps.

Despite the growth of other social media services, Facebook saw growth of 14 percent from last year, with more than 146 million average unique users each month. Facebook Messenger also picked up over 129 million unique users every month.

YouTube rounded off the top three most popular apps, while Amazon and Instagram saw the biggest growth in users, with the former experiencing 43 percent growth and the latter 36 percent growth.

Sadly, Nielsen doesn’t break it down by platform, which would be interesting. However, one thing the study does demonstrate is just how well iOS is doing in terms of market share, despite the plethora of Android devices out there. In Q3 2016, 45 percent of U.S. customers used iOS, compared to 53 percent who used Android.

Nielsen
How the iOS vs. Android market share battle is going.
Photo: Nielsen

A tiny 2 percent used a Windows phone, while just 1 percent were BlackBerry users.

Of course, Nielsen’s results aren’t comprehensive, but rather based on a sample of thousands of users who allow themselves to be monitored. However, the company does go to great lengths to make sure its sample audience are broadly representative of a variety of different demographics.

Are you surprised by Nielsen’s results? What was your most-used app of the year? Leave your comments below.

Source: Nielsen