Facebook & Google dominate the list of 2016’s top apps

Mobile applications from Facebook and Google dominated the new list of the year’s top apps released today by Nielsen. Not surprisingly, Facebook again grabbed the number one spot on the list, with more than 146 million average unique users per month, and 14 percent growth over last year. In fact, Facebook scored several spots on the top 10 chart, thanks to Messenger (#2) and Instagram (#8) – the latter which also showed some of the highest year-over-year growth, up 36 percent from 2015.

Messenger came in second place this year, with over 129 million average unique monthly users, followed by YouTube with over 113 monthly uniques.

However, it was Google, not Facebook, that grabbed the most spots on the year-end chart.

According to Nielsen, Google’s apps YouTube (#3), Google Maps (#4), Google Search (#5), Google Play (#6) and Gmail (#7) were among those people used the most throughout the year. Given that several of these are considered the basic utilities you need on any device – search, maps, email – it’s also not surprising to find them so highly ranked.


However, one notable change Nielsen discovered is Amazon’s surge in 2016.

We already know that e-commerce sites broke records during this holiday shopping season, and Amazon accounted for a huge proportion of those numbers – as much as 37 percent, according to recent reports. But people are clearly doing more mobile shopping throughout the year, Nielsen found, as Amazon’s mobile app saw a 43 percent increase in terms of monthly average uniques versus 2015.

Nielsen also took a brief glimpse into the state of smartphone penetration in the U.S., noting that 88 percent of mobile subscribers now use a smartphone, up from 86 percent at the beginning of the year.

Over half (53%) are on Android, with 45 percent on iOS, and just 2 percent on Windows Phone. Blackberry is somehow still on the charts with a 1 percent share.