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Facebook, Google top out US’s most popular apps in 2016

Facebook’s app is America’s favorite app.

Photo by Facebook

Facebook still can’t be Snapchat, but at least it’s still the most popular app in the US in 2016.

In a year where Pokemon Go smashed App Store records, social media still remains the dominant force on people’s phones. Facebook remains comfortable as America’s most popular app with more than 146 million monthly users. The company has been adding features to its app over the last year, like adding games, its own Marketplace and its many, many attempts to be Snapchat.

The social network giant took first and second place in Nielsen’s ranking, with 129 million unique users for Facebook Messenger. Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion in 2012, was 2016’s eighth most popular app, with 74 million average monthly users. The photosharing app had grown by more than one-third of its users from 2015.

Photo by Nielsen

Facebook boasts an average 1.8 billion monthly active users internationally, as the largest social network in the world. But while Facebook was able to clinch the top spot, its apps were not spread as widely as Google’s influence.

The search engine titan claimed five spots on the top 10 list, with a combined 508 million users across its popular apps.

YouTube, the mega-popular streaming site, was its largest contribution, with 113 million people using the app, followed by Google Maps with 105 million. Google Search, the Play Store and GMail had 103 million, 99 million and 88 million users, respectively.

Google’s Android mobile operating system also edged out its rival Apple in 2016, with 53 percent of US smartphone owners running on Android, compared to 45 percent of owners using iOS. Only 1 percent of smartphone owners are using Blackberry.

While Facebook and Google have managed to stay on top for 2016, Amazon’s app saw the most growth this year, with a 43 percent increase since 2015. The web retailer giant now boasts 65 million users on its app.

If you’re trying to find the hidden gems that aren’t the most popular apps, check out our recommendations for the best apps for iOS and Android. (My apologies to the one percent of Blackberry users out there.)


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