A couple of social media apps are now more popular in the U.S. than several apps that come pre-installed on iOS and Android smartphones.
Here’s a look at Nielsen data tracking app audiences on iOS and Android smartphones (ages 18 and over) in the U.S., between January and October 2013.
- Facebook blew away the competition as the most popular smartphone app in 2013, averaging more than 100 million unique users each month (27% more in 2012).
- Google Search and Google Play both come pre-installed on a number of Android devices and were the second and third most popular apps. They averaged 76 million (Google Search) and 74 million (Google Play) unique users each month, respectively.
- YouTube was the fourth most popular smartphone app, averaging nearly 72 million monthly unique users (an increase of 27% over last year).
- Instagram saw the greatest increase (66%) in the average number of unique users who use its app monthly (almost 32 million). Further, Instagram had more users on average each month than the Maps or Stocks apps, which both come pre-installed on Apple’s iPhones.
Google owns five of the 10 smartphone apps on the list, but it has an advantage since its market-leading search engine and smartphone operating system are tightly integrated with Google apps.
According to comScore, Android runs on 52% of smartphones in the U.S.
On the other hand, this data is restricted to apps and does not measure mobile Web activity, like Google searches on Apple’s mobile Safari browser.
In any case, the data emphasises social media apps’s popularity. Americans now spend more time using social media on mobile apps than they do on desktop computers, and they collectively spent a mind-blowing 114 billion minutes using Facebook on PCs and smartphones in February 2013.
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