Daily Data Dive

PYMNTS Daily Data Dive: 2016’s Top Apps

According to Nielsen, last year was a big year for digital, including new devices, new apps and the market for virtual reality (VR) devices.

Facebook topped the smartphone app category with 146 million average unique monthly users, up 14 percent over last year. Its sister app, Facebook Messenger, came in second place with nearly 130 million unique monthly users. YouTube came in third, with 113 million.

Amazon and Instagram saw year-over-year growth in app use of 43 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Other top downloaded apps included Google’s Maps, Search and Play apps, as well as Gmail and Apple Music.

Smartphone penetration grew to 88 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers by the end of Sept. 2016, with 53 percent of users on Android devices and 45 percent on iOS devices. About 3 percent had a Windows phone or BlackBerry.

Here are the numbers:

146 million | Average unique monthly users for Facebook’s smartphone app

14 percent | Year-on-year growth in unique Facebook app users over 2015

130 million | Average unique monthly user for Facebook Messenger

113 million | YouTube’s average unique monthly users

43 percent | Year-on-year growth in the use of Amazon’s app

36 percent | Year-on-year growth in the use of Instagram

88 percent | U.S. smartphone penetration at the end of Sept. 2016

53 percent | Users on Android devices

45 percent | Users on iOS devices

3 percent | Users with Windows phone or BlackBerry


Latest Insights: 

The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.

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