“There’s [still] an app for that,” as they say, and there were even more in 2016. According to Nielsen, last year was a big year for digital — including new devices, new apps and the market for virtual reality (VR) devices. In a recent study, the research firm took a look at the top trends.
The research shows Facebook was yet again topping 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, which was then followed by YouTube (113 million). As for other apps making the top 10 with the largest growth over last year, the two apps with the largest amount of users were Amazon and Instagram, with these having year-over-year growths of 43 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Other top downloaded apps included Google’s Maps (105 million), Search (103 million) and Play (99 million), as well as Gmail (88 million) and Apple Music (68 million).
Nielsen noted that the only Apple-owned app that made the top 10 was Apple Music, which had growth over the prior year of 20 percent, and that its streaming service had surpassed the 20 million subscriber mark last month.
For smartphones, the research firm reported that penetration grew to 88 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers by the end of September 2016 (up 2 percent from the beginning of the year), with 53 percent of users on Android devices and 45 percent on iOS devices. About 3 percent had a Windows phone or BlackBerry.
As for VR, the research firm says that the concept is quickly becoming a reality with more than 17 different presenters at NewFronts. In comparing fans to experts, as it relates to new technology, Nielsen reported that there are more fans than experts but that there is a positivity felt about the future of VR technology.