The top smartphone app for 2014, based on number of monthly active users, was Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) namesake social media app, with more than 118 million unique users on average. Two other apps from Facebook — Instagram and Facebook Messenger — also made the top 10. The big winner, though, appears to be Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), which placed six apps on the top 10 list. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) sneaked into the top 10 with its iTunes Radio/iCloud app.
The list was compiled by Nielsen, based on passive metering technology that reports mobile usage data from approximately 5,000 opt-in panelists who use either Apple’s iOS platform or Google’s Android. The company also ranks top operating systems using a monthly survey of more than 30,000 mobile subscribers.
The top 10 apps and their monthly active users were:
- Facebook: 118.02 million
- Google Search: 90.75 million
- YouTube: 88.34 million
- Google Play: 84.97 million
- Google Maps: 79.03 million
- Gmail: 72.41 million
- Facebook Messenger: 53.71 million
- Google+: 48.39 million
- Instagram: 43.94 million
- iTunes Radio/iCloud: 42.55 million
The biggest year-over-year growth was posted by Facebook Messenger, which saw usage rise 242%. A large part of that growth is undoubtedly due to Facebook forcing users to adopt Messenger.
Google+ posted year-over-year growth of 78%, and iTunes Radio/iCloud grew by 69%.
An interesting absentee from the list is Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P), which was beaten out by Apple’s iTunes. That cannot be good news for the Internet radio company that has seen its stock price tumble by a third this year and posted a new 52-week low earlier this month.
In the platform rankings, Google tops Apple with a 51.9% share, compared with 42.9% for iOS. Windows Phone from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) gets 2.8% of the platform market, and BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) claims 1.5% share.