Apps & Software

Nielsen Names Top Smartphone Apps for 2014

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:

  1. Facebook: 118.02 million
  2. Google Search: 90.75 million
  3. YouTube: 88.34 million
  4. Google Play: 84.97 million
  5. Google Maps: 79.03 million
  6. Gmail: 72.41 million
  7. Facebook Messenger: 53.71 million
  8. Google+: 48.39 million
  9. Instagram: 43.94 million
  10. 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.

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