Nielsen’s report on the most widely used mobile apps in 2016 showed one major thing:  the top 8 apps were all owned by either Google or Facebook. So not only do they control the digital ad market, they also own the app market as well. 

Facebook grew double digits – 14% – last year with an average of more than 146 million users each month.  Facebook’s Messenger app, had 129 million average unique users each month, followed by YouTube (owned by Google) at 113 million users monthly.


Instagram, owned by Facebook, grew 36% in 2016.

With Apple iOS having a 45% share of the US smartphone market, you would expect Apple apps to do better.  The only one to crack the top ten was Apple Music at #9.  Apple Music was a new entry in January 2015 and was the fastest growth of any new music streaming service. But it’s dwarfed in paid users by Spotify which has 40 million paid subscribers compared to Apple’s 17 million.  It’s not likely to be in the top ten again.

And then there’s Amazon.  No surprise.  And talk about growth.  Amazon use grew 43% in 2016.

Smartphone themselves are growing in use.  88% of US mobile subscribers had smartphones.


Wait, what about Pokemon Go?

What’s not in the top 10?  The biggest hyped mobile game of the year:  Pokemon Go.  I didn’t know this until Quincy Larson  pointed this out in Free Code Camp, Pokemon Go was developed by Niantic.  They are a subsidiary of Google.