2016 was a highly profitable year for businesses with expertise in making smartphone apps, according to a new study by consumer research company Nielsen. Business was particularly good for the Big-3 of the tech world, i.e. Apple, Facebook, and Google. However, on a one-on-one competition based on Nielsen’s analysis, it seems Facebook and Google had the last laugh at Apple’s expense as the iPhone maker lagged far behind in the list featuring ‘Top Smartphone Apps of 2016’.

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The study delved deep into the trending apps of 2016 along with the operating systems that these apps were downloaded on. In the US alone, the Facebook app came first with a total of 146 million average monthly users. Apart from the Facebook app, other apps from the company that made it to the list include Facebook Messenger and Instagram at second and eighth positions respectively.

Meanwhile, Google may not be able to take the top spot, five of its apps are in the top-10 with YouTube at the third spot, Google Maps at fourth, Google Search at fifth, Google Play at 6th and Gmail at 7th.

Apple’s music streaming service Apple Music came ninth on the list with more than 68 million average monthly users. Despite stuck there at the ninth spot, Apple Music registered an impressive 20% growth compared to 2015.

Last on the list is the Amazon app that bagged 65 million unique monthly users, thus registering a whopping 43% growth compared to last year.

  1. Facebook – 146 million
  2. Facebook Messenger – 129 million
  3. YouTube – 113 million
  4. Google Maps – 105 million
  5. Google Search – 103 million
  6. Google Play – 99 million
  7. Gmail – 88 million
  8. Instagram – 74 million
  9. Apple Music – 68 million
  10. Amazon App – 65 million


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