Google, Facebook Battled for Mobile Crown in 2014

Nielsen Google Android graph

Nielsen recently released its list of the top smartphone apps of 2014, and the results were utterly unsurprising, with the top 10 split almost entirely between the Facebook and Google app ecosystems.

The “basic” Facebook app came in first place with 118 million users (a 15 percent increase over the year before), followed by Google Search with 90 million users, YouTube with 88 million users, Google Play with 84 million users, and Google Maps with 79 million users.

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Google’s dominance continued into the back half of the list, with Gmail coming in sixth with 72 million users and Google+ scoring eighth with 48 million users. Facebook dominated seventh with its Messenger app (53 million users) and ninth with Instagram (43 million users). Music for iOS (iTunes Radio/iCloud) came in 10th, with 42 million users.

Nielsen also placed Google Android’s share of the U.S. smartphone market at 51.9 percent, followed by Apple’s iOS with 42.9 percent, Windows Phone with 2.8 percent, BlackBerry with 1.5 percent, and “Other” with 0.9 percent.

Given the prevalence of Android as a smartphone OS, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Google software would also top the list of most-used apps. Facebook’s aggressive push into mobile is certainly responsible for it taking three prominent spots on Nielsen’s list. Given Facebook’s obsession as a company with expanding its app ecosystem into new areas, as well as the social network’s massive reach, whatever apps it releases in coming years could also become solid contenders for this list.

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