Nielsen collects and aggregates a simply staggering amount of data to make its lists of the Tops of 2016 each year, and their Digital charts showing off the most often used mobile apps and operating systems, is now available, showing Facebook as the top app across all platforms. Being the top app for the year, it experienced year on year growth of about 14%, among the lowest on the chart. Facebook's total victory on the charts should come as no big surprise to anybody, nor should the fact that Android was the most used smartphone platform at 53%, followed somewhat closely by Apple's iOS at 45%, with Windows Phone and BlackBerry barely charting.
While Facebook ruled the roost with its official app, and Facebook Messenger placed close behind it, missing the mark by less than 20 million users. The year on year change in user count, however, is 28%, double that of the base Facebook app and among the top growth figures on the entire chart. Facebook-owned Instagram was near the bottom of the chart, placing 8th out of 10 apps and putting up a pretty impressive 36% user growth, highlighting Instagram's recent efforts to catch more users. The third place app, YouTube, boasts a 20% change. The next few places are all Google's own apps, interestingly, with no interruption until Instagram snatches up 8th place. Apple Music and the Amazon App round things out on the app charts.
The way that the year on year percentages jump around through the charts does a great job of showing who the behemoths are and who the new blood underdogs are, though some established apps make fairly big jumps, like Facebook Messenger and its billion-plus total user base across mobile and desktop getting a 28% boost for this year's count. Amazon had to work hard to get their app on the charts, as evidenced by the nearly 50% year on year growth that got it to where it was for the year. The counts run from January to October of a given year, meaning that any growth the apps may have experienced with people getting new devices for the Holiday season won't be reflected until next year's count.