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The 10 Most Popular Apps of 2015

Most of them belong to Google or Facebook

There are hundreds of thousands of apps available for your smartphone, whether you own an iPhone or an Android handset. But only a handful of apps are actually used by millions of people across the country.

A recent survey from Nielsen lists the most popular smartphone apps of the year. The results indicate that Google and Facebook dominate the mobile app space.

Facebook’s primary app proved to be the most popular of 2015 in the U.S., with more than 126 million unique users on average. Google, meanwhile, owns five out of the 10 most frequently used apps. YouTube placed in second with around 97 million unique users, and Facebook Messenger placed in third with about 96 million.

Facebook Messenger grew the most year-over-year compared to any other app on the list, with a 31% jump in the app’s number of average unique users from 2014. This is particularly important for Facebook as the company continues to push the app as a one-stop-shop for your travel and shopping needs in addition to functioning as a communications tool.

Apple has two apps on the list: Apple Music and Apple Maps. It’s another sign that Apple’s navigation app, which has struggled since its launch in 2012, is finally starting to see some success. It’s also a positive sign for Apple Music since the new streaming service has only been available for about six months.

There’s a huge discrepancy in the number of unique Apple Music users recorded by Nielsen (about 54 million) and the number of paid subscribers Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced in the past (6.5 million). This is likely because Nielsen is counting the total number of people using the app in general to play their own music in addition to those who use Apple’s streaming service, as Re/code pointed out.

The results are based on survey answers from thousands of smartphone users across the U.S., as Nielsen explains here.

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