Nielsen has released a look at the top smartphone apps of 2015. Amazingly the top ten reflects the properties of just three companies: Facebook, Google and Apple.
Nielsen also said that smartphone penetration grew to 80 percent in the US at the end of the third quarter. The most recent comScore data show penetration at roughly 78 percent.
On the Nielsen list, the top two mobile apps of 2015 were Facebook and YouTube. Number three was Facebook Messenger. After that are four Google apps: search, Play, Maps and Gmail.
Facebook Messenger saw the highest year over year growth at 31 percent. After Messenger, Apple Music grew the most (though it only launched this year). Again, the amazing thing here is that just three companies are dominating apps and, presumably, time spent — though that is not what the Nielsen data reflect, only audience reach.
Below, for comparison, is comScore’s most recent list of the top 15 apps. The list is slightly different than Nielsen’s and includes Pandora, Yahoo Stocks, Twitter and Amazon, though the final two are not among the top 10. Unlike Nielsen, the comScore list also doesn’t show Apple Music or Apple Maps in the top 10.