You know the importance of mobile when reaching your potential customers today, but what mobile apps are most popular in 2016?
A new study by SurveyMonkey Intelligence reveals Messenger and Snapchat dominated the app scene in the first six months of the year. Interestingly, two other Facebook apps also made it to the top of the list.
The Most Popular Apps in the First Half of 2016
Messenger Stays on Top
In 2015, Messenger toppled YouTube to occupy the second spot on comScore’s most popular smartphone apps list. And in July 2016, Messenger become the third Facebook app to reach more than 1 billion users. According to the Survey Monkey Intelligence study, the app saw an additional 59.7 million downloads between January and July 2016.
What has worked in favor of the app is the addition of cool new features such as the Video Messenger to entice more users.
For small businesses, Facebook’s new policy changes to accelerate chatbot reviews on Messenger and allow chatbots to send subscription-based and promotional messages make a big difference.
In a post for the official Facebook for Developers blog, Facebook product manager Seth Rosenberg explained, “All conversations between businesses and people must be initiated by the person receiving the messages, who can then mute or block the business at any time.”
Snapchat Ups its Game
But meanwhile Messenger is facing tough competition from Snapchat, which earlier snubbed Facebook’s attempts to acquire it. Snapchat saw an impressive 54.5 million downloads in the first half of 2016.
The company is now sprucing up its features to attract more users and businesses. The latest addition of custom geofilters for its millions of users to promote their events is a step in this direction.
Snapchat also added a Lenses feature to allow users to modify their faces for photos and videos using augmented reality. This feature was well-received by individual users and businesses alike.
And earlier this year Snapchat also added a “Memories” feature allowing archive of old photos and videos. At the same time, Snapchat also introduced a so-called “suggest” feature making it easier for you to suggest connections to friends. The company may also be developing new behavioral targeting technology which should appeal to marketers.
If reports are to be believed, Snapchat is now buying search startup Vurb in a deal worth $100 million. Vurb is a mobile search and recommendation app, which makes it easier for users to check out movies, locate a theatre and find nearby restaurants.
While it’s still early to understand how Vurb will boost Snapchat, helping users make plans with their friends could be one possibility. To give an example, when users chat about a restaurant, Snapchat could help them know more and arrange to catch up there.
Two Other Facebook Apps Also Got Some Download Love
Two other apps, Facebook and Instagram, are also seeing popularity in terms of downloads. The social media giant’s main app saw a respectable 45.8 million downloads during the first half of the year.
The popular Instagram app got 40.4 million downloads over the same period. Instagram made news more recently with the introduction of its own “Stories” feature which many see a an obvious effort to copy Snapchat’s functionality. But the jury is still out on whether it will be a success.
About the Study Methodology
The findings of the study are based on Monthly Active Users (MAUs) that count the number of people who opened the app at least once in a month. Unlike downloads, which only measures new users to an app, monthly active users captures how many people actually use an app.
It is, however, important to note that the immensely popular Pokémon Go app, which was released in July, doesn’t feature in the ranking.