Nielsen: Facebook Messenger the fastest-growing U.S. smartphone app

Facebook once again was the most popular smartphone app of the year among U.S. users, according to data from Nielsen. And its Messenger app was the fastest-growing title this year.

The market research firm said Facebook's app claimed more than 126 million average unique users every month in 2015, up 8 percent from the previous year. YouTube was the second-most popular app with nearly 98 million users, a 5 percent increase from 2014.

More than 96 million monthly users access Messenger, marking a 31 percent jump from 2014, the largest year-over-year increase of any top-ten title.

Interestingly, Google claimed the next four spots on Nielsen's top ten list: Its Search, Play, Maps and Gmail placed fourth through seventh, respectively. Instagram, Apple Music and Apple Maps rounded out the top ten.

Facebook's position as the most popular smartphone app in the U.S. is no surprise considering its massive 45.4 percent share of the U.S. online social media market. But the growing popularity of Messenger follows the rise of other cross-platform messaging apps such as WhatsApp (which Facebook acquired last year) around the world.

The popularity of such apps is a noteworthy metric for the nation's wireless carriers to follow, since the apps are likely generating a significant amount of traffic over wireless networks.

For more:
- see this Nielsen post

Related articles:
Analyst: OTT messaging destroying billions in operator revenues
OTT services: the largest threat to operator revenues

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