Britain's favourite apps of 2016

Feature

According to our latest research into the nation’s most used apps, 70% of Brits used the Facebook app last year...
by
Britain's favourite apps of 2016

The nation's favourite apps

You’ve probably heard it mentioned once or twice that, in this hyper-connected world, we’re ‘always on’. But what seems closer to the truth is that we’re always on Facebook. And that’s just the adults.

Using a database of over 300 apps – not counting bloatware that runs in the background of our phones - we looked at the nation’s most used apps of last year to understand which of them are essential to our daily lives. And from there, we build our App Map of Britain.

Facebook: The everything network

Facebook is now so much more than a social network. Long gone are the days of ‘poking’ people or ‘throwing sheep’. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Facebook is a primary tool, not just for connecting friends, but for finding and following news. And with obvious benefits.

Facebook provides access to both professional and amateur coverage. Much of the content you see is essentially ‘peer-reviewed news’, allowing you to gauge public perception in real time. And the subject matter is chosen for your attention through Facebook’s complex algorithms.

Facebook isn’t the only social-media-come-news-source in the top ten either. In a year that saw both an EU referendum and a presidential election, Twitter was used by 38% of Brits. Both apps featured above any official news app.

Search and social

Our research found that not only was Facebook the most used app in Britain, but it was one of four social media and messaging apps to appear in the top ten, with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp also in prime positions. In fact, as an overall category, 87% of adults in Britain used social media and messaging apps on their phones last year.

But the second most popular app in the country, featuring just behind Facebook, is Google Search. It’s clear that search and social functionality are at the core of Britain’s daily app diet, with 70% and 69% of Brits are using these apps respectively. And so too, it seems, is video.

Generation video

Nearly three quarters of Brits used video streaming apps last year, and leading them all is Google’s video giant, YouTube. 68% of Brits used the YouTube app, and the attraction for many lies in the immediate and targeted entertainment possible through video-streaming.

With 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, users never need to be stuck watching repeats. Compare this to waiting until you get home for scheduled TV entertainment - it’s clear why Brits, and millennials especially, opt for online video.

Expanding to meet the increasing desire for live video – and competing with Facebook Live and Twitter’s PeriscopeYouTube moved to the top of the app stores last month. This was shortly after announcing it was opening its live-streaming facility to users with 1,000 subscribers or more.

Mapping Britain’s apps

Facebook, Google Search and YouTube top Britain’s most used apps of last year, but you can view the entire top 40 list along with the rest of our research in our App Map of Britain.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
With over 2.2 billion smartphone users worldwide, Carphone Warehouse and HTC wanted to find out whic

18 August, 2017
If you think you might have missed any of the latest tech news, help is at hand....
17 August, 2017
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans to introduce a 4G network to...
17 August, 2017
The Nokia 8 has landed, the company's 2017 flagship smartphone, jam-packed with loads...
14 August, 2017
One of Europe's biggest tech conferences, IFA, is just around the corner. This is...
10 August, 2017
BT's Whole Home System makes sure every device is connected, all the time, no matter...

14 August, 2017
One of Europe's biggest tech conferences, IFA, is just around the corner. This is...
10 August, 2017
BT's Whole Home System makes sure every device is connected, all the time, no matter...
1 August, 2017
TSB is the first bank in Europe to allow its customers to access their account using...
28 July, 2017
Android O is on its way. The latest version of Google's mobile operating system is...
23 July, 2017
Project Tango is Google's next big advance for mobile technology, bringing the powers...
19 July, 2017
If you're looking for a tablet to take on your travels, you're in luck. We've rounded...
18 July, 2017
Tidal, the high fidelity music-streaming site owned by Jay-Z, is still dragging behind...
18 July, 2017
The summer holidays are upon us. And if you're looking for things to do this summer...
17 July, 2017
Are you thinking of buying your child his or her first phone? We've rounded up a...
17 July, 2017
Knowing what kind of phone to buy your children can be tough. Check out our guide...
10 July, 2017
We pit TomTom's app, Go, against Google Maps to see which one comes out on top. If...
5 July, 2017
We've come up with five great eBooks to make part of your holiday reading list this...