Britain's favourite apps of 2016

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

14 May, 2019
For some of the best stories from Google’s I/O 2019 event plus some other exciting...
10 May, 2019
Summer holidays are all about making great memories, so make sure you’ve got the...
8 May, 2019
The Google Pixel 3a is giving you the best of Pixel at a fraction of the price. This...
8 May, 2019
We visited Google’s head office in central London to catch a glimpse of its new highly-anticipated,...
7 May, 2019
Apple’s first game in over ten years revamps an old-school classic, retweets get...

10 May, 2019
Summer holidays are all about making great memories, so make sure you’ve got the...
8 May, 2019
The Google Pixel 3a is giving you the best of Pixel at a fraction of the price. This...
26 April, 2019
Here's a roundup of some of the best photo-editing apps for stunning puctures and...
18 April, 2019
Thinking of moving over to Apple’s iconic handset? Or just considering a new iPhone...
11 April, 2019
The bokeh effect can make your photos look like they were taken by a pro photographer,...
9 April, 2019
Technology is used to help us in all sorts of ways, but these companies are using...
25 March, 2019
The brand new Huawei P30 is here – and this is one flagship you do not want to miss....
7 March, 2019
Mindfulness is such an important part of life. Take five minutes out of your hectic...
3 March, 2019
We want to make sure you're up to date with all the latest smartphones, so we'll...
27 February, 2019
Get the highlights from the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona - including folding...
8 February, 2019
Selfie fan? Then you’ll want a phone with an amazing front camera, and exciting tech...
30 January, 2019
Foldable smartphones from Samsung and Huawei are coming soon, but how popular will...