Top smartphone apps in Southeast Asia: Facebook and Google Play lead way


Facebook has topped a ranking of smartphone apps in Southeast Asia, with LINE, WhatsApp, Google Play and Blackberry Messenger also proving popular, according to new research.

The Southeast Asia Top 10 Smartphone Apps ranking, based on Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights and covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, combines app penetration with average time spent per month to gauge the region’s most engaging apps.

Facebook ranked as the most engaging smartphone app in three of the four markets (Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines) and was ranked number two in Thailand behind popular Japanese messaging app LINE. Other popular apps across the region included Google Play Store, YouTube and LINE, all of which ranked in the top 10 apps across all four markets. Gaming app Candy Crush Saga appeared in the top 10 rankings in three of the four Southeast Asia markets.


Smartphone owners in Southeast Asia spend around three‐quarters of an hour on average per day using apps. Apps usage is most prevalent in Malaysia (66 minutes per day), followed by Thailand (46 minutes per day), the Philippines (41 minutes per day) and Indonesia (40 minutes per day).


“The importance and influence of apps within today’s highly‐competitive mobile market has soared in recent years,” notes Sagar Phadke, Director of Nielsen’s Telecom and Technology Practice in Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific. “Smartphone users in Asia are highly engaged in apps usage, and the app user base in Asia is growing rapidly, presenting huge opportunities for brand marketers to leverage apps to build lasting connections with consumers.”

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