What’s On

Google Maps, WeChat & Facebook dominate top smartphone apps in APAC

Mobile users in Asia Pacific are contributing significantly to the growth of the medium globally. The growing penetration of smartphones increases the potential of mobile as a marketing platform, and one key way in which brands use mobile to connect with consumers is apps. While there are billions of apps that developers have pushed into the marketplace, there are very few that truly resonate with consumers and stay active for a longer period of time.

GlobalWebIndex has put together a list of the most actively used smartphone apps. While users engage with multiple apps, the study by GlobalWebIndex gives a clear indication of the apps that are clicking with APAC mobile users.

The toppers
It’s no surprise to see Google Maps topping the charts amongst APAC users, a trend also seen amongst global users. In APAC markets, Google Maps is used by 50 percentage of the APAC smartphone population in the last month. It’s the go-to solution for lost and confused consumers. Apple Maps is nowhere to be seen but Nokia’s Ovi Maps still features in the top list.

The China-based messaging service, WeChat, follows on the second spot with about 41 per cent of the APAC smartphone users actively using the service. This is an impressive performance considering that WeChat basically used only in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Facebook’s official mobile app, while more active amongst global users with 44 per cent of global smartphone users, is used by only 31 per cent smartphone owners in APAC.

Two more Google products managed to make place in the top five most used apps in APAC. Google+, the official mobile application is used by 29 per cent of the users and around 23 per cent of the users engage with YouTube.

The next in line is the official mobile application of Twitter that has managed to connect with 18 per cent of the smartphone user base in APAC. With 17 per cent, Skype follows next.

Another Facebook app makes way in the top 10 as Facebook Messenger is consumer by nearly 17 per cent users.

Free messaging service WhatsApp that is still to introduce a robust monetising strategy, takes up 12 per cent of a user’s time. Nokia’s Ovi Maps too consumes similar engagement time from a mobile user.

Some of the other apps that are doing well in APAC at present are Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, Shazam, Yelp and Vine.

A clear trend when compared with the global toplines of most used apps is the messaging and communication apps in Asia that are making a clear place for themselves and indicate the potential of the market. Social media apps are embraced well across markets, reiterating the boost that mobile has given to the social media space.

The topline numbers, in a manner, also explain Google’s confidence in introducing local advertising in Google Maps that was announced last week. While it is popular belief that consumers find advertising intrusive, Google is going to find out whether consumers interact with ad messages when it is contextual and part of a service that is adding value to consumers.