Facebook Owns Four of the Top Five Downloaded Apps

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Every year, thousands of consumers say they plan to take a break from Facebook and explore other social media options. This news can sound scary for marketers at first since it means people will lose access to one of the most powerful advertising tools available to marketers. However, through strategic purchases, Facebook has reduced the risk of losing its market share to newer companies. Last week, an analysis showed that Facebook-owned four out of five of the most downloaded social media apps on the web.

According to a top App Annie’s list, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram top App Annie’s list of the most downloaded apps, which was published on Monday. In essence, consumers who want to leave Facebook entirely will find it harder than they realize.  

For consumers who are worried about Facebook’s accumulation of data, the situation can’t be any worse. Facebook still controls a large amount of data that can be used for targeted ads and much more. For marketers, this is a good thing because they can continue to use the Facebook Advertising Network with few issues. 

Taha Yasseri, a senior research fellow in computation science at the Oxford Internet Institute, stated, “One company owning four of the most popular social networking and communication apps, at best, can be described as a data monopoly.”

Speaking to the BBC, Mr. Yasseri added: “Combined, the data from multiple platforms can lead to an extremely high level of precision in modeling our traits and behaviors. This amount of power should be regulated.”

Once you break from the top four most downloaded apps, it’s easier to see who controls the data that is flowing from your phone. Snapchat and Skype came 5th and 6th, followed by TikTok and UC Browser, which is owned by China’s Alibaba. YouTube came 9th and Twitter was in 10th place.

App Annie notes that eight of the top 10 apps are owned by US corporations, while two are owned by Chinese firms. It represents a lack of variety in who controls the data that allows modern mobile devices to function. 

“Mobile has been at the heart of major changes in consumer behavior this decade,” wrote Adithya Venkatraman, a market insights manager at App Annie, in a blog.

There’s not too much that can be changed about this situation for now. Facebook owns two social media sites that would-be rivals to the Facebook platform. Many consumers that are trying to take a break from Facebook may find themselves switching to another product from Facebook’s product line.

For more information about the ways social media can affect your marketing, read this article on restrictions on ads placed on Facebook Ads Network.

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