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According to data released last week by Nielsen, all the major web brands lost uniques on a year-over-year basis in 2013. The period measured was January through the end of October.


The ranking of the top sites was more or less the same as we’ve seen in other data. However the relative loss of monthly uniques was not uniform.


Nielsen Top Web Brands 2013


According to Nielsen, Ask lost the highest percentage of its monthly uniques. Next was Facebook and then YouTube.


Nielsen broadly attributes the decline in “web” traffic to the rise of tablets and smartphones. However the company didn’t provide a holistic view of internet traffic (in its publicly released data). So the numbers above don’t tell the whole story. For example, is the Facebook audience truly down or have these users simply shifted to mobile? Other data we have directly from Facebook suggest that’s the case.


Nielsen Top Apps


Facebook was the top app (iOS and Android only) of 2013 but a range of apps saw higher growth on a percentage basis: Instagram, Apple Maps, Google Search and Twitter among others on the list above.


Second only to Instagram, Apple Maps saw the most growth in uniques on a percentage basis. This suggests that the stigma of the app may be fading — especially as Apple continues to improve its maps’ accuracy and reliability.


According to Nielsen, for the roughly 10 months measured, Android devices comprised 52 percent of the market and the iPhone 41 percent. All others combined for a total of 7 percent.


Mobile OS marketshare



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