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Nielsen research finds that when it comes to mobile, Instagram beats Twitter

Instagram is more popular on mobile phones than Twitter, according to research by analytics firm Nielsen. The photo-sharing app, which just launched a private messaging service called Instagram Direct, is the seventh most-popular app overall. Twitter, which just boosted its photo functionality to include private messages in a bid to undermine Instagram’s new feature, lags behind in the tenth spot. 

Instagram’s average monthly audience came in at around 32 million, and appears to be the fastest-growing app this year, with a 66-percent increase. Twitter, meanwhile, counts 30.8 million average monthly users. 

The top app? Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, dominating with 103,420,000 monthly users. Other top apps primarily come from Google’s roster, with Google Search and Google Play in the second and third spots. 

Neilsen looked at data from Android and iOS, the two most popular platforms. However, since Instagram only became available on Windows 8 very recently and Twitter has been available for a longer time, the two platforms may be closer in competition when considering all operating systems. 

All is not lost for Twitter, though: It has a substantially larger overall user base than Instagram, with 230 million active users trumping Instagram’s 150 million – but because Instagram is explicitly a mobile app and not built for the Web, its users concentrate their browsing on phones and tablets, while Twitter still maintains a healthy Web presence. 

But plenty of evidence suggests that Twitter needs to keep a close eye on Instagram – another recent study suggests Instagram is a better tool for brand engagement than Twitter. 

[via CNET