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WhatsApp has a solid lead on Facebook as the most popular mobile app in Brazil, according to April 2015 research from Opinion Box. Fully 86% of smartphone owners in the country reported WhatsApp was among their 10 most frequently used apps—10 percentage points ahead of Facebook.
WhatsApp was somewhat more popular among women than men—a gender difference that was twice as pronounced when it came to Facebook app popularity.
After those top two choices, app popularity plummeted. Instagram, the third most popular app in Brazil, was only cited by 36% of users. Again, it was more popular among women than men.
In line with these results, when smartphone owners were asked to choose their top three categories of app, rather than specific apps, social networks were by far the leading choice. More than 83% chose social networking apps, compared with 56.8% who chose games. Other types of communication apps were popular with 27.7% of respondents.
But most of these apps are free ones. Just 15.3% of respondents, including 18.6% of men and 12.3% of women, said they had ever purchased a mobile app. Nearly half said they simply did not see the need to pay for apps, and 24.4% claimed never to have found a paid app they thought was worthwhile.
eMarketer estimates that 46.7 million people in Brazil will own and use a smartphone at least once per month this year. That translates to 35.8% of mobile phone users, or 22.8% of the total population of the country.
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