Corporate Eye

Google and Facebook Rule Digital in 2013

digital webNielsen released its Tops of 2013: Digital lists this week and Google and Facebook dominate the list of top web brands, top online video brands, and top smartphone apps. In other words, Google and Facebook ruled digital in 2013.

Top 2013 Web Brands

First, Nielsen ranked the top 10 U.S. web brands for 2013. With an average unique audience of 164.8 million per month, Google took the top spot followed by Facebook in second place with 135.0 million unique visitors per month.

Another Google property, YouTube ranked in fifth place with 119.2 million monthly unique visitors. Yahoo! and MSN/WindowsLive/Bing came in second and third place with 129.8 and 121.0 million monthly unique visitors, respectively.

Top 2013 Online Video Brands

When it came to online video in 2013, no other brand came close to matching Google’s YouTube with 128.4 million unique visitors per month. Trailing significantly behind in second place was VEVO with 37.2 million unique monthly visitors. The top five also included Yahoo! (35.4 million), AOL Media Network (26.4 million), and MSN/WindowsLive/Bing (19.8 million).

Top 2013 Smartphone Apps

The mobile app world was truly ruled by Google and Facebook in 2013. Together, these two companies accounted for seven of the top ten smartphone apps according to Nielsen. More specifically, Google accounts for five out of the top ten (actually, five out of the top six). The top 10 smartphone apps of 2013 based on average unique monthly viewers were:

  1. Facebook: 103.4 million unique visitors per month (owned by Facebook)
  2. Google Search: 76.0 million unique visitors per month (owned by Google)
  3. Google Play: 73.7 million unique visitors per month (owned by Google)
  4. YouTube: 72.0 million unique visitors per month (owned by Google)
  5. Google Maps: 68.6 million unique visitors per month (owned by Google)
  6. Gmail: 64.4 million unique visitors per month (owned by Google)
  7. Instagram: 32.0 million unique visitors per month (owned by Facebook)
  8. Maps (Apple): 31.9 million unique visitors per month
  9. Stocks: 30.8 million unique visitors per month
  10. Twitter: 30.8 million unique visitors per month

It’s interesting to note how young some of these web properties and smartphone apps are. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and many other brands and properties on these lists haven’t even been around for a decade. The growth rates are amazing. Looking at the fastest growing smartphone app in 2013, Nielsen’s data identifies Instagram in the number one spot with 66% growth year over year.

The question is whether or not Google and Facebook can hold onto their positions of power in the future. What do you think?

Image: Flavio Takemoto

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.