SINGAPORE: Facebook is the most popular app in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia as well as the second most popular in Thailand, according to a new survey.

Research from Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights also established that smartphone users in Southeast Asia spend an average of 45 minutes a day accessing apps, Business Mirror reported.

Nielsen said Malaysians spend 66 minutes a day using apps, followed by Thais at 46 minutes a day, Filipinos at 41 minutes and Indonesians at 40 minutes.

"The importance and influence of apps within today's highly competitive mobile market has soared in recent years," said Sagar Phadke, director of Nielsen's telecom and technology practice in Southeast Asia.

"Smartphone users in Asia are highly engaged in apps usage, and the app user base in Asia is growing rapidly, presenting huge opportunities for brand marketers to leverage apps to build lasting connections with consumers," he added.

Facebook ranked as the most "engaging" smartphone app in three of the four markets surveyed and was ranked number two in Thailand, behind popular Japanese messaging app LINE.

Google Play Store, YouTube and LINE were all included in the top ten apps across all four markets.

Gaming app Candy Crush Saga appeared in the top 10 rankings in three of the four Southeast Asia markets. But the app failed to appear in the top 10 in Indonesia, which was also the only nation to include Twitter in its listing.

WhatsApp, the instant messaging app, was ranked in all markets except the Philippines while Instagram, the photo and video-sharing platform, only featured in Thailand and Malaysia.

Data sourced from Business Mirror; additional content by Warc staff