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Facebook Messenger overcomes criticism to reach second in worldwide app ranking

Viber and Facebook Messenger are among a raft of messaging apps that are continuing to take worldwide game and app markets by storm thanks to growth in emerging markets and releases on additional platforms.

Related: iOS users rejoice: Download Messenger for iPad now

The Worldwide App Annie Index for Apps in July 2014 showed that communications continue to lead the way at the top of the combined iOS and Google Play index when it comes to volume alone.

Facebook’s oft-criticised Messenger app saw one of the largest increases of any app that resulted in a rise to second place in the ranking due to a dedicated iPad app being released for the first time. It meant that Facebook continued to hold the first four positions with Facebook at the top followed by Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, and Skype rounding off the top five.

“United States iPad downloads started strong and then skyrocketed in late July, when parent company Facebook made the strategic decision to move all worldwide messaging functionality from Facebook into Facebook Messenger. This follows the initial test rollout of separating Facebook Messenger from Facebook in Europe early April,” App Annie’s release explained.

The decision to remove messaging functionality from the main app has been met with derision by users and Messenger’s rating on the iOS App Store dipped to an all-time low due to various privacy concerns that were flagged up.

Another app making strides is Viber, which used its significant growth in India to power itself into eighth position overall – the first time it has ever cracked the top ten and much of this down to an increased marketing spend.

Over in the music streaming sector, Spotify’s decision to include in-app purchases on iOS meant it became the second music streaming app, after Pandora, to enter the iOS top 10 for most grossing apps.

Navigation apps is another area that has been steadily flexing its muscles and Garmin cracked the top 10 iOS apps, not including games, by revenue in the shape of its NAVIGON Europe app that saw a price drop from $99.99 [£60] to $64.99 [£39] that influenced the increase.