Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has some serious competition. A recent report from analytics firm Nielson shows that in 2013, mobile users flocked to photo-sharing social media application Instagram instead of Twitter.

Instagram Twitter

Nielson’s findings put Facebook and Google Search at the lead of Top Smartphone Apps of 2013 with number 1 and number 2 respectively. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) continued the lead with Google Play (number 3), YouTube (number 4), Google Maps (number 5), and Gmail (number 6). Instagram takes 7th place and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) takes 10th place. Apple Maps and Stocks fill in the gap with 8th and 9th place.

Numbers are the key

Nielson explained, “Smartphone penetration grew from 56 percent at the start of 2013 to nearly two-thirds (65%) of U.S. mobile subscribers by October 2013, and a majority of subscribers used Android (52%) or iOS (41%) smartphones. Along with growing ownership came increased activity using smartphone apps: Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) remained the most-used smartphone app across Android and iOS handsets, with more than 103 million unique users each month. Among the top 10 apps, Instagram was up 66 percent in terms of unique users, making it the fastest growing app over the past year.”

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) owns Instagram, which probably contributes to the app’s success. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) tried to purchase the app but failed in its attempt. What is interesting about all of this is that Twitter still has far more active users with 230 million than Instagram, which boasts 150 million active users. A recent article from CNET explained why Twitter has to worry about losing their greatest asset: celebrity users.

Why Instagram’s growth is Twitter’s concern

Most social media websites have influential users, important people who attract other users to the website. Twitter is the one social media website that considers itself top dog in this particular market. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) said the following in their S-1 Filing, which was filed in early December, “The public, real-time nature, and tremendous global reach of our platform make it the content distribution platform of choice for many of the world’s most influential individuals and organizations.”

Instagram’s fast growth is something that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) should pay close attention to, especially as social media trends continue to change.