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Facebook is the most popular Android application — excluding the Android Market app — among Android owners 18 and up. Roughly 80 percent of device owners ages 18-to-34 have used the Facebook app within the past 30 days, according to new research released by analytics firm Nielsen.

The company looked at data usage on the smartphones of thousands of consumers who opted in to an ongoing study.

It’s not all bad news for Google. The company’s Gmail, Maps, Search and YouTube apps were almost equally as popular as Facebook among all age groups, Nielsen found.

Gmail is the second most popular application for Android users in the 25-to-34 and 35-to-44 age groups, while Google Search placed second overall for the 18 to 24 year-olds. YouTube is also considered part of the “in” app-crowd for youngsters, with 64 percent of 18-to-24 year-olds have used it in the past 30 days.

One Google product not getting much love from the Android population is the company’s six month-old social network Google+. The Facebook-challenger isn’t much of one, at least in terms of mobile app usage, since it didn’t make the cut as one of the 15 most popular apps on Android for any age group.

Altogether, the data seems to suggest that Facebook has become as utilitarian as search for mobile audiences, and is significantly more essential to folks than popular music apps and the hottest mobile games.

Image via abulhussain/Flickr

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