Facebook and Google Take the Lead in Popular Mobile Apps

According to comScore’s annual U.S. Mobile Apps Report, consumers spend 57 percent of their digital media time on smartphones and tablets using apps. The figure is roughly the same as the previous year, suggesting that the shift to mobile has reached a point of leveling out. The report also notes that Facebook and Google own eight of the top 10 apps. Among the most popular mobile apps today are Facebook (top app for all age groups except 18- to 24-year-olds), YouTube (No. 2 overall and No. 1 with 18- to 24-year-olds), Facebook Messenger, Google Search, Google Maps, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Play, Gmail and Pandora.

“All of these apps are free to use — which is a big factor in their popularity — and most serve advertisements,” notes Recode. “But YouTube and Pandora now both offer subscription services, and Google Play is largely an app and media store.”


Not surprisingly, time spent in mobile apps increases with younger users — and of the 57 percent cited by comScore, smartphones account for 50 percent while tablets only represent 7 percent. However, it’s worth pointing out that the report also suggests consumers aren’t necessarily trying new apps.

“A majority of users (51 percent) still don’t download any apps in a month,” reports TechCrunch. “Of those who download one or more apps on average in a month (49 percent), 13 percent download just one app, 11 percent download 2 apps, 8 percent download 3 apps, 5 percent download 4 apps, 7 percent download 5 to 7 apps, and 5 percent download 8 or more.”

While millennials are more willing to try new apps, the comScore report indicates that the majority of older consumers are not paying for new apps or making in-app purchases.

“What’s worse, they’re also often deleting the apps they already have on their devices,” adds TechCrunch. “While 57 percent of millennials say they download new apps more often than they delete old ones, only 30 percent of those aged 35 to 54 can say the same.”

Still, Recode believes it is “still possible for apps to grow in popularity — Uber, Waze, Wish, Lyft and Venmo are some of the large, fast-growing apps not in the top 10. But many of these core top 10 apps seem set, especially as long as Google-owned Android remains the most popular mobile operating system.”