Facebook, YouTube, FB Messenger the Most Used Mobile Apps

The average adult smartphone user spends 2.3 hours per day on mobile apps. Think the mobile web (i.e. browser activity) is just as popular? Think again: Apps are used 87 percent of the time, while the mobile web is used 13 percent of the time.

With so much attention going to mobile video, it’s worth diving into phone activity to understand how various age groups spend their time. The researchers at ComScore have put out a fascinating report on U.S. mobile activity. It reveals that half the time people spend with digital media is through phone apps.

Here are the top 10 mobile apps by usage:

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Facebook Messenger
  4. Google Search
  5. Google Maps
  6. Instagram
  7. Snapchat
  8. Google Play
  9. Gmail
  10. Pandora

Notice anything surprising about that list? 8 of the top 10 apps are owned by either Facebook or Google.

Here are the top 10 most popular phone apps for home screen placement (where people put the apps they want quick access to):

  1. Facebook
  2. Gmail
  3. Google Maps
  4. Amazon
  5. Facebook Messenger
  6. YouTube
  7. Google Search
  8. Google Play
  9. Instagram
  10. Apple App Store

The report sees stark differences between millennial phone use and that of older adults. Millennials (those 18 to 24) spend two-thirds of their digital media time on phone apps, more than any other group. They also spend 3.2 hours per day with apps, are more interested in downloading new apps, and are more willing to pay for apps.

One other interesting difference: Millennials are more likely to delete an app if they don’t like the way it looks on their home screen.

In good news for video advertisers, the report shows the largest category for time spent is entertainment and communication with 20 percent. That’s followed by music (18 percent) and multimedia (10 percent).

For much more on how people engage with mobile apps, download The 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report for free (registration required).


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