Apps & Software

Google and Facebook Dominate Mobile Apps

Social Media
Source: Thinkstock
Mobile device users spent two hours and 42 minutes of their time on those devices in March, up just 2.5% over March 2013. Of that time spent, 86% was spent using apps, up from 80% a year ago.

The data comes from Flurry Analytics, and as the firm points out, tells a “clear story that apps, which were considered a mere fad a few years ago, are completely dominating mobile.” A Web browser is now “a single applications swimming in a sea of apps.”

The dominant apps are games that soak up 32% of user’s time on a mobile device. The dominant social media app is the combination of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Instagram, garnering 17% of a user’s time. Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) nabs 1.5% of a user’s time, and other social messaging apps combine for 9.5%. Social media gets a total of 28% of a user’s time on a mobile device.

Entertainment gets 8% of a user’s time, and Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube gets half of that. There is no other single entertainment app that even comes close to that total.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the mobile apps space is its fragmentation. Even though Facebook and Google dominate, Flurry estimates that they account for less than 25% of a user’s total time spent on a mobile device.

In terms of advertising revenues, though, Google puts Facebook and every other app in the shade. Facebook gets about 18% of mobile ad spending for its 17% share of time spent on a mobile device. Google snares 49% of mobile ad spending for its total 18% of mobile time spent. All other apps account for about 65% of time spent and just 33% of mobile ad spending.

Research firm eMarketer projects that the mobile advertising market will grow 75% in 2014 to $31.5 billion. By 2017, some analysts predict that mobile in-app ads will surpass online display ad revenues. In the United States alone, in-app ads are expected to rise 3.5 times by 2017. Google and Facebook will continue to battle for the lion’s share of those ad dollars.