Facebook zooms past Google Maps to become the most used phone app in the US

ComScore released its ranking today which show Facebook topped Google Maps as the most used app in the US. VP of Industry Analysis, Andrew Lipsman, explains why. 

Matt Rourke/AP
The Facebook logo as it is displayed on an iPad.

ComScore released its latest Mobile Metrix report on Jan. 23, which ranked the top mobile application in the US by audience. Results from Android and iPhone show that Facebook has taken the No.1 spot as the most used mobile app of 2012. Google Maps has slid into second place. The rankings use data from as far back as March 2012 when considering the apps.

Facebook shot ahead of Google in October and kept climbing, reaching more than 85 million users by December.

“Of course Apple’s decision to replace Google Maps with Apple Maps on iOS 6 also caused a decline in Google Maps usage in October, which is largely responsible for the position swap. Meanwhile, Google Maps has been clawing its way back the past few months after getting reinstated on iOS 6, so look for the competition for the #1 spot to heat up as we head into 2013,” wrote ComScore VP of Industry Analysis, Andrew Lipsman, in a blog post.

Though Google Maps sat in second place, Google managed to take five out of the six top mobile apps spots in the US for 2012. Google Play, Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube were the other apps, in respective order. Combined, all five apps give Google the largest amount of visitors total.

According to a report on CNET.com, Facebook had 85,574 unique visitors using the app in December alone. Facebook also dominates in the amount of time visitors spend on the app.

The ComScore report illustrates that 23 percent of time spent on apps is spent on Facebook. This is not including the three percent that is spent on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Facebook acquired the photo-sharing app in April of last year.

All of Google’s apps combined only make up 10 percent. ComScore states that this means that one out of every three minutes spent on a mobile app, is spent on Facebook or Google.

The other apps mentioned in the report include, Pandora Radio, Apple iTunes, Cooliris, and Yahoo! Messenger. Although they hold their own, gaining spots seven through ten, these apps do not hold a candle to the two giants. However, the mobile app world constantly changes, a fact that Mr. Lipsman pointed out toward the end of the post. Amazon, Twitter, and eBay are all commonly used apps that might find themselves in the spotlight next year. Or, as Lipsman suggests, it will be a new app that no one will expect -- a rise similar to that of Instagram.

“If there is one thing we can all bet on, it’s that the market will look very different a year from now," he writes. "And may the best apps win.”

For more tech news follow Aimee on Twitter@aimee_ortiz

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