Detailed within an analysis conducted by comScore, Facebook’s mobile application beat out Google Maps to finish out as the most popular mobile app of 2012. Attracting approximately 85 million unique monthly visitors during December 2012, the Facebook mobile application for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets is also ranked number one in mobile app engagement. Specific to users within the United States, nearly one fourth of all time spent using mobile applications on smartphones or tablets is dedicated to checking up on that popular social network.
Ranking in the number two position, Google Maps attracted approximately 75 million unique monthly visitors during December 2012. Previously attracting a high of 82 million users during September 2012, Google lost a significant portion of the user base after the iPhone 5 was released without Google Maps as the default mapping program.
Even after the release of the standalone version of Google Maps for iOS smartphones and tablets, usage growth of the Google Maps application isn’t rising as rapidly in comparison to the growth rate during mid-2012.
Other apps on the top ten list of mobile applications attracting unique monthly visitors during 2012 include Google Play, Google search, Gmail, YouTube, Pandora Radio, Apple’s iTunes, photo application Cooliris and communication app Yahoo! Messenger. In regards to mobile app engagement, applications that attracted extended periods of use include Instagram, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play and Google search. In fact, time spent on all Google applications accounts for ten percent of all time spent using apps on any smartphone or tablet.
Based off the constant rate of growth during 2012, it’s unlikely that Facebook will give up the top spot over the next twelve months in both total unique monthly visitors as well as mobile application engagement. During 2013, it’s possible that more mobile users will become more comfortable using streaming video applications on smartphones as data speeds increase when upgrading to recently released 4G LTE smartphones and applications such as Netflix could make the list next year.