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Smartphone apps account for half of all time spent with digital media, according to comScore's Mobile apps report, and two companies own the overwhelming majority of the most-trafficked apps: Google and Facebook.

Expand chart
Data: comScore; Chart: Chris Canipe

Overall, when it comes to time spent on mobile, 87% of mobile time spent is on apps vs. only 13% on mobile web, even though mobile web often receives higher traffic.

Why it matters: Smartphone users spend 96% of their app time within their Top 10 most used apps and Smartphone users spend half their time on their #1 most used app, according to comScore. Google and Facebook own the overwhelming majority of traffic to these apps and are the #1 app for every age group.

  • Younger users love apps: Users ages 18-24 spend a whopping 66% of their total media time in mobile apps, or 3.2 hours per day on mobile apps. Younger users are more likely to place YouTube as the top app, instead of Facebook and are much more likely to rank Snapchat as a top app.
  • Facebook's app dominance: When it comes to desktop and video traffic, Google is king. But on mobile, Facebook is the clear winner. Facebook maintains its position as the #1 app in monthly users, with 81% penetration among mobile app users. Nearly half (46%) of smartphone users have Facebook on their home screen.

Top apps by category and population penetration in the U.S.:

  • Social: Facebook, 93%
  • News: Apple News, 77%
  • Retail: Amazon, 75%
  • Gaming: Words with Friends, 67%
  • Travel: Uber, 27%
  • Sports: ESPN, 23%
  • Dating: Tinder, 11%

Follow the money: in-app advertising has become the one of the fastest-growing mobile ad mediums, with revenue set to surpass $53 billion by 2020. App Annie estimates that by 2020, gross revenue across all app stores will exceed $101 billion globally.

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.