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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

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."