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Data: Comscore; Note: Data reflects total U.S. Smartphone Mobile Media Users, Age 18+ (iOS and Android Platforms); Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Google and Facebook's share of the top 15 mobile apps by reach in the U.S. has increased in the past few years, despite the fact that dozens of new mobile apps, from TikTok to Zoom, have experienced record downloads.

Why it matters: Most of our time engaging with digital content happens in mobile apps. Google and Facebook continue to dominate the app economy, and through it, the attention economy.

By the numbers: Nearly 80% of all digital minutes are spent on mobile, per Comscore, and roughly 88% of those mobile minutes are spent within apps.

  • Properties that skew toward mobile-only usage tend to be linked to sectors that Google and Facebook dominate via apps, like social media, messaging and news and information. Markets where Google and Facebook do not have a dominant position, like higher education and training, tend to be more focused on desktop use.

Details: Over the past six years, Google and Facebook have collectively owned roughly eight of the top 10 smartphone apps in the U.S., and a sizable chunk of the top 15.

The top 15 apps in the U.S. as of this month are:

  1. YouTube
  2. Facebook
  3. Gmail
  4. Google Maps
  5. Google Search
  6. Facebook Messenger
  7. Amazon
  8. Weather Channel
  9. Google Play
  10. Instagram
  11. Apple News
  12. Google Drive
  13. Google Photos
  14. Pandora
  15. Spotify

What to watch: As both companies face lawsuits over their market dominance, the question of how much of the mobile app economy — and the digital economy writ large — that they own will only grow more urgent.

Go deeper

VA first federal agency to require COVID vaccines for employees

A medical doctor gives the thumbs-up sign to a COVID-19 patient who is no longer using a respirator at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York City. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday it would require its frontline health care workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus within the next two months, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The VA is the first federal agency to mandate that employees receive the vaccine. The decision comes as cases of the Delta variant in the U.S. have increased dramatically.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden: Americans with long-COVID symptoms may qualify for disability resources

President Biden speaking in Arlington, Virginia, on July 23. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Americans experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19 may qualify for disability resources from the federal government, President Biden announced Monday during an event to mark the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Driving the news: The departments of Justice and Health and Human Services released new guidance Monday that categorizes “long COVID" as a physical or mental impairment, entitling people with the illness to discrimination protections under the the ADA.

Study: Get ready for many more record-shattering heatwaves

NASA computer model image of temperature departures from average on June 27 during the Pacific Northwest heat wave. (NASA Earth Observatory)

The recent deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, during which all-time temperature records were shattered by several degrees, is a prologue to what is coming across much of the U.S., Europe and Asia, a new study finds.

Why it matters: The study shows that the rate of climate change is an under-appreciated driver of extreme heat, and that today's quickening pace of warming virtually guarantees more extreme temperature records in coming decades.

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