Google Maps loses out to Facebook as No 1 app in the US following iOS drop-off

24 Jan 2013

Facebook finished 2012 on a high, taking pole position among mobile apps in the US ahead of former top dog Google Maps and continuing its reign as the No 1 app in terms of user engagement.

According to ComScore’s Mobile Metrix report, which ranks mobile apps according to the number of monthly unique visitors, Facebook began to overtake the consistently popular Google Maps around September 2012, when iOS 6 was released.

As is now well-known, iOS 6 saw Apple drop Google Maps in favour of its own woe-begotten Apple Maps app. Google Maps for iOS was finally reinstated by mid-December, though, and since Apple Maps suffered from a terrible first impression that will be hard to shake off, Google Maps will likely regain ground quickly among iOS users and be reinstated at the top in 2013.

Source: ComScore Mobile Metrix report

But where Google can’t touch Facebook is engagement. ComScore claims that 23pc of the time US users spend on apps is attributed to Facebook, while a further 3pc goes to Facebook-owned Instagram. All combined, Google apps account for 10pc of US users’ time spent on apps, with Gmail taking the lion’s share at 3pc.

Essentially, this means one out of every three minutes US users spend on mobile apps is devoted to either Facebook or Google.

Source: ComScore Mobile Metrix report

While the No 1 spot eluded it, Google still owns the rest of the top six, which includes Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, and Gmail.

At the bottom of the top 10, we have Pandora Radio – a popular internet radio app available in the US, Australia and New Zealand – followed by iTunes, Cooliris photo-sharing app for iOS, and Yahoo! Messenger.

Source: ComScore Mobile Metrix report

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.