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Mobile Social Networking Drives Rising App Usage

240% increase in social networking app access

June 17, 2010

As smartphone usage grows, users are also becoming more sophisticated and using apps at a higher rate. According to comScore’s MobiLens study, the total number of mobile app users in the US increased by 28% from April 2009 to April 2010.

Several app categories saw usage grow much faster. Social networking apps grew their user base by 240% during the period, to more than 14.5 million mobile users. Other categories boasted even more users, including weather apps at more than 18 million and maps at about 16.8 million.

Fastest-Growing US Mobile Application Categories, April 2009 & April 2010 (thousands of unique users and % change)

Social networking was also the fastest-growing mobile content category when it came to browser access, with nearly 30 million mobile users visiting the sites through mobile browsers.

“Social networking is by far the fastest-growing mobile activity right now,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile, in a statement. “With 20 percent of mobile users now accessing social networking sites via their phone, we expect to see both application and browser usage continuing to drive future consumption of social media.”

The most-used app across nearly all smartphone operating systems also falls into the social networking category. The top social Website, Facebook, is entrenched as the most widely used app by owners of BlackBerrys, iPhones and other smartphones. Only users of Google’s Android operating system are more likely to use Google Maps than Facebook.

Top 5 Mobile Apps in the US, by Operating System, 2010 (% of respondents)

Other top apps across operating systems included offerings in the fast-growing and highly popular weather and maps categories.

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Check out today’s other article, “Agencies: Targeting Boosts Display Spend.”


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