Maps and Navigation Apps

Maps and Navigation Apps

Discovery, Exploration Features Open Up Ad Opportunities

Table of Contents

Maps and navigation apps have been a central feature of smartphones since the first iPhone, but new advertising options and map integrations have made them more prominent to consumers and accessible to advertisers. Marketers have a range of options for using maps and navigation platforms to promote discovery or a better user experience.

  • We estimate that about two-thirds of US smartphone owners will use map and navigation maps at least once per month this year. Other studies show that more than 90% of US consumers ages 50 and younger use map apps.
  • Google Maps has over 154 million US users, more than six times the amount of Apple Maps users. Most but not all of these users use Google Maps in their smartphones. Even among iOS users, Google Maps is the preferred map app.
  • Alphabet has introduced a variety of advertising formats within Google Maps and Waze. Roughly 6% of Google mobile search clicks for brand queries occur in Google Maps. Even so, monetization of map apps is still in its early days.
  • Google redesigned Google Maps to make it better for discovery and exploration. In doing so, it’s taking some cues from social media companies, such as Snapchat and Instagram, which have used maps or location tags to help users discover and explore locally relevant posts.

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Yoram Wurmser


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Matteo Ceurvels
Senior Researcher
Chris Keating
Research Director