In brief: Apps owned by Google and Facebook have been the dominant force in the mobile world for years, consistently accounting for most of the top 15 applications in the US. With the pandemic seeing the likes of Zoom and TikTok become even more popular, one might imagine the tech titans have seen their grip on the market slip. The reality is that they now take a larger share than ever before.
As reported by Axios, the percentage of top 15 apps owned by Facebook and Google has increased from 53 percent in 2015 to 66 percent in 2021.
In addition to the social media service, Facebook's stable of apps include Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, while Google has YouTube (still number one in the US), Gmail, Maps, Search, Play, and more. Most smartphones in America have several of these apps installed.
It was also found that mobile is the platform where people spend most of their online time. Nearly 80 percent of all "digital minutes" are on smartphones, and 88 percent of those minutes are spent within apps.
Axios notes that Google and Facebook's mobile monopoly comes from their properties being more suited to smartphones: social media, messaging services, 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," writes the site.
Looking at the top apps in the US this month, the highest non-Google/Facebook entry is Amazon at 7. Only five apps out of the top 15 come from other companies.
Top 15 apps in the US as of this month:
4. Google Maps
5. Google Search
6. Facebook Messenger
8. Weather Channel
9. Google Play
11. Apple News
12. Google Drive
13. Google Photos
Facebook and Google's domination of the app world has long been common knowledge, but with their market share increasing over the years, more questions are being raised about the tech giants' monopoly over the industry.
Image credit: Primakov