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YouTube Dominates Mobile Entertainment Apps

Facebook dominates in social networking on mobile.

Peter Kafka

What do you get when you cross Grand Theft Auto prank videos with smartphones?

The dominant entertainment app on portable devices.

YouTube commands 50 percent of entertainment consumed through smartphone and tablet applications, according to a new study from Flurry, a firm that analyzes how consumers interact with mobile applications.

“YouTube is definitely Google’s killer franchise on mobile,” said Flurry President and Chief Executive Officer Simon Khalaf. “There are a lot of people saying YouTube is the best acquisition Google ever made.”

Facebook (including its $1 billion baby, Instagram) similarly dominates in social networking and messaging apps on mobile devices, Flurry found. Such applications account for 28 percent of the time users spend on their smartphones and tablets — second only to gaming apps, such as the addictive Candy Crush, which represent nearly one third of all time spent on portable devices.

Despite the commanding mobile presence of Google and Facebook, Flurry notes that the market is still evolving; apps such as Pinterest, Snapchat, Spotify, WhatsApp (which was acquired in February by Facebook for $19 billion) and Waze (a $1.1 billion Google purchase) have gained wide adoption.

Overall, the amount of time people spend gazing into the screens of their mobile devices continues to rise.

The typical U.S. consumer devotes two hours and 42 minutes a day to their smartphones or tablets, up four minutes from March 2013. Apps have eclipsed the mobile Web, accounting for 86 percent of the average mobile consumer’s time.

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