Messengers, Movies & Music

I was looking at comScore’s list of the top mobile apps in the US for “time spent” recently.

Here’s the list (#14 was apparently an error so I left it off):

top 13

rest of the 25

It’s all about messengers, movies, and music. I am being somewhat inaccurate in the choice of the word movies. I should use the word video. But I like the alliteration of the M words so I’ll stick with the word movies for this post.

Movies and music make a lot of sense. I often hit the play button in the SoundCloud app and two hours later I’m still listening. And I know my kids can binge on Netflix shows for hours at a time.

But messengers is interesting. Sending a message in Kik or Whatsapp or iMessage takes almost no time. Replying to one is the same. So for messaging apps to be so well represented in this list means that we are going in and out of them so frequently that these little bits of time add up to a lot of time. Google search is in there for the same reason.

The category I’m a bit surprised to see pulling up the rear is games. I would think games would be right up near the top with messengers, movies, and music. This list is for the month of August 2015 so its not the volatility of games (a hit business if there ever were one) that causes them to be poorly represented. It’s the fact that on mobile devices in the US, we seem to like talking, listening, and watching more than playing.

I find that interesting.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    FB minutes # is so crazy.

    1. Cam MacRae

      Imagine that time was spent even fractionally productive. Then again, it has probably replaced TV, so no foul.

      1. Jess Bachman

        I’d say TV is is mostly about the destruction of time, where as FB is the destruction of self… and time apparently. So, foul indeed.

        1. jason wright

          and the irony is that it seems to be about the construction of a self. it’s twisted.

          1. Jess Bachman

            Everything is about the construction of a self, that is unavoidable. FB is a a very caustic environment to do that, hence the destruction.

        2. Cam MacRae

          Are you on Fb?

          1. Jess Bachman

            I sure am! It’s the only way to stay in touch with the people I can’t be bothered to stay in touch with.

        3. Richard

          Interesting hypothethis. Do most people walk away from FB feeling better or worse about themselves?

      2. awaldstein

        yup the new tv.except that for many communities, especially the global wine one, facebook even more than instagram is the platform. for content as well.noticable usage uptick as they fixed their commenting system. still sucky but works and is good enough.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Or, be on FB, TWTR and watch TV all at the same time.

          1. RichardF

            and if you are in the UK be on Betfair whilst watching the rugby whilst it is in play!

          2. pointsnfigures

            Great World Cup going on!! I am distracted by MLB.

          3. Cam MacRae

            Is your betting finger primed for Saturday?

          4. RichardF

            Sorry Cam I only just saw this, disqus email fail! It wasn’t primed because it was too busy holding a pint of beer! Good game though

          5. Cam MacRae

            Yeah… shame about the final, but the All Blacks never looked like bowing out of this one!

          6. RichardF

            No the best team won, unfortunately!

      3. Richard

        Seems like a cry for help.

        1. Cam MacRae

          Not on my behalf; I’ve never had an FB account.

    2. William Mougayar

      Look at my chart. 23 hours / month average, is spent on Facebook.

      1. awaldstein

        astounding actually.

        1. Chimpwithcans

          wow….a day per month….average! how much commerce goes on in the FB platform? Any idea?

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Don’t know numbers but I did read a few times recently that it seems to be big / growing. One such read could have been on – Ben Thompson’s site, which Fred mentioned here a few posts ago.

    3. pointsnfigures

      They also own Instagram.

  2. jason wright

    “% of Minutes” column – what?

    1. LIAD

      true. doesn’t tally

      1. jason wright

        more than 25 in the complete list?

        1. LIAD

          ‘loooooong tail’

          1. jason wright

            yeah, a super l0000000000000ng tail of zero point obscurity.

  3. Matt Zagaja

    During the Democratic Presidential debate the other night I had three messengers going to chat with six other people about the event as it occurred. iMessage is far and away the best experience on iPhone but Facebook is pretty good too.I think games are a tougher market to crack. The people that get into them love them, but lots of people I know are not interested in playing games on their phones. Also you are not going to get into a game or Netflix during the workday or in the middle of something else, but messaging seems like it’s ok to do. Especially now that it’s on my Apple watch when I get a message and don’t have time to respond I can quickly send a canned message and/or thumbs up with a single button press.

    1. LE

      Re: Debate. Was more fun than the republican two (2).If I said “which candidate looks like a relative of Uncle Fester, Chris Matthews and Ed Koch” who would I be talking about?Three of the candidates of course (you know which three) are non starters. Simply because they are not effective communicators. And have no excitement and ability to connect or make you want to hear what they have to say. No powers of persuasion. No LBJ. No JFK. No Obama. Not even Carter.The one candidate (male) that can connect does such a good job at it I almost like him despite despising what he stands for and what he would do. He has the “it” factor that allows him to persuade and convince the masses.

  4. jason wright

    so production verses consumption?

  5. jason wright

    where is Whatsapp?

    1. LIAD

      maybe not a hit in US

      1. jason wright

        Kik is up there at 20, and i’ve tried both, and Whatsapp wins for me. Then again, i’m not in the US and so perhaps you’re right.

        1. Cam MacRae

          Ghost town here too. WhatsApp is where it is.

      2. Lawrence Brass

        And absolutely dominant in other places, like in south america where “to whatsapp” is a verb synonym of “to text”. Will reach 1BN users worlwide during 2016.. and it seems Zuck knew that.

        1. LIAD

          same in UK.

          1. Chimpwithcans

            same in SA…amazing it is not the same in USA. So big in SA it is causing the telcos to do this:

          2. Lawrence Brass

            One answer I got once about why they don’t use whatsapp in the US is that SMS texting is not metered and essentially free, at least from the customer point of view. So it made no sense for people to switch from their current messaging apps, imessage on iOS or the messaging app in Android. On the contrary, in other countries where SMS messaging is commoditized by the local telcos, you are charged extra if you exceed a message count quota or charged if you are on prepaid. So, by making the switch, people actually “saved” money. Instant gratification. Another very important factor was that whatsapp was available for almost all mobile platforms, so people who owned cheap phones could use it as well. Once the critical user mass was achieved, it was a landslide.This is a very simplistic analysis, I don’t know if other factors should be taken into account. Would love to know if this is a valid explanation for the UK and SA.

          3. Chimpwithcans

            I think you’re right on the money with the charge per SMS – i didn’t realise this was not the case in USA. In SA, Whatsapp I think is seen to add significant value over SMS as it is free (over wifi), includes all forms of media, and has an easy to use group function. SMS on the other hand is largely just text, is very susceptible to spam here in SA, and is expensive. I think the on-boarding process with Whatsapp is also very slick – once you open it up for the first time, you suddenly find your contacts organised, ready to talk, with a little avatar etc. All round great chat product. I get the feeling it is a benchmark for FB to reach with FB messenger, and then exceed with added functionality. We shall see. 🙂

          4. Lawrence Brass

            Just saw the reply. Yes indeed, the on-boarding experience is a powerful factor. FB owns both, curious about if they will make them compete or merge.

    2. fredwilson

      I don’t know anyone who uses whatsapp in the US

      1. jason wright

        i’m super surprised. i don’t understand that at all.

        1. kidmercury

          it’s big with immigrants. if you’re an immigrant to the US and have people back in your mother country you want to connect to, very high chance you’ll be using whatsapp.

          1. jason wright

            and what are the natives using?

          2. kidmercury

            the apps featured in fred’s post — fb and fb-owned assets clearly getting a lot of airplay

        2. JamesHRH

          kik was here before WhatApp could crack NA.Its a lot easier to fill an open position in a market than to get people to change.There’s a reason Coke & Pepsi fought so hard for HS & University footprints……

      2. Nelson Bostrom

        I’m San Francisco based, non-immigrant. My family extended uses what’sapp 24-7 to share pictures, plan events, say hi, etc… My childhood friends use it all the time. I think it’s huge in the Bay Area…

      3. scottythebody

        That really surprises me. Here in Europe and as I travel around the world, Whatsapp is the dominant one. *Everybody* uses Whatsapp here. Saw a guy using it on his Blackberry just last night.

      4. David Barnes

        I have colleagues in Mumbai who are convinced Facebook Messenger is a failure that will go nowhere and the whole world uses WhatsApp.And here in the UK nobody uses Pandora, and I assumed it was a has-been not the number 2 US app.It’s funny how much our local experience skews our view and behaviour even in a connected world.

      5. Daniel Taibleson

        haha just replied to a comment about this above. We don’t use it here. I’ve been using Facebook for messaging since I was 15 (2004). FB, Snapchat, and iMessenger don’t leave any room for whatsapp adoption in the US.

  6. Lawrence Brass

    Is the web browser considered on other category or missing in the list? .. or below 25? (beer foam moustache)

    1. Wyatt Brown

      I think it is missing because (according to some data), mobile browser session times have declined to single digit %/time/day. This short URL goes to a brutal Forbes accounting:, Fred recently wrote about mobile browsers being a strong “top-of-funnel” for other native apps, and in many developing markets, mobile browsers still dominate:

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Yes, that was a nice post. Just reread it under the light of these stats, and just keep missing the minutes spent on the browser app.cheers

  7. Jess Bachman

    Games on mobile are a different beast than games on other platforms. I routinely see people with over a thousand hours on certain games in Steam. I can’t even imagine whats going on there….

    1. Stephen Voris

      A couple hours a weekday, a couple more on weekends – cheaper than the movies – after a couple of years it adds up.By comparison – standard 8-hour workday, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year gets you 2000 hours. So a thousand hours isn’t that extraordinary if a game becomes part of a daily routine (read: casual games, MMOs, procedurally generated content). Entirely possible it replaces TV as entertainment for some people.

  8. LIAD

    Extrapolating per unique user per day …Google Searches (20 secs avg query):19 – (seems about right)Songs (3mins avg time)Pandora: 16Spotify: 5Watching time (mins):Netflix: 11.2Youtube: 10.8Pulling hair out due to frustrating UI (mins):Snapchat: 246Yahoo Mail: 589

    1. fredwilson

      You’ve mastered this media

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Screen jumping around from too many JavaScript programmers on funny stuff — barbed wire enema (@JLM), unanesthetized upper molar root canal procedure, black hole of wasted time and effort.

    3. Harry DeMott

      I think people tune into Pandora to listen to music – whereas I think more and more people link off to Spotify when someone send them a link – listen to the song then go. Being your own DJ is a hard proposition.discovery is a problem for SpotifyThe numbers for Netflix stump me – as there is nothing on there to watch in 11 minutes – lots of false starts. Vevo would be an interesting number to see – I suspect it is like Spotify.

  9. Jan Schultink

    I suspect that gaming time is fragmented over many apps

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. That’s a great point

  10. William Mougayar

    I took the Social/Messenging ones and divided the number of minutes by users to obtain the # of minutes spent per month per user, then converted to hours. Here’s what we get. Facebook users spend close to 23 hours per month on it, and it drops down from there. Interestingly, Kik is #4 at 5 hours, and Twitter is #8 at 2.6 hours. I’d work on that number if I was Twitter.

    1. fredwilson

      They are

      1. William Mougayar


      2. Cam MacRae

        Did you catch Umair’s riff today? Worth 5 minutes even if only to discover you disagree.

        1. LE

          Would be helpful if you could provide a link so I can waste 5 minutes on that as well.

          1. William Mougayar

            If it’s on Twitter, you’d be helping their numbers to go up 🙂

          2. jason wright

            so financial markets make money and tech is just its latest proxy?

          3. Cam MacRae

            You tell me.

          4. LE

            Thanks. But on this Umair article what a mistake that he is publishing on medium and doesn’t even link to that off his main site. And on the medium article he doesn’t even put his full name. So it’s up to a reader (who doesn’t know him) to guess that he might be umair haque at umairhaque.comIf I used twitter I would tweet him about this.#nottherightwaytobuildyourpersonalbrand

        2. JamesHRH

          What is interesting about Umair’s post – not that it is true or that he is willing to use such a horrible link bait title – but that his ‘the web = abuse’ theme is so widely accepted.

          1. Cam MacRae

            It’s widely accepted because it is broadly true (of the social web), save for a few civility holdouts such as this place and hacker news. There is a reason that “do not read the comments” has entered the common vernacular.

    2. Richard

      If this survey were taken this week in toronto, i would expect mlb to be right up there. #hugewin

      1. William Mougayar

        word. 1 word: JOSE

      2. William Mougayar

        Stats released by Twitter Canada :42,000 tweets w blue Jays 9,000 1 minute after the home run

      3. JamesHRH


    3. JamesHRH

      What is most amazing is that FB owns 33 hours a month and the next 5 have < 20.

    4. PhilipSugar

      What shocks me is the Facebook Apps are at 33.3 hours. The next 5 combined are 19.9 hours. That is 67% more than the next 5 combined.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup. Good other way of seeing it.

  11. Mr. Monstro

    Actually the top 20 apps only account for ~40% of time spent. Gaming will be large part of the 60% – just more fragmented across a wide range of apps so it doesn’t show up in the top as a single app.

    1. fredwilson

      Great point. That’s totally right

    2. Nigel Sharp

      I think you’ve cracked it, and couldn’t say it better. As with any statistics, they are only representative in the wider context. I think it’s a testament to just how much time we spend on our phones, I wish it could have also listed the amount of time doing regular cell calls and SMS.. just to see…

    3. jason wright

      every game has a unique modality, and so no one producer can build a dominant market position.messengers serve a market of users with a shared syntax. why Whatsapp isn’t big in the US still puzzles me.

      1. Daniel Taibleson

        What does Whatsapp do that Facebook messenger can’t? Snapchat can’t? There’s your answer…Please, If I’m missing something, enlighten me. The only time I used Whatsapp was when I met a girl from the UK at a festival and wanted to keep in touch with her. Otherwise, I’ve had facebook since I was 14 and all my messaging has been on that platform (and now imessage).

    4. lindsayrgwatt

      Agreed.Not sure about survey methodology, but I bet that time spent can be more than 100% of waking hours if some of these apps run in the background while I’m using another app. x % of total mobile minutes is not the same as x % of my attention.

    5. PhilipSugar

      Yes but facebook counts for more than half of that.

  12. LIAD

    Re: Time spent.back in 2007-8 my causal games platform was going gangbusters. tens of millions games per month, time spent OFF THE CHARTS!Got an email about the 1st Annual Crunchies Awards. Suggested we apply for top ‘Time Sink’ category.Hit home. Time Sink! We are killing ourselves to build a product which optimises the amount of time people can sink! I am leading a company whose key metric was time spent, aka time sunk, aka time wasted.Felt responsible for millions of ‘man-minutes’ in aggregate ‘sunk’ each month. Put me on a downer. Big-time.Providing ‘entertainment’ is all well and good, arguably a ‘noble pursuit’, but casual games, where the goal is to turn players effectively into button-clicking-zombies not so much – for me anyway.’luckily’ crisis of conscience was superseded by credit crunch/lehman bro meltdown – left me with a bunch of larger existential issues to contend with.not all ‘time spent’ is equal.

    1. LE

      We are killing ourselves to build a product which optimises the amount of time people can sink!Agree. Fall of the Roman Empire. Rome burns while Nero fiddles.The worst cases are things that are addictive and put people in a zone that they can’t easily get out of. I actually don’t consider movies in this category. Reason is not all movies are good and movies aren’t the same day to day. And the quality varies even within the movie. Most aren’t good enough that you can’t stop them if you need to. So there is the kickback and boredom of a bad movie or scene within a movie to knock you out of the pattern and addiction. Even porn has a natural “stop” mechanism built in…

      1. sigmaalgebra

        No, the reason movies are not very addictive is that they are not interactive so that once see a movie a few times can’t get anymore from seeing it again. But with something interactive, e.g., a slot machine, keep trying and occasionally get something do want, not very much, still want more, so keep trying. So, there’s always a chance for more — with movies, much less.

        1. LE

          is that they are not interactive so that once see a movie a few times can’t get anymore from seeing it again.Agree in part deny in part (as they say in legal proceedings).Yes a movie is not interactive.However of course you get more out of the movie the more you watch it. “The Godfather” is a perfect example of that. Sure you wouldn’t watch it every day, but if you watch it multiple times you enjoy it more and more because you can follow the story line better and can notice nuances in characters. (Same as commenters on AVC, pattern recognition..)And with TV shows, as you get to know the characters by watching more episodes you do get more out of it. As anyone who has watched, say Dexter, or even a “stupid” sitcom (I don’t watch those) could tell you.But with something interactive, e.g., a slot machine, keep trying and occasionally get something do wantYes, works on the rat brain for sure.I think this is better stated as “a reason movies are not very addictive is that they are not intermittently reinforcing”.Ok so here is one for you. Why do you think that people who comment comment at AVC or elsewhere? What is the base principle going on. (It’s not primarily intermittent reinforcement if it was I would have stopped commenting a long time ago.)

          1. sigmaalgebra

            However of course you get more out of the movie the more you watch it. Sure.”The Godfather” is a perfect example of that. There’s a lot in that movie. I’ve long marveled at how the heck Francis Ford Coppola saw and understood so much about people, the US, etc. I can’t believe that most of that understanding was from the book.I have a DVD copy that doesn’t wear out quickly but have watched it often enough nearly to wear it out!Some of the interactions are terrific, e.g., the path of the brother in law on the way to his plane ride to Vegas, with Woltz, with Sollozzo, and much more.I’m down to making conjectures on various fine details, e.g., why Sollozzo, “good with a knife”, was so angry with Corleone for saying “No” to funding the drug project. E.g., just go ahead and do the deal with someone else, e.g., Barzini; why start a war over it?Okay, but since Corleone had all the “judges and politicians in his pocket”, Sollozzo was afraid that he would not be able to get protection.?From such questions, I’ve run out of what more I can easily get from the movie. So, I don’t watch it anymore. And with TV shows, as you get to know the characters by watching more episodes you do get more out of it. About a TV series, can get interested in, identify with, the characters, with that interest continuing from one episode to another, e.g., as in the classic Saturday movie with cliff hangers to get people to watch again. For the TV series, each episode had the advantages of (1) being new and (2) with the hook from the cliff hanger, identification with the characters, etc. Yes, works on the rat brain for sure. Gee, since here today we’re talking new media for 2+ billion Internet users, where so far Facebook is the winner, if it works for a “rat brain”, then what else do we need to know! :-)! I think this is better stated as “a reason movies are not very addictive is that they are not intermittently reinforcing”. Well, instead of “intermittently”, how about incrementally or continually>? Ok so here is one for you. Why do you think that people who comment at AVC or elsewhere? What is the base principle going on. (It’s not primarily intermittent reinforcement if it was I would have stopped commenting a long time ago.) There’s more than one reason. Some of the reasons:(1) Publicity.(2) Image (for a public person).(3) Advertising.(4) Feedback.Getting feedback on ideas and writing, getting practice on interactions, e.g., as in Oh the give to give us to see ourselves as others see us. (5) Intellectual Competition.(6) Learn about Business, etc.If discuss, might learn more.(7) Look for Romantic Relationships.Poor chances at AVC!(8) Learn about Others.E.g., can get some educational and informative examples of approaches to interactions, publicity, public image, intellectual competition, etc. as pursued by others.(9) Appraisal of OthersSee what others know or don’t know and, thus, appraise them.(10) Membership in Groups.Like David Letterman, I’ll stop with 10!My guess is that (10) is the most important, and here are two confirmations:First, once again, AVC readers, there is E. Fromm, The Art of Loving, with, abridged, paraphrased For humans, the fundamental problem in life is doing something effective about feeling alone.Only four solutions have been found. (A) a good romantic relationship, (B) love of God, (C) membership in groups, and (D) NSFW. So, Fromm has (C) for (10).So, also for (C), something like AVC is sometimes called a community.Second for (10),…there isIndur M. Goklany, CARBON DIOXIDE: The good news, With a foreword by Freeman Dyson.Uh, to heck with Goklany — all the stuff about CO2 warming the planet and changing the climate is just a flim-flam, fraud, anyway. That Goklany tries to explain the fraud is just straining to explain the totally obvious, or, as science, by now the predictions of the alarmists were wildly off from what happened so that, in science, we just toss their sewage in the round, wet file and pull the chain. Sorry ’bout that. Tough work, science!Instead, just pay attention to Dyson!In short, for (10), Dyson emphasizes how people want to fit into groups. E.g., in NYC want to be a Democrat! At AVC, want to fit in with the majority. Want to fit in. As in Fromm’s (C), want to join a group. Want to do this to do something effective about Fromm’s feeling alone. More generally, with the rest of the Fromm piece I didn’t quote, want to do something about the anxiety from our realization, as humans, that alone we are vulnerable to the hostile forces of nature and society. So, we don’t want to be alone, want to be a member of a (strong) group, want to fit in.In explanation, Dyson goes back and talks about tribes and more of human history.While below I quote some of what Dyson wrote, definitely read the whole thing. It will definitely be on the test! … we see a community of people happily united in a false belief that brought leaders and followers together. Anyone who questioned the prevailing belief would upset the peace of the community.Real advances in science require a different cultural tradition, with individuals who invent new tools to explore nature and are not afraid to question authority. Science driven by rebels and heretics searching for truth has made great progress in the last three centuries. But the new culture of scientific scepticism is a recent growth and has not yet penetrated deeply into our thinking. The old culture of group loyalty and dogmatic belief is still alive under the surface, guiding the thoughts of scientists as well as the opinions of ordinary citizens.To understand human behavior, I look at human evolution. About a hundred thousand years ago, our species invented a new kind of evolution. In addition to biological evolution based on genetic changes, we began a cultural evolution based on social and intellectual changes. Biological evolution did not stop, but cultural evolution was much faster and quickly became dominant. Social customs and beliefs change and spread much more rapidly than genes.Cultural evolution was enabled by spoken languages and tribal loyalties. Tribe competed with tribe and culture with culture. The cultures that prevailed were those that promoted tribal cohesion. Humans were always social animals, and culture made us even more social. We evolved to feel at home in a group that thinks alike. It was more important for a group of humans to be united than to be right. It was always dangerous and usually undesirable to question authority. When authority was seriously threatened, heretics were burned at the stake.I am suggesting that the thinking of politicians and scientists about controversial issues today is still tribal. Ah, “rebels and heretics searching for truth” upsetting the community, not fitting in, etc.! Seditious! “Sacred cows make the best hamburger”!Read the whole thing.Ah, now at…there is: 100 free Paramount movies at YouTube.The Paramount Vault So, watch Elephant Walk and see Elizabeth Taylor, drop dead gorgeous, in basically a horror story where she is, spoiler, a faithful, strong woman and helps save her quite sick husband from a terrible curse from the past.Ah, the girl 12-13 I dated when I was 14-15 was prettier! Of course she was prettier: She was the prettiest human female I ever saw in person or otherwise.Also watch The Devil and Miss Jones where see what a total 100%, over the top, real all-American sweetheart was like! Definitely already gone with the wind or never even really happened except in dreams, like movies are made of!Good movies are at least good story telling, and Coppola, Cameron, Lucas, and Spielberg were not nearly the first good storytellers! And movie music? Williams is terrific, but so were Max Steiner, Erich Korngold, and Franz Waxman.Back to work: Yesterday wasted a lot of time working with about 100 still images with about 40 of them duplicates but at different resolutions. Bummer. Saw how to write some software to automate getting rid of the duplicates but was up to near dawn doing that. Still need to get back to work, e.g., loading data on those still images and many more and much more into my database.The still images were fromhttps://www.washingtonpost….Here are 10 of them:http://www.washingtonpost.chttps://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….https://img.washingtonpost….

          2. LE

            Add to list of “why comment on AVC”- Debate practice (whether or not it’s needed)- Need to feel smart (comes from lack of parental approval)- Good writing practice- Good selling practice- Creative compulsion (feel impulse to say something)- Wanting to teach others not even for their benefit but because it feels good to do so. Nobody seriously believe that even the Pope or Mother Theresa doesn’t get a rise out of being in that power position.What is equally interesting is why people don’t comment (I’ve often wondered if disqus did research on this).Reasons include but not limited to:- Lack of self confidence- Lack of knowledge or experience about what is being discussed or even to fork a conversation- Lack of a good keyboard or typing skills.- Fear of rejection … actually giving a shit what people think.- Lack of compulsion to say something (nothing strikes the creative bone enough)- Fear of adequate writing skills

    2. Simone

      Really appreciate the honesty. Then, as you concluded – there are ‘a bunch of larger existential issues to contend with’.In any case, what you are describing is (product) success, don’t minimise it.

    3. Stephen Voris

      At their worst, games are more addictive and nearly as mind-numbing as TV; at their best, games are as engaging as books and an outlet for creativity (read: place to practice such). But then, I’ve my own biases on games and TV.

      1. LIAD

        Spent much time trying to rationalise. Games help hand eye coordination. Assist mental agility. Improve reaction times etc etc.But. Meh.

        1. Jess Bachman

          They are also….. Fun.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        No, interactive where the user does something, is more involved, gets a little of what they want but keeps trying for more, is more engaging, addictive! It’s an old story that goes back to the early days of computer games, computer time sharing, slot machines, roulette tables, carnival games, etc. Humans don’t change very fast!

        1. Stephen Voris

          When it comes to the mixing of choice and chance, gambling far predates gaming of the electronic variety, agreed. Probably predates books, for that matter; certainly predates the printing press.I see it less as changing and more as expanding to fill available (head)space.

    4. sigmaalgebra

      > button-clicking-zombies==> huge ad revenue and obscene profits, “the best kind”!Or, think a slot machine with some people standing there for hours, trying and trying, over and over, putting in money (clicking on a URL, pasting into an HTML text box), pulling on the lever (hitting Enter), getting back something, a little of what they want, but wanting more, trying again and again, with the revenue from CPM adding and adding. Did I mention, obscene profits?

  13. John A Arkansawyer

    I’m looking at the report now because I’m curious what #14 was and am unable to find the chart or the data it represents. “The 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report” or something else?

  14. awaldstein

    You’ve hit on something.There are endless apps for the hospitality and transportation industry for people in the field to report in and so the data is aggregated.Repsly is one I”m stuck using.They all suck.And all the people simply text stuff around which gets lost and is a mess.Seems like there is a market opportunity here.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Great point.

  15. laurie kalmanson

    the group text on my kid’s phone buzzes from the time she gets home from school until it gets turned off and it goes on past that

    1. LE

      That’s dangerous. I get group texts from my sister when she is texting my other sister and from my daughter(s) when they are texting my wife. I find it super interuptive and mostly annoying. I can’t even begin to imagine what happens when you have more than 2 other people on a text. At least if someone is texting you there is a limit because you are partly in control.

      1. laurie kalmanson

        yup. on school nights, it has a lot to do with homework questions, but not solely. it’s about 10 girls on the regular, and assorted others occasionally. on the weekends, it’s continuous. they never never ever talk on the phone.

        1. LE

          To me I think using others to help with homework is not a great idea.Here is why.In life you need to learn how to learn and learn how to figure things out on your own without using others as a crutch. The more you do this the more developed your brain will be.When I had my first business it was only me and I had nobody to ask or help me. Zip. So everything fell on my shoulders. I had to figure it out all w/o the help of anyone else. As a result I am really good at doing this in real time because I had that early practice. Decisions and mapping out strategy comes naturally. It’s second nature. In everything I do.I fear that with young people by using others they will avoid developing the part of their brain that allows them to figure things out on their own. That part of the brain is already lazy as a result of being able to view youtube videos or “how tos” ad infinitum. I never had that “back in the day” and you didn’t either. I had to spend hours hours and hours to learn about things. I know this sounds like old codger yearning for days of past but I feel very strongly that kids have to sit there and overcome adversity and learn on their own. More important than playing soccer or learning piano as well.The only things a kid should need help with are things that you can’t learn on your own (like piano, karate and maybe a tip here and there on other things.)

          1. Stephen Voris

            Mostly agreed – but I don’t think that’s confined to young people, nor for that matter to using other people as a “crutch”. GPS, and the apps built on top of it, largely replace map reading these days, for instance.Solve problems without other people, sure. But also solve problems without phone, computer, or pen and paper… and not all problems. Practice both with and without the force multipliers.

          2. laurie kalmanson

            totally different perspective here: they have an honor code, and my kid knows that i will ask to see things — they are collaborative and helpful. it’s the opposite of “what is the answer to question 2” — it’s “i need help with question 2” and it’s peer leadership and peer learning. i think it’s awesome

          3. LE

            they have an honor code, and my kid knows that i will ask to see thingsOh I wasn’t even thinking about that at all. I assumed all of that part of the process was kosher. it’s “i need help with question 2” and it’s peer leadership and peer learning.Yeah but that was my point. How much time have they spent prior to getting the the “i need help with question 2” phase? To me I just think that can be a disadvantage since it could become an easy way of avoiding spending the time to figure it out on your own.There is a computer guy that I rely on for things that I can’t figure out. I don’t go to him until I have exhausted all other possibilities. And have spent at least 20 minutes to several hours of my own time. And I am really busy I don’t have that kind of time. [1] But even then I have noticed that just the act of formulating an email to him and stating the problem and question I often get a spark that helps me answer the question. This has worked time and time again. So I often, after writing the email, end up putting at the top “I just solved this” and then tack on the question below (for any other insight or corrections he might have).Anyway, this is just my philosophy of course. I just hate to see mothers or fathers (like my wife) sitting there spending time with even lego robots and helping their kids when the idea is it’s supposed to be a learning experience for the kids not the parents.[1] Why do I do this? Because I want to keep my brain active and not get lazy and I enjoy doing and solving on my own. And I don’t want to have to rely on anyone else.

          4. laurie kalmanson

            you’ve described exactly the process of kids texting each other for help with homework — forming the question often does lead to the answer.

  16. LE

    The category I’m a bit surprised to see pulling up the rear is games. I would think games would be right up near the top with messengers, movies, and music. Well when what you see doesn’t match what you expect, it means examine the underlying methodology used to arrive at the data. Which you should be doing all of the time anyway if you need to rely on the data. (As opposed to others who just are looking for infotainment).My first question when seeing this list (with no expectations like you had) and being the cynic and skeptic is “how did they arrive at this data in the first place”.To wit, what I will call the “what you expect to see paradox” or maybe “the cook might kill his wife but not the rabbi”:…Gelman immediately published a three-sentence correction, declaring that everything in the paper’s crucial section should be considered wrong until proved otherwise.Reflecting today on how it happened, Gelman traces his error back to the natural fallibility of the human brain: “The results seemed perfectly reasonable,” he says. “Lots of times with these kinds of coding errors you get results that are just ridiculous. So you know something’s got to be wrong and you go back and search until you find the problem. If nothing seems wrong, it’s easier to miss it.”

  17. Rahul Parashar

    Shouldn’t you see minutes spent per user to reach to the conclusion that “we seem to like talking listening and watching more than playing.” Time spent per user on messenger is less than time spent per user on game clash of clans.

  18. Ro Gupta

    To add to your alliteration — I bet Maps would be more prominent if Comscore were able to break out usage from all the apps that are dependent on location (Weather, Yelp, Uber, Seamless, Luxe, Shyp, etc) vs just the Google Maps app itself.

    1. Ro Gupta

      Even more so if Comscore started counting cars as ‘mobile devices’ as companies like Apple are increasingly doing. HERE maps used in most in-car nav would be a big part. And of course music would be even bigger.

      1. Stephen Voris

        Well, cars are “mobile devices” by definition – movement’s the whole point of them, after all.

    2. fredwilson

      i love it. more Ms!!!

  19. pointsnfigures

    I remember an old post you did on 30/10/10: (… Wonder if that dynamic still holds for mobile apps? I am very surprised games aren’t higher as well. But, that would explain the Zynga stock price.

  20. Salt Shaker

    “Time spent” is a good engagement metric, but it doesn’t always shed the whole truth, particularly w/ respect to music apps where engagement can be a bit more passive. Talking and watching are activities that generally require a greater degree of attentiveness than listening to music, for example. Prime vs. day time television garners higher ratings and ad pricing, in part, cause it also delivers a more attentive audience.Not all “time spent” is equal.

    1. PhilipSugar

      Yes, this would be my point too. You see how much time people spend “watching” TV. Well the TV is on in my kitchen probably 12 hours a day. Actual time really watched??? I don’t know maybe 30 minutes.

      1. JamesHRH

        There is a huge generational / platform shift here.Personal devices change that dynamic – if its on, you are watching it.

  21. Tom Ribbons

    This data obviously is wrong. Games are not captured correctly as the don’t use the Internet/wifi so the minutes spent on them is not trackable. The appropriate metric would be the battery time used on the phone but that data is far from fetchable

  22. Richard

    Where are the podcast apps?

  23. Devrin Carlson-Smith

    Comscore measures 18+ so we think there is significantly more usage when you account for the 13-18yo not represented here.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a good point

    2. JamesHRH

      That’s a big deal for kik & SC.

  24. Salt Shaker

    Interestingly, although Fred’s chart only shows one month’s worth of comScore data, it does speak to Apple Music’s challenges post relaunch w/in a set of leading music apps (e.g., Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud)If you calculate the total minutes per UV the following unfolds:Pandora-1437 minutesSpotify/Soundcloud-633 minutes eachApple Music-83 minutesThe data suggests Apple Music has a fair amount of trier-rejectors, consistent w/ how the service has been portrayed in the media.

  25. Matt A. Myers

    Seeing a top list based on time actually engaged with an app would be more interesting to me, and much more revealing.

  26. Stephen Voris

    As noted elsewhere, games probably are at the top – but compared to movies, they’re fragmented over multiple apps: most gaming apps are, I suspect, for a single game, or for a very few from the same company – I doubt you’ll find any app devoted to a single movie or video (no matter how compelling that movie may be).On the other hand, game aggregators do exist on the not-so-mobile web, and those are doing pretty well as I understand it (not that I’ve looked up the statistics). I’m unaware of any mobile equivalent for those as yet.

  27. kevando

    Regarding your comment on messenger time, Google has a really great blog and calls these Micro-Moments.https://www.thinkwithgoogle

  28. PhilipSugar

    What shocks me is that Facebook has 22.4%. If I discount music (which I believe is passive) that is almost 10 times more than anybody else. That blows me away.

  29. Marcus Detry

    It would be interesting to see that broken out by age groups. I suspect that Snapchat traffic is 95% millennial, yet still makes the top 10.

  30. jason wright

    on the subject of mobiles and communicating, i like the sound of AT&T’s upcoming NumberSync service, one mobile number for several mobile devices. that could be most convenient, although i’m not in the US. never mind.

  31. Pete Griffiths

    @Fred : I’m interested to see that you appear to be lumping messaging in with social. You just see messaging as a subset of social? Do we know what % of messaging is ‘social’ rather than ‘functional?’ Is there no value in considering ‘social’ to be a distinctive category?

  32. benjamin z

    I haven’t read through all of the comments, so I dont know if anyone posted this already, but here is a fantastic article in Wired by David Rowan about FB Messenger that discusses why we spend so much time on messaging apps: understands this and is putting so much of its focus to messenger

  33. sigmaalgebra

    Good! Terrific! So:(1) Content.On the Internet, there’s a lot of content out there.(2) Important Content.In some respects, among the most important content is music, movies, video.Good! Terrific! Good to have good data on that.”Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow but soon and for the rest of your life” there will also be specialized blogs, long tail Web sites, i.e., call it specialized content or, what back to clay tables, monks writing books, and Gutenberg, personal or specialized, maybe evanescent, interests.Good. Wondered ’bout that!Sooooo, for Internet user Mary, how the heck to find content she will like for one of her evanescent interests?Sure, old ad targeting ideas involved user demographics, special interest magazines, etc.Sooooo, on the Internet, try that again? Sure: It stands to be much better ad targeting than, say, billboards on a highway.But on the Internet can do still better targeting from browsing history and third party cookies.Ad targeting? Okay (for now).But for giving Mary what she will like for one of her evanescent interests, i.e., getting Mary’s eyeballs so that we can show her ads, nope — far too crude, eye surgery with a fire ax.There’s so much Internet content that Mary often does keyword/phrase searches. These can work great and also help ad targeting. Might make a lot of money doing that!But, as the field of information retrieval has long understood, such a search to work mostly needs Mary to know (1) what content she wants, e.g., a transcript of the old movie Casablanca, (2) know that the content exists, (3) have some keywords/phrases that accurately characterize that content.Great. That works great when have (1)-(3). Google, Bing, Yahoo, something in Russia, something else in China and some billions of Internet users all agree that that works great and have deployed it.But, did we notice that there’s a lot of Internet content out there and, thus, content people want to find and content the want to get, and for some significant fraction (now, more later, pick your guesstimate) Mary doesn’t have all of (1)-(3)?Now, back to “music, movies”: Commonly, no doubt usually, (1)-(3) are missing. Sooooo, that’s part of why Pandora, Netflix don’t have some version of just search that needs (1)-(3) but has, call it, discovery, recommendation, curation, ….But please ask the age, income, education demographic, cookie crumb tracking ad targeting people to head for an early lunch as we solve Mary’s problem in finding content she will like for some evanescent, personal interest she has just now (e.g., that never showed up in her Web browsing, cookie crumb tracking history, etc.).So, from 100,000 feet up, for Mary we (A) get some input data, (B) manipulate it, (C) get output.And we do insist on protecting Mary’s privacy.Now, for (A) what data, and how do we get it? Not just cookie crumbs or Web browsing or usage history! And for (B) what the heck do we do with that data? And for (C), in what form, e.g., with what UI/IX, do we report the results to Mary? Then, sure, (D) what can we do really good that no one else can for some really good ad targeting for Mary?Well, then, the main issues are, let’s see, do we use Linux or Windows, do we use Objective C, Python, C, C++, C#, Lisp, Scheme, Haskell, F#? Hadoop, R, SAS, SPSS? Since that well covers all the very best stuff there is, it’s got to be one of those, obviously, right? I mean, ask nearly anyone on Hacker News or any techy in Silicon Valley! Right?Oh, we get out D. Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming, what is it now, seven volumes or some such? Or, Sedgwick, Algorithms. Or, of course, Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein, Introduction to Algorithms. Also known as CLRS. I mean, that’s some of the very best computer science there is? Right?Do we use artificial intelligence, singular value decomposition, factor analysis, regression analysis, the semantic web, semantic analysis, natural language processing, speech recognition, big data, cluster analysis, page rank, image processing, neural networks, un/supervised machine learning, the interest graph, support vector machines, categorical data analysis, maximum likelihood estimation with gradient descent, discriminate analysis, Fourier theory, convolutional neural networks and classification, logistic regression, classification and regression trees, random forests? Since that list well covers all the very best analytical stuff there is, it’s got to be one of those, obviously, right? I mean, ask nearly anyone — in computer science at Stanford, Berkeley, CMU, or MIT, on Hacker News, or any of the very best people in Silicon Valley? The best Silicon Valley venture partners with deep domain knowledge? Right?Nope!Gee, I remember when my wife and I were starting out and looking for an apartment with location good for her going to graduate school and my getting to my job, the agent at an apartment building assured us that “the best people” lived there! Wow! The “best people”? Sounded good!And before we start writing code, how do we know we’re making a good bet?”We dance ’round and suppose, while the secret sits in the middle and knows” or something like that?

  34. Nelson Bostrom

    It’s also weird to use a % of total time… when you use Pandora … you’re not staring at it … you’re able to use many other apps…. Sometimes I have pandora on while browsing the web or reading emails for an hour at a time…

  35. csertoglu

    I think messengers will start competing with the OSs as the starting point for searches and discovery on devices. A prompt line, essentially. Whether you do it in the spotlight search box, or whatsapp or fb messenger will depend on how quickly the broad APIs become available.

  36. Davis Seidel

    candy crash APPS is growing a new App in the IT field!

  37. Quin Mene

    i find that intersting

  38. He Zhang

    Great article! I couldn’t find the source url of your ranking list from comScore, could you give the link ?Br, He ZhangMy website:

  39. sigmaalgebra

    She’s still on dairy, red meat, GMOs, and non-organics? Or never was on those?!! And what about the really crucial number, her carbon footprint?