Facebook and Whatsapp. Attempting to recapture mobile usage dominance

By Sten Franke
In April 3, 2014

We are all guilty of it at some point during the week. Wake up, check our mobile devices, see who liked our Facebook posts, check Instagram to see what people are having for breakfast, and reply back to any Whatsapp messages we received through the night. This whole process can take only 5 minutes to quickly complete. These apps mentioned are now all owned by Facebook.

The average US user spends 2 hours and 42 minutes on their mobile devices daily, up 4 minutes from march of 2013. In a recent study conducted by Flurry, it goes into great detail breaking down the time spent on various applications during the 2 hours and 42 minute average mobile usage time. Gaming applications took the lead with 32% of mobile time spent, in second place is Facebook with 17%. Not bad considering the next place applications are social messaging services at 9.5% which include many various messaging apps combined. A deeper look however sees Facebook slight decrease from 2013 with 18%, to January through March at 17%. A one percent drop off may not seem like anything groundbreaking, but as facebook acquired Instagram 2 years ago in April for 1 Billion dollars, to see a decline in usage after bringing in the wildly popular, and succesfull image sharing application is something Facebok must have been clearly aware of for some time now. With this knowledge in hand, It leads directly into the next big acquisition Whatsapp for 16 Billion, and another 3 Billion for employee retention.

There is no doubt bringing in Whatsapp, boasting an enormous user base of over 450 Million and steadily growing daily, will help maintain if not increase its overall time spent per day with mobile consumers. Overall, social apps usage grew from 24% to 28% from 2013 to so far 2014. Whatsapp has a large role in this increase over the 2013 year, and now under the facebook banner, will surely be well worth the 16 Billion record price tag that Facebook placed on it.

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Facebook is constantly looking to evolve in the mobile market, which Mark Zuckerberg made clear in a statement after the recent acquisition of Oculus: “We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences”. Facebook may have taken its first initial setback in the mobile industry, but for every step back it intends to take two steps forward. Unlike its social network predecessors and competitors, Facebook has shown it knows how to adapt at the right times, to remain at the peak of relevance, it will be exciting to see what the rest of the year holds for them.

Do you think these recent acquisitions will ultimately keep Facebook above or below the 17% mobile usage share, and why? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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