The Mobile Apps Americans Can’t Live Without

Sometimes it feels like our phones are another appendage dangling at the end of our hands. Without them, we don’t feel complete. It’s been reported that 29 percent of smartphone users say they can’t live without their phones—which seems like a crazy amount—but I have to include myself in that number. The other day, I lost my phone in my house somewhere and all of a sudden didn’t know how to get to a local business I pass on my daily route to work. I went braindead, and started second guessing every turn I made. 

Not only do users say they can’t live without their phones, there are specific applications they can’t live without, and we’ve found the top ten. How frequently do you use them?

1. Facebook

Facebook has continued to grow every year since it launched in 2004, in both active users and time spent on the platform. It’s still the most used social platform with nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users, and the fastest growing demographic is users over age 65. Only 10 percent of users live in the United States or Canada but they make up 48 percent of the channel’s revenue. 

2. Instagram

Instagram turns a big 10 years old in 2020 and it’s safe to say the social networking app has changed many lives during its existence. The visual-centric platform that began as a photo-posting app has grown into a source of income for creators and a new sales channel for businesses. In 2019, the percentage of U.S. adults who use Instagram rose from 35 percent to 37 percent and the active reported users have held steady around one billion people—with more than half of users under the age of 34. The 18-24 year old age group is the largest demographic. Overall, there’s a mostly even split between the genders with 51 percent female and 49 percent male.

3. Gmail

Gmail, Google’s email service, was started by Paul Buchheit, a Google developer who developed the idea of a web-based mail service in 1990, even before the launch of Hotmail. It was released to the public on April 1, 2004, and the first Gmail account was created the same day. With its massive user-base of more than two billion people, users send  300 billion-plus emails using Gmail every day.

4. YouTube

YouTube isn’t just the go-to destination for video content; it’s also the second most visited website after Google. Though you may think 15 years is a long enough time to see this kind of success, the platform was already seeing rapid growth just one year after its launch in 2005. By July 2006, it was accounting for 60 percent of all online video views. YouTube is the perfect platform for reaching teenage and young adult audiences, as 81 percent of U.S. internet users aged between 15 and 25 are using the platform.

5. Twitter

Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service that currently has 330 million monthly users and 145 million daily users. Sixty-three percent of United States users are between the ages of 35-65 while the median age is 40 years old. 

6. Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows and has blown up in the past twelve years. In September 2020, the Google Chrome browser was the leader in the mobile internet browser market, with a share of 64.65 percent. In March 2020, Chrome users accessed an average website on mobile devices 74.3 percent of the time, but that varies from country to country if you were to dig deeper.

7. Google Maps

Due to the fact that Google Maps is highly regarded as one of the most useful apps in the world, thousands of downloads are made every day. This Google product appears to be used just as much as Google’s search engine and, for a long time now, Maps stats have counted millions of active monthly users across the product’s entire platform. Google Maps provides about 621,371,192 miles of alternative routes daily. 

8. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a mobile messaging application founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum. Their aim was to provide users with an alternative to traditional text messaging, SMS. Currently there are more than two billion users across the globe. In February 2020 alone, it was downloaded 96 million times. India is by far the country with the most users (400 million), while two million users are located in China. 

9. Amazon

The year was 1994 when Bezos quit his job and launched Amazon out of his garage. In 1995, the first item was ordered online on Amazon—a book. Within 30 days, it was generating $20,000 a week in sales. Amazon’s share of the United States’ e-commerce market is 45 percent and rising. Millennials outpace baby boomers by a ratio of two to one for using Amazon as a shopping tool. To really blow your mind, think about this: Each second, Amazon earns $4,722. Each minute, those sales amount to $283,000. And in an hour, that averages more than $17 million.

10. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger (or just Messenger) is a messaging app, initially introduced in 2008 as Facebook Chat. For anyone on Facebook, using the Messenger app becomes inevitable and natural. This shows up in the numbers as well. While there are 2.45 billion Facebook users, there are 1.3 billion Messenger users. Currently, in the United States, 25-34 year olds accounted for 25 percent of Facebook Messenger users. Be warned; there are more than 300,000 active bots on Messenger too.


While you may use some of these for your business, if you’ve not considered all of them, you could be missing important web traffic. Let our dedicated marketing team help your business thrive!

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Sam Bergmann

Sam Bergmann is a digital content writer with five years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.