If you use apps on your iPhone, chances are that your attention is owned by Facebook.
As of Monday, the social network giant owns the four most popular free apps in the App Store: Messenger, Instagram’s newly released Boomerang app, the main Facebook app, and Instagram proper.
At least a couple of Facebook’s apps — usually the main app and Instagram — always hover near the top of the charts. But Boomerang’s success is a testament to Facebook’s ability to make apps that attract people in droves.
It’s particularly impressive to see Boomerang so high up on the chart, considering the only thing it does is create super-short animated GIFs.
A recent study from comScore found that half of the time someone spends on their smartphone is dedicated to one app, and 48% of people choose Facebook to be that app.
Messenger has only existed for about a year and a half, but it’s already used by over 700 million people worldwide on both iOS and Android. Last year, Facebook began to force people who wanted to send messages from their mobile devices to download the standalone app, which certainly is a major factor in its high usage figures.
But the app does more than just texting: It lets users send money, make video and phone calls over the internet, and send stickers and animated GIFs with ease. It will soon let you interact with “M,” a virtual assistant that will be able to do anything from order a pair of shoes to call your cable company for you.
Not all of Facebook’s apps have been home runs. A handful of apps designed by the largest social network in the world have had splashy launches, but faded into obscurity. These include Slingshot, Riff and Poke — the latter of which tried to take on Snapchat and failed miserably.
But overall, Facebook is crushing the app game right now. It may not literally own your phone, but it owns the apps you use most.
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