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That puts Facebook firmly in the lead in the mobile space, but its share of time spent is down from 18% a year earlier, according to Flurry. At the same time, the amount of time spent on social apps in general ticked up year-over year from 24% to 28%, suggesting users are spending more time in other social apps.
That may be part of the reason why the Facebook opted to acquire WhatsApp, the most popular messaging application, for $16 billion, with another $3 billion kicked in for employee retention.
“While the social segment grew, driven mainly by messaging applications, Facebook was able to maintain its position with the help of Instagram,” the researcher notes in the report. “That position will be even more cemented, if not increased, by the reach and time-spent inside WhatsApp.”
Facebook is also developing more standalone apps with the goal of catering to more specific use cases, which could help the company maintain or boost engagement as well.