Facebook overtakes Google to claim No. 1 US mobile app spot

Social network wins tight race

Facebook app

It was a hard fought battle all year long, but when the final tally was taken, only one mobile app would stand taller than the rest.

According to the latest data from comScore, the Facebook app was 2012's most downloaded in the U.S., narrowly edging out Google Maps for the top spot.

Based on the number of downloads both apps received, the race was neck-and-neck for most of the year, with Facebook managing to pull ahead in the final three months.

It didn't have anything to do with any performance enhancing stimulants though, as Facebook's turn of luck neatly coincided with Google Maps being dropped from iOS 6.

Don't call it a comeback

As soon as Apple cut ties with Google Maps, Facebook skyrocketed to the top of the download charts, and easily surpassed Google Maps for the next three months.

However, even though Facebook ended the year with 85,574 downloads to Google Maps' 74,631, the battle between the rivals is far from over.

Google Maps saw its downloads increase during the final month of 2012, and thanks in large part to being reinstated on the Apple App Store, could return to its former glory as 2013 progresses.

That said, it's worth noting Facebook also accounted for 23-percent of time spent using a mobile app, while all of Google's apps combined registered just 10-percent of the usage.

Both companies are responsible for one minute out of every three a person spends using a mobile app.

The best of the rest

Though Facebook may be king of apps for now, Google can certainly claim to hold a bigger majority on the remainder of the top ten.

In fact, four Google apps help round out the top five, with Google Play (61,461), Google Search (60,587), and GMail (53,934) taking the next three spots respectively.

The only other app to crack the 50K barrier was YouTube, which was downloaded 52,572 times by U.S. users.

Pandora (48,023), iTunes (45,884), and Cooliris (42,927) all managed to surpass 40K downloads each, with the number ten app, Yahoo! Messenger, just missing out and clocking in with 36,124.

With more competition sure to arise in 2013 as more and more consumers adopt smartphones, and thus become more comfortable using phones for services like eBay, Amazon, Netflix, and more, the race will be tighter than ever.