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Report: Apps Taking Up More Of Consumers’ Mobile Time

Consumers on average spend nearly three hours a day on their mobile devices. Whereas only a few years ago mobile Web browsing consumed much of that time, apps now control the mobile experience – even more so than just a year ago, according to an analysis done by Flurry.

By Jeffrey Green (@epaymentsguy)

Consumers’ time spent on their mobile devices is up from a year ago, and app use continues to represent the biggest share, new research shows.

Comparing the results of a five-year study it published last spring, business-data integrator Flurry decided to see what changes might have occurred a year later, using data from January and March of this year. For its research, Flurry uses data from its network of more than 450,000 mobile applications installed on some 1.3 billion devices worldwide, uses its uses comScore for mobile browser use and mobile-app data.

In a recent blog post, Flurry says it found a few shifts in mobile-usage patterns com just a year ago.

In March 2013, consumers spent on average 2 hours and 38 minutes on their mobile device. A year later, the average rose by 2.5 percent, to 2 hours and 42 minutes, with 86 percent of that time spent using apps (a 9.5 percent increase from a year ago), with the rest was spent on the mobile Web, whose use is correspondingly declining, Flurry found.

“The data tells a clear story that apps, which were considered a mere fad a few years ago, are completely dominating mobile, and the browser has become a single application swimming in a sea of apps,” Flurry said in it analysis posted in a blog post.

Gaming apps top consumers mobile time consumption at 32% of time spent, followed by social and messaging applications, including Facebook, which increased in share from to 28% from 24% a year ago. Entertainment (including YouTube) and Utility applications maintained their positions at 8% each, while productivity apps saw their share double to 4% of the overall time spent from 2%, according to Flurry.

In terms of time spent, Facebook maintains the lion’s share in the U.S. While the social segment grew, driven mainly by messaging applications, Facebook was able to maintain its position with the help of Instagram, Flurry said. YouTube, meanwhile, held 50% of the entertainment category.

Still, Google and Facebook combined command less than 25% of the total time spent by the average U.S. mobile consumer. Moreover, Flurry noted, the top 10 franchises, according to ComScore, account for less than 40% of the time-spent.

“So despite massive efforts by Google and Facebook, the market still hasn’t consolidated, and over the past couple of years we have seen new franchises emerge in almost every sector of mobile,” Flurry said. “Apps like Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp (acquired by Facebook), Waze (Acquired by Google), Spotify and many more received wide adoption and commanded a percent or two of the time spent. In short, six years into the mobile revolution, there are numerous opportunities for new franchises to emerge in almost every segment of the mobile economy.”

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