Consumers Use Apps Like Games & Facebook Much More Than Browsers

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Mobile users spend only one-fourth as much time with browsers as they do in apps on their smartphones and tablets, reveals new research by Flurry Analytics. Games and Facebook, together, account for about half of the time spent with apps. Among browsers, Apple’s browser gets much more use than either Android Native or Opera Mini.

Smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of our daily lives. These mobile devices are now invaluable instruments in entertainment, healthcare, education, and a slew of other areas. As consumers’ needs have changed, so have the means of using these devices.

According to a recent research report issued by Flurry Analytics, app usage has increased exponentially over the last few years, becoming the predominant means by which the mobile user accesses content.

Flurry began collecting information five years ago. Since 2008, the company has worked with tens of thousands of developers integrating its ad platform and analytics into applications. Flurry now services more than 300,000 applications and has measured usage on more than 1 billion monthly active smart devices.

80 Percent of Time Is Spent Inside Apps

Using this information, Flurry concluded that app usage has skyrocketed to the point where it dominates average mobile usage by far. “Today, the U.S. consumer spends an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on smartphones and tablets,” Simon Kahlaf stated on Flurry’s blog. He continued, “80% of that time (2 hours and 7 minutes) is spent inside apps and 20% (31 minutes) is spent on the mobile web.”

Game Apps (32%) and Facebook (18%) were the most popular apps of choice comprising nearly 50% of all app usage. Entertainment comprised 8% of users’ time, while “Utility” comprised 8% and Social Networking totaled 6%, respectively.

All mobile browsers combined took up 20% of consumer’s time, with Safari amounting to 12%, Android Native to 4%, and Opera to 2%.

It’s worth noting that part of the reason why apps outpace browsers by so much is that many users browse the web from within applications. The Facebook app, for example, allows users to view web content by clicking on links from within the application.

The App Market

The app market appears to be fairly healthy in recent growth, generating annual revenues of $25 billion, according to recent Wall Street Journal estimates. Despite the industry’s rapid growth since its beginnings in 2008, the market shows no signs of slowing down. Compared to Q4 of 2010, app releases are up from 7.2 apps per day to 7.9 apps per day. This increase shows that users are still purchasing new applications. With many apps such as books and games having a short shelf life, there is room for new applications to enter the market without fear of saturation.

The Web

Web browsers, on the other hand, may have to change to adapt to the mobile environment. With the latest research from IDC predicting that tablets will outsell desktops this year and notebooks in the next, it is imperative that browsers adapt to the mobile space. The web isn’t dead, but it’s likely going to change. 

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