US smartphone owners are now using their devices at an average 2:51 hours a day. App usage is higher than ever with around 2:25 hours being spent in-app versus 26 minutes in-web. However, new eMarketer findings reveal that the number of apps consumers are using has been dropping to concentrate on just a handful of core apps.
Interestingly, despite the number of minutes spent in-app having increased 10% from 2016 to 2017, in-web usage has remained stable at around 26 minutes is projected to hold steady in the future.
Time spent in mobile apps is going to make up almost 20% of the average total media time per day in 2017.
Mobile apps will account for almost 85% of total mobile time spent in 2017. Cathy Boyle, principal analyst at eMarketer explains:
“American consumers spend the bulk of their app time conducting five activities: listening to digital audio, social networking, gaming, video viewing and messaging.”
She adds that these are time-consuming activities.
“An app provides a direct access point from the home screen of a mobile device, and a native app experience is typically slicker and faster than a comparable web experience.”
However, overall app usage is in slow decline. The average monthly US smartphone app usage will be dropping from 21 in 2016 to 20 by 2019. Core usage centers on social media networks as well as utility apps including messengers and maps.
Jaimie Chung, Analyst at eMarketer explains that leading publishers have already combined multiple functions into their apps, “contributing to the gradual consolidation of the app market.”
Facebook continues to grow its reach of mobile app users. Importantly though, the network isn’t reaching as many new users on desktops.
Indeed, desktop usage of Facebook has dropped to six minutes whilst time spent on mobile has increase in small steps by a minute more in 2017 to 17 minutes.
eMarketers says that video is a likely driver of this continued growth.