Time spent using mobile devices soars and apps are the big winners

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Users are spending more time with their mobile devices than ever before. According to the latest Flurry insights, US consumers are now using their mobile devices a staggering 5 hours per day. The company previously reported time in apps increasing 69% from 2015 to 2016 with messaging and social apps leading the pack.

The latest results present a 20% jump in time-spent compared to 2015.

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Browser share on mobile devices dropped to 8%, whilst the chat bot revolution hasn’t been able to catch on. That means apps are once again the big winners.

It’s not surprising that more users are turning toward apps given the large selection in app stores, stability factors, but most importantly matching screen sizes. Apps are made for mobile devices and hence their functionality suits smartphone owners better than the mobile web.

A closer look at the data reveals that half of the time users spent on mobile is using social, messaging and entertainment apps.

Flurry attributes this to the rise of Communitainment – communication for the purpose of entertainment. Facebook with Instagram and WhatsApp continues to lead apps in terms of time spent. Music and media entertainment apps ranked second at 14%, followed by messaging and social apps (12%) as well as games (11%). However, the mobile analytics firm noted that games had actually seen a drop in share for a second year in a row.

Late last year, Flurry noted that US consumers were now spending more time using their apps than watching TV. This continues to be an ongoing trend and will likely be reinforced with apps such as Netflix or Amazon Video.

Shopping apps were boosted thanks to new payment methods such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

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Advertisers and brands have also jumped on the mobile band wagon. According to findings from the IAB, mobile video has been a key format in terms of growth in 2016, followed by social and search. But no matter where you look, mobile is leading all formats within digital advertising.

Indeed, mobile display ads overtook PC and tablet display ads for the first time last year at a spend of £802 million.

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Mobile, both in terms of time spent as well as advertising spend, is set to continue to grow further this year. This will likely impact other formats such as TV and desktop devices.