Although the mobile app boom driven by the pandemic shutdowns has long passed, consumer mobile usage continues to grow. According to new data released today by app intelligence firm data.ai (formerly App Annie), consumers in more than a dozen global markets now spend four to five hours a day in apps.
While daily time spent in apps varies by country, there are now 13 markets where users spend more than four hours a day using apps. These include Indonesia, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Russia, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom. And, in three of those markets (Indonesia, Singapore, and Brazil), mobile users spend more than five hours a day in apps.
Although growth in app usage has slowed down a bit compared to the second quarter of 2020, it should be noted that two years ago was the peak of COVID lockdowns, which led to an increase in app usage across all categories as users worked, shopped, shopped, and played, as well as studied and attended meetings, school, and home events.
Still, the data suggests the pandemic may have had more lasting effects on app usage. It seems that mobile consumers who have adopted new apps and behaviors during the pandemic have persevered, despite the so-called “return to normal” in 2022.
To illustrate this point, some markets have seen significant gains in app usage over the past two years. In Q2 2020, users in Singapore spent 4.1 hours in apps. Now that has risen to 5.7 hours, according to the report. In Australia, users went from 3.6 hours to 4.9 hours from Q2 2020 to Q2 2022. Both represent a 40% increase in time spent.
Other markets saw slower growth including Indonesia (+10%), India (+5%), Japan (+5%), Canada (+20%), Russia (+ 10%), the United States (+5%), United Kingdom (+5%), China (+5%) and Germany (+10%). A few markets saw no growth or a bit of a slowdown, such as Mexico (0%), Turkey and Argentina (both -5%) – but again, comparisons to the peak times of the COVID indicate that the trends are simply normalizing for pre-COVID levels.
The company’s report also included the top-ranked apps and games for the second quarter, which saw Instagram ranked No. 1 globally in downloads and TikTok at No. 1 in consumer spending, in terms of non-gaming applications. Facebook was still No. 1 by monthly active users, ahead of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, TikTok, Telegram, Amazon, Twitter, Spotify and Netflix.
Notable drivers in the quarter included Indian e-commerce app Meesho, which rose to #8 in terms of downloads; the multiplayer knockout game Stumble Guys, which moved up 23 places; and the hyper casual game Fill The Fridge which won 84 places. Meanwhile, Pokémon GO has seen a surge in usage thanks to the new season which launched on June 1 ahead of Pokémon GO Fest in early June.