Native Apps Overwhelm Mobile Web Usage

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Without looking at your phone right now, would you be able to tell someone what internet browser your smartphone uses? You are probably not alone if your immediate response to this quandary is no. According to a recent study conducted by Flurry, mobile web browsing is losing the battle to native apps when it comes to mobile data use.

According to data compiled from January to March 2014, mobile device usage has risen to 2 hours and 42 minutes per day, up from 2 hours and 38 minutes per day in March of 2013. Native apps cemented their lead atop the list of in-phone functions, commanding 86% of the average US mobile consumer’s time (approximately 2 hours and 19 minutes per day).

Mobile web accounted for only 14% of mobile usage, accounting for just 22 minutes of a consumer’s day. This was a six percent decrease from 2013.

To What Can We Attribute Native App Usage?
Gaming leads the way in the category of individual app usage with 32%. Facebook is second with 17% of usage, and other social media apps (Pinterest, Google+, etc.) makes up another 9.5%. Twitter stands alone receiving 1.5% of native app usage.

The remaining 26% of native app usage is spread evenly between entertainment, news, productivity, utilities, and other random activities.

Marketers should take notice of the fact that Facebook is the second most popular app used by US consumers. With nearly half an hour of every day spent on this social media channel, it still reigns as the most popular social media channel and one that should be leveraged to spread the appropriate content to travelers, or any other consumer for that matter.

The amount of time spent on the Twitter app can be misleading until you put it into perspective. There are very few actions you can take with an individual Tweet (Favorite, Retweet, Quote), and unless you are a “Super Tweeter”, you probably will not spend a lot of time on the app. Most users are browsing for headlines, and quick tidbits of information.

Information Specifically for Marketers
The Flurry team also incorporated data from eMarketer, to show just how mismatched advertisers’ deployment of advertising is. While Google only sees 18% of the usage, it enjoys 49% over mobile advertising. Facebook is far more evenly matched in this category as it receives 18% of ad spend and 17% of total usage.

Despite “other applications” receiving 65% of mobile usage, they are only garnering 33% of mobile ad spend. To be fair, there are thousands of “other applications” used by consumers, and it is impossible to advertise on all of them.

To read more about the Flurry study, click here.

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