Gaming and social networks are a priority for mobile users

Mobile users in the USA are spending more and more time on their devices than ever before, with gaming and social networks as their priority according to a report by Flurry. In March of last year, research found that users spent an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes on their mobile devices. Between January and March of 2014 alone this had risen, increasing to 2 hours and 42 minutes per day.

The majority of this time is being spent on apps, which commanded 86% of the average US mobile consumer’s time. This means that while 2 hours and 19 minutes each day on average was spent on apps, only 22 minutes were spent in mobile web browsers, equating to just 14% of consumer time.

Out of all the app categories, games proved the most popular with 32% of users spending their time playing. This hardly comes as a surprise though, as game content on the iOS App Store and Android Google Play are already starting to outsell handheld console titles. Research by App Annie found that in the third quarter of 2013, combined game revenue from both the app stores were three times higher than gaming optimised handhelds.

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With a wide range of affordable and free app titles, players are starting to opt for their smartphones over more traditional consoles. Developers are also finding major benefits from the mobile platform, with success titles generating large profits for low costs. King’s Candy Crush Saga generates around £90,000 per day, while console and online games, such as GTA and Rush Poker already being added to the vast library of content available to mobile users.

The second most popular app among US users was social networks, which consumed 28% of their time. Facebook came out on top of the category, with 17% of the total time spent on social networking apps. The report stated: “In terms of time spent, Facebook still has the lion’s share of time spent in the US. While the social segment grew, driven mainly by messaging applications, Facebook was able to maintain its position with the help of instragram.

That position will be even more cemented, if not increased, by the reach and time-spent inside WhatsApp. This has given Facebook a great degree of confidence on mobile allowing it to start focusing on the next platform. The following statement from Mark Zuckerberg’s post on the Oculus acquisition was very revealing: ‘We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.’

The remaining time spent on mobile devices was split between entertainment activities, such as Youtube (8%), utility applications (8%), productivity apps (4%), news (3%) and others (3%).