Although the mobile app boom driven by pandemic lockdowns has long since passed, consumers’ mobile usage is still growing. According to new data released today by app intelligence firm data.ai (previously App Annie), consumers in more than a dozen worldwide markets are now spending four to five hours per day in apps.
While the daily time spent in apps varies by country, there are now 13 markets where users are spending more than four hours per day using apps. These include Indonesia, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Russia, Turkey, the U.S. and the U.K. And, in three of those markets — Indonesia, Singapore and Brazil — mobile users are spending more than five hours per day in apps.
While the growth in app usage has slowed a bit from the second quarter in 2020, it’s worth noting that two years ago was the height of COVID lockdowns, which drove app usage to spike across all categories as users worked, shopped, banked and gamed, as well as studied and attended meetings, school and events from home.
Still, the data suggests the pandemic may have led to longer-lasting impacts on app usage. It seems mobile consumers who adopted new apps and behaviors during the pandemic may have kept at it, despite the so-called “return to normal” in 2022.
Illustrating this point, some markets saw significant gains in app usage over the past two years. In the second quarter of 2020, Singapore users were spending 4.1 hours in apps. Now that’s grown to 5.7 hours, the report says. In Australia, users went from 3.6 hours to 4.9 hours from Q2 2020 to Q2 2022. Both represent a 40% rise in time spent.
Other markets saw slower growth, including Indonesia (+10%), India (+5%), Japan (+5%), Canada (+20%), Russia (+10%), the U.S. (+5%), U.K. (+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 at -5%) — but again, comparisons to peak COVID time frames indicate that trends are simply normalizing to pre-COVID levels.
The firm’s report also included the top-ranked apps and games for the second quarter, which saw Instagram in the top spot worldwide by downloads and TikTok at No. 1 by consumer spend, in terms of non-gaming apps. Facebook was still No. 1 by monthly active users, ahead of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, TikTok, Telegram, Amazon, Twitter, Spotify and Netflix.
Notable movers in the quarter included Indian e-commerce app Meesho, which jumped to No. 8 by downloads; the multiplayer party knockout game Stumble Guys, which rose 23 places; and hyper-casual game Fill The Fridge, which moved up 84 places. Meanwhile, Pokémon GO saw a boost in usage thanks to the new season that launched on June 1 ahead of the Pokémon GO Fest in early June.