Time Spent On Social Apps And Consumer Spending Both Increased In 2023

The ‘State of Mobile’ annual report released by leading mobile and data analytics company, data.ai, reveals app usage reached an all time high last year thanks to a 9% global increase in time spent on social apps. Consumer spending also bounced back with a 4% increase, following a slight downturn in 2022. 

Its findings show that the average user in a mobile-first market spent more than 5 hours on mobile apps daily in 2023, an increase which points to more opportunities for brands to build relationships with customers.

The report also shows that non-gaming app services are more resilient to the trend of reduced consumer spending during periods of economic downturn, an insight into the changing consumer habits of a mobile-centric world. 

Social media apps were second only to entertainment apps in a ranking of global consumer spending by app genre, offering an indication that app users could soon be spending more in apps than in games. 

While global social app usage saw strong growth, the US market faces headwinds in subgenres like MicroBlogging, with platforms like X seeing a decline in user base. 

Key takeaways for developers include the successful integration of AI features by top apps which outperformed the market, such as Snapchat. 

The importance of a diverse monetisation model is also clear, with TikTok setting the benchmark for a new model through in-app purchases. 

For social apps, the report identifies a growing demand for features that seamlessly integrate digital realities into users’ real-world experiences. 

The findings also reveal that:

  • Consumer spending on mobile apps grew globally by 13%, or close to $9 billion USD. 
  • Users are embracing in-app spending through ‘tips’ for content creators, subscriptions and in-app purchases.
  • TikTok is now exceeding $1 billion in consumer spending each quarter.
  • Gen-Z embraces user-generated content, from video-first platforms to forums.
  • Generative AI was the breakout mobile genre worldwide, expanding beyond just chatbots and art generators. 
  • Users are gravitating more towards video-first and visual platforms.
  • Prioritising user-centric features and crafting a unique user experience is essential in a competitive market.

Read the full ‘State of Mobile 2024’ report here. 

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