DUBAI: The time spent on digital devices saw a meteoric rise since the beginning of the pandemic with mobile becoming widely used for everything from video calls to gaming.
App Annie’s new report “State of Mobile 2022” found that last year, consumers around the world spent an average of 4.8 hours per day on their mobile — an increase of 30 percent from 2019.
Some 230 billion apps were downloaded around the world. Social media apps and photo and video apps were the most popular. Out of every 10 minutes spent on mobile, seven were spent on social and photo and video apps.
TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide, with users spending 205 percent more time on it compared to 2019. The increased time spent on apps like TikTok and YouTube, however, did not come at the expense of pre-existing habits, as users turned their non-mobile time into time spent on these apps.
The affinity for photo and video apps resulted in a 16 percent increase in total hours spent on video streaming apps. Netflix dominates the streaming space with the largest global footprint surpassing 1 million local downloads in over 60 countries.
A big contributor to the overall health of the mobile ecosystem was gaming, with consumers spending $16 billion on mobile gaming. Downloads of mobile games reached nearly 83 billion last year, with casual games “Bridge Race” and “Hair Challenge” leading the pack, as well as classics such as “Pokemon UNITE” and “PUBG: New State.”
With more and more people switching to e-commerce during the pandemic, time spent in shopping apps reached over 100 billion hours globally. Tangentially, downloads of finance apps also increased by 28 percent year-on-year (YOY) to 5.9 billion worldwide.
The pandemic also increased users’ reliance on delivery apps, especially for food and drinks. Globally, users spent 49 percent more sessions YOY in 2021 on food and drink apps, with the total number of sessions reaching 62 billion.
The past year accelerated the growth of the mobile industry not only in terms of the number of users, but also its many uses.
The growth of the mobile ecosystem was reflected in advertising dollars, with mobile advertising representing 70 percent of digital spend. Total mobile advertising reached $295 billion in 2021 — up 23 percent YOY — and is poised to see a further 23 percent increase of $350 billion in 2022.