Mobile app use now ahead of desktop Web browsing

Mobile app use now ahead of desktop Web browsing

If lately you find yourself spending more time using apps on your mobile device than cruising the Web not only on your phone but on your computer as well, it turns out you're not alone. According to a new report from Flurry, consumers now spend more minutes each day — 7, to be exact, or 9% more time overall — interacting with mobile apps than using the Web.

The data shows a continuing shift in how users interact with content online. While online usage seems to have shifted toward mobile apps, mobile usage could be shifting away from apps and back toward HTML5-based Web browsing. So we may not have reached an end-state quite yet.

While in June 2010 the average mobile device user spent 65 minutes a day on the Web and 43 minutes using mobile apps, by December those figures were more neck-and-neck — at 70 and 66 minutes, respectively — and this month mobile apps jumped ahead. Users now spend 81 minutes on apps, and 74 on the Web.

"This growth has come primarily from more sessions per user, per day rather than a large growth in average session lengths," Flurry explained in a blog post. Time spent on the Internet has grown at a much slower rate, 16% over the last year, with users now spending 74 minutes on the Internet a day."

How does all that app use break down? If you guessed games (47%) and social networking (32%), you're spot on.

Sidenote: These are hardly just American trends. According to Nokia, Malaysians, the heaviest users of social networks, spend 9 hours a week, on average, with such sites; 40 percent of Vietnam accesses the mobile Web on their phones; and Facebook has a 94 percent penetration rate in the Philippines. (CP: With new (including non-smartphone) devices, Nokia takes first steps toward its future).

Flurry notes that with games and networking constituting 79 percent of consumers' mobile app time, it's little wonder that Facebook has Project Spartan in the works, wanting to work around the Apple App Store and keep its major profits to itself. (MDP: Facebook, Planning an iPad App, Looks to Work Around Apple.)

"Games, which typify the most popular kind of app played on the Facebook platform itself, are also the top categories on both Android and iOS platforms," states Flurry. "As interactive media usage continues to shift from the web to mobile apps, one thing is certain: Facebook, Apple and Google will all expend significant resources to ensure that no one company dominates owning the direct relationship with the consumer."

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