Since the advent of the Internet 15 years ago, people have used it in ever evolving and changing ways, from online directories and hubs like Yahoo and Geocities, to search engines and social media like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
According to a new report from Flurry, a mobile analytics firm, the way people use the Internet is shifting again, this time to new mobile platforms. Until now, people have used their desktop and laptop computers for accessing content, but as of 2011, smartphones and tablets have outsold desktop and notebooks.
Now that our phones and tablet devices connect to the Internet, we’re changing the way that we do things. We have apps now, that do nearly everything imaginable. In fact, one of Apple’s trademarks is “There’s an app for that.” And we spend a lot of time using those apps.
Using data from comScore, Alexa, and their own in-house analytics data, Flurry has determined that we consumers are actually spending more time using mobile applications than we are using the Internet on our desktops, laptops, and mobile web browsers. This is a surprising result, given that mobile apps have only existed for three years. It’s taken a remarkably short amount of time for apps to be adopted and widely used on Android and iOS platforms.
According to the data, in June of 2010, consumers spent 64 minutes using the web and 43 minutes using mobile apps. As of June 2011, usage is up across the board, with users spending 74 minutes using the web and 81 minutes accessing mobile apps. To determine mobile app usage, Flurry tracked iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and J2ME. The web included open web, Facebook, and mobile web.
This data reveals that the average user is spending 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet, and mobile app usage per day has grown 91% since last year. Of the 74 minutes spent on the web, users spend approximately 14 of those minutes using Facebook.
Flurry also took a look at which applications people were spending their time using. Games took the lead here, with users spending 47% of their mobile app time playing them. Users also spent 32% of their time on social networking apps, 9% on news, 7% on entertainment, and 5% on other apps. Consumers also used both gaming and social networking apps more frequently and for longer periods of time than other kinds of apps.
Keep in mind that this is in no way signaling the death of the web. This study is only focusing on people who use both a mobile device and mobile apps. There are plenty of people with a smartphone/tablet who aren’t using apps, but among those who do use apps, they are using apps more than the web.
If this data is accurate, we will likely see a continued shift towards increasing mobile app usage, as even more companies and independent developers realize the potential and the popularity of mobile applications, and as consumers continue to adopt smartphone/tablet technology and begin using apps. We’re in the era of the mobile platform now, and the app is reigning as king. Long live Angry Birds!