iPads, iPhones, and games go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that gaming apps have historically been the App Store’s most popular category. In fact, games held the top spot as the app category that iDevice owners spent the most time using for a whopping 40 weeks.
Surprisingly, though, the way that iDevice owners use their devices may be shifting slightly, since games have just been unseated by social networking apps.
According to a new report from mobile analytics provider Flurry, consumers are now spending just as much time using social networking apps like Facebook and Instagram as they are playing mobile games.
Back in the first quarter of 2011, 30 percent of device usage time was spent on gaming, while just 22 percent of time was spent using social networking apps. One year later, those numbers have shifted, putting social networking apps neck in neck with games.
Users are also spending more time using their devices, spending an average of 77 minutes per day, up from 68 minutes in 2011. 24 minutes of that time is now spent on games, and 24 minutes is spent on social networking apps. News, entertainment, and other apps are used, on average, for 12, 10, and 7 minutes, respectively.
“We take the rise in Social Networking apps as a signal of maturation for the platform,” wrote Flurry’s VP of marketing, Peter Farago. “As game demand may be hitting its saturation point, consumers are also discovering other apps, namely Social Networking.”
Unsurprisingly, the majority of revenue from in-app ads also comes from the gaming and social networking categories. In March, games earned 36 percent of total ad revenue, while social networking apps earned 37 percent. March marked the first month in Flurry’s history (beginning in April of 2010) that an app category beat games in revenue earned.
Do Flurry’s results reflect your own app usage? How much time to you spend playing games and using social networking apps? Have your app usage habits changed over the last year?