App Usage Continues to Outpace Mobile Web Usage


Mobile web usage in 2014 has shrunken to a mere 14% of time sent on mobile devices in spite of the average time on devices increasing. The data, as collected by Flurry, shows that apps dominate the time spent by consumers and that the overall number one app is Facebook.

The average time spent on mobile devices has risen 4 minutes to a total of 2 hours and 42 minutes, which is a modest increase compared to previous years and probably a good thing considering the time people are wasting. The mobile web browser was the focus of so many companies a few years ago and yet it is now clearly in the back seat.

32% of usage is gaming, but Flurry didn’t break down this section into individual games. The clear winners in the mobile ecosystem are Facebook and Google. In an analysis of ad earnings it is interesting that Facebook’s revenue matched its usage share, but Google received 49% of revenue, which is compared to only 18% of usage. Whatever Google is doing, they are being very successful.

I keep up with the mobile habits of my students at the university and they love to talk about games. Facebook, however, is apparently an old person’s app because every semester fewer and fewer students seem to get into Facebook as much as their parents. At faculty meetings the faculty talk about the ‘power’ of Facebook and leveraging it for recruitment and marketing. Sure, Facebook is still a major player but the writing is on the wall because young people are starting to leave it behind.

Mobile device usage is up, mobile web is down, and apps rule both iOS and Android. Perhaps the biggest issue facing developers in 2014 is that there are so many apps in an increasingly competitive and crowded field. App blogs are going to be increasingly critical in the future to help navigate the piles of options available.

About Sam: Teacher, writer, composer, and family man. Maker of delicious Halušky. Contact me via Twitter: @Sam_Denver