The monthly time spent on communications & social media apps grew by 11.2bn minutes – or 38 per cent – from September 2016 to March 2017. This makes it the fastest growing app category, accounting for 44 per cent of all mobile app time.
After measuring the cross-device behaviour of nearly 5,000 UK adults, measurement firm Verto Analytics found the entertainment app category to have had the second biggest rise – up 3.4bn minutes, or 22 per cent, to account for 21 per cent of app minutes.
Conversely, gaming apps saw a decline of 16 per cent, falling by 2.4bn minutes. This decline resulted in the gaming app share of time spent dropping from 18 per cent to 13 per cent.
“The continuous growth of messaging and social apps mean that the total app time is becoming dominated by just a few sectors, with the top three categories accounting for 78% of all mobile app time spent,” said Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, Verto Analytics CEO. “This leaves the rest fighting over the scraps, which is going to get harder as app downloads are plateauing and there’s the impending rise of ‘hub apps’, where people do more tasks within one app – be it messaging, shopping or ordering a taxi. For example, while games have performed really well over recent years, it seems even they may be being substituted by new offerings across the entertainment category.”
The next fastest growing app categories came in the form of finance, photo & video, and health & fitness – all seeing time spent in app rise by more than 500m minutes a month.