Social Networking Apps Are Now the Most-Used Smartphone Apps, According to Flurry
Flurry, the mobile analytics firm, has released a report that shows a major shift in the way that smartphone users are using the apps on their phones. Social networking apps now are used as much as games are, with each being used for an average of 24 minutes per day. This is compared to the same quarter last year, where social networking apps were used for 15 minutes per day, and games for 25 per day. News apps also ticked up to 12 minutes from 11 minutes; as a whole, users are now using their smartphones for 77 minutes per day, up from 68 minutes per day.
Why is it that smartphones are suddenly increasing in social networking apps usage? Well, the growth of Twitter could be a huge part of this – in about a year, the service went from 140 million tweets per day to 340 million. That Apple integrated Twitter into iOS 5 couldn’t have hurt. Pinterest has become the third most-used social network on the internet behind Facebook and Twitter, yet doesn’t have an official mobile app. If they ever got on that, the number could go up. Perhaps even Google+ is contributing to the increase, if only slightly as it’s the eighth-ranked social network in the US.
As well, while Flurry posits that perhaps the gaming market has become saturated, and games are now competing for a set of users, the thing that needs to be remembered is that the overall number of users of smartphones is increasing. Dumbphone users who are transitioning to low-cost smartphones may not be as interested in games. As well, because these numbers are for smartphones only, there’s the potential that increased tablet usage could be cutting in to the desire to play smartphone games, even as overall usage of them increases.
So, with this release of information from Flurry, there’s only more questions that come up. What is the future of app usage? Is game usage truly on the decline? Time will tell if this is a down slope for gaming, or just a blip on the radar.