People are spending more time on their smartphones than ever before. In fact, the average smartphone user spends at least six hours a day on his or her phone. And in just five years, that number is expected to increase by 35%. This means that people will be spending up to 94 days of their lives per year on mobile devices! That's a lot of screen time -- and a lot of potential for businesses looking to connect with new customers through mobile apps.
There is a tremendous demand for mobile apps. According to research firm Gartner, worldwide app store downloads grew from roughly 47 billion in 2012 to an estimated 105 billion downloads in 2016. Projections indicate that this trend will continue throughout the next few years: By 2021, Gartner predicts, app downloads will reach 187 billion.
Mobile app development is in the midst of a revolution. Thanks to an explosion in mobile device use and subsequent digital trends, more apps are being built than ever before -- but many struggle to achieve success. For companies looking for an edge in this crowded market, it's vital that they understand both how users are engaging with their devices and what influences them when choosing which apps to download. By taking these factors into account, organizations can increase their chances of building a successful mobile app. With that goal in mind, let's take a closer look at the numbers behind the rise of mobile apps.
#1 the average smartphone owner uses around 26 apps per month but not all apps are created equal. Some apps -- like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat -- are used several times per day. Others, not so much.
#2 The average smartphone owner only downloads zero to two apps per month Of course, even though most people use around 26 apps in a given month, they don't all download new ones. Instead, the majority of users stick with their favorite apps, returning to them in lieu of seeking out new options.
#3 most downloaded mobile applications in 2018 but which mobile applications were the most popular last year? According to data collected by App Annie, here are the top 10 most downloaded free and paid iOS and Android app development of 2018:
1 - WhatsApp
2 - Messenger
3 - YouTube
4 - Netflix
5 - Instagram
7 - Uber
8 - Facebook
9 - Google Maps
10 - Snapchat
The increase in mobile use does not necessarily mean more conversions Businesses looking to capitalize on the rise of mobile devices should realize that there are downside as well as benefits to the increased screen time. For example, while an increasing number of people will be browsing the web from their devices, most websites aren't optimized for phone screens. In fact, a full 30% of e-commerce traffic is viewed on smaller screens. Meanwhile, only 20% of marketers have a responsive website that adapts to fit different screen sizes. Not being able to effectively reach users online from their cell phones could limit a company's ability to engage with customers. This is not to say that mobile users are necessarily less valuable than desktop users, but it does mean that businesses should be aware of the specific challenges inherent in reaching this audience. These barriers could limit access to potential customers.
This is why many marketers are finding success running campaigns aimed at both mobile device and desktop users. Such efforts can help companies better communicate with their target audiences while ensuring that potential customers don't get turned away because they're viewing a company's website on a phone instead of a computer. Of course, there are still other ways to reach individuals outside of digital channels -- something we'll discuss further below.
The rise of mobile devices has also had an impact on traditional media like websites, TV shows aren't necessarily designed to be viewed on mobile devices. According to comScore, the percentage of people watching TV while also browsing the web or using another app has increased dramatically in recent years, from 23% in 2013 to 52% in 2017.
As this trend continues, it will become increasingly difficult for businesses to reach their audiences through traditional media. This is why many companies are supplementing their television ads with digital advertisements -- like banner ads and sponsored social media posts -- that can help them engage with viewers both during and after commercial breaks. While not every viewer will respond well to these types of ads, they do offer brands more opportunities than ever before to market their products.
The number of ad impressions generated by mobile devices saw a 102.25% increase between 2014 and 2018
This is because mobile devices are home to more ads than any other type of computer. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, U.S. consumers saw a total of 2 million ad impressions on their phones in June 2014. Just two years later, that number had jumped 102.25%, to over 4 million ads per day.
The average smartphone owner spends nearly an hour per day on social media platforms alone
U.S. adults spent an average of 44 minutes each day using social media between 2016 and 2019 -- a significant increase from the 33 minutes they spent per day in 2015 and the 27 minutes they spent in 2011 .
In addition, they're spending even more time browsing photos and watching videos on social media. On Instagram, for instance, users spent an average of 21 minutes per day on the platform in 2017. They also spent a whopping 51 minutes a day engaging with Facebook videos that year.
The rise of social media has been especially apparent among young people. According to the Pew Research Center, 96% of teenagers use at least one social networking site, compared to just 76% who say they go online using a desktop or laptop computer. In addition, more than three-quarters (78%) of this demographic report being online "almost constantly," up from 63% in 2015 and 41% in 2009.
In short, there are now more opportunities than ever before for businesses to connect with their audiences through several of social media advertising. These ads can be targeted based on age, location and numerous other factors and they allow brands to connect with potential customers both in the short term (for example, while users are browsing their social media feeds) and in the long term (when they're using social media to learn more about a business after seeing one of its ads).