US Mobile App Time Expected to Continue Growing

Mobile internet usage is – not surprisingly – projected to keep rising over the next few years, particularly app usage, as more Americans rely on a few key apps for the bulk of their time on mobile, says eMarketer in its latest forecast. While mobile web browsing increased by only 1 minute year-over-year to an average of 26 minutes last year, in-app use jumped 16 minutes to a total average of 2 hrs, 11 min.

This year, app usage is expected to account for 85% of mobile internet time, which is right in line with recent comScore estimates [download page] of about 87% of mobile time in December 2016.

The growth in time spent with mobile apps should slow down in the coming years as this activity matures. Indeed, a study released earlier this year by Adobe revealed a slowing trend in app session growth, after years of expansion.

What’s accounting in part for the slow-down, eMarketer’s report postulates, is users’ condensing app usage to just a relative few. In fact, late last year, a comScore report noted the impressive statistic that almost half of smartphone users’ app time is limited to their single favorite app!

Nevertheless, time spent with mobile internet will continue to grow in the coming years, with youth likely leading the way in consumption. Just how much time are young Americans spending with their mobile devices? As of Q3 2016, Millennials (18-34) spend more time with apps and the web on smartphones than they do watching traditional TV.