Daily time devoted to mobile app usage now exceeds time spent surfing the web across both the desktop and mobile devices according to new data published by app analytics firm Flurry. As of June 2011, subscribers across the iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and J2ME platforms spend 81 minutes a day immersed in mobile applications--users across the open web, Facebook and the mobile web spend 74 minutes a day on the Internet. As recently as December 2010, web consumption topped mobile app usage by a difference of 70 minutes daily to 66 minutes daily; a year ago, web time exceeded mobile app time 64 minutes to 43 minutes. Flurry credits the recent surge to an increase in mobile app sessions per user per day rather than a significant increase in average session lengths.
Games still command the lion's share of mobile app user interest, commanding 47 percent of consumers' time. Social networking apps are next at 32 percent. "Combined, these two categories control a whopping 79 percent of consumers' total app time," writes Flurry product marketing manager Charles Newark-French on the firm's blog. "Further, as we drill down into the data, consumers use these two categories more frequently, and for longer average session lengths, compared to other categories." News apps take up 9 percent of consumers' time, followed by entertainment apps (7 percent) and other categories (5 percent).
The Flurry data follows in the wake of reports that Facebook is developing an HTML5-based mobile platform optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and iPad but designed to circumvent the App Store distribution channel, giving Facebook far greater control over the user experience. TechCrunch reported last week that the Facebook initiative, known internally as Project Spartan, will initially target Apple's mobile Safari browser, but over time will expand to other operating systems, including Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android. The mobile web solution will include a drop-down menu featuring various Facebook and partner applications--clicking an app loads it from the appropriate server, complete with a Facebook wrapper that integrates key social media functions.
"With a better understanding of how consumers spend their time across app categories, Facebook's Project Spartan makes even more sense," Newark-French states. "As a category, social networking--which is Facebook's core competency--commands the second largest allocation of consumers' time. Games, which typify the most popular kind of app played on the Facebook platform itself, are also the top categories on both Android and iOS platforms. As interactive media usage continues to shift from the web to mobile apps, one thing is certain: Facebook, Apple and Google will all expend significant resources to ensure that no one company dominates owning the direct relationship with the consumer."
- read this Flurry Blog entry
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