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Threads, AI Photo Editing and NFL Dominated Q3 2023, But Can Threads Hold Onto a Portion of the 5.2 Hours Per Day Spent in Apps?

Jonathan Briskman

The app obsession is truly global – countries in three different regions have surpassed the five-hour-per-day usage threshold.

Mobile phone usage spiked at the beginning of the global pandemic – but has that elevated usage continued now that the world has opened back up? According to’s latest quarterly research, the answer is a clear yes. recently reported that consumers spent $100 billion in mobile apps faster than ever in 2023. Now our latest look at regional trends reveals that consumers in six markets across three regions now spend more than five hours each day in apps. The top market by time spent on Android devices is Indonesia, with an incredible six hours per day spent on mobile.

Mobile Use is Growing the Fastest in APAC and LATAM

Three of the markets to surpass the five-hours-per-day threshold in Q3 2023 are in APAC. Indonesia led the way with more than six hours per day, followed by Thailand (5.7 hours) and India (5.2 hours). Latin America may also have three markets above this threshold soon. Argentina and Brazil are already well above the five hours per day mark, and Mexico fell just below this threshold at 4.98 hours. The only other market among select countries analyzed to reach five hours per day in Q3 2023 was Saudi Arabia.

For an exclusive look at which apps are the top performers in these key markets in Q3 2023, fill out the form below.

In terms of which markets have seen the fastest growth over the past two years, daily time spent has climbed double-digit percentage points across several markets in APAC and AMER. These include Argentina, India, Japan, and China in Asia and Argentina, Mexico and Canada in the Americas. Other markets like the United States and those in Western Europe had more modest growth over this period.

Meta’s Threads Record-Breaking Launch Topped the Charts in Q3

Threads, the new microblogging social apps launched by Meta at the start of Q3, skyrocketed up the charts and reached 150 million downloads faster than any other app in history. This was enough to propel it to the top spot by overall downloads in the quarter with 236 million, just ahead of TikTok’s 229 million downloads in the quarter. While this was an impressive feat out the gate, 80% (191.5 million) of these downloads came in July, the first month of its launch. This was due in large part to Threads relying on Instagram’s large base of users to port over easily. By comparison, August and September saw 25 million and 19.5 million downloads, respectively.

In terms of download growth compared to Q2, Threads saw a bigger gain than the rest of the top 10 apps combined. 

Other notable trends in Q3 2023 included:

  • ChatGPT — The AI-powered chatbot from OpenAI was the #2 app by download growth due to its launch on Google Play during the quarter. It ranked second in many key markets including the United States, India and Germany.
  • Temu — The shopping app continued its ascent in Q3. After ranking as the #5 breakout app in the first half of 2023, it climbed to the #3 spot in Q3. It ranked as the top breakout app across European Union markets like France, Germany, Italy and Spain (as Threads is not yet available in the EU).
  • AI Photos — ChatGPT wasn’t the only app fueling the AI craze. Remini, a photo editing app from Bending Spoons, touts its use of AI technology to enhance photos.
  • TikTok Music   Another app to keep an eye on is TikTok Music, which soft-launched in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Australia and Singapore during Q3. It ranked as the #10 breakout app in Brazil during the quarter.

Let’s Keep it Moving! Sports and Fitness Apps Are on the Rise 

Many sports and fitness apps appeared in the top 10 apps by quarter-over-quarter consumer spend growth in Q3 2023. Not surprisingly, NFL ranked at #3 due to the start of the NFL season. ESPN joined it among the top 10 at #6 globally and DAZN also ranked among the top five in Canada, Mexico, Italy and Germany.

Other standout areas of growth include: 

  • Fitness Apps — Fitness apps saw strong growth during the summer months as consumers flocked outdoors. Strava ranked #9 by breakout consumer spend globally. Other fitness apps like AllTrails, onX Hunt and Runna were among the top 10 in select markets.
  • Remini No app saw more growth in consumer spend in Q3 than Remini. The app cashed in on its huge download growth and the global AI fervor in the quarter with its affordable subscription offerings topping out at $9.99 for a weekly subscription to its top tier. 
  • Social — The tipping-based economy popularized by TikTok is spreading! Instagram climbed from the #63 app by consumer spend in Q2 2023 to #34 in Q3 fueled by 77% growth. What is driving this growth? Instagram’s top in-app purchase is now the Instagram Badge which allows users to show support for creators during a live stream. This is similar to functionality fueling TikTok’s tidal wave of consumer spending in 2023. 
  • Video Streaming The only video streaming app to rank among the top 10 in Q3 was ReelShort, a streaming app that is attempting to disrupt the subscription model. The app offers minute-long episodes and one-time purchases rather than a subscription.

Several Huge Launches Hit the United States in Q3 2023

While the top breakout charts globally include many casual games, the United States rankings featured some much-anticipated releases this quarter. New Augmented Reality (AR) title, Monster Hunter Now, from the Pokémon GO creator Niantic, was the top breakout game in the US despite not launching until the middle of September. Pokémon Sleep from The Pokémon Company also ranked among the top five.

  • Tic Tac Toe — The two-player game was the top breakout game of the quarter and reached the top 10 by mobile game downloads. It was the first of many casual games to rank among the top breakout games.
  • Arena Breakout — The shooter game from Tencent ranked among the top 10 globally. Thailand was its top market by downloads across iOS and Google Play in the quarter, followed by China and the US.

Monopoly GO Jumps into the Top Five Games by Consumer Spend

No mobile game saw more growth in Q3 than Monopoly GO, propelling it from the #30 game by consumer spend in Q2 2023 to #4 in Q3. Monopoly GO was also the top breakout game in some key markets like the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Many of the top breakout games included popular IP like Monopoly, Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z. 

Other interesting titles on the top breakout list this quarter included:

  • Royal Match — The Match-3 puzzle game reached the top of the consumer spend rankings for the first time in Q3, dethroning Honor of Kings
  • Games from APAC — Mobile game publishers in Asia dominated the top 10 global breakout rankings – including three apiece from China and Japan and one from South Korea. 
  • Pokémon GO — The game had its best quarter by consumer spend in two years with nearly 70% quarter-over-quarter growth.

Download’s Full Q3 2023 Quarterly Ranking Report:

To find out more about the most popular apps and games of Q3 2023 – and their relative performance per regional market – read’s Q3 2023 Mobile Pulse Top Apps and Games Rankings report now.


  • Top apps and games by critical performance metrics, including downloads, consumer spend and monthly active users.
  • The movers and shakers showing up as breakout apps and games by downloads, spend and MAU.
  • A global view of chart-topping apps and games of Q3 2023 across 24 markets and three regions.


Click here to read the report:


October 17, 2023

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