Market Data

2024 State of Mobile: Daily App Use Ticks Past 5 Hours, Driven by AI’s Rapid Expansion

Randy Nelson

Consumers in mobile-first countries spend 5 hours a day on average in apps, with AI chatbots leading a new wave of growth.

One of the top takeaways from our 2024 State of Mobile report is that the amount of time consumers are devoting to their use of apps each day continues to increase despite growing competition for their attention. The weighted average for time spent in apps across the top 10 mobile-first markets last year was greater than 5 hours, surpassing 6 hours in #1 Indonesia. All told, daily time spent grew 6% from 2022’s average. But what is driving this growth? In 2024 at least, it came down in part to the rise of one category and the decline of another.

Time in Apps Is Growing, with AI and Media Sharing to Thank

AI chatbots and media-based social platforms led global growth in time spent using apps last year. The number of chatbot apps and downloads of them were up sharply in 2023, and that momentum has carried over into early 2024. Meanwhile, the steady decline in active users of microblogging social networks like X (formerly Twitter) has overshadowed the fact that photo and video-sharing social platforms are seeing huge gains.

MicroBlogging in the Time of TikTok

This is all taking place as the undisputed leader of media-based social, TikTok, is continuing its record-breaking ascent, most recently becoming the first app to ever reach $10 billion in global consumer spending. The speed with which it did so is also impressive, as seen below.

Meanwhile, the microblogging category continues to cool, with X on the decline and its would-be replacements still in their nascent states. That being said, with the arrival of Meta’s attempt at a microblogging “spin-off” of Instagram, Threads, the category ended the year bruised but not defeated.

As the fate of microblogging gets worked out and interest in its largest platform seemingly fades, media-sharing platforms like TikTok and Instagram continue to show us the path to social’s likely future of placing photo & video first. 

Everyone Wants AI, Every App Wants to Be AI

Consumer curiosity in, and the genuine utility of, AI-powered apps has not only pushed this rapidly expanding category to the forefront but it’s led to a surge in apps trying to ride the moment. Not only are they incorporating AI into their product, but the makers of these apps are trying their best to maximize their app store discovery through ASO optimization. In this case, the number of references to AI and AI-related features in app descriptions has ballooned substantially.

In the default example above, for instance, the appearance of the term “ai art” in app descriptions has grown from about 200 in 2020 to nearly 1,000 last year. AI is without a doubt one of the most compelling areas of mobile app development at present, so we expect at the end of 2024 to witness a staggering number of such apps on the stores. Whether they can topple ChatGPT, Bing and the other category leaders remains to be seen.

This and More in the 2024 State of Mobile

data.ai’s 2024 State of Mobile Report delves deep into regional and category-level market trends made possible by the more than 1.2 million apps categorized under data.ai’s industry-first Game IQ and App IQ taxonomy and data.ai’s applied ai-driven market data. Claim your copy of the State of Mobile 2024 today! 

 

 

January 18, 2024

Market Data

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