The app usage patterns of US smartphone users altered significantly during 2Q 2020 in response to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics, “U.S. App Quarterly Brief –Q2 2020.” App use increased by over 6 hours per month, the equivalent of 20 minutes per day, driven by strong growth in use of social networking apps, including Facebook and TikTok, and also mobile browsing. The research is powered by SA’s AppOptix US research platform built using an opt-in panel of US mobile users, a resident telemetry app, and a big data analytics environment. The report tracks the usage of app categories and apps on a quarterly basis. Additional findings from the report include:
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Figure 1. Average Time Spent (in Minutes) on Social Media 2Q 2020 (Graphic: Business Wire)
The games category maintains top spot for monthly smartphone minutes, though minutes of use remained relatively static.
• Minutes of use of social media apps have increased 21% year-on-year.
• Time spent in video entertainment apps like YouTube and Netflix both declined by 12% and 33% respectively as customers defaulted to other devices with bigger displays and in some cases better user experience (e.g. smart televisions, tablets and personal computers).
• Apps in the following categories also increased minutes of use year-on-year: Business & Finance (67.6%) which includes video conferencing apps like Zoom, Browsing (13.3%), Lifestyle (12.4%), and productivity (7.2%).
Nitesh Patel, Director, Strategy Analytics noted “Our data illustrates on an on-going basis how smartphone behaviors are clearly shifting as users observe stay-at-home orders and adapt to new norms as a consequence of COVID-19. This includes strong declines in the use of apps in the transport category, where engagement declined 44% year-on-year, the travel and location app category which fell almost 35%, and a 68% rise in the business and finance category, which includes video conferencing apps like Zoom.
Barry Gilbert, Vice President, noted “While overall smartphone app usage has increased new behavior is being shaped not only by new restrictions, but also by consumers meeting their information, communication and entertainment needs through alternative devices like tablets, PCs, games consoles and smart TVs.”
Source: Strategy Analytics, Inc.
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