Mobile usage trends worldwideThe mobile revolution continues to transform internet usage behavior and frequencies around the world. During the third quarter of 2021, global users spent more than half of their online time browsing the web from their mobile phones, accumulating an average of three hours and 43 minutes of daily engagement on average. According to a survey of global smartphone users, at the end of 2020, the most popular app activity on mobile devices was gaming, with around 70 percent of respondents reporting to play on their mobile phone weekly. Listening to music and using social media followed, with 67 percent and 63 percent of respondents reporting to engage in each activity, respectively.
Mobile media usage is transforming the digital landscapeEvery year, global mobile data traffic experiences double-digit growth rates, a trend that is fueled by the rapid increase in mobile media usage. In 2021, video apps accounted for more than 66 percent of the global data volume, and by then, smartphones had long overtaken desktop computers and smart TVs as primary devices for watching online video. In 2020, video content remained the second-largest type of mobile service content in the market, making up a share of approximately 17 percent.
Towards a mobile metaverse experienceEngaging with social media is one of the most popular online activities among mobile users. For over a decade, social networks, messaging apps, and photo and video-sharing platforms have been among the leading drivers of mobile engagement globally. In 2021, after market leader Facebook rebranded itself into “Meta,” the term “metaverse” was launched into the mainstream leaving users wondering what the future of social media has in store for them. While Meta products like Facebook and WhatsApp have consistently ranked as the leading social media platform and the leading mobile messaging app for users worldwide, apps promoting social experiences in a metaverse environment have experienced a growth in popularity. Gaming platform Roblox is often taken as the reference for a highly gamified virtual world experience thanks to its social features allowing players to interact via their avatars.
Virtual environments where users can interact via their human-like avatars have been pioneered in the online gaming world. In 2021, the mobile app for creative gaming platform Roblox amassed 182 million downloads, ranking as the second most popular gaming app for users worldwide. Additionally, social apps set in the metaverse are very likely to have highly gamified features. The mobile-first video avatar app Zepeto is one of such platforms that uses in-app casual gaming to integrate users’ social experiences online. Zepeto, which was released in 2018 by the South Korean Naver Group, saw 13.13 million downloads from users worldwide during the last quarter of 2021, up by 32.5 percent from the previous year.