Mobile usage trends worldwideThe mobile revolution continues to transform internet usage behavior and frequencies around the world. During the second quarter of 2022, global users spent over than half of their online time browsing the web from their mobile phones. According to a survey of global smartphone users, as of June 2022, the most popular app activities on mobile devices were chatting and communicating, as well as listening to music and online banking activities. Approximately 85 percent of respondents in Brazil, as well as 77 percent of respondents in the United Kingdom, reported using their mobiles to chat online, while over half of the respondents in Spain reported engaging in mobile gaming.
Mobile-first consumer marketsFrom the 2010s onwards, thanks to smartphones’ widespread commercial availability, a large number of global markets experienced access to the internet via mobile devices first. Despite being a fraction of the cost of a laptop or desktop computer, smartphones can run applications and access the internet, providing similar functionalities to more advanced setups. In the Asia-Pacific region, the growth of the mobile industries in China and India have brought the number of mobile internet users to more than one billion and 658 million users in 2022, respectively. Users in rural or more isolated communities have especially benefitted from the increased availability of mobile internet access, which has - at least in part - helped to democratize technology access.
A slowing mobile market: indicators of normalizing trendsGlobal consumer spending on mobile apps has experienced a decline for the first time in seven years, with users spending 167 billion U.S. dollars on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and app experience upgrades in 2022. This represents a two percent decrease from the 170 billion U.S. dollars generated by the mobile app market in 2021. While global users keep downloading apps onto their devices at a growing rate and apps installs have surpassed the 250 billion threshold in 2022, the mobile ecosystem might be normalizing after the acceleration consumption driven by two years in the tight grip of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Between 2021 and 2022, mobile advertising spending saw a slowing growth trend, increasing by roughly 14 percent year-over-year and reaching 336 billion U.S. dollars. While the global advertising market is expected to experience slowing growth in 2023 and traditional social media giants like Meta’s own Facebook and microblogging platform Twitter might be losing their grip on users’ attention, mobile apps as a media are more relevant than ever in consumers’ lives.