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Users spend 2 hours-plus a day toying with mobile apps

Time spent on the mobile Web declines, while app use rises with games, social networking, and messaging being US users’ biggest go-to categories.


Forget television -- mobile apps now appear to be one of the biggest time suckers.

New data released by mobile analytics firm Flurry shows that average US users spend 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their mobile devices -- 86 percent of that time is spent in apps and 14 percent on the mobile Web. While time in apps is increasing, mobile Web use is on the decline.

"The data tells a clear story that apps, which were considered a mere fad a few years ago, are completely dominating mobile, and the browser has become a single application swimming in a sea of apps," Flurry wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Users are spending more and more time on mobile apps, but the increase of time spent over last year has been relatively small. For 2013, Flurry reported users spent 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on their mobile devices -- that means just a four-minute increase to this year.

So, what are the apps that are consuming so much of users' time? For the most part, they're game and social and messaging apps. Gaming apps take up 32 percent of users' time, and social and messaging apps take up 28 percent. Entertainment apps, like YouTube, use 8 percent of consumer's time and utility apps also use 8 percent.

Seeing as how consumers appear to be spending so much time on mobile apps, it makes sense that the tech giants are scrambling to acquire smaller app companies. According to Flurry, Facebook's acquisition of Instagram in 2012 has helped the social network maintain a big mobile presence. And, this will likely be the case with Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp too.

"It is still too early to predict the trajectory apps will take in 2014," Flurry wrote. "But one thing is clear -- apps have won and the mobile browser is taking a back seat."

Flurry gets its data by tracking activity on more than 400,000 apps on more than 1.3 billion mobile devices worldwide.