Pandemic: users spent more time in five out of six app categories

Anne Freer | March 26, 2021

App Business

Over the last 12 months, the mobile app landscape has changed significantly.

According to data from Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) apps across five categories all saw higher usage between March 2020 and February 2021 – finance/trading apps (+63%), social media apps (+25%), lifestyle apps (+19%), video apps (+22%) and gaming apps (+6%). Only sports apps declined (-32%).

Gen Z increased their use of trading apps by 102% in total hours. Usage of Robinhood and Square’s Cash app stood out.

Meanwhile, food stamp apps were increasingly used by those who suffered financial hardship as a consequence of COVID-19. For example, use of Fresh EBT rose 152%.

Sports app usage shot up 73% but spent less time in fantasy and betting apps.

Gen Z flocked to use dining and shopping apps more readily (50%). DoorDash and Uber Eats increased their usage by 166% and 121% respectively.

Time spent in social media apps rose 25% during the pandemic and accounted for the most amount of time consumers spent on their phones, over an hour a day.

TikTok was the must-have pandemic app with time spent creating videos rising almost four times (380%).

On the video app front, it emerges that US users watched almost 42 minutes of video per day with growth in time spent on video apps led by Gen Z (44%) followed by Baby Boomers (up 10%).

Meanwhile, multiplayer games provided much needed relief with an average of 41 minutes spent using these apps.

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