August 8, 2018 | Last updated on April 11, 2024

How Americans Spend Their Time on Mobile Devices

Written by Marc Alringer

Infographic about how Americans spend their time on mobile devices

The overwhelming majority of Americans own a mobile device of some kind. We don’t just own them—we’re glued to them, too. U.S. Consumers now spend five hours a day on their mobile devices, according to Flurry Analytics. That’s some serious screen time, but what are people actually staring at? Let’s take a look at some of the factors that drive our most popular mobile pastimes.

Commutainment is king

Commutainment apps—communication platforms used for entertainment purposes—dominate mobile screen time. Half of all of Americans’ mobile time is spent in commutainment and media apps such as Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube.  The social element of these apps encourage repeated use.

  • Facebook—which includes Instagram and WhatsApp—commands nearly 20% of Americans’ mobile screen time.
  • YouTube—the world’s second most popular website, after Google—reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network, on mobile devices alone. In fact, over half of the billion hours of YouTube videos watched daily comes from the mobile app.
  • Gaming—holding 11% of mobile users’ attention—has lost some of its clock command for the second year in a row, despite more money than ever flowing into the gaming community.
  • Shopping apps have been growing in popularity, though still only holding 5% of the screen market.

App vs. browser time

  • Mobile browser use only accounts for a dismal 8% of screen time, with apps clearly being the preferred mobile platform for users.
  • On average, there are 4,500 apps released daily on Google Play and 2,400 on the Apple App Store.
  • There are about 540 million apps downloaded a day, and this number continues to rise.
  • By 2020, mobile app store revenues are projected to reach nearly 72 billion dollars.

Mobile millennials

  • According to Pew, 100% of consumers aged 18-29 own a cellphone of some kind.
  • Millennials are more locked into their mobiles than anyone else—as of 2017, millennials use their phone an average of 223 minutes a day.
  • Apps such as Twitch, Airbnb, and Snapchat have a user base that is majority millennial.

Capitalize on screen time

By providing state-of-the-art mobile application design and development, Seamgen gives businesses the mobile prowess needed to stay current in today’s tech-heavy environment. Contact us to begin a conversation in product strategy, user experience design, or web & mobile full stack development. It’s as simple as saying


Marc Alringer
Written by
President/Founder, Seamgen
I founded Seamgen, an award winning, San Diego web and mobile app design and development agency.
Top Application Development Company San Diego and web design company in San Diego

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