Social Media Now Takes Up 70% of Total Mobile Usage

The invention of the mobile phone was revolutionary for a wide range of reasons. Its initial use was primarily that it facilitated people calling each other without having to stay close to a plugged in landline. However, with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that the modern use of mobile phones is quite different, with recent studies revealing that a lot of total mobile usage time now goes towards social media and the like.

Some of the research that has highlighted the significance of social media when it comes to mobile usage is App Annie’s 2022 report called State of Mobile. This report showed that around 70% of the total time that people spent on their phones had something or the other to do with social media, and much of this growth has been driven by TikTok which has seen an exponential increase in its popularity over the past three to four years for the most part.

If you were to take a look at mobile usage figures for the final quarter of 2021, you would notice that Android users spent just under a trillion hours on their phones or around 950 billion hours to be precise. 650 billion of these hours were spent on social media and photo sharing apps which represents a 50% increase from the fourth quarter of 2018 where social media apps received about 435 billion hours of usage time in total.

As for TikTok specifically, the average TikTok user now spends about 19.6 hours on the app every single month. That’s around as much time as people tend to spend on Facebook, so even though the latter has more users in total the amount of time their users spend on the apps is more or less the same.

What’s even more shocking is that total time spent using TikTok now exceeds total usage time for WhatsApp and Instagram meaning that TikTok is now the single biggest competitor that Meta has from a total hours used point of view since it beats most of its properties and is equal to the only one that commands as much time.

Another aspect of TikTok’s growth that needs to be mentioned is how fast the rate of growth currently is. Most TikTok users spent around 4.2 hours on the app on a monthly basis in 2018, and this number has increased 4.7 times in just three years which is a far faster rate of growth than any other app has managed to see. TikTok’s total downloads are growing as well which has resulted in it having a larger total number of monthly active users too.

Facebook, on the other hand, has barely seen any growth between 2020 and 2021. It’s monthly hours of usage has gone from around 15 hours in 2018 to 19 hours in 2021, and if the current trends continue then TikTok could very well surpass Facebook in 2022. It has already managed to beat out Instagram and WhatsApp despite the former seeing relatively appreciable levels of growth and indeed is the only Meta owned social media platform that has managed to see a rate of growth that could in any way be seen as competitive.

Read next: The Chinese App TikTok has won the Battle of Most Downloaded App in the month of January 2022
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