Revealing the latest trends in mobile device usage and consumer behaviour

17 January
Authors Paul Neto

Mobile behavioural data is critical in the quest for human understanding - and for businesses seeking to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant.

5 min read
5 min read
revealing the latest trends in mobile device usage and consumer behavior

Article series

App Life Report

The smartphones that we carry in our pockets are an integral part of our daily lives, accompanying us from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed. Whether it's scrolling through social media, shopping online, streaming content, conducting business, or even monitoring our health and fitness, people are engaging with their phones in a myriad of ways. This reality means that mobile behavioural data is critical in the quest for human understanding - and for businesses seeking to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant.

Mobile behavioural data offers a real-time glimpse into consumer preferences, habits, and trends, enabling companies to adapt, tailor their strategies, and create more personalised, effective, and successful interactions with target audiences. The bottom line? We must understand what people are doing on their phones to unlock holistic insights for decision-making.

Yes, the evolving consumer data landscape is making it more tricky than ever to obtain this level of data. Emerging privacy regulations, coupled with restrictions imposed by tech giants such as Apple and Google (the cookie-less future draws near!), as well as a growing wariness among consumers regarding personal data sharing, are causing significant disruptions in data collection. Conventional methods of gathering behavioural data, such as cookies, VPNs, and fingerprinting, are swiftly losing relevance. This scenario means that first-party, zero-party, and permission data have become increasingly vital to truly understanding consumer behaviour.

The way to get this type of data requires an ecosystem built on transparency, trust, respect and privacy, which can foster open sharing, marking the initial stride toward capturing robust behavioural data. In a new 'App Life' report, we highlight data that is shared in an environment that is based on these principles, which facilitates real behavioural data collection through a "show me, don't tell me" approach. Based on fully permissioned behavioural, demographic, and psychographic data, this report provides insights into mobile device usage, app engagement metrics, in-app purchases, and much more.

Some of the findings highlighted in the report, which was collected using Measure’s Retro technology and represents information from more than 5,000 individuals in the United States, include:

TikTok's ongoing influence

One of the standout findings from the report is the continued influence and popularity of TikTok. It's not just a platform for entertainment; it's becoming a new "search engine." For example, Gen Z users are spending an impressive 16 hours per week on TikTok, engaging with a staggering 5,400 videos. This generation actively participates in interactive activities like commenting and sharing. In contrast, Millennials tend to spend more time on live watches on the platform.

Generational shopping behaviour

As we swiftly approach the biggest shopping season of the year, it is interesting to examine how consumers are shopping on their devices. With external influences like inflation and economic uncertainty, we see various cohorts behaving differently when it comes to purchasing. Amazon remains a leader in retail app usage, with 80% of respondents using it regularly. However, we did find key differences in generational shopping behaviours, including most-used apps and largest category spends, suggesting the need for new engagement and retention strategies for different audience segments.

Redefining gaming audiences

The mobile gaming market industry will reach almost $250 billion by 2030, according to Market Research Future. This is a growing audience to keep an eye on - and the makeup of gamers is changing, too. Our data reiterates that women in gaming are a force to be reckoned with, as female players spend more time playing games like Call of Duty, logging an impressive 360 minutes per week compared to 166 minutes for men. This finding underscores the need for gaming companies to rethink how they communicate and cater to this powerful audience.

The rise of multi-screen behaviour

Another noteworthy trend is data that seems to indicate an increase in multi-screen media consumption. For example, we found that heavy TikTok users who spend 18 hours per week on the platform are also allocating slightly more time to other leading iOS apps, 2 hours per week, compared to light TikTok users. With declining attention spans and the increasing trend of multitasking, advertisers face limited time and opportunities to genuinely captivate their audiences.

Detailed mobile behavioural data such as this can help to inform holistic competitive strategies for brands, app developers, and agencies. With insights such as in-app spending, purchase motivations, media consumption patterns, and social media search results, marketers and brands can gain a deeper understanding of competitor apps and 360-degree digital behaviours. This valuable data can be integrated into existing surveys and data pipelines, enhancing audience understanding and providing new ways to drive growth.

Get the Measure Protocol App Life report now:

Paul Neto
Co Founder - Chief Marketing Officer at Measure Protocol

Article series

App Life Report