SINGAPORE: Singaporeans now spend an average of almost 19%, or 4.51 hours of their day, on mobile apps, according to a recent report from mobile app tracking platform data.ai (previously App Annie).

Over the past four years, a steady climb in Singaporeans’ mobile app usage was also noted, with 2020 having an average of 4.17 hours, 2021 having 4.30 hours, 2022 having 4.43 hours, and 2023 having 4.51 hours.

Compared to other nations, however, Singapore’s mobile app usage is relatively lower. In 2023, Indonesia recorded the highest average of 6.0 hours, followed by Thailand, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, where users averaged more than 5 hours daily on mobile apps.

Additionally, per data.ai’s most recent State of Mobile 2024 research, consumer spending on mobile applications grew to $171 billion in 2023, indicating a 3% year-over-year (YoY) growth.

TikTok emerges as leading app in “user engagement and monetization”

TikTok has emerged as the leading app in terms of user engagement and monetization, according to the report.

The popular app has notably exceeded $10 billion in lifetime spending thanks to its content creator tipping feature. By 2024, the report noted that in-app purchases will account for the majority of the 150% increase in direct consumer revenue, which is projected to reach $1.3 billion.

Besides TikTok, other prominent apps that showed significant development in 2023 and potential for future growth were Chinese shopping apps like Temu and SHEIN, generative AI apps like ChatGPT, Ask AI, and Open Chat, travel apps like tour and flight booking services, and real-world event ticketing apps.

Just how many Singaporeans are using mobile apps?

As reported by Meltwater, Singapore’s internet population as of January 2023 is 5.81 million, or 96.9 percent of the population, with 89.5 percent of these users accessing the internet via mobile phones or apps.

Although this could be seen as a bad thing, their reasons for accessing the internet and these apps actually suggest otherwise. Their top 4 reasons were: finding information (64.8%), staying current on news and events (57.2%), looking up how to do things (54.8%), and looking up products and brands (50.1%).

Also, in addition to using social media to pass the time and stay in touch with loved ones, Singaporeans also use it to read news articles and see what other people are talking about.

What caused this mobile app revolution?

Numerous reports claim that, as a result of the pandemic lockdowns, people are growing more and more reliant on their phones globally. Despite the purported “return to normal” in 2022, it appears that mobile users who embraced new apps and habits during the pandemic may have persisted.