The State of Mobile 2024

According to’s State of Mobile 2024 report, the mobile app world is booming. User engagement is through the roof, and consumer spending is projected to hit $402 billion in 2024, driven by the explosion of short-form video content. But hold on, before you panic and think this mobile bonanza only benefits giant brands with global reach, listen up! This surge presents a massive opportunity for even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Let’s dive into the key takeaways and discover how your business can thrive in this mobile-first world, regardless of your size or global reach.

1. Mobile App Spending on the Rise: Global consumer spending on mobile apps hit a new high of $171 billion in 2023, representing a 3% increase year-over-year (YoY). This growth follows a 2% decline in 2022, demonstrating the resilience and recovery of the mobile app market.

2. Time Spent on Mobile Apps Continues to Increase: The average user spends over 5 hours per day on mobile apps across the top 10 markets, surpassing the previous year’s level. This indicates a deepening engagement with mobile devices and app experiences.

3. Creator Economy and Subscriptions Drive Growth: Two major trends are fuelling the mobile app market: the booming creator economy and the increasing popularity of subscription models. Apps catering to these areas, such as TikTok and content creation platforms, are experiencing significant growth.

4. Gaming Sees Moderate Growth, Inflationary Impacts: While the mobile gaming market grew by 8% YoY, it also felt the pressure of inflation. Spending on games remained flat compared to 2022, suggesting users might be tightening their budgets or shifting their spending priorities.

5. Social Media Landscape Evolves: TikTok continues to dominate the social media scene, attracting users and ad spend. Threads, Facebook’s new messaging platform, also shows promise. These trends reveal an evolving social media landscape where video and personalised experiences are key.

6. Regional Differences Emerge: The report explores regional variations in the mobile app market. For example, Southeast Asia exhibits the highest growth in downloads and user engagement, while mature markets like the US see more spending on in-app purchases.

7. AI Revolutionises Mobile Apps: Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the mobile app space across various industries. From retail and travel to food delivery, AI-powered features are enhancing user experience, personalisation, and marketing strategies.

8. Top Apps and Games by Region: The report highlights the most popular apps and games in different regions. This information can be invaluable for developers looking to tailor their offerings to specific markets.

9. Future Predictions for the Mobile Market: The report concludes with predictions for the future of the mobile landscape. Trends like augmented reality (AR), metaverse integration, and super apps are expected to shape the coming years.

What does this mean for SMEs?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a lot to gain from the insights revealed in the State of Mobile 2024 report. With mobile app usage and spending rebounding, there’s a clear opportunity for SMEs to leverage this powerful platform to reach new customers, boost engagement, and drive growth. Here are the key takeaways specifically for SMEs:

1. Embrace the Mobile Mindset: Consumers are spending more time than ever glued to their mobile devices. If you haven’t already, prioritise developing a mobile presence, be it a responsive website or a dedicated app.

2. Focus on Engagement, Not Just Downloads: Downloads tell part of the story, but user engagement is crucial. Craft a user-friendly, intuitive app experience that keeps users coming back for more.

3. Leverage the Creator Economy: Consider how your brand can participate in the creator economy. Collaborating with micro-influencers or offering user-generated content opportunities can build a loyal community and brand awareness.

4. Explore Subscriptions Carefully: While subscriptions are a growing trend, they might not be suitable for every business. Evaluate your audience’s preferences and carefully design a subscription model that offers real value.

5. Don’t Ignore Gaming: Even if you’re not directly involved in gaming, consider gamification elements in your app. Loyalty points, badges, and leaderboards can incentivise engagement and user loyalty.

6. Stay Social, Get Personal: Adapt your social media strategy to embrace TikTok‘s video-first approach and personalise your messaging across platforms. Threads’ message platform might also be worth exploring.

7. Think Local, Act Global: Regional differences exist in mobile app usage. If you have global aspirations, tailor your app and marketing strategy to the specific preferences of each target market.

8. Embrace AI to Stand Out: Consider implementing AI features in your app, whether it’s chatbots for customer service, personalised recommendations, or AR experiences. This can enhance user experience and give you a competitive edge.

9. Prepare for the Future: Stay informed about upcoming trends like AR, metaverse integration, and super apps. These innovations could significantly impact the mobile landscape and present new opportunities for your business.

By staying up-to-date with the mobile app landscape and adapting their strategies accordingly, SMEs can seize the opportunities presented by the mobile revolution and thrive in the ever-evolving digital world.

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