Live streaming and the explosion of the “creator economy” are igniting the current rise in social media app use and rapidly changing the landscape, a new study finds.
This year alone, consumers have already downloaded more than 9.2 billion apps and are expected to spend 740 billion hours on them. That includes an estimated 548 billion hours of them live streaming – in top apps including TikTok, Twitch and Instagram, according to mobile data and analytics tracker App Annie in its “The Evolution of Social Media Report” released Monday.
Other report findings show that this year’s hourly usage on apps will likely surpass last year’s total of nearly 800 billion hours mostly in part to increased use in mobile and other devices due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, App Annie executives told USA TODAY.
App Annie cites the usage surge of Twitch, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. As Twitch initially rose to popularity with gamers and has more than 30 million people who visit the site daily, more consumers are turning to Twitch to make connections outside of game streams from everything ranging from music to comedy, App Annie found.
“Authentic, real-time connection is driving meaningful growth and is set to underpin the future landscape of social media apps,” App Annie said.
Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, Twitch’s head of community productions who’s been with the platform since its start in 2011, told USA TODAY in June that Twitch has empowered millions of…