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App Economy Shrinks in 2023, But Usage and Downloads Keep Growing

  • Jan 22, 2023
  • Samanta Blumberg
App Economy Shrinks in 2023, But Usage and Downloads Keep Growing

The app economy has taken a hit in 2023, with consumer spending dropping for the first time ever. However, downloads are still increasing year-over-year, and users are spending more time using mobile apps than ever before. This Week in Apps offers an overview of the latest news from the world of mobile applications so that readers can stay up to date with this fast-moving industry. 

According to data from “State of Mobile” by data.ai (previously App Annie), consumer spending on apps dropped by 2% last year to $167 billion, marking the first decline since 2012. Despite this drop, downloads were actually up 11% year-over-year, reaching 255 billion total downloads globally. Additionally, Android users spent 4.1 trillion hours combined on their devices throughout 2022 -- an increase of 9%. 

In other news related to apps this week, Twitter announced it was killing off all third-party applications as part of its ongoing effort to protect user privacy and security; Instagram added a new "Quiet Mode," allowing users to mute certain notifications; Google's antitrust trial got a date set for later in 2023; Apple updated its Developer Program License Agreement and clarified some guidelines regarding what type of content is allowed in the App Store; Snapchat launched Story Explorer which allows users to search through stories based on keywords or phrases; Spotify acquired podcast company Megaphone as part of its push into podcasting; Amazon launched Alexa Skill Blueprints which allow anyone with an Echo device create custom skills without any coding knowledge; finally Twitch unveiled its Creator Camp program which will provide resources for up-and-coming streamers looking to start out their streaming career professionally. 

Overall, it seems that despite a dip in consumer spending last year due largely due to Covid restrictions, usage and downloads continue growing at a steady rate within the app economy overall -- suggesting that current trends may be here long term even after life returns back towards normalcy across industries worldwide as we move further into 2023.

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