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App trends: What to expect in mobile tech in 2024

App trends: What to expect in mobile tech in 2024
App trends: What to expect in mobile tech in 2024

The mobile app landscape is changing. From the rise of AI-driven applications to social media’s evolution, the future of mobile tech holds both unparalleled opportunities and challenges. 

Data.ai made five predictions set to redefine the mobile app industry in 2024. 

The following trends highlight the biggest shifts to shape the industry over the next 12 months. The focus this year will be on in-app spending, incorporating AI in mobile apps, and changes in the social media landscape.

To stay ahead, retailers and e-commerce businesses should look at embracing AI, investing in mobile gaming and in-app purchase initiatives, and optimize their apps for engagement and speed. 

TikTok’s dominion

TikTok recently eclipsed Candy Crush’s reign. It became the first non-gaming app to generate $10 billion in consumer spending. It is believed to smash the $15 billion milestone in 2024. 

Most of the revenue generated in 2023 came from the platform’s virtual currency, Coins. TikTok also generates revenue from advertising and the TikTok Shop.

Candy Crush saw an impressive 19% YoY growth, but TikTok’s journey to top was 3.7 times faster with 70% growth. It should also be noted that Candy Crush had a 4-year head start on TikTok. 

AI to overtake social apps

Generative AI (Gen AI) took an unprecedented leap in 2023. But it will play an even bigger role in mobile tech going forward.

Data.ai says apps that contain Gen AI functionality “will grow by 40% YoY.”

“The launch of ChatGPT in 2023 sent shockwaves through the world. In the US, Google searches for ‘AI’ increased nearly 10 times YoY, peaking in April 2023.”

In addition, apps with Gen AI functionality were downloaded nine-fold during the year, while AI chatbots saw a 72x boom.

“Outside of AI chatbots and art generator apps, [AI-driven apps] experienced a 60% boost in downloads in 2023 — due to new feature additions and app launches. Top subgenres for these were photo editing, video editing and beauty editor apps.”  

Mobile gaming will make a comeback

Economic crises have caused mobile gaming to drop by 3% in 2023, generating $107.5 billion in revenue. This trend is set to reverse next year with a predicted 4% YoY growth. 

Data.ai says US consumers will be spending the most, followed by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and the UK. 

Role-playing games (RPG) remain the most popular genre, followed by Match, Party, and Casino. However, spending in 2024 will be evenly spread between the top genres. 

Goodbye, microblogging

The sun will be setting on microblogging as more image- and video-centric social platforms take the lead. 

It all started when Twitter’s daily active users dropped to 250 million – an exit of 53 million daily users after Elon Musk took the reins in 2022. But this phenomenon is not limited to Twitter, now known as X. 

Based on data collected from the iOS and Google Play stores, Data.ai predicts microblogging will continue to face oblivion in 2024. 

“While platforms like X are likely to maintain a core niche of users, the overall trends show consumers are swapping out text-based social networking apps for photo and video-first platforms. Along with a series of mismanagement and public image fumbles for X, there is a general shift of where news content is being absorbed.”

In-app purchases 

Time is money, and social media is the next battleground for consumer spend in 2024 as more platforms will focus on generating revenue directly from users. Media sharing platforms could potentially see “a 152% increase in consumer spend in 2024 to approach $1.3 billion.”

TikTok’s recent success showed that it is possible: in 2020, users spent only 11 hours on the app. Fast-forward to 2023, and this has tripled to 32.5 hours per month. 

By this time next year, Data.ai says the average user will spend more than 40 hours on the app – 13 hours more than they would spend on YouTube. To stay in the game, both YouTube and Instagram now include “gifting features,” similar to TikTok’s Coins. 

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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