Kids spend more than 3 hours a day on apps

September 22nd, 2014

Even the most harmless game or app can become addictive and cause problems for the child and the family.

Today the DinnerTime Plus app releases statistics on the average time their users spend on different apps across popular names such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Whatsapp.

The findings show that during the first half of September as kids return to school, more than 3 hours per day are spent using apps on their smartphones and tablets, the equivalent of 6 and ½ weeks per year.

Across a sample of more than 2800 users with the child version of the DinnerTime Plus app (which works with a companion parent app), the stats show that social and messaging apps such as Instagram and Facebook are the most popular among kids. An average of 52 minutes and 42 minutes are also being spent every day on the gaming apps Minecraft – Pocket Edition and Clash of Clans respectively.

Key findings include:

  • During the first half of September, average daily app usage per user is 183 minutes (3 hours and 3 minutes), meaning kids spend approximately 6 ½ weeks a year on apps
  • More than a third of this time is used on social/blogging/messenger/SMS related apps, with more than 65 minutes per day spent messaging friends
  • 29% of total app usage is related to video apps (53 minutes per day), 10.4% to game apps (19 minutes per day), and 8.2% to internet browsing (15 minutes per day)
  • Instagram and Facebook are the most popular social and messaging apps with 30% of kids using them every day
  • In the games category, an average of 52 minutes are being spent on Minecraft – Pocket Edition and 42 minutes being spent on Clash of Clans daily
  • YouTube and Netflix dominate the video category, with nearly half of kids using YouTube every day. YouTube users average 71 minutes per day in the app; Netflix users average 86 minutes per day using the app
  • The popularity of gaming apps tend to be seasonal for children – during the month of August FIFA 14 ranked as the 6th most popular app; now FIFA 14 does not even in the top 80 most used apps
  • While many kids make phone calls, less than 1.8% of app usage time is actually spent on the phone, while 35% of the time is spent on social and messaging apps
  • Google Chrome is the most popular browser, with an average of 22 minutes spent browsing per day

While apps are more popular than ever before among kids, DinnerTime Plus’ analytics also suggest a lack of loyalty as to which games are consistently played, with the soccer app FIFA 2014 disappearing from the rankings after the World Cup. The DinnerTime Plus team also observed that kids spend less than 1.8% of their time on traditional phone calls as a means of communication, with more than a third of the time spent on apps involving IM services.

With DinnerTime Plus, parents can better understand their children’s mobile device usage behavior through reporting, and work with their kids to set appropriate boundaries such as app time limits, device time limits or bedtime schedule to guide their mobile device usages.

Based on recent feedback, over 80% of the parents who have DinnerTime Plus installed said that the app has helped their kids to reduce the device usage time while increasing family quality time.

DinnerTime Plus will extend its platform support for Amazon Kindle devices this month. The new version for iPhone and iPad for kids will be available in Q4 and the signup for the Beta waitlist can be found at