Last month a new report from The Information* suggested that Snap is about to launch its own gaming platform.  They are rumoured to be launching later this year an in-app gaming hub, offering instant games within the Snapchat app. Business Insider** speculates that there are potentially two reasons why Snap may be launching a gaming platform:

 1) To increase time spent in app and help retain users with social elements such as leader boards and multi-player components.  

2) To offer AR-based games in an effort to become the preferred platform for AR development and experiences in a market set for rapid growth.

Whatever their reasons and strategy, it’s clear from latest UKOM approved comScore data that mobile gaming apps are big drivers of time online. Looking at the top 200 largest mobile apps amongst adults 18+, gaming apps occupy 8 out of the top 20 positions when ranked by average time spent per visitor.

Every month, nearly 25 million adults, or 69% of all app users, access gaming apps on mobile devices – spending on average 820 minutes each playing games or searching for gaming information.   However, although reach is higher among 18-24 (82%), it is notable that they spend less time on average than older audiences. Young visitors to gaming apps online aged 18-24 spend on average 481 minutes per month compared to over 1000 minutes for the 45+ audience who use them.  The nature and genre of online gaming apps may go some way to explain this with casual games such as Words with Friends, Candy Crush and Solitaire being popular with older audiences.

Latest UKOM approved comScore data shows that whereas Facebook and YouTube have high in app time and high reach across all age groups, average time spent for older audiences for Snap’s app is very low. The 45+ age group spend over 500 minutes per month on the Facebook app but only 37 minutes on Snapchat each month. This explains why Snapchat only ranks at no.21 for average time spent, despite being at no.4 in terms of audience reach for mobile apps.  

It’s clear from the data that gaming apps on mobile devices not only drive up average minutes but are also popular with all age groups.  By launching games within the app, Snap could drive up time spent among all audiences.  Given that earlier this year Snap also launched ‘Snappables’ - single and multi-player AR games using touch, motion and facial expressions - the launch of a gaming hub to drive up engagement whilst tapping into the lucrative mobile AR market seems perfectly logical.

Notes on Data:

*https://www.theinformation.com/articles/snap-gaming-platform-coming-this-fall

** http://www.businessinsider.com/snap-snapchat-gaming-platform-2018-6?IR=T

All UK data is based on UKOM industry standard and development level approved comScore MMX Multi-Platform data. comScore MMX Multi-Platform includes desktop browsing, desktop video streams, smartphone browsing & apps, tablet browsing & apps for May 2018.

Top App data comes from Mobile Metrix Multi-Platform and ranks top 200 apps by unique visitors across smartphones and tablets by average minutes per visitor in May 2018, based on adults 18+.

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