Mobile Apps: Does Summer Affect Mobile Usage in Teens?

Jun 08, 2016
By: Marissa Camilli

This is mainly due to the “convenience and constant access provided by mobile devices, especially smartphones, 92 percent of teens report going online daily,” states the Pew Research Center. That percentage of online activity includes 24 percent who also report being online “almost constantly.” But what happens when school lets out for summer break? Do teens still access mobile apps as often during the summer months?

Summer Break, Teens and Mobile Access Activity

Depending on the region, summer break for teens and young adults in college ranges from about 1 1/2 months to a full three months. The exception are those areas that require year-round academic schedules. However, in a study compiled by the Horace Mann Educator Advisory Panel, 85 percent of educators surveyed stated their school functioned on a nine-month schedule with a three-month summer break.

During the school year, it’s easy to imagine a higher usage rate of mobile activity as students use smartphones and tablets for education-related research, looking up facts for papers, projects and other research assignments. When school is out for the summer, teens and young adults generally are not using mobile devices for educational research; instead, they use mobile devices to stay connected with their friends and for entertainment purposes.

Summer Vs. Winter Usage

In 2014, Marketing Land looked at both the weekday and weekend North American smartphone web traffic and compared summer to winter usage. Their results showed that during the week, smartphone web usage stayed about the same between the two seasons, with only a slight increase in traffic during the midday hours of the summer months. However, on weekends, the summer usage increased in the evening and early morning hours from about midnight to 4 a.m., which indicates teens and young adults are not putting down mobile devices just because it’s summer break. While they may spend more time enjoying outdoor activities, they take their smartphones (or tablets) with them. Summer or winter, it’s still possible to reach teens and young adults through mobile advertising.

Which Apps May See Increase/Decrease?

Social media apps remain some of the most popular apps used by teens and young adults. As the Pew Research Center reports:

– 71 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 still use Facebook

– 52 percent use Instagram

– 41 percent use Snapchat

– 33 percent use Twitter

Research also shows approximately 71 percent of all teens use more than one social media site. These sites and similar apps typically won’t see a decrease in summer usage, and they may, in fact, experience an increase as teens have more time for socialization. Other apps that may enjoy an increase in usage are video and music streaming apps, game apps as they are entertainment-centered. Apps that might have a usage decrease during summer break include those typically used for fact-finding.

Teens and young adults want to be engaged, and most choose engagement and connection via their mobile devices. Mobile advertisers can connect with this demographic year-round and potentially see a spike in usage during the summer months when offering the engagement teens and young adults demand.


  • (winter/summer usage comparison)
  • (summer break length info)
  • (quote in first para.)
  • (stat. for how many teens have mobile access through phone)
Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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