A new report has identified exactly which apps use up the most of your data when you get them up on your smartphone — so now you know why you’re always running low.
Sometimes it can seem that after just a few minutes of aimless social media scrolling, you already get a notification that your monthly data allowance is perilously low. Thanks to a study commissioned by BuyMobiles, we now know exactly which apps to point the finger at for that problem — and TikTok is one of the worst offenders.
According to the research, the average TikTok user browses the app for 53 minutes per day, which would drain 742MB of mobile data based on its 840MB per hour consumption. This makes it the most intensive social media app, but it still might not be the ones to blame for pushing your data allowance down to the wire.
Instagram is the next data-greediest of the social media platforms, apparently using up 720MB per hour, but the catch is that users tend to spend even longer browsing this app — around 145 minutes per day on average, which would set you back by a whopping 1.74GB of data alone
Other social media sites are far less data intensive, with Twitter and Facebook draining 360MB and 100MB per hour respectively, so even though they are used around as much as Instagram they are unlikely to cause the same extent of data drain.
One surprise result was that Snapchat is remarkably efficient with data, despite being so image- and video-driven; the ephemeral social network uses up a meagre 160MB of data each hour.
However, if you’re watching TV shows or films using your mobile data then this is even more likely to be the reason you’re considering a new contract. Amazon Prime, Netflix, and YouTube each use up around 3GB of data for each hour that you’re streaming. BBC iPlayer is far more data-friendly, using just 225MB per hour, while streaming an hour of songs on Spotify would only lose you around 40MB of data.
Should you decide to call your friends or colleagues while you’re away from WiFi, just bear in mind that it could come at a cost. Zoom uses up 810MB on its calls, while Skype (700MB) and Google Hangouts (600MB) are at least a tad more efficient.
You can view the full results of the study in the infographic below: