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AR and VR enter the mainstream

Once the domain of gamers and young social media users, AR and VR are entering the mainstream. This year, more than a quarter of the US population will use AR and nearly a fifth will use VR. As device-makers improve VR headsets and AR spreads to new use cases, the number of AR and VR users will continue to grow over the next four years, with AR outpacing VR.

AR user numbers will exceed 100 million in 2024.

We’ve lowered our estimate for current users to 89.4 million in 2022 because of access to better data—but we remain bullish on future growth.

  • We expect the number of AR users in the US to increase by more than 20 million people between 2022 and 2025.
  • By the end of this year, 29.7% of US internet users will use AR. That percentage will rise to 35.5% in 2025.

Social media continues to drive AR usage. Many people first experience AR when they use a filter or lens in Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok. And many of them are likely to be repeat users—56.0 million people in the US will experience social AR at least once per month in 2022. This year, 16.6% of the US population will use social network AR. That figure will tick up to 19.8% by 2025.