Video Calling and Chatting on the Rise

We are finally catching up with the Europeans and the Asians in video calling and chatting with our mobile phones. According to a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 19% of Americans have tried video calls or video chat either online or on a mobile phone. People in Europe and part of the Asia have been using that for years.

Researchers found that 23% of all Internet users and 7% of cell phone owners have made or participated in video calls. The nature of the study was to find out the number of users who have made either online or cellular video calls, so for users that have made both, the data was only counted once.

Internet Users:

The Pew Internet Project surveyed Internet users in April 2009 about their experience with video calls; at the time, it found 20% of users had experience with the technology. In 2010, the survey results showed a slight increase to 23%. What’s more significant is that the number of video callers online on any given day doubled, going from 2% in 2009 to 4% in the summer of 2010.

  • More than one out of three users (34%) with a household income over $75,000 a year had experience with video calling. This statistic decreases to just 15% for users with a household income of below $30,000 a year.
  • Younger users are more likely to have used video calling. Individuals in the 18-29 demographic showed a 29% rate, whereas 25% of users 30-39 had video calling experience. This number slopes down more dramatically when you go to the 50-64 and 65+ demographics, both of which hover around 15%.
  • Predictably, broadband is key; 26% of broadband users have experience with video chat, compared to only 8% of non-broadband users.

Mobile Phone Users:

Thanks to the explosion of smartphones, this summer, mobile video calls have been in the spotlight more and more.

– Around 10% of users with a household income of over $75,000 a year had experience with mobile phone video calls, as opposed to 4% of users with a household income of under $30,000 a year.

– Likewise, younger users are more likely to have used mobile phone video calling. 9% and 8% of respondents age 18-29 and 30-39 had experience with mobile phone video calls, as compared with 4% and 3% for older age groups.

– The male-female split was about the same. Roughly 8% of males responded that they had experience with video calls on mobile devices, compared to 6% of female users.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

4 Responses to Video Calling and Chatting on the Rise

  1. Hi Elias,

    Thanks so much for the article and reference to the study. I will use these articles to market my business.



  2. Interesting article. I’d be interested to see the percentage of enterprises that have implemented some form of video conferencing or chat.

  3. FunkySantaClause says:

    Yeah… Video calls..!!

    That´s so last season, but i´m glad that you U.S finaly find that, that´s AMAZING like the balloons you thing that are UFOs..!

  4. Pankaj Mitra says:

    Thanks for the informative article. What generation of mobile phone are these people using? Are they happy with the service they get?

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