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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 20, 2011

Email's role as comm tool fading as texting rules

Email is slowly fading away as a communication tool, according to a new survey by youth insight service YouthBeat. Instead, texting is how tweens and teens prefer to stay in touch.

by Helen Leggatt

c and r research logo.gifWhen tweens (11-13) and teens (14-18) want to contact their friends and family, they do so via text messaging. In fact, according to the YouthBeat survey, email remains the preferred method of keeping in touch for very few.

Just 13% of tweens favor email (vs. 43% that prefer text messaging). As they get older email preference decreases. Only 8% of teens prefer email to text (57%).

According to Amy Henry, VP of Youth Services for C&R Research of which YouthBeat is a service, younger generations no longer consider email as an important communication tool.

"They're more likely to have an e-mail address to give them access to social networking sites like Facebook than to treat it as a home base for communication. Interestingly, many maintain e-mail addresses for communicating with teachers about assignments," she said.

This trend can only continue as more kids are being introduced to Internet and mobile technology at an early age. YouthBeat's survey found that 19% of kids (aged 6-10) have a mobile phone.

Recent research from AVG found that over a quarter (28%) of toddlers (aged 2-5) is able to make a call on a mobile phone.

"When you develop a behavior as a child, you will likely carry it into adulthood," Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld. "If that theory holds, the texting children will be texting adults, and we will be very thankful to Google for getting cars to drive themselves."

Tags: email, mobile phone, texting, youth

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