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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 19, 2010

Teens let their fingers do the talking

Voice-calling is dropping among teens but texting sure isn't. Figures released by Nielsen found just how much message tapping the kids are engaging in - you'll be amazed.

by Helen Leggatt

According to Nielsen, teens send, on average, an SMS message every 10 minutes. That's an incredible 3,330 texts each month.

Teenage girls are the worst culprits. They send an average of 4,050 texts each month, compared with "just" 2,539 for boys.

With age comes a drop-off in texting. While teens age 13-17 were the most prolific texters, young adults age 18-30 averaged 1,630 texts each month.

The ability to send text messages was the primary reason given by teens for getting a mobile phone (43%), ahead of safety (35%), keeping in touch with friends (34%) and keeping in touch with family (26%).

According to the report, "78% of teens recognize the functionality and convenience of SMS, considering it easier (22%) and faster (20%) than voice calls (though still fun)".

Teens have also begun to use data services more. Data use by teens jumped from an average of 14MB per month during Q2 of last year to today's average of 64MB.

So, the question is, will teens carry on this rate of texting into their adult lives? Some believe this may well be the case.

"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."

However I believe, with age, will come a tempering of such behavior. And, let's not forget that technology moves on and, within the next five years, new forms of communication will become the "norm".

Tags: mobile phone, SMS messaging, teens

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