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Do young internet users in Southeast Asia still bother hanging out with friends in person? When chat and text apps are available, and frequently free, mobile communication holds broad appeal.
According to research conducted by Epinion and OMD among internet users ages 13 to 21 in Vietnam, half said that chat and texting apps were their preferred way to communicate with their friends. Just three in 10 said they preferred face-to-face meetings, with phone calls and emails even less popular.
In Malaysia, 13- to 21-year-old internet users were even more into texting and chatting.
Nearly two-thirds of that group chose text-based mobile communications as their No. 1 way of talking to friends. In-person meetings were still in second place, but only around half as popular as they were in Vietnam. Email and phone calls had similar rates of preference in both countries.
Though chatting and text apps have certainly made their mark around the world, their popularity among young people for talking to friends is not universal. In India, for example, students prefer face-to-face meetings and phone calls over apps and texting.
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