Some Teens Would Rather FaceTime than See Friends in Person - eMarketer

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Some Teens Would Rather FaceTime than See Friends in Person

But many still prefer to communicate the traditional way

June 12, 2017

Many teens prefer to hang out with their friends the traditional way—in person.

In fact, research from YouGov found that more than seven in 10 US teen internet users said they at least somewhat prefer to hang out this way.

But a significant number of teens actually don’t favor in-person meetups. Nearly one in five respondents (19%) preferred video chat via platforms like FaceTime or Skype over face-to-face hangout sessions.

Extent to Which US Teen Internet Users Prefer to Video Chat vs. Hang Out in Person with Friends, by Gender, May 2017 (% of respondents)

YouGov found that female teens were more likely than males to prefer video chats over real-life meetups.

There’s no doubt that young internet users are heavily dependent on their devices. According to a July 2016 study by CivicScience, more than three-quarters of 13- to 24-year-olds said they were addicted to their digital devices, which included computers and smartphones.

And by and large, more people—not necessarily just teens—are using mobile messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Skype.

eMarketer estimates that there will be 140.6 million US mobile phone messaging app users this year. By 2020, that number will grow to 166.8 million.

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