Almost a fifth of American adults – 19% – have tried video calling either online or via their cell phones. These figures translate into 23% of internet users and 7% of cell phone owners who have participated in video calls, chats, or teleconferences.
Video calling has become increasingly available as camcorders have spread through the online environment, cameras have been built into smart phones, and as video-chat services like Skype, Google Talk, and Apple iChat have become a feature of the online and smart phone environment. Teleconferencing is also becoming more embedded in the business environment.
This summer, in a nationally-representative telephone survey using landlines and cell phones, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Project asked for the first time about the prevalence of video calling both online and on cell phones.
The survey of 3,001 adults found that 74% of American adults are internet users and, among those internet users, 23% have participated in video calls, chats, or teleconferences. The survey also found that 85% of American adults have cell phones and, among those cell owners, 7% have used their phones for video calls, chats, or teleconferences. Overall, that means that 19% of Americans have either used the internet or their cell phone to participate in video calls – and in many cases, people have used both technologies for video chats.
About the Survey
This report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans' use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between August 9 and September 13, 2010, among a sample of 3,001 adults, age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For results based Internet users (n=2,065), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.