Teens & Online Video: What are Kids Doing with Their Webcams?

May 04, 2012

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The brave folks at the Pew Research Center's Internet & America Life Project interviewed 799 teens to get a better understanding of how the kids interact with online video. From April 19- July 14, 2011 the teens were asked about their online behavior, and Pew put the results together in a report published on its website.

Of the teens between the ages of 12-17, 95% used the internet. Of that group, video chat was the most popular video-related activity, with 37% of teens using services like Skype and iChat. Pew says girls were more likely partake in this activity, and considering the phone habits of teenage girls, that probably surprises no one. Also unsurprisingly, teens in higher income families are more likely to video chat, which probably has more to do with access to tools like webcams than anything else. Pew says, "Of online teens from families earning $75,000 or more annually, 46% use video chat, while 32% of online teens from families earning under $50,000 annually use these services."

Up next was recording and uploading video to the internet, which 27% of teens said they did. According to Pew the most notable difference here is that girls are now just as likely to upload videos to sites like YouTube as their male counterparts-which is a change from 2006. According to Pew: "Nearly equal shares of online boys (28%) and girls (26%) say they shoot and share video. In 2006, online boys were nearly twice as likely as online girls to report uploading video they had taken, with 19% of boys and 10% of girls reporting the activity."

Lower on the video totem pole is live streaming video, which 13% of teens said they did. Broadband users are more likely to stream video. Can you imagine streaming video via dial-up?

Social media users are more likely to do all of the above than non-social media users, but Pew says, "The private or public nature of a teen's social media profile does not make a difference in their likelihood of streaming video - there is no statistically significant difference among teens with private, semi-private or public profiles."

So, marketers, take a cue from the youth market and consider that webcam in your laptop the next time you're thinking about a new campaign!

("Young and Connected" image courtesy of Shutterstock.)

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