Video chat is on the rise in the United States. New research from Pew Internet reveals that 19% of all American adults (18+) have tried using video chat on their mobile phones or on the Web. Even more impressive, the number of people who use video chat on a daily basis has doubled in the past year. This news should put a smile on the faces of video chat providers like Skype, Fring, Logitech and Cisco.
While daily US video chat usage has doubled in the past year, it is important to note that there still aren’t so many people who chat face-to-face over the web on a daily basis. In April of 2009, 2% of internet users participated in video chats on a daily basis. Now, 4% of internet users video chat every day. However, despite the small numbers this still shows a growing interest in video chatting and is a good indication that we are going to see a boom in the success of video chat providers. After all, who wouldn’t prefer to chat with loved ones face-to-face, rather than blindly on the phone?
The Pew Internet research also showed that video chat is more popular amongst the younger urban and suburban crowds. 8% of cell owners under the age of 50 have participated in video calls, while only 4% of cell owners over the age of 50 have participated in such calls. Only 12% of rural users participate in video calls, while 23% of suburban and 27% of urban internet users video chat.
With the introduction of the iPhone 4 and Apple’s FaceTime application, sites like Chatroulette, a barrage of video chat applications like Rounds and Zorap, and the growing desire of individuals to talk face-to-face over the web, the video chat industry is on the way up. How often do you engage in video chatting and video conferencing online? Do you think we are in for a video chat boom in the near future?
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