Generation OMG – Infographic and Data on How Teens Use Mobile Devices

Frustrated at your mobile data download speed? Or, Irritated that most carriers have put bandwidth limits their data plans? Blame the apps – or the teens that love to use them.  A great new infographic highlights the trends, but first, here’s a little background.

In December 2011, Nielsen research found that “in the third quarter of 2011, teens age 13-17 used an average of 320 MB of data per month on their phones, increasing 256% over last year and growing at a rate faster than any other age group.”

That’s not to say teens are the biggest data hogs, those aged 25-34 take that distinction, but teens are rapidly overtaking other generations in their data demand.

The data usage among teens isn’t for talking; they’d rather text – though the biggest texters are also the biggest talkers. According to Nielsen’s research voice usage has seen its greatest decline among teen users – from an average of 685 minutes to 572 minutes. Over the same time period, the average number of text messages sent by teens hit a shocking 3,417 messages a month, or roughly 114 texts every day.

When surveyed, the top three reasons teens said that they prefer messaging to calling was because it is faster (22%), easier (21%), and more fun (18%).

Last week (March 2012) new research  from the Pew Internet & American Life Project provided new evidence on the preference to text over calling:

  • 14% of all teens say they talk daily with friends on a landline, down from 30% who said so in 2009. Nearly a third (31%) of teens say they never talk on a landline with friends (or report that they cannot do so).
  • 26% of all teens (including those with and without cell phones) say they talk daily with friends on their cell phone, down from 38% of teens in 2009.
  • 63% of all teens say they exchange text messages every day with people in their lives. This far surpasses the frequency with which they pick other forms of daily communication, including phone calling by cell phone (39% do that with others every day), face-to-face socializing outside of school (35%), social network site messaging (29%), instant messaging (22%), talking on landlines (19%) and emailing (6%).

Another way to look at the rise in data use is to consider that AT&T’s mobile data traffic grew 8,000% in the four years from 2008 and 2011 – and they expect mobile data traffic to be eight to ten times higher by 2015.

Now, research by social entertainment company Fun Mobility has leveraged existing research and added their own to create an infographic titled “Generation OMG: How Teens Use Mobile Devices” that illustrates the growth of teen (ages 13-17) data usage and how much of that increase comes from gaming and mobile applications.

Check out the infographic:




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