Texting Preferred To Talking, Ofcom Finds

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Most marketing people would certainly find the following figures intriguing, as they are a clear indication of just how willing to embrace digital devices British consumers are. The latest report from communications regulator Ofcom finds that an average UK household owns three Internet-connectable devices, while 15% of families have six or more.

One of the more surprising findings, however, refers to the fact that Britons are much more likely to communicate through writing, rather than use voice calls. According to the report, in 2011 the average consumer sent 50 text messages a week, which is twice the level recorded in 2007. In addition, 90 minutes per week were spent on social media or dealing with e-mails, making written communication key for consumers.

By contrast, making voice phone calls is slowly losing its appeal for many consumers, with the overall time spent talking on the phone falling by 5%, Ofcom reveals. The transition from speech to text is most notable among young people, with 96% of respondents aged between 16 and 24 stating they use written communication every day to keep in touch with others. The vast majority, 90%, text on a daily basis, while three quarters post content on social networking sites. In comparison, two in three make daily phone calls and 63% communicate with friends face to face.

Elsewhere, the report also finds that 39% of UK adults owned a smartphone at the end of 2011 and 11% of households had a tablet, underlining the growing mobile devices penetration in British everyday life.