Pew finds Internet Phone Usage Spike [Research]

WOW! Have you seen the new research coming out of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project about the use of the internet to make phone calls? It has our office really surprised.

Their main finding: A quarter of American adult internet users (24%) have placed phone calls online (about 19% of all American adults). That means that on any given day 5% of internet users are going online to place phone calls.

Both figures are marked increases from previous readings in surveys by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Using different question wording, the Project found in February 2007 that 8% of internet users (6% of all adults) had placed calls online and 2% of internet users were making calls on any given day. At various points during the 2000s they asked similar questions and found that at most about a tenth of internet users had ever used the internet to place calls and the daily figure never rose above 1% of internet users.

This is particularly interesting in light of Microsoft’s recent $8.5 billion purchase of Skype.

If those stats didn’t do much for you, check out this graphic that illustrates the sharp increase in internet phone usage:

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