Video chat is still something many people don’t feel comfortable with. For U.S. teens, however, it is quickly becoming a pretty routine way of communicating with each other. According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 37% of teens now regularly use Skype, Apple’s iChat and startups like Tinychat to video chat with each other.
There are significant differences between how many boys and girls use video chat, though. Only a third of boys use video chat while 42% of girls said they have video chatted. Maybe unsurprisingly, those teens who use the Internet more frequently also use video chats more often than their peers who only go online a few times per week. The same is true for teens who text and use social media more often than their peers.
The Pew study also looked at how often kids upload video to the web. A quarter of the U.S. teens who were interviewed for this study also said that they record and upload video to the web. This represents a 100% increase since 2006. Just 14% of adults, by the way, upload video to YouTube and similar services.
Despite the gender gap in video chatting, though, boys and girls are equally likely to upload video these days. That’s quite a change from 2006, when Pew last asked this question. At that time, boys were twice as likely to say that they regularly uploaded video they had taken.
Streaming video over the web, however, still remains a bit of a niche activity among teens. Only 13% of respondents said they stream video live online. Interestingly, 3% of teens with dial-up connections manage to stream video to the web – one postage stamp-sized picture at a time.
The Pew study also noted that 95% of the 799 teens it interviewed said that they use the Internet. This number has not changed over the last few years. It’s worth noting – and somewhat odd – that this data is based on interviews that were conducted between April 19 and July 14, 2011. Given how quickly these trends change, chances are these numbers are actually a bit higher today.