Pew: Teens Are Major Mobile Online Surfers

The vast majority of teens (92%) are daily Web surfers, with 56% saying they surf multiple times daily and almost a quarter (24%) say they are online "almost constantly."

That is the next generation of adult TV viewers that program distributors are trying to reach with their online video services. Mobility could play a big part if the new study from the Pew Research Center is any indication.

Of the 1,000 teens (13-17) polled, 73% have access to a smartphone and 91% said they go online from a mobile device, at least occasionally.

African American and Hispanic youth report more frequent Internet youth, with 34% of African American teens saying they are online "almost constantly" and 32% of Hispanic teens. Only 19% of white teens said that was the case.

The study found that 85% of African Americans have access to a smart phone compared to 71% apiece for Hispanics and whites.

There is a definite gender difference when it comes to use of online platforms. Girls are bigger users of social media, while boys are more likely to play video games than socialize on the net.

The study found that 61% of girls use Instagram, 44% for boys; 51% of girls use snapchat, 31% of boys; online pinboards, 33% to 11% for boys; and 23% use Tumblr, but only 5% of boys.

As to gaming, 91% of boys said they did, while a healthy 70% of girls were video game players; 84% of boys said they played games on their phones, while only 59% of girls did.

Appropriately, the report was based on an online survey, which polled 1,060 teens and their parents or guardians (there was a separate study for them) Sept. 25-Oct. 9.

Pew says this is the first of what will be a series of studies of teens and technology use.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.