ACMA releases data on teens’ web use

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Thursday, 3 July 2014 12:18pm

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released statistics on how Australian teenagers use the internet, showing that almost all of them are connected, and demonstrating the importance of making web, applications and communications devices like smartphones and tablets accessible to people with a disability.

Aussie teens online is not only a great snapshot of the role the web plays in the lives of young Australians, but it is also valuable in helping web accessibility professionals as well as content authors, designers and developers think about how they need to make the web and devices accessible for the next generation of users.

Major findings

Probably the biggest conclusion to draw from the data is that Australian teenagers are intimately connected to the web. In fact they’re almost all connected.

As at December 2013, nine in 10 teenagers had internet access in their home, with nearly 100 per cent of these having a broadband connection, according to the snapshot.

Teenagers also place a high emphasis on mobile connectivity: 89 per cent have a mobile phone, of which 69 per cent are smartphones, and 56 per cent use their mobiles to go online. Even among teenagers who had no fixed internet connection in the home, half (50 per cent) went online via their mobile phone.

Even for younger users, the internet is rated as very important, increasing as children grow older and more  connected – reinforcing the fact that even services and information aimed at young Australians need to be accessible.

“ACMA research on children aged eight to 17, has found that as children become older, going online becomes a central activity for social interaction, education, knowledge gathering and exposure to new experiences,” the snapshot reads. “It becomes an integral part of their lives.”

The snapshot also includes useful data on the most visited internet domains (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Mi9 and Microsoft), their (waning) use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube, their desire to participate in blogging and community activities, and their growing use of apps and online banking.

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