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19 percent of U.S. adults have made Internet phone calls, says Pew

Nearly a fifth of all adults in the United States have made a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) call on the Internet, according to a new survey by Pew Research. Among Internet users (a majority of the population), that number is 24 percent and on any given day 5 percent of Internet users go online to make phone calls. The number is a big increase from the 6 percent of U.S. adults who made Internet phone calls in 2007. Among them, only 2 percent made Internet calls on a daily basis.

Skype, which is being purchased by Microsoft, remains the most popular way to talk on the Net. However, this shows that, while many users know about and have tried online calling, few have switched from more traditional cellular and landline phone calls.

Below, we’ve included Pew’s demographic breakdown of online phone callers. While the demographics appear fairly varied, it is obvious that urban/suburban folks with higher income and at least a college degree use Internet calling more than most. Pew points out that there are also “modest differences tied to age: younger Interent users are more likely to place online calls than older users.”

pew-internet-phone-calls-demographic-chart-2011

Will Microsoft’s purchase of Skype harm these numbers in the years to come?

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