When someone asks, “Do information users exhibit the same behaviors today compared to ten years ago?” The answer to this question is a resounding no. In 2000, most people were still attached to traditional media like newspapers or television, while in 2010 the Internet has been brought to the forefront as concluded by an ACTA study in Germany.
71% of Germans population uses the Internet to find information in 2010, compared to 16% in 2010. However, 60% still uses television to get a quick tidbit of latest news, compared to 66% in 2000. There are also declines in the use of other sources of information, newspaper (45% in 2010 and 58% in 2000) and magazines (37% in 2010 and 47% in 2000). Only the radio shows a stable utilization level (28% both in 2010 and 2000). The shift to the Internet for gathering information is even more pronounced among young people aged between 20 and 29 years old and among college students aged between 20 and 39.
81% of Germany population now has internet access and three-quarters of households have a broadband connection. In addition, 59% of them access the Internet each day and 44% spend at least an hour each day in the internet.
Internet also increases the number of savvy computer users. 37% of Germans population is defined as expert user and 14% work through the Internet. Moreover, Internet uses are getting increasingly mobile. 22% of German population surfs the Net with mobile devices. Most still choose laptops, although smartphones are slowly gaining ground. Two years ago only 3% of the population had a mobile smartphone. At this moment, the percentage has climbed to 12%. Devices such as the innovative iPad also attract a growing number of users. While only 1% of Germans have a tablet, 22% is already thinking about buying one in the future. Meanwhile, 71% of young people under 30 years and 50% of the general population can not imagine a life without mobile phone.
Two-thirds of younger people under 30 use their mobile phones or the Internet to keep in touch with others. The preferred medium to interact with friends and acquaintances are social networks. Among those between 14 and 19 years, the percentage of users with accounts at Facebook has jumped in the last two years from 42% to 67%. In all other age groups, the penetration of social networks is less, but since last year the number has been doubled.
Social networking users spend more time online than other Internet users, ACTA concluded. 60% of Internet users in German accesses Facebook or Twitter several times a day.