Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, March 12, 2021
The frustrated plea “can you hear me now?” has evolved to include “can you see me now?” During pandemic and suddenly-working-at-home times, video calls have driven home the importance of having a robust, fast, and synchronous connection. Asynchronous activities such as text messaging and email don’t have the same need for speed and an instantaneous persistent connection.
It got me wondering – are people choosing one device over another for communication that demands higher-bandwidth or low-latency connections? Is there an age difference preference for right-now synchronous versus later-on asynchronous communication activities? Furthermore, are there other aspects beyond bandwidth and immediacy that encourage people to choose one device over another for certain types of communications? Are video work meetings, for example, more PC-based than smartphone-based?
So, I investigated our results from TUP/Technology User Profile 2020 to compare how widely communication activities are in regular use. I netted together asynchronous activities separately from synchronous ones. Then, I looked at differences by device type – smartphone, home PC, and tablet. I also looked at differences by age group, knowing that younger adults often have different sensibilities and experiences around communication than older or the oldest adults.
There are many ways to communicate with our connected devices – a voice phone call, video one-on-one calls, text messages, emails, and others. Do people use one type of device for every type of communication activity, choose different devices based on the type of activity, or is there a mixture? This MetaFAQs looks at users in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan to see which types of devices (smartphones, PCs, tablets, or some combination) are used the most widely for each of a dozen communication activities.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts – December 17, 2020
During the pandemic and with many employees working from home, much of communicating with coworkers and managers has shifted online. Employees have many options and are using most of them.
Video and online chats by employer size
Employees working for all company sizes are actively using a range of video calling, video conferencing, and group chats. Employees working for larger employers have a higher share who regularly communicate online than among employees with smaller employers.
These communication methods are more entrenched in the US, with most online employees regularly doing at least one of these activities.
Online employees in the UK are almost as actively communicating as Americans are. In Japan, however, the shares among both larger and smaller employers are lower than in the US, UK, or Germany.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 11, 2020
Communication is a vital and regular activity for connected devices. There are many choices – email, phone calls, video calls, video meetings, group chats – and the experience is different for each type. This MetaFAQs looks at asynchronous communication activities – those where the communicators don’t need to be engaged at the same time – to see how widespread their use is by age. It also looks at synchronous activities – where communications are in touch at the same time – to see how their usage levels vary.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 7, 2020
Are smart displays making any headway?
With videoconferencing entering the mainstream and getting a recent boost during pandemic stay-at-home orders, there was a possibility that smart displays would get broad market acceptance. Based on our most recent research results in TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, market penetration is still quite small.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 3, 2020
Employees are busy having video calls, meetings, and group chats and are using a wide range of devices. While smartphones are a top platform, home PCs, work PCs, and even tablets are regularly used. There are some differences by employer size and country. This MetaFAQs reports on the devices used for video calls/conferences by employer organization size and device type.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 30, 2020
Meetings! They don’t stop because of video conferencing, video calls, or group chats. This MetaFAQs details the share of employees who regularly connect online using smartphones, PCs, tablets, or even game consoles. The results are split out by employer size to show whether there is a difference between smaller or larger employers.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 28, 2020
How do employees communicate for work-related matters? Do they make video calls or group video conferences, such as those over Zoom or Webex? Is there a difference for employees of smaller as compared to larger organizations? This MetaFAQs reports on how many online employees communicate for work by type, country, and employer organization size.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 15, 2020
Are households with more occupants more likely to have their connected devices sharing sounds, or are they less likely? Do large households have a higher or lower prevalence of listening activities, using their smartphones, PCs, or tablets for phone or video calls, watching TV or videos, or listening to music? This MetaFAQs details the percent of adults regularly engaged in listening activities by household size and country.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, November 9, 2020
Are notebooks really that different from each other? Do users use a Windows notebook differently than users of Apple MacBook? This MetaFAQs looks at the regular activities being done with both types to address this question.
MetaFAQs are answers to frequently asked questions about technology users. The research results showcase the TUP/Technology User Profile study, MetaFacts’ survey of a representative sample of online adults profiling the full market’s use of technology products and services. The current wave of TUP is TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, which is TUP’s 38th annual.
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