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Indians relied on text messages to greet new year: Study

Majority of Indians (67%) have used their mobile phone to send text greeting to their family and friends on the eve of and around New Year 2014, according to a new poll by global market and opinion research firm Ipsos.

Sixty six percent Indians have used a mobile device (mobile phone or tablet) to take photos of gatherings for communication with loved ones, such as family or friends. Another five in ten (53%) have used an online video chat platform (such as Skype or Facetime).

“It seems when people aren’t with the ones they love, they love the devices they have in order to close the distance. Also mobile phones and tablets have become the camera of choice for Indians with majority claiming to have used one to take photos at gatherings,” said Biswarup Banerjee, Head of Marketing Communication, Ipsos in India.

“However, online video chat platforms such as Skype and FaceTime are not yet as popular, as fewer people say they have used such a platform when communicating with loved ones,” added Banerjee.

The findings reflect a new poll of 18,083 online respondents conducted as part of Ipsos’ Holiday Poll about technology and innovation.

In India women are more likely than men to have texted far-away loved ones (68% vs. 66%, respectively) and to have used a mobile device to take photos at gatherings (67% vs. 65%). Older respondents are more likely than their younger counterparts to have used their phones to take photos at gatherings (under 35: 66%, aged 35-49: 65%, aged 50-64: 69%) and to use online video chat (under 35: 52%, aged 35-49: 55%, aged 50-64: 51%). Age does make a meaningful difference in terms of who is most likely to text loved ones who are far away on special occasions or holidays: under 35: 63%, aged 35-49: 70%, aged 50-64: 75%.

Those who have high household income levels (70%) in India are more likely than those with middle (58%) or low (64%) income to say they have texted loved ones far away on a holiday or special occasion. The same is true for proportions of those who have used a mobile device to take photos at a gathering (high: 70%, medium: 59%, low: 55%) and to use online video chat (high: 56%, medium: 51%, low: 41%). Similarly, those with a high level of education are most likely to text loved ones on holidays (high: 68%, medium: 63%, low: 39%), to use their phone to take pictures at gatherings (high: 67%, medium: 61%, low: 30%) and to use video chat (high: 54%, medium: 47%, low: 31%).

Regional Differences
Texting far-away loved ones appears to be a global norm as a majority of respondents in each country say they have done this in order to communicate with loved ones. Those most likely to say they have are from: Sweden (89%), South Africa (84%), Russia (83%), Indonesia (82%), Spain (82%), Hungary (81%), Belgium (80%) and Italy (77%). Those in the middle of the pack are from: France (76%), Australia (75%), Great Britain (75%), Poland (74%), South Korea (73%), Turkey (73%), Argentina (69%) and the United States (69%). Those least likely to say they text, though still majorities in each country, are from: India (67%), Mexico (67%), Germany (66%), Brazil (62%), Japan (62%), China (61%), Saudi Arabia (61%) and Canada (59%).

Around half or more of those in all countries surveyed also indicate they use their mobile devices to take photos at gatherings with friends and family. Those from South Africa (84%), Indonesia (75%), Spain (75%), Turkey (74%), Russia (72%), Poland (72%), Australia (70%), and Great Britain (70%) are most likely to say so. They are followed by: The United States (69%), Brazil (69%), Hungary (67%), India (66%), Argentina (65%), Mexico (65%), Sweden (64%) and South Korea (64%). The bottom of the list is rounded out by those from: Canada (62%), China (61%), Germany (60%), Saudi Arabia (54%), France (52%), Japan (51%), Italy (49%) and Belgium (47%).

The range of those who have used an online video chat platform (such as Skype or Facetime) (42%) is more varied across the countries. At the top of the list, half or more from the following countries say they have interacted in this way: Turkey (58%), Russia (54%), India (53%), Great Britain (51%), Sweden (50%), South Africa (50%), China (49%) and Poland (47%). About four in ten from the following countries have used video chat to communicate with loved ones: Saudi Arabia (47%), Hungary (46%), Canada (46%), Argentina (45%), Spain (43%), Mexico (43%), Italy (42%), Indonesia (41%) and Australia (41%). Fewer than four in ten in the bottom third of countries have used online video for this sort of communication: Belgium (38%), Brazil (38%), the United States (36%), France (31%), Germany (31%), South Korea (23%) and Japan (15%).

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