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Survey Report: Skype Emerges as Preferred Video Calling App

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March 25, 2011

Survey Report: Skype Emerges as Preferred Video Calling App

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, there are 37.9 million immigrants in the country. Rebtel, the world's second largest mobile VoIP company conducted a study on U.S. immigrant and first-generation consumer mobile usage and behavior in November 2010 with a sample group of respondents, who were Rebtel (News - Alert) users.

For the purpose of the survey, the study took into account the different ethnic backgrounds of the 11 different resident groups. It published results of the study based on the 1,340 responses it received from the immigrants.

The 24 percent of respondents who claimed to own a smartphone also acknowledged that they had used a video calling service. Skype (News - Alert) emerged as a clear winner with 47 percent claiming that it was the most used app. Facetime and Yahoo Messenger followed with 14 percent followers, while Tango straggled behind at 8 percent.

Out of the immigrants in the study hailing from Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines and U.S.,currently residing in the U.S., all segments ranked Skype as their preferred video calling application of choice.

In a press release, Andreas Bernstrom, CEO of Rebtel, said, “Skype is the clear leader when it comes to the preferred method of how U.S. immigrant and first generation Americans choose to make video calls.”

Skype appeared to be a great hit with women than with men with 74 percent favoring it as against 42 percent male followers. Rebtel attributes this to Skype's integration into the Oprah show experience for live interviews, which automatically made it an overwhelming favorite among women.

Facetime was more popular with the guys, with 15 percent male users against 7 percent female users. Tango fell in line with Facetime with more male users than female. Yahoo Messenger didn't appear to display any gender bias.

When payment of monthly fees to make video calls was considered, only 21 percent were prepared to pay for video services, whereas 79 percent clearly indicated that they were just not interested. Even among the segment that was willing to pay, there appeared to be a gender distinction with men appearing to be more willing to pay than women.

Rebtel was started by serial entrepreneur Hjalmar Winbladh, his business partner Jonas Lindroth, and 14 like-minded rebels who wanted to create a genuine global telecommunications service that saves people money.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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