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Social networking sites topple cell phones as means of communication

business Updated: Jan 16, 2012 15:56 IST

Social networking sites and Skype rather than cell phones are the preferred media for Australians to keep in touch with family and friends, a new study has revealed.

According to the survey by business advisory group KPMG, 47 per cent of those surveyed said that they spent no time outside work to speak on mobile phones or other devices.

Merely 16 per cent spent an hour or more a day using their mobiles, or even Skype, to talk.

On the contrary, three-quarters of Australians used social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter every day, with 38 per cent browsing for more than 60 minutes.

Worldwide, when people rang others outside work, they were less inclined to use a mobile phone than a computer program like Skype.

In 2011, only 29 per cent of the respondents said that they preferred to use their mobile phone when it came to talking, compared to 67 per cent in 2008.

Overall 64 per cent revealed that the computer was their ideal means of voice communication, up from 8 per cent in 2008.

Another 6 per cent of those surveyed said that they preferred a tablet, such as an iPad, for conversations.

The firm polled 9600 people in 31 countries, including 300 Australians, on their technology habits. KPMG Australia partner Malcolm Alder said people talked less on mobile phones as the popularity of apps and other social networking increased, reported.

“Given overall growth in those devices for a variety of things, such as social networking, games, short and even longer form video, certainly phone conversations would be dropping as a total (compared to the other) number of activities that people are using it for,” Alder said.

Australian data obtained by The Sunday Telegraph found that most of the consumers (63 per cent) spent more than an hour surfing the web in their spare time.