How popular are video calls among smartphone users?

Smartphones have come on leaps and bounds over recent years, offering more features and functionality than ever before.

As a result, you will need to do plenty of research when comparing mobile plans, not least because you'll require a sufficient data allowance.

Not only this, it's essential to ensure there's enough mobile coverage in your area if you plan on frequently making video calls to your loved ones.

Who is making video calls?

A growing number of consumers are using their mobile handsets to make video calls to friends and family - especially those who were born overseas.

The latest data from Roy Morgan Research shows smartphone users over the age of 14 are nearly twice as likely as people born in Australia to make video calls on their phone.

Australians born in Asia are the most likely to want to see their loved ones face to face, with 28.3 per cent of these users having made a video call.

This is followed by 27.9 per cent of those from the South Pacific Islands and 27 per cent of individuals born in North or South America.

Has video calling gained popularity?

It seems more people are making video calls than ever before, with Roy Morgan figures showing one in seven smartphone owners now make video calls.

This marks a rise from the one in eight that was recorded 12 months ago, suggesting consumers are becoming more at ease with the technology.

Smartphone users who were born in Europe were found to be what the group refers to as "Older Tech Explorers" older tech explorers, namely that they enjoy using new technology but don't want to dedicate too much money to it. 

The figures showed 11.3 per cent of smartphone users born in Australia had made video calls over a four-week period leading to June 2014, which compared to 21.8 per cent of those born overseas.

What are the barriers to video calling?

Although using smartphones to make video calls is becoming more popular, there are still a number of barriers getting in the way of more widespread uptake.

"The gap in uptake between people born in Australia and those born overseas clearly indicates that video calling is a valued tool for people with loved ones living far away, but isn't catching on for everyday conversations," said Tim Martin, general manager of media at Roy Morgan Research.

Research from the Belong Broadband group also found a third of video calling users won't answer the call unless they thought they looked good enough.

Findings published in the Daily Mail showed 40 per cent of people do their hair before a video call, while 30 per cent will have a quick look at themselves in the mirror.

Posted by Jeremy Elliott