A new survey shows that nearly half of internet users in Britain are ‘Next Generation Users’, who routinely access the internet on the move using portable devices – more than double the proportion in 2007.
Oxford University researchers, who ran the survey, found that 44 per cent of British internet users now access the internet using smart phones, tablets, and readers, or own three or more computers. This group, described in the survey as Next Generation Users, use multiple devices and locations to browse the Internet to do at least two of the following: use email, update a social networking site or find directions. This compares with just 32 per cent in 2009 and 20 per cent in 2007.
Next Generation Users are not passive consumers, but have revealed they are more likely to produce their own online content, such as writing blogs, maintaining personal websites, or engaging in social networking. They also regard themselves as highly engaged in political processes.
This is the fifth report that researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) have produced on British attitudes and usage of the internet since 2003. It is the only ongoing survey tracking the effects of the Internet and technology on society in Britain.
In 2009 OII researchers found that 97 per cent of internet users in Britain owned a mobile phone but only about one-quarter of these accessed email or the Internet over their mobile device. However, by 2011 nearly half of all mobile phone users surveyed said they accessed the Internet using their mobile phone. The report says that use of readers and tablets has boomed: nearly one-third of internet users now own them, and six per cent of Internet users own both. It suggests that the diffusion of wireless devices and access enables users to further integrate the Internet into their everyday life and work. It also points out that access to these multiple devices, which are often portable, is not evenly distributed but creates another digital divide. Here to read more.