Posts Tagged ‘Pew’

What is the Future of Mobile Money? [Part 1]

April 19th, 2012 04:31 admin View Comments

To understand the future of money and transactions, one must understand the nature of currency. Foremost, it is not real. A coin, a paper bill, a debit or credit card hold no value as objects. Currency has always been a form of data. Currency is the first digital revolution, started to turn it into what we now think of as traditional data. That has set us up for the second digital evolution of currency: where mobile technology and the cloud once again change how people make transactions.

Pew Tackles Mobile Money

Currency is the representation of data, passed between one entity to another for goods or services. Currency has undergone several evolutions in the thousands of years of civilization, and it mirrors the technological rise of the human race. It is not something that changes overnight. Yet, when it does start to change, the landscape of how transactions are made evolves right along with it. After all, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, gathering momentum as it goes along.

Where that object – currency – is going is a subject of debate. Questions abound: When will mobile technology take over transactions? What will the new system look like? Is this just some pipe dream of technologist and early-adopters?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project teamed with the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University to tackle the idea of, “the future of money.” The result is a 35-page report based on a nonrandom, opt-in online sample of 1,012 Internet experts and other users. After following mobile payments for the last several years, this survey is one of the most comprehensive cross-sections of ideas and rational thoughts about the future of currency that we have seen. It includes researchers from corporations and universities, startups, venture capitalists, financial experts and more.

Pew’s previous surveys found that 21% of mobile phone owners had used mobile banking services. Of those users, 90% checked their balance and recent purchase activities. Of app users, 46% had purchased an app on a mobile device. Only 12% of mobile phone owners have made a payment with a mobile device.

That is likely to change; just not as soon as many entities in the mobile payments sector would like. Many experts that ReadWriteWeb has talked to during the past year have said that mobile payments is a market in infancy and that real, noticeable change of user behavior is between two and three years away. That is the time it will take to separate all of the options that are emerging for mobile payments and determine which dominant systems will emerge. Will it be Near Field Communications (NFC)? “Beam” technology that functions in much the same way as a barcode scanner, but in reverse (sending red laser information from the phone to a payment terminal), could be a possibility. QR codes are a more “mature” technology used for mobile payments but are likely a stopgap between now and what is to come.

Startups, like Boston-based Objective Logistics, see mobile technology coming to retailers and restaurants, “within the next five to seven years,” according to the company’s CEO Phil Beauregard.

That aligns with responses to Pew’s questions to Internet experts on what our wallets might look like by 2020.

Your Wallet in the Next Decade

Of Pew’s respondents, 65% agreed with this statement:

By 2020, most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases they make, nearly eliminating the need for cash or credit cards. People will come to trust and rely on personal hardware and software for handling monetary transactions over the Internet and in stores. Cash and credit cards will have mostly disappeared from many of the transactions that occur in advanced countries.

Pew readily admits that its results are heavily skewed towards technologist and Internet experts, so a margin of error cannot be quantified. Of course, a heavy percentage of these types of respondents will agree with the above statement. What is interesting is that 33% agreed with the below statement:

“People will not trust the use of near-field communications devices and there will not be major conversion of money to an all-digital, all-the-time format. By 2020, payments through the use of mobile devices will not have gained a lot of traction as a method for transactions. The security implications raise too many concerns among consumers about the safety of their money. And people are resistant to letting technology companies learn even more about their personal purchasing habits. Cash and credit cards will still be the dominant method of carrying out transactions in advanced countries.”

There are many reasons that consumers will or will not adopt mobile payments in the next 10 years. Currency, in its most basic form, will not go away. Yet the conversion of currency to true, transactional data, will continue. As Geoloqi CEO Amber Case said in the Pew report:

“When credit cards arrived, checks did not disappear, and neither did money. Although in some places either cash or cards are accepted, there are three main methods of payment. If another method of payment is added, we will likely have four methods of payment and retailers and businesses must accept another form of payment. Some systems may emerge that use completely smart payments, but there will still be other forms of payment available.”

This is Part One of a two-part series breaking down Pew’s findings. Next, we will look at the opportunities, challenges and concerns of Internet experts.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: What is the Future of Mobile Money? [Part 1]

The Digital Differences In Americans

April 15th, 2012 04:41 admin View Comments


antdude writes “When the Pew Internet Project first studied the role of the internet in American life, there were big differences between those who were using the internet and those who were’t. Today, differences in internet access still exist especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home. From the article: ‘Virtually every U.S. household with an annual income over $75,000 is online, but that’s only true for 63% of adults who live in a household with an annual income under $30,000. The numbers look quite similar for different education levels: 94% of adults with post-graduate degrees are online, but 57% of those without high school diplomas remain offline. Beside the obvious economic barriers to entry, though, the Pew poll also found that half of those who don’t go online do so because they just don’t think “the Internet is relevant to them.” One in five of those who are not online today think that they just don’t know enough about technology to use the Internet on their own.’”

Source: The Digital Differences In Americans

Pew: 53% of U.S. Cellphone Owners now Have Smartphones

March 1st, 2012 03:36 admin View Comments

pew-internet-150x150.pngOver half of U.S. cellphone owners now own smartphones, according to new data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. 53% of U.S. cellphone owners are now of the smart variety and 46% of American’s overall own a smartphone. This is a significant inflection point in the mobile revolution, marking a significant trend in how the average interacts with information.

About 88% of U.S. citizens are cellphone users. Smartphone adoption spiked in almost every demographic category since Pew’s last study on the subject in May 2011. 71% of people aged 25-34 are now smartphone owners as are 66% of young adults age 18-29. The industry has moved way past the early adopter and explosive growth stages. Smartphones are now a basic part of the fabric of U.S. society.

Pew’s data says that 20% of smartphone owners describe their device as an Android while 19% said theirs was an iPhone. 6% of owners described their device as a BlackBerry, down 10% from May 2011. Windows (2%) and Palm (1%) were unchanged.

49% of all U.S. men are smartphone owners compared to 44% of women. Like last year, black and Hispanic demographics have higher adoption rates but the growth was not as significant as the non-Hispanic white category, which grew from 30% to 45%. See the chart below.


If we take all the data together, we see that the typical smartphone user is young, has college experience or a degree and makes more than $30,000 a year. On a base level, that is relatively unchanged from studies we have seen throughout 2011. Where it does change though is that adoption is spread out among all age groups (except the elderly), education levels and ethnic demographics.


Cellphone owners are also become savvier in identifying their brands. Last year, 14% of cellphone owners were not sure if their phone was smart or not. This year, only 8% were not sure. 4% of cell owners do not know what kind of device they own (like a feature phone or an Android etc.), down from 13% last year.

Source: Pew: 53% of U.S. Cellphone Owners now Have Smartphones

[STUDY] How Hyperconnectivity Affects Young People

February 29th, 2012 02:45 admin View Comments

shutterstock_youngpeopleoftoday-150.jpgWould you mind putting down your smartphone for a moment to read this? Thanks, we really appreciate it.

A new study released today by Pew sheds light on the lurking, albeit very real notion that we all not-so-secretly fear: There are actual consequence to the hyperconnected lifestyle that many 21st century millennial Americans live! But calm down, it’s not all frowny-face emoticons and Sherry Turkle-esque Alone Together narratives.

Yes, there are some major downsides to relying on the Internet as our “external brain,” including the desire for instant gratification, and the increased chances of making”quick, shallow choices.” But researchers also say we networked young people are nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who will do good in the world.

Teens and young adults are hyper-immersed in technology. A total 95% of teens ages 12-17 are online, 76% use social networking sites and 77% have cell phones. Of the slightly older age group (18-29 year olds), 96% are Internet users, 84% use social networks and 97% have cell phones. More than half of those users have smartphones and 23% own tablets such as the iPad.

Pew talked to 1,021 technology “stakeholders and critics” through an entirely opt-in survey. In other words, the people who participated did so of their own volition. Of those surveyed, approximately 55% agreed that the future for hyperconnected individuals looks positive. Meanwhile, a total 42% thought otherwise saw negative outcomes. This outcome skews slightly more positive; Pew in fact admits that the outcome is actually more like 50-50. So, is the cup half-empty or half-full?

The Networked Future Looks Good, Mate! Fair Sailing Ahead!

Approximately half (or, arguably, 52%) believe that hyperconnectedness will have a positive impact, suggesting a stronger ability to multitask, cycle through personal- and work-related tasks and become more adept at finding answers to deep questions. These people – who are mostly millenials – will be able to tap into the Internet’s greater knowledge base, accessing more information and working together to do so via crowdsourcing.

Says acclaimed Microsoft Senior Researcher danah boyd, who studies the cybercultures of teens and young adults: “Brains are being rewired – any shift in stimuli results in a rewiring. The techniques and mechanisms to engage in rapid-fire attention shifting will be extremely useful for the creative class whose job it is to integrate ideas; they relish opportunities to have stimuli that allow them to see things differently.”

We have already started to see that happen. Facebook is a natural space for artists to exchange ideas and engage in fast discussion. The Internet pinboard social network, Pinterest, is a beautiful space for posting inspiring images. The creative class benefits from these visual, idea-oriented forums.

The Networked Future is a Dark, Deserted Island of Doom

Half of the people surveyed by Pew disagree with the above rosy statements. The believe that the brains of such millenials will not retain information. They think millenials will be focused on short social messages and content that will entertain. They will be incapable of deep engagement with people and knowledge. These Internet users will surf around, grabbing the first bit of information they find. They will take fiction as fact.

“Increasingly, teens and young adults rely on the first bit of information they find on a topic, assuming that they have found the ‘right’ answer, rather than using context and vetting/questioning the sources of information to gain a holistic view of a topic,” says one survey participant. Instant gratification plays into this negative consequence, along with an overall lack of patience.

Another non-millenial encounters the same problem. “I’m 33 years old and over the last two years have ramped up my time spent on the internet to 10-plus hours a day. The effects have been detrimental. My attention span for longer-form information consumption such as books, movies, long-form articles, and even vapid 30-minute TV shows has been diminished immensely. My interpersonal communications skills are suffering, and I find it difficult to have sustained complex thoughts. My creativity is zapped and I get very moody if I’m away from the Web for too long.”

But there will always be those few outliers who see a different kind of opportunity in the seemingly dark abyss. They will seize it, and run forward.

One Pew participant believes that millenials will start to truly see the value of slow and steady wins the race. The tortoise beats the hare: “Long-form cognition and offline contemplative time will start to be viewed as valuable and will be re-integrated into social and work life in interesting and surprising ways,” the person says.


And who will do all that deep thinking, now that we are addled with Internet-induced ADD? The division of labor will shift accordingly.

“Perhaps the issue is, how will deep thinking get done – including by whom – rather than will everyone be able to do deep thinking,” says Marjory S. Blumenthal, associate provost at Georgetown University and former director of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies.

The Internet, Facebook and all these Web technologies are here to stay. Our challenge now is to figure out the best ways to interact with them. After all, says Tiffany Shlain, director of the film Connected and founder of the Webby Awards, “As Sophocles once said, ‘Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.’”

“The Cliché Young People of Today” and “Tortoise & Hare” images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: [STUDY] How Hyperconnectivity Affects Young People

Women More Likely To Unfriend Than Men

February 25th, 2012 02:28 admin View Comments

Social Networks

Hugh Pickens writes writes “AFP reports that a study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project shows that women are more likely than men to delete friends from their online social networks like Facebook and tend to choose more restrictive privacy settings. Sixty-seven percent of women who maintain a social networking profile said they have deleted friends compared with 58 percent of men. The study also found that men are nearly twice as likely as women to have posted updates, comments, photos or videos that they later regret (PDF). “Even as social media users become more active curators of their profile, a small group of what might be described as trigger-happy users say they post updates, comments, photos, or videos that they later regret sharing.”"

Source: Women More Likely To Unfriend Than Men

[STUDY] 61% of Social Media Users Feel So Close To You

February 9th, 2012 02:30 admin View Comments

shutterstock_strange_smileyface.jpgSometimes little things like a sweet comment on Facebook or a Twitter friend calling your tweet a “favorite” can really make a social networker bee’s day.

A new study from Pew finds that for the most part, adults are kind to each other on social media sites. In fact, 85% of adults say that most of the people they come across on social media are rather kind; only 5% say that people are “mostly unkind,” which would imply rude or mean. An additional 5% say that it’s all situational. On the whole, adults have positive experiences on social networking sites. A total 68% of SNS users had an experience that “made them feel good about themselves,” 61% said something on social networks “made them feel closer to another person.” Of the generous and helpful variety, 39% of users said they saw acts of generosity and 36% said they see other user behaving in generous and helpful ways.


Not everything is peaches and cream, though.

There are some social media users who don’t feel so happy-go-lucky. Not everyone experiences kind, helpful behavior on social networking sites. That would be about 18% of users; another 5% claim to never see any generosity or helpfulness at all.

Sometimes interactions on social networking sites have negative outcomes. Of the people surveyed by Pew, 26% of adults experienced negative outcomes. Of that percentage, 15% said bad experiences ended friendships, 12% resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation, 11% said those interactions caused family-related problems, 3% got into a physical fight with someone based on an interaction, and 3% got into trouble at work. About 13% of adult SNS users say that someone else acted rudely toward them in the past year.


Unless you live in a world that resembles the movie Young Adult, you probably don’t think of yourself as an adolescent. On social networking sites, adults tend to be more positive and less negative than teenagers; 41% of SNS-using teens had at least one bad experiences versus 26% of SNS-using adults.


Dear White Guys, Please Read This

Pew points out that non-white people, women, parents and millennials are more likely to see content that offends them. Of that group, 42% of black SNS users and 33% of Hispanic SNS users frequently saw language, images or humor that they found offensive compared to 22% of white SNS users. Taking a look at this in terms of age, 34% of millennials (ages 18-34) found some material offensive, compared with only 17% of Gen-X users (ages 35-46). The survey doesn’t even give the tiny percentage of Baby Boomers who felt offended by material on SNS sites. Additionally, 29% of women were offended versus 22% of men, and 29% of parents with small children found offensive material versus 24% of nonparents.

Who Did Pew Survey?

Pew surveyed 2,260 adults ages 18-and-up over the period of July 25-August 26, 2011. Of the people surveyed, 1,047 were SNS and Twitter users. The margin of error is plus-or-minus three percentage points. A total 64% of adults surveyed used social networking sites. 87% had a profile on Facebook, 14% on MySpace, 11% on Twitter, 10% on LinkedIn and 13% on other social networking sites.

Images courtesy Shutterstock.

Do your friends on social networks make you feel good about yourself? Share your experiences in the comments.

Source: [STUDY] 61% of Social Media Users Feel So Close To You

Tracking the Donors Texting For Haiti Relief

January 12th, 2012 01:30 admin View Comments

Previous research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that a fifth of US adults have made a charitable contribution online, and that 9% have done so using texting. But a new survey of 863 individuals who contributed money to the Haiti earthquake efforts using texting donations shows that this behaviour can be replicated, but only in other high-profile disasters such as the BP Gulf oil spill or the Japanese tsumani. Think of this as impuse charity, very much in the moment.

Three-quarters of the Haiti text donors surveyed said that their text message contributions usually result from spur-of-the-moment decisions that do not involve a lot of additional research and they were first-time givers to any cause via their mobiles. This compares to about half of those who give via other online campaigns, such as the Web or email. Slightly more than half of them subesequently texted additional donations to these other disaster relief efforts.
Not surprisingly, the Pew researchers found that the Haiti text donors were more technologically involved, and more likely to own an e-reader, a tablet, or a laptop computer. They are also younger and more racially and ethnically diverse when compared with those who contribute through more traditional means. However, their giving patterns mirror the general population. Pew found that 26% of the Haiti text donors surveyed donated $50 or less over the past year, and two thirds of these donors have contributed $250 or less to charitable causes in the last year. This is about the same pattern they observed in a previous study of the general population.

Source: Tracking the Donors Texting For Haiti Relief

Teens Don’t Live in Public on Social Media Sites

November 10th, 2011 11:20 admin View Comments

pew-internet-150x150.pngSixty-two percent of teens set their profiles to private (friends only) on social media sites, according to results from a recent study by Pew Internet entitled “Teens, kindness and cruelty on social networking sites.” Nineteen percent set their profiles to partially private, and 17% leave their profiles completely public.

Teens with public profiles tend to have had negative experiences on social media sites.
They are nearly twice as likely as those who didn’t have a bad experience to say that their profile was public (23% vs. 12%).


Girls using social media are more likely than boys to say they have restricted their profile to friends only. Of boys, 21% have a profile that’s set to public, compared to 12% of girls.

Teens with partially private profiles say that they do not take additional steps to limit what certain friends can and cannot see, with 84% showing the same thing to all their friends. Only 15% limit which friends can see what.

This does not account for the often elusive variety of privacy settings on Facebook, which include basic information (username, gender, profile picture), additional information (networks, likes, activities and interests) and restrictions on individual posts, photos and other content. Pew’s findings suggest that teens are less likely to pay close attention to these site specificities.

Facebook’s privacy settings have a history of changing without much notice. In December 2009, Facebook made users’ name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List, and all the pages they subscribed to automatically public. Zuck said the age of privacy was over. All status updates became default public, but users could manually change that setting. In May 2010, Facebook rolled back a bit, allowing users to hide their friends list and their list of interest pages from public view. Users can now customize their default privacy settings with options for public, friends-only, or custom to specific lists. Then Facebook quietly began offering “hide” options for news feed updates. In August 2011, Facebook began offering status updates to specific groups or people. Of course, with frictionless sharing of music and news on Facebook now, and the eventual rollout of Timeline, privacy will surely shift again. Already users are seeing a bevy of information in the news ticker, including those minute details (so-and-so commented on someone’s photo, X is listening to Radiohead on Spotify), that used to appear in the “recent news” portion of the old Facebook News Feed.

The 2011 Teens and Digital Citizenship Survey was sponsored by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. The national representative sample included 799 teens ages 12-17 years old. The study also conducted seven focus groups in January and February 2011 with Washington DC metro area teens between the ages of 12 and 19. Fifty-seven youth participated, and the groups were balanced for gender and crossed the socio-economic and family structure spectrum. All teens had a cell phone or computer. Black youth were over-represented.

Source: Teens Don’t Live in Public on Social Media Sites

Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

August 23rd, 2011 08:14 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe humanity descend from Adam and Eve, but NPR reports that evangelical scientists are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account and that it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans. ‘That would be against all the genomic evidence that we’ve assembled over the last 20 years so not likely at all,’ says biologist Dennis Venema, a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. ‘You would have to postulate that there’s been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.’ Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century and say it’s time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence.”

Source: Evangelical Scientists Debate Creation Story

1 in 8 Take Fake Phone Calls to Avoid Talking to Others

August 16th, 2011 08:15 admin View Comments


A survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that people are lying 13% of the time when they say they have to take a cell phone call around you. That number jumps to an inconsiderate 30% in the 18- to 29-year-old age group. The survey also found that 42% of the 18-to-29 group “have had trouble doing something because they did not have their phone nearby.” More than a quarter of survey respondents…sorry, I have to take this call.

Source: 1 in 8 Take Fake Phone Calls to Avoid Talking to Others