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Experian-Text-Message-Activity-by-Age-Mar2013The Pew Research Center reported in late 2011 that 18-24-year-olds were sending and receiving 3,000 text per month. Well, according to new data [download page] from Experian Marketing Services’ Simmons, texting activity is getting even heavier, at least among smartphone owners. 18-24-year-olds from Experian’s mobile panel of 1,485 smartphone owners were found to send 2,022 texts per month and receive another 1,831, for a grand total of 3,853. That’s almost 130 per day.

That figure drops substantially for older age groups. Among 25-34-year-olds, texts sent and received totaled 2,240 per month, dropping to 1,557 for 35-44-year-olds, 998 for 45-54-year-olds, and 491 for the 55 and over group.

For many youth, texting is as meaningful as calling. 48% of the 18-24 set and 47% of the 25-34 group agreed that “texting is just as meaningful to me as an actual conversation on the phone.” Only 15% of 55+ respondents shared that sentiment.

Among all adults, texting is the most common mobile activity after talking: during the typical week, 95% of adult mobile owners use them to talk, and 59% text. But among 18-24-year-olds, that gap almost disappears: 89% talk, and 86% text.

The study notes that while other media such as TV and radio have fairly well defined peak hours, Americans text at all times of the day, making SMS an intriguing medium for advertisers. In fact, more than half of the 18-24-year-olds on the panel sent or received text messages during each hour between 8AM and midnight. Even at 4AM, 37% of 18-24-year-olds received texts.

When it comes to the text versus call decision, 18-24-year-olds are more likely to call than text between 7AM and 10PM, and more likely to send a text between 11PM and 6AM, a fairly logical result.

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