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Survey: Young Cameraphone Users Are Shutterbugs

Reston, Va. – Cellphones are becoming the camera of choice for young adults for everyday picture taking, contends on-line cellular retailer

Wirefly surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults who purchased a phone and service through the company in May and June and found that 45.9 percent use their cellphone camera at least once a week.

Young adults use their cameraphones more often than older people, the survey found. A total of 63.8 percent of 18- to 30-year-old adults use their cellphone’s camera at least once a week, and 26.3 percent use the camera feature daily. For consumers who are older than 30, usage falls to 40.7 percent use the camera feature weekly, and 13.2 percent use it daily, the survey found.

One in five cellphone buyers said they use their cell phone as their primary camera, the company added.

Respondents cited family events and sightseeing excursions as their main reasons for taking pictures with a cameraphone, but younger users tended to use the phone more for other things. A total of 58.3 percent of 18- to 30-year-old cellphone users use a cellphone regularly to document nightlife’ but only 29.9 percent of those over 30 did so, the survey found. In addition, one in five young adults say they’ve published camera phone pictures to a social Website or blog, or four times as many as older users, the survey found.

In other findings:

  • 73.5 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds assign photo IDs to people in their address book, but only 47.4 percent of over-30 users do so;
  • 96.3 percent of adult cell phone owners have a cellphone with camera;
  • 19 percent of adults prefer to use their cellphone as their primary camera for all photography;
  • 77.2 percent of photos taken remain stored in the phone, 45.4 percent are used as wallpaper, and 38.6 percent are sent to friends via MMS; and
  • 46.4 percent of all adults and two-thirds of adults age 18-30 say they use their cellphone to snap self-portraits.

More interesting are these statistics:

  • 13.9 percent of adults said they have sent a “flirtatious, suggestive, or nude photo,” and the percentage rises to 28.1 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds;
  • 20.2 percent have snapped a photo of an attractive member of the opposite sex, and 7.5 percent have photographed an unsuspecting stranger;
  • 19.8 percent have taken a picture while pretending to do something else.

“Camera phones are taking over, and it’s being driven by young adults” said Scott Ableman, Wirefly’s senior VP of marketing. “High-quality cell phone cameras haven’t been around that long, yet nearly one in five cellphone buyers tell us that their cellphone is their primary camera.”

“Sharing and social media are the drivers” of cameraphone use by young adults, he continued. “Fifty-eight percent of adults age 18-30 tell us they use their camera phones to document nightlife, and one in five say they’ve published cameraphone pictures to a social Website or blog. It’s a more spontaneous kind of photography that’s perfectly suited for the cellphone, and as more low-priced and free phones come with quality cameras and high-speed internet connections, all barriers have been removed.”

The recently completed U.S.-based online survey was conducted from an opt-in pool of customers who purchased phones and plans from during May and June 2008. The sample of 2,102 respondents was 55 percent female. A total of 48 percent were over 40, 27 percent were 31-40, 17 percent were 24-30, and 8 percent ere 18-23. The margin of error was 2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, the company said., owned and operated by Simplexity, is an authorized dealer for every major cellular carrier in the U.S.