Tweens Going Mobile


An in-depth study on the mobile-media behavior of “tweens,” those ages 8 to 12, found that 35% own a mobile phone, according to Nielsen Co.  

In its report, Kidson the Go: Mobile Usage by U.S. Teens and Tweens, Nielsen also estimated that 20% of tweens have used text messaging and 21% have used ring and answer tones.

While text-messaging and ring tones remain the most pervasive non-voice functions on the phone, other content such as downloaded wallpapers, music, games and Internet access also rank highly among this group.

 According to Nielsen, 5% of tweens access the Internet over their phone each month. While 41% of tween mobile Internet users say they do so while commuting or traveling [to school, for example]. Accessing the Internet via a mobile connection is also a social activity for this audience: 26% of tween mobile Internet users say they access the Web while at a friend’s house and 17% say they do so at social events.

Young mobile users are also turning to their cell phones at home, with 58% downloading or watching TV accordingly. All told, 64% of tweens downloading or playing music on their phones access this content from home, while 56% of tweens accessing the Internet on their phone do so from their residence.

Regarding cross media behavior of tweens, Nielsen reports that tweens spend less time surfing the Internet than their teen counterparts. In this report, 48% of tweens said they spend less than one hour per day online. When they are online, 70% of tweens use the Internet for gaming. Comparatively, 81% of teens say they spend one hour or more per day online, with e-mail being the most pervasive online activity for this age group.

The report, Kidson the Go: Mobile Usage by U.S. Teens and Tweens, was conducted by Nielsen Mobile and BASES, two services of Nielsen. It also provides insights on teen and tween use of specific content brands, genre preferences, overall use of leisure time and demographic profiles. The full report will be released Dec. 14.