Google Study: Teens Using Voice Search More, Adults “Getting the Hang of it”
A new study commissioned by Google reveals that teens are more inclined to use voice search (55%) than adults (41%) more than once a day on their mobile devices. “More than half of teens (13-18) use voice search daily—to them it’s as natural as checking social media or taking selfies. Adults are also getting the hang of it, with 41 percent talking to their phones every day and 56 percent admitting it makes them ‘feel tech savvy,’” states Scott Huffman, VP for Conversational Search.
From the onset, it was clear that there was going to be a difference in priorities for teens and adults, as Figure 1 above demonstrates. While both teenagers and adults saw the usefulness of using voice search to call someone, teenagers (43%) were doing it more than adults (31%). Conversely, as adults were more likely to drive, asking Google for directions would be their top use for voice search (40%), not just if they were walking around. While teenagers found voice search useful for assistance with homework (31%), adults found voice search more useful for dictating texts (39%).
The survey also took note of situations when voice search was used among teens and adults—once again showing some clear distinctions. As seen in Figure 2, it’s notable that more than half of teenagers use voice search while socializing with friends (57%) and while watching television (59%).
“Teens don’t seem to associate any stigma with using voice search while hanging out with friends, whereas only one-quarter of adults speak to their phones when in the company of others. Teens don’t mind talking to devices in private as well, with more than one in five admitting to using voice search while in the bathroom!” noted Huffman.
Aside from learning what voice search is used for and when, Google also decided to have a little fun with their survey by asking respondents what they wished it could do. As seen in Figure 3, using voice search to send a pizza was requested by 45% of teens and 36% of adults—a strong reflection of how busy most adults and teens are, and how time consuming preparing meals and ordering food can be. Teens and adults also strongly wished that voice search could help them find the remote or their keys—two vital items that often get misplaced.
The study was commissioned by Google and conducted by global consulting firm, Northstar Research. A total of 1,400 U.S. respondents were surveyed, 400 of whom were teenagers aged 13-17. Google has been investing heavily in speech recognition and voice search capabilities to keep its mobile users engaged, and the study clearly demonstrates the practical ways users have integrated voice search into their lives.
Are you an avid user of voice search? Does Google’s survey line up with your own experiences with voice search? Share your insights in the Comments below.
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