Habits slow to change in Germany

23 September 2011

BERLIN: Consumers in Germany are using an increasingly diverse array of communications channels, but personal, rather than digital, interaction remains dominant at present.

BVDW, the online trade body, and YouGov, the research firm, interviewed 1,050 web users aged 16 years old and above to gain an insight into their evolving habits.

Overall, 95% of interviewees stated they regularly utilised landline phones to communicate, ahead of mobile phones on 94% and letters or postcards on 88%.

Among the available digital services, emails recorded 92% of this measure, with text messages on 62% and social networks logging 58%.

Mobile application tools, such as those based around instant messaging, generated a modest 9%, and only 6% of Germans have taken to microblogs like Twitter to date.

Typically, men have proved most enthusiastic when it comes to leveraging many of the newest media platforms, the study revealed.

More specifically, the microblogging audience was 62% male, a total reaching 56% for sending email on a mobile phone and 55% for instant messaging apps on wireless devices.

However, the gender divide disappeared in relation to accessing social networks on a mobile handset, according to the report.

"Respondents communicate on the phone, whether mobile or fixed networks, almost every day. This type of exchange is considered, on the whole, as the main form of communication," said Burkhard Leimbrock, a vice president of BVDW.

In contrast, Leimbrock suggested attitudes towards social media are generally shaped by age, and usually favoured by younger consumers.

Data sourced from BVDW; additional content by Warc staff