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From...

Why and how much kids go online

August 11, 1998
Web posted at: 4:11 PM ET

by Industry Standard staff

(IDG) -- Isn't it cute when you see a child earnestly pushing her mouse around, mouth agape, clicking endlessly? Will it be as cute when there are nearly eight times as many kids online? Though only 2.7 million kids ages 2 to 12 were online in 1997, that figure is expected to increase to 20.9 million by 2002. Part of the increase is due to the pending release of federal funds to wire schools. But Jupiter Communications analyst Patrick Keane says school Internet access also will be hastened by educators who realize that the Web is an "integral part of the educational curriculum."

Kids go online to learn and have fun. "The Web is another window on their world," says Debbie McCaffery, director of online analysis and planning for MTV Networks. MTV's research suggests kids understand the strengths of TV and the Web and use both heavily.

But this youthful exuberance is what concerns parents the most. In June, based on research that said only 23 percent of sites told kids to get a parent's permission before giving information online, the FTC asked Congress to protect kids' online privacy.

SCHOOL ACCESS WILL BROADEN UNIVERSE OF KIDS ONLINE

  1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Total U.S. Kids Age 2–12 (millions) 42.7 43.1 43.3 43.4 43.6 43.6 44.3
Total Kids Online 1.4 2.7 5.1 7.9 11.5 15.9 20.9
  From Home 1.4 2.6 4.6 6.7 9.0 11.6 14.9
  From School Only 0.0 0.1 0.5 1.2 2.5 4.3 6.0
Percent Online 3% 6% 12% 18% 26% 36% 47%

Source: Jupiter Communications


PERCENT OF KIDS WITH HOME ONLINE ACCESS WHO ARE ONLINE

  1997 2002
Age 2–4 14% 24%
Age 5–9 25% 43%
Age 10–12 36% 54%

Source: Jupiter Communications


KIDS ARE MORE LIKELY THAN ADULTS TO ENJOY THE WEB

  TOTAL U.S. KIDS AGE 4 – 11
Like Using a PC at Home 40% 60%
Like Exploring the World Wide Web 29% 44%

Source: MTV Networks Leisure Time Study


KIDS AS CONVERGENCE PIONEERS?

COMPARED TO ONE YEAR AGO: PERCENT
Watch TV the Same Amount or More Than One Year Ago 75%
Use Their Computer the Same Amount or More Than One Year Ago 83%

Source: MTV Networks Leisure Time Study


GIRLS LIKE CHAT AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY, BOYS LIKE DOWNLOADS

Reasons For Going Online Among Kids Age 7–14

  TOTAL BOYS GIRLS
Gather Information 67% 66% 69%
Play Games 65% 68% 62%
Chat/Message Boards 49% 44% 56%
Creative Activities 48% 40% 57%
Download Stuff 46% 54% 38%

Source: 1998 Nickelodeon Online Attitude and Usage Study


PRIVACY POLICIES ON SITES AIMED AT CHILDREN

ACTIVITY PERCENT
Collect Personal Info From Kids* 89%
Post an Information-Disclosure Statement 54%
Tell Kids to Ask Parents Before Giving Info 23%

EXAMPLES OF INFORMATION COLLECTED PERCENT
E-mail Address 96%
Name 74%
Postal Address 49%
Age/Birthdate 46%
Gender 25%
Phone Number 24%
Income 3%
Social Security Number 1%
Credit Card Number 0%

* Defined as an opportunity to provide personal information, in which the information is not necessarily required to use site.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, "Report to Congress on Privacy Online." Based on examination of 212 sites aimed at children.


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GROWN–UP SITES ARE TOPS FOR KIDS

DOMAIN REACH (percent)
Yahoo 23.2
AOL 21.8
Netscape 19
Microsoft 11.7
Excite 11.4
Geocities 10.4
Disney Online 10.4
Macromedia 6.1
Infoseek 5.3
ATT.net 5.3
Lycos 5.2
Ty 5
MSN 5
Nickelodeon* 5
Hotmail 4.9
Warner Bros. 4.1
Webcrawler 4
Pathfinder 3.8
Bonzi 3.7
Alta Vista 3.6
Sony Online 3.6
Simplenet 3.5
Nick Jr.* 3.5
PBS 3.5

*Nick.com and Nickjr.com reach figures are for the WWW only and do not include AOL proprietary online users. Reach for these sites is higher when measured within the AOL/WWW combined audience.

Source: Media Metrix, Home Web Audience May 1998

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