Federal Network AgencyUse of online communication services in Germany – Results of the 2021 consumer survey

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German Federal Network Agency

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German Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway, Department 121 – Digitalization and networking; Internet platforms

Online communications services have greatly changed the telecommunications sector in recent years and led to a noticeable shift in user behavior. In particular, the focus is on messenger, Internet and video telephony services, which, in contrast to traditional telecommunications services such as telephony or text messaging, are provided over the Internet, and thus 'over-the-top' (OTT). Against this background, the Federal Network Agency conducted a comprehensive, representative survey in mid-2021 on usage behavior and usage intensity with regard to online communications services in Germany. The survey is a continuation of a corresponding survey conducted in 2019 and was conducted in collaboration with INFO GmbH Markt- und Meinungsforschung (Berlin). It was already possible to show empirically in the previous survey that messenger and Internet telephony services have become comprehensively established in Germany with the increasing spread of the Internet and mobile devices (especially smartphones). Within the group of users of online communication services, the services WhatsApp (96 percent), Facebook Messenger (42 percent) and Instagram Direct Messages (30 percent) were the most widespread. Overall, the establishment of online communication services has contributed to a noticeable change in communication behavior, both in terms of the type of communication and its intensity.

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