Posts Tagged ‘online’

Study: 81% of 2-year-olds have online presence

October 7th, 2010

Photo by Mike Baird

According to a survey from Internet security company AVG, a whopping 81 percent of children around the world have an online presence by the time they are two years old. In the U.S., that number is as high as 92 percent.

So where is all the info coming from? According to a news release from AVG, toddlers are gaining online presence through their parents’ online actions such as uploading prenatal sonogram photos, tweeting pregnancy experiences, making online albums of children from birth and creating email addresses for babies.

Global numbers show parents all over the world are increasingly more active in building a digital footprint for their kids: In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, an average of 81 percent of children under the age of two currently have some kind of digital profile or footprint.

In the U.S., 92 percent of children have an online presence by the time they are two compared to 73 percent in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

“It’s shocking to think that a 30-year-old has an online footprint stretching back 10-15 years at most, while the vast majority of children today will have online presence by the time they are two-years-old,” said AVG CEO, JR Smith, in a news release. “Our research shows the trend is increasing for a child’s digital birth to coincide with and in many cases pre-date their real birth date. A quarter of babies have sonogram photos posted online before they have even physically entered into the world.”

AVG says the average “digital birth” occurs at about six months when one third (33 percent) of kids’ photos and info are posted online.

In Australia and New Zealand, 41 percent of newborns have a digital footprint at birth. In the United Kingdom that figure is 37 percent.

In the U.S., 34 percent of children have their prenatal sonogram scans posted online, while in Canada that number is 37 percent. In Europe and Japan, sharing prenatal sonogram scans is not as popular: France (13 percent), Italy (14 percent), Germany (15 percent) and Japan (14 percent).

When it comes to being connected, a total of seven percent of babies and toddlers have an email address created for them by their parents, and five percent have a profile on a social network.

“It’s completely understandable why proud parents would want to upload and share images of very young children with friends and families,” said Smith.

That said, AVG also urges parents to think about two things:

  • You are creating a digital history for a human being that will follow him or her for the rest of their life. What kind of footprint do you actually want to start for your child, and what will they think about the information you’ve uploaded in future?
  • Parents need to be aware of privacy settings they have set on their social network and other profiles.

During the survey parents were asked why they share info and post pictures of their babies online and 70 percent of mothers surveyed said it was because they wanted to share with friends and family. However, 22 percent of mothers in the U.S. said they upload photos and info about their children because they want to add more content to their social networking profiles, while 18 percent said they do it because their friends do.

Finally, mothers were asked how concerned they were about the amount of info about their children that will be online in future years. On a scale of one to five (with five being very concerned), most mothers said they were only moderately concerned (3.5). Spanish mothers were the most concerned (3.9) and Canadian mothers were the least concerned (3.1).

The survey for AVG was conducted by Research Now among 2,200 mothers with young (under two) children during the week of 27 September. Mothers in the EU5 (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain), Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were polled.

For a complete breakdown of the results by country, see AVG’s press release.

The Next Big Thing in online advertising: Captcha?

April 16th, 2010

You’ve seen captcha on many websites, even if you don’t know what the word refers to; on sign-up forms for websites you’re often given a box of squiggly text and asked to identify the characters inside. The characters are randomly generated and use to prove you’re a person rather than a bot signing up to the site. Here is an example of what they look like.

Almost everyone who has ever signed up for something on the Internet has seen Captcha. Now, an ad agency has found an interesting business idea: monetizing captcha and allowing advertisers to buy the space.

According to, A company called AdCopy is currently testing captcha ads, meaning advertisers can buy the captcha space on a website so when someone is signing-up, they are forced to engage with a brand. AdCopy reportedly boasts a self-serve advertising platform where advertisers can create and upload ads. Rather than squiggly characters, this service allows advertisers to ask Web users to answer a question related to the ad, or  read the ad and provide information from within.‘s example:

By entering “180 savings,” the user is immediately engaging with the ad and is forced to read it. The advertiser wins because every person must engage with the ad. And the consumer is not overly hassled because it’s simple to do. And as notes, the consumer may actually benefit from being able to read clean text on ads rather than small or hard-to-read text on some captcha.

Advertisers are always looking for new ways to reach people, and this method seems to be well thought-out because it guarantees 100 percent engagement for anyone who wants to sign-up at the site.

There are some setbacks when it comes to spammers getting around captcha (check out the report for details), but overall I think it’s a great idea for advertisers and site owners looking for new monetization ideas.