Nearly 20 percent of all American adults now use the Internet to make phone calls, according to a new survey released Monday from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
The findings show a big jump from 2007, when 6 percent of adults reported using the Internet to make calls. Overall, 24 percent of all Internet users said in the latest survey that they make phone calls online.
"People are becoming more aware of it and the devices themselves are little bit more enabling of it," Pew Internet & American Life Project Director Lee Rainie said,
The survey includes both users of video telephone services such as Skype and those who use Internet services such as a Vonage plan to make phone calls using their home telephone.
Hispanics were the biggest users, with 27 percent reporting they use the Internet to make phone calls compared with 21 percent of both blacks and whites. The survey also found that Internet phone users were more likely to be 18-29 years old, college educated and earning more than $75,000 a year.
The survey will likely be good news to Microsoft, which announced earlier this month that it is buying Skype for $8.5 billion.
The survey of 846 adults was conducted April 26 through May 22 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.