Social MediaIt’s well-known that African-Americans are among the top users of Twitter, however a recent survey released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project makes a stark depiction of how divided several social media platforms are by race.

The survey showed that African-Americans are more heavily congregated on Twitter and Instagram than any other ethnic group. After interviewing 1800 respondents by phone between November 4 and December 19, researchers found that only 14% of whites use Twitter versus the 26% of African-Americans that do. Additionally, 23 % of African-Americans are Instagram users, more than the 18% of Hispanics and 11% of whites. On the flip side, whites, specifically women, outnumber other ethnic groups when it comes to social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr.

Wayne Sutton, a social-media consultant, told Business Insider that one of the main reason why African-Americans utilize Twitter and Instagram over any other service is because they create more accessibility to broadcast their thoughts.

“With the history of our culture, we now have an equal channel like anyone else,” Sutton said. He also says that Twitter enables “a level playing field in getting (black Americans’) voices heard.”

Another reason for Blacks’ gravitation towards social networking has to do with increased access through consumerism. According to a 2012 Nielsen study, Blacks and Hispanics are leading the way in the purchase of smartphones and tablets – with 54.4% of African-Americans and 57.3% of Hispanics owning smartphones versus 44.7% of whites.

“African-Americans and Hispanics are leading the way in terms of buying smartphones or tablets,” Sutton says. He pointed to a March 2012 Nielsen study that says 54.4% of blacks and 57.3% of Hispanics own a smartphone vs. 44.7% of whites.

  • Nakia

    These statistics point to a percentage of these populations, not a percentage of the total population, nor of total users…so, your assessment in inaccurate. Blacks are not “leading the way” in these services, as our total population in the US is much smaller than those to which we are being compared. 26% of African Americans is still far fewer than 14% of whites. Again, 54.4% of blacks is far fewer than 44.7% of whites in terms of raw number for smart phone and tablet consumption…and in 2013, I would also argue against calling these “material goods” in the sense that you are using it.

  • AyGurlAyGurl

    devolve? i need to incorporate that into my vocab

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  • Shona

    I think they are missing a key influence factor; I believe (sorry, I don’t have the data/link to back it up, but I think I read it somewhere….) that African-Americans are more likely to use the web via mobile devices than other groups. The apps for Twitter and Instagram are awesome. Facebook…not so much. I personally like the Pinterest app; but I prefer how Pinterest looks on the computer.

    To get a clearer picture of what’s going on, it would help to know if this use is via mobile or desktop connections.

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