More than 8 in 10 Americans (86.2%) say they regularly surf the Internet in a given week, according to the BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Usage Survey. But Americans' digital activities differ greatly among ethnic segments. Compared to Caucasians, minority groups are more likely to surf the Internet and visit social networking sites in their leisure time; read, post to and maintain blogs; view news, videos and TV shows online; and send text messages.
When it comes to social media, Facebook ranks among the top sites regularly visited by Asians (55.7%), Hispanics (54.2%), African Americans (47.7%) and Caucasians (43.0%). Regular Facebook usage has doubled since December 2008 for all ethnic segments except Asians, who were early adopters. YouTube places second for Hispanics, African Americans and Caucasians, but is #1 for Asians (56.0%). Hulu is also popular among Asians (17.5%), followed by Hispanics (15.1%), African Americans (11.3%) and Caucasians (8.0%). In addition, minority groups are more likely than Caucasians to regularly use Twitter.
Shopping Online #1 Fun Activity for Minority Consumers
When they aren't tweeting or sharing videos, what are minority groups doing online? In a word: Shopping. For minority consumers, shopping is the #1 online activity for fun. They are more likely than Caucasians to regularly purchase products online and research products online before buying them in person. Asians (34.5%) are most likely to regularly purchase products, followed by African Americans (34.1%) and Hispanics (32.2%), compared to 29.5% of Caucasians. Hispanics (51.2%) are most likely to conduct preliminary product research online, followed by Asians (49.7%) and African Americans (46.6%), compared to 40.2% of Caucasians.
For online entertainment beyond shopping, African Americans and Hispanics are downloading music or checking movie schedules, while Asians are instant messaging and playing video games. Caucasians are more likely to be found checking the weather or the score of the most recent football game.
Downloading music and videos is a top priority for minorities online, but differences exist when it comes to top downloading sites. Although iTunes.com is the most popular site, more Asians are using YouTube.com, and they also choose Google.com over LimeWire.com.
With so many activities to engage in online, Internet users have found ways to stay connected anywhere, and minority groups have the leading edge in new mobile technology. The African American segment has the highest percentage of regular Blackberry users, but Asians are most likely to search the Internet on a Blackberry (15.3%). Asians are also most likely to search the Internet on Droids (9.7%), iPads (11.2%) and iPhones (20.0%) while Hispanics have the highest percentage regularly using cell phones to go online (23.6%).[Source: BIGresearch Simultaneous Media Usage Study. BIGresearch. 27 Sept. 2010. Web. 28 Sept. 2010.]