Latinos Early Adopters to Social Media

Latinos are early adopters to social media and are using the technology in fascinating ways. During my cross-country road trip with my dad last month I blogged about how my cousins living on the border town of Reynosa, MX / Hidalgo, TX, use Facebook and Twitter to avoid shootings and stay safe in the midst of a drug war.

I recently saw this great piece by Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona, in http://blog.latinovations.com/ on how Latinos are using various social media platforms to connect. This article originally appeared in LATINO Magazine

“Latinos and Social Media”

It’s hard not to speak of Latinos and social media in the same sentence these days. Perhaps the biggest story to come out of 2011 will be that the U.S. Latino population surpassed 50 million, but close behind that is the story of how social media is helping turn that raw number into empowerment for Latinos.

Recent studies show that Latinos outpace other demographic groups in the United States in the use of social networking sites, especially via their mobile devices and they’re not slowing down, for a number of reasons. In 2010, 87 % of English speaking Hispanics owned a cell phone compared to 80 percent of whites, according to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The same study found that 18% percent of Hispanics online use Twitter compared to just 5% of whites—that might explain why I see a spike in Twitter followers every time I tweet in Spanish. And a Nielsen study also found that 62% of Hispanics online engage in social networking activities versus 38% of whites.

Why are Latinos such social mediaites? Because the power of social media is profound. Latinos are increasingly using social media because it has many functions and they are taking advantage of them more than ever to advance their position in American society. Social media is crucial for Latinos’ growth and prosperity in this country in all aspects, from staying connected with family and friends, to searching for jobs and growing their businesses, and for entertainment and civic engagement…

Read the full piece at http://www.latinomagazine.com/summer11/opinion/ultimo.htm

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