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.

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  • stef

    this is so full of bull

    fact more white people are on twitter than black people , why cause the white population is 4X bigger than the black population. we just make up a higher % due to size of pop

    same goes for instagram, facebook would never have spent a billion on it, if they taught black people who be their #1 source of followers

    we have to learn to read between the lines on stories or surveys like these

    • Come On

      You don’t compare groups of unequal sizes with just numbers. You use percentages. So the fact that the black percentage is higher says more than the fact that there are more white people on twitter. Of course there are more white people on Twitter. There are probably more white people that listen to Beyonce’s music too simply because they outnumber us, but I bet the percentage of black people who listen to Beyonce’s music is higher.

    • stef

      but then is an accurate to say that a racial divide exist on social media sites ? NO

    • Come On

      Let’s say I have a group of 100 white people and 10 black people. Let’s pretend 100% of black people are on Twitter. If only a small 10% of white people are on twitter, these two groups are the same size 10 black people and ten white 10 people. Yet the percentages show that obviously Twitter is very popular among black people. ALL of them use the site. Only 10% of whites do whereas the majority of white people 90% do not. These percentages convey more meaning than simply saying an equal number of white and black people use twitter and these percentages YES they do show a racial divide. If there were no racial divide then the twitter makeup would be similar to the racial makeup to the US or maybe the racial makeup of US web users.

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  • 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.