According to Rollingout.com, a new report shows that African Americans continue to outpace whites in their use of data applications and Internet use per capita, especially on cell phones and hand-held devices. As of 2009, nearly two-thirds of African Americans (64 percent) were wireless Internet users and were significantly more likely to own a cell phone than Whites, making use much more of their phones’ data functions compared to White cell phone owners.
The article went on to say that the same report said that 44 percent of African American teens use their phones mostly to text and go on the Internet. Thus, Black Internet users, regardless of the device they use, tend to be young, mobile, female and very heavy users of social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter. For them, it is more about communicating with others than accessing information. African American are on twitter following and communicating with their circle of friends and or celebrities. Most African Americans do not follow brands, companies, or random people who have the same interest as them.
It has been confirmed that a large segment of Twitter’s population is African American. Although Blacks comprise about 12 percent of the general population, they account for 25 percent of the population of users on Twitter. This large segment of African Americans on Twitter show the power of the group as they drive trends using hash tags on topics that are not informational, influential, or breaking news.
African Americans spend about the same time on the Internet daily (4 hours and 22 minutes) as they do watching television (4 hours and 43 minutes). With this information marketers are finding ways to make their social media campaigns target African Americans. For example American Airlines and Pepsi have created blog sites to engage the Black population using the Internet.
Blackatlas.com is supposed to enhance the Black travel experience for its target audience. On this site you can explore the Black culture of certain cities, you can create content for the site, plan a trip, and get tips from Nelson George, the “travel expert”.
Pepsi’s We Inspire is targeted toward Black women. It’s a blog site where celebrities like Queen Latifah, Thadie Newton, and Keyshia Cole have contributed posts on what inspires them. It is also a platform that any African American woman could submit postings for and share them on the website to become a “storyteller”. I really love this website and I think many of my friends should contribute to it.
Mozilla has created a very controversial web browser that is targeted for African Americans to use. It is called Blackbird and was created as a way to give Blacks a better Internet experience. The browser’s features include a Black influenced search, news ticker, videos, local business search, email manager, social network manager, and job search tool. There is also a charity content channel called “Do Good” that connects users with Black organizations. Can I say, “doing the most”? I do not feel like it is necessary tool. I personally can find Black content just fine with Safari and Internet Explorer.
(Photo credit: John Lund http://www.johnlund.com/Portfolio-New-Stock-Photos.asp)