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As Internet technology spins ahead, US Hispanics are clamoring to stay on top of the latest and greatest in online communication. A new report from market research firm Mintel shows that online Hispanic adults are quickly surpassing other demographic groups in acquiring new online communication skills.
Mintel’s exclusive consumer survey found Hispanics who use the Internet devote nearly three times as much time weekly to browsing websites on their cell phones (1.1 hours versus 0.4 hours for non-Hispanics). Additionally, online Hispanics spend nearly twice as much time using social networking websites or chatting via instant messaging (5 hours versus 3.5 hours).
“As technology prices drop and the number of bilingual Hispanics in the US grows, we see more Hispanic adults relying on the Internet for day-to-day communication and learning,” comments Leylha Ahuile, Multicultural Expert at Mintel. “US Hispanics who get online via their cell phones provide a great opportunity for marketers who want to reach them in a personal, direct way.”
Mintel’s survey found that online Hispanics are more likely to have profiles on social networking websites than non-Hispanics. Nearly half (48%) own such a profile, versus 43% of Black Americans and 31% of Whites. This trend is driven by youth: online Hispanics aged 18-34 visit social networking websites 3.6 times a week on average, versus just 1.3 times per week for over-35s. Mintel’s Leylha Ahuile notes that young Hispanics have a considerable presence online, as over a third of all Internet-using Hispanics were age 24 or younger in 2006.
Mintel also found:

Online Hispanics adopt new media technology, like web TV, quicker than non-Hispanics
Hispanics that use the Internet spend more time listening to Internet radio and downloading music than non-HispanicsOnline Hispanics devote more time weekly to Internet browsing than non-Hispanics