Twitter, Internet increasingly popular for blacks

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Young, college-educated and higher-income African Americans are just as likely as their white counterparts to use the Internet, and Twitter seems to be a favorite place in cyberspace, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

The report, released Monday, showed that about 72 percent of African Americans have either home broadband connection or a smartphone, or both. About 86 percent of black Internet users ages 18 to 29 have broadband access at home, about 88 percent are college graduates and about 91 percent earn at least $75,000 annually, Pew researchers said.

African Americans also tend to use Twitter more often than whites, Pew said, noting that 22 percent of blacks access the microblogging social networking site at high levels compared to 16 percent of whites. Confirming the phenomenon of "Black Twitter," or the use of clever hashtags to spur dialogue on specific topics of interest to blacks, Pew noted that Twitter use rates are higher among young adults, with 40 percent for blacks and 28 percent for whites, and about 96 percent of blacks on Twitter are between 18 and 29 years old.

Overall, 73 percent of African American Internet users and 72 percent of white Internet users use Twitter, Pew said.

Blacks still trail whites when it comes to general Internet use, the report said. About 80 percent of blacks use the Internet compared to 87 percent of their white counterparts, the report said, and more whites have access to broadband service in their homes by about 12 percentage points compared to blacks.