Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why black folks love Twitter


Study after study keeps showing it: African Americans love Twitter. One of the latest comes in the form of an Edison Research study of more than 1,700 people. The study says about 25 percent of all Twitter users are African American. That's nearly double the percentage of black people in the nation's general population.

Translation: the Twittersphere is disproportionately black. But why? The Business Insider blog offered a few ideas:

  • Blacks and Latinos are more likely to access the Internet from mobile devices, and Twitter lends itself better to mobile usage.
  • Black celebrities like Shaquille O'Neal and P. Diddy use Twitter heavily, and rank among its most followed accounts.
  • Twitter's most popular among 25-34 year olds, and the median age of African Americans is 30 years old (at least according to the 2000 Census).
Those are just some thoughts. I'm going to do a story on this for the newspaper, and would love any thoughts, feedback or insight you guys might want to offer. Shoot me a tweet or e-mail me at efrazier@charlotteobserver.com.

24 comments:

jenifer daniels - the friendraiser said...

hey eric, i think that you might be simplifying it a bit. the draw for AfAms may have a lot to do with accessibility to mobile devices but i think its more sociologically rooted in 'community' itself.

what most fail to realize is that you can have 'friends' online. you can create your own community/world. AfAms history in America has often illustrated us in close spaces and the internet is the modern day equivalent. as we move away from family members for jobs and schools, we still desire to 'keep in touch'.

we also use the space to network and just hang out. BET's 106 & Park explores the uses of daily hashtags to thread conversations used throughout their programming.

social media has proved ripe for the picking of any group of folks who chose to use it.

Janelle Thomas said...

Interesting column. When I first signed up for Twitter, I updated my status via text messaging. Now Twitter apps on my phone make it almost easier to update from my phone than from the actual site.

Anonymous said...

im black dont have twitter and this a horrible article.

Anonymous said...

One of the dumbest articles I have ever read!!!

Anonymous said...

we loves twitter just like we love fried chicken !!

Anonymous said...

Im black and I dont twitter. This is the problem with black folks. We sitting around using twitter and not spending our time more productively. We got black 3 year old babies being shot and murdered and you talking about some damn twitter. The black so called leaders should be out condemning black on black violence, the lack of parental involvement by some in our childrens education, we should be boycotting radio stations like WPEG for playing this ignorant and degrading music. Where is the Black Causus? Where are the church leaders? Where is the outrage over all these black males in jail? Where is the outrage over so many black single parent mothers? Where is the outrage over low test scores in schools ? Twitter? Why dont you twitter about the condition of black folks and how we are our own worst enemy cause we tolerate those lowlife negroes who are disgracing and shaming the entire race.

William said...

When did Don Cheadle start writing for the Observer?

Anonymous said...

Please.

tigrwuds said...

B-kuz u dont haf to no how 2 spel.

Anonymous said...

Why can't we just be considered as techinically saavy, intelligent black people. I don't have Twitter because of P. Diddy or Shaq! I just like the way Twitter allows me to express my opinions. An additional study does not need to be done. This has nothing to do with race.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced...by any means. Your support for this entry is sparse at best.

Mike said...

I noticed this too but I hardly think Shaq's randomness + Diddy constantly selling us something is the draw.

To me it's more the lesser know celebrities leading the way. Just look at the trending topics, people like comedian Lil Duval and rapper Fabolous have more Twitter "influence" than Shaq or Diddy.

And the major draw is the communal immediacy. Sure you could text a picture of the woman with crazy hair in the airport to your small circle of friends but why not share that with everybody, ya know?

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

You say that blacks and latinos are more likely to access the internet from mobile devices - but doesn't that really beg the question? Why do they use mobile devices more readily or more often? (If, in fact, they do.) It just seems an odd -- and sketchy -- statement, similar to a claim that blacks talk on the phone more than whites. Really? If so, then why? I wouldn't think that there was a homogeneous culture among either white, black or brown folks that would rather universally result in more or less phone, cell or twitter use. That just seems odd to me. This seems pan-cultural to me in a way that, say, so-called "soul" food is not. Soul food is just what almost all southerners eat, white or black. Black folks who were reared in California or Wisconsin (and whose families are from there) would seem less likely to have the same dietary habits. But apparently they DO share cell phone habits??? Really? This just seems odd.

Anonymous said...

Because Black Folks are nosey.

khosen1 said...

Lets try a better title...this is Charlotte...

Anonymous said...

Good thing someone didn't write an article entitled "Why white folks love Facebook". The cries of racism would be heard all across Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

dumb arse

Anonymous said...

test comment

Anonymous said...

test comment

Anonymous said...

Eric Frazier, if you have writer's block and cannot come up with anything more interesting than this, Wells Fargo has some customer service jobs open. You might want to apply for one of them. "Why black folks love Twitter" is not only disrespectful to "black folks", but it does not help white people's perception of blacks in any sense of the imagination. This is not cute, as you think it is, and you should be ashamed!

Anonymous said...

What does this information have to do with Charlotte? Would have been a better story if you discussed how residents/businesses in Charlotte are using Twitter and maybe even listed some popular Twitter accounts for Charlotte based companies. Bonus points, if you mentioned some popular black-owned businesses on Twitter. Dang, does the Mayor have a Twitter account?...dig deeper next time.

Anonymous said...

What does this information have to do with Charlotte? Would have been a better story if you discussed how residents/businesses in Charlotte are using Twitter and maybe even listed some popular Twitter accounts for Charlotte based companies. Bonus points, if you mentioned some popular black-owned businesses on Twitter. Dang, does the Mayor have a Twitter account?...

Manuel said...

I would be interested to see how this plays out in other social networking sites.

I can't see the mobile device being the reason; facebook and myspace have mobile applications.

Additionally, I don't really understand the significance or interesting in finding out "why" the disproportionality exists.

voyante said...

That is quite surprising... I have never heard of that before reading your post!
It makes me quite puzzled and angry too!