Nielsen Finds U.S. Hispanics Tops In Mobile, Social Activity

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A new report from Nielsen this morning delves into the mobile and social behavior of U.S. Hispanic consumers, finding they’re highly engaged in their usage of smartphones, online video, social networking and other types of entertainment. According to the study, Hispanics outpace all over ethnic groups in mobile downloads of music and photos, and are more likely to watch video online and on the their mobile phones than others.

Specifically, Nielsen says that Hispanic video viewers are 68% more likely than non-Hispanic White viewers to watch video on the Internet, and 20% more likely to watch video on their mobile phone.

They’re also heavy phone users in general, sending and receiving some 941 SMS text messages per month – more than any other ethnic group. And they make 13 calls per day on their mobiles, which is 40% more than the average U.S. consumer.

The group is also increasing its access to social networking services and blogs. In February, visits were up 14% to sites like Facebook and WordPress.com, for example. In February, 16.7 million unique U.S. Hispanics visitors headed over to Facebook, which is up 8% year-over-year. Visits to Blogger (+10% YOY), Twitter (+32% YOY), LinkedIn (+52% YOY), WordPress (+27% YOY), and Tumblr (+85% YOY) were up, as well. (See above chart).

They often have a blog of their own, too – Hispanics are 17% more likely than the average consumer to build or update a personal blog, Nielsen found.

Plus, Hispanics are 25% more likely to follow a brand, 18% more likely to follow a celebrity, 21% more likely to post links, articles, videos and website, and 7% more likely to have one or more social networking profiles.

Perhaps the most interesting part to all this data, though, is the part that hints at the “why.” Hispanics are actually less likely to have Internet access at home than the average U.S. consumer (62% and 76%, respectively). Although this is increasing – home broadband use is up by 14% over the past year, which is higher than the 6% growth rate of the general market. So that can account for some of the activity.

However, mobile is a key factor here. Says Nielsen, “mobile presents a significant avenue of opportunity for marketers looking to reach Hispanic consumers,” and the firm also notes that the group has “amassed significant buying power, despite perceptions to the contrary.”

Marketers, though, aren’t the only ones who could successfully target this group, leveraging mobile to do so. If you’re building a mobile app or service – especially a social or entertainment-focused service – you would be lucky to have a group that’s as engaged as this one is to tap into.