Forget Facebook: Minorities Prefer Twitter
Everybody is talking about Facebook's forthcoming initial public offering, but I'd rather invest in Twitter, the social media network that welcomes everybody. Research shows African-Americans and Latinos are more likely to join Twitter than Facebook. Last year, the number of African-Americans on Twitter nearly doubled, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. The study shows blacks and Hispanics combined are about a third of Twitter users.
Another market research firm, Edison Research, found that blacks make up 22 percent of Twitter's market -- way more than their piece of the U.S. population. Highly educated white people love Facebook, which started out as a social network for Harvard University students. Roughly 78 percent of Anglo web users with some college experience have a Facebook profile, according to Pew's statistics.
I don't like Mark Zuckerberg's social network because promoters can clutter up your wall with bottle service ads. So-called friends can add you, without your permission, to their group or page, and then bombard you with notifications. Being on Facebook is like having virtual Jehovah's Witnesses and Tupperware salesmen knocking on your door every five seconds. Shit's annoying.
Twitter is definitely easier to use. It's direct and instantaneous just like a text message. In fact, Twitter started out as a text messaging service in 2006 and continues to be friendly for all types of cell phones. The Pew and Edison studies concluded that blacks and Hispanics rely more on their mobile phones as their primary connection to the World Wide Web. Minority Twitter users also tend to be a lot younger, so they are more interested in pop culture.
With Twitter, celebrities can have conversations with their fans and detractors. Minorities Chad Ochocinco and LeBron James are just some of the famous people who constantly interact with their thousands of followers. I think we all should forget about this Facebook thing and make Twitter our social network of choice.
I use Twitter on a daily basis to show my supporters how much I appreciate them and to tell my haters to kiss my ass. For instance, sports agent Howard Shatsky tweeted he had an issue with my recent column about his boy Drew Rosenhaus. I tweeted back, "Eat a D." Now that's effective use of 140 characters.
However, I do have a problem with Twitter's verification process, which let's people know it is really you tweeting and not a fake Twitter account. Once you've been verified, your followers grow exponentially. But it seems only famous people who are tied to a cable television network or a major record label or a big production studio get verified. Every housewife from E!'s popular reality series franchise has a verified Twitter account, yet I've been waiting more than a year to get my seal of authenticity.
I think Twitter cuts deals with companies like Viacom to get a percentage off celebrity Twitter accounts. You know if Kardashian sells a tweet for $10,000, Twitter is getting some of that money. How else is social media going to make money?
Follow Luke on Twitter at @unclelukereal1.
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.