In Any Language, Hispanics Enjoy Surfing

In what is likely to become a trend that transcends demographics, increasing numbers of Internet users would rather give up watching television than searching the Web, and the Hispanic community is no exception.

An online poll conducted by Spanish-language network YupiMSN of 26,000 Internet users revealed that approximately 20 percent would feel “devastated” if they were no longer able to search the Web and would much prefer giving up television. The survey was designed to investigate how and why searching the Net has become such an integral part of Spanish-speakers’ everyday lives.

“We have always known that our consumers are die-hard Web surfers. These individuals have made the Net an indispensable part of their lives – and YupiMSN, their home on the Web,” said Oscar Coen, president of YupiMSN.

Significant findings include:

  • Overall, consumers taking the YupiMSN conducted poll rated YupiMSN as their favorite search engine, followed by Google and AltaVista.
  • Of those polled, 71 percent of U.S. Hispanic consumers said they are logging on to the Web once a day or more from home with 20 percent of those surveyed saying they have searched the Net in their dreams.
  • 35 percent of respondents claim that the Internet has enhanced their family relationships and friendships.
  • 42 percent of respondents have found friendship on the Web. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans top the list, with an average of eight buddies found online.
  • In most markets, entertainment, news and technology are the most searched-for topics. More than 50 percent of the survey takers had searched the Net to find new hobbies and interests.

Battling for the top Internet spot among Hispanics is, which Nielsen Media Research revealed as the site that more Hispanics visit than any other Spanish-language Web site.

According to the 2002 study — which focused on Internet usage, brand recall and consumer products purchase behavior among Spanish-dominant and bilingual Hispanics 16 years of age and older — was revealed to be the top Spanish-language Web destination for U.S. Hispanic users for the second year in a row.

Those who participated in the study said they visit three times more often than Yahoo en Espanol, four times more often than Terra and 30 times more often than YupiMSN.

Nielsen Media Research also found that the overall use of Spanish-language Internet sites is growing as more Hispanics access the Internet from home on a daily basis. These findings are in line with data gathered by Roslow Research Group in late 2001 indicating that 55 percent of the surveyed Hispanic population spent their online time in Spanish and 45 percent in English, representing a 41 percent increase over the March 2001 ratio (39 percent/61 percent).

More than three-quarters (78 percent) indicated that they have computers at home and 63 percent access the Internet from a home computer, although a full 90 percent have the ability go online from home. Those surveyed stated that they are going online 6.6 times a week, with each session lasting almost an hour (58 minutes).

Additionally, Roslow found that almost half (49.6 percent) of Hispanics 16 years of age and older are active users of the Internet – this figure represents a 16 percent increase from March 2001.

Internet Incidence of Use
Internet Use Jul. 2000
Mar. 2001
Fall 2001
No Internet Usage 40.8 37.1 32.1
No Usage — Past 30 days 21.2 19.9 18.3
Used Internet in past 30 days 38.0 43.0 49.6
Base 1562 1428 1231
Source: Roslow Research Group

Roslow Research conducted telephone interviews of 600 Spanish-surnamed Internet users in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago and San Antonio. All respondents had to identify as Hispanic; speak Spanish at home at least some of the time; and have used the Internet in the past 30 days.

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