Monday, February 9, 2009

Hispanics like internet, English websites

U.S. Hispanics embrace web, prefer English language sites
by Helen Leggatt BizReport

U.S. Hispanics aren't being left behind in Internet circles, their online numbers are already large and continue to swell. As per other U.S. citizens, Hispanics are using the Internet for a wide variety of reasons including news, entertainment and social networking, according to the results of a recent Ipsos U.S. Hispanic Omnibus study.

A large number of U.S. Hispanics have access to the Internet and 63% access the Internet at least once a month, according to a recent Ipsos Hispanic Omnibus study. As per most other U.S. users, they are accessing the Internet for news, downloading music, researching purchases and keeping up with friends and family members.

The notion that Hispanics lack Internet access or realize the impact of the Internet has been 'smashed', said Cynthia Pelayo, Senior Research Manage with Ipsos.

"We know that millions of Hispanics are online, either at home or at work, and they are engaging in functions, often in higher numbers, than the general population. U.S. Hispanics understand the value of having access to the internet and they are not only turning to the internet for basic search functions, but for entertainment and to increase their knowledge of the world around them," she said.

When online, English is the language of preference among all Hispanic age groups, found the Ipsos survey, with 55% of all Hispanics saying so. One would imagine that many of the younger age groups would be more likely to prefer English, this is not so. Almost 40% of Hispanics aged 18-34 prefer Internet sites that are in Spanish.

"Today, many US Hispanics continue to speak primarily Spanish, among their peers, family and friends, to watch television in Spanish and to be involved in cultural community events that are mostly conducted in Spanish," said Pelayo. "Yet, the ability to utilize either language when needed is an innate skill and an advantage that many US Hispanics possess."

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