US & Canada

Twitter use strongest among US minority groups - study

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Image caption Twitter was founded in 2006 and now claims tens of millions of users around the globe

African-American and Latino adults in the US who use the internet are twice as likely as whites to use the website Twitter, a survey has found.

The Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank, found that 13% of Latino and 18% of African-American adult internet users use Twitter.

Of all US adult internet users, 8% use the micro-blogging site, Pew found.

Minority groups visit the site more because they are younger and use mobile technology more often, the centre said.

"Both of those groups, African-American and Latino adult internet users in the US, tend to be younger than white internet users, which helps to lead to their adoption of Twitter," said Senior Research Specialist Aaron Smith.

"Both of those groups are also very mobile populations in their use of cell phones in particular to access the web," he said, adding that "Twitter lends itself easily to mobile technology."

"Overall, non-whites are more likely than white cell phone owners to do a range of non-voice tasks on their cell phones - they are more likely to use instant messaging and social networking on their phones."

The study also suggested those who live in cities and were more likely to use the social networking site - which lets users post updates using up to 140 characters.

Twitter obsession

Researchers found that 25% of active Twitter users checked the service several times a day, with 2% saying they were extremely active.

As Americans spend more of their time online, social networking technology as a whole is growing and starting to replace activities individuals once performed in physical spaces, Mr Smith said.

The Pew researchers noted in the report that they focused on Twitter because the service was "one of the most popular online activities among tech enthusiasts and has become a widely used tool among analysts to study the conversations and interests of users, buzz about news, products or services".

Twitter was launched in July of 2006 and now claims tens of millions of users around the globe.

The Pew study - part of an initiative to explore technology in the US - surveyed 2,257 adult internet users.

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