It’s no secret that Facebook has been mostly white since its inception. The social media site was founded at Harvard University and quickly expanded to other Ivy League schools across the nation, places that aren’t exactly known to be beacons of racial diversity. Until recently.

“Latino Facebook users grew 167 percent compared to 21 percent among non-Hispanics from April 2010 to April 2011 according to comScore,” said Juan Proaño, President of Plus Three, a web design and technology company that works with organizations to promote social change. They recently conducted a survey of social networking sites to determine the growth for Latinos.

Like many of their white counterparts, “Latinos are using Facebook to stay connected with family and friends and to stay connected with their identity,” Proaño said in a press release. 

selenagomez-obama-facebook.gifPlus Three also surveyed the top 1,000 Facebook fan pages and found 32 Latinos celebrities among the top 1,000. Only three Latinos broke into the top 100. Shakira was the top Latina celebrity with 35 million fans and ranked number eight on the overall list followed by Selena Gomez at number thirty-five and Enrique Iglesias at number forty-eight.

These demographic changes online can have lasting affects on social networking sites, and can even make sites more racially segregated.

danah boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, studies social networking sites and other intersections between technology and society. She was one of the first to point out segregation in online social networks:

“…It wasn’t just anyone who left MySpace to go to Facebook. In fact, if we want to get to the crux of what unfolded, we might as well face an uncomfortable reality… What happened was modern day ‘white flight’.” Whites were more likely to leave MySpace or choose Facebook. The educated were more likely to leave MySpace or choose Facebook. Those from wealthier backgrounds were more likely to leave MySpace or choose Facebook. Those from the suburbs were more likely to leave MySpace or choose Facebook. Those who deserted MySpace did so by “choice” but their decision to do so was wrapped up in their connections to others, in their belief that a more peaceful, quiet, less-public space would be more idyllic.

Something to pay attention to.

A Pew Internet & American Life study last year also found young black and Latino internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users.


Latinos With the Most Facebook Fans

Data for this survey was taken from Source Data.

Rank Name Fans Type
8 Shakira 35,875,202 Singer
35 Selena Gomez 22,276,194 Actress
48 Enrique Iglesias 19,685,811 Singer
186, 284, 835 Lionel Messi 15,535,438 Athlete
131 Ricardo Kakà 9,779,271 Athlete
155 Demi Lovato 8,719,504 Singer
162 Pitbull 8,456,444 Singer
164 Daddy Yankee 8,399,149 Singer
186 Lionel Messi 15,535,438 Athlete
189 Fernando Torres 7,525,901 Athlete
192 Rafael Nadal 7,420,362 Athlete
198 Andres Iniesta 7,167,068 Athlete
229 Don Omar 6,492,023 Singer
270 George Lopez 5,828,510 Comedian
297 Mariah Carey 5,295,893 Singer
320 Ricardo Arjona 4,984,899 Singer
322 Jennifer Lopez 4,971,423 Singer
355 Luis Fonsi 4,748,077 Singer
363 Taio Cruz 4,654,998 Singer
381 Tony Dize 4,509,832 Singer
423 Christina Aguilera 4,153,389 Singer
552 Cesc Fàbregas 3,416,732 Athlete
596 Juanes 3,247,789 Singer

Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/latino_facebook_users_grew_167_percent_compared_to_21_percent_among_non-hispanic.html


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