How White Was Your Valley

Among Internet Users, Black People Use Instagram and Twitter More Than White People

Time to diversify your beta testers.

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 10.06.00 AMThe Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new survey on the demographics of social media users yesterday.  The nonprofit, nonpartisan “fact tank” says its findings are the “first reportable” survey that it’s put out comparing whites, African-Americans and Latinos on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

But if you’ve been paying attention to shifting demographics, the results shouldn’t surprise you.

Pew surveyed 1,802 Internet users, between November 14 and December 9, 2012. (There weren’t enough Asian American respondents to draw statistically reliable conclusions.)

Twenty-six percent of black Internet users reported using Twitter, higher than Hispanics (19 percent) and whites (14 percent). The results are similar to Pew’s report from 2011, expect the number of white users has grown.

But Pew also reported a similar breakdown for Instagram: among the Internet users surveyed, 23 percent of blacks, 18 percent of Hispanics,and 11 percent of whites reported succumbing to the new narcissism.

There was less of a racial discrepancy with Tumblr: 8 percent of Hispanic, 6 percent of white, and 5 percent of black Internet users reported microblogging. In terms of Pinterest: 18 percent of white respondents, 10 percent of Hispanic and 8 percent of black respondents use the service, although the most notable breakdown continues to be female Internet users (25 percent) versus males (5 percent).

A subtle hint to “new Internet” startups like the Svtle, Medium, and’s of the world: if this is how social networks adoption evolves over time, you might want to diversify your “alpha geeks.”

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS.


  1. Jesse F. says:

    Reblogged this on Jesse Fogarty`s Blog and commented:
    It cannot be just myself who would’ve assumed the complete opposite….. My am I surprised by this.

    Guess white people are too busy with their Facbook drama for Tumblr, Instagram and Pintrest