The mobile digital divide shrinks for Latinos

LatinaLista — Recent studies suggest that Latinos are still on the wrong side of the digital divide with less home access to the internet, but a new report released today by The Hispanic Institute reveals that Latinos more than make up for it with their cell phones.

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The study, Connected Hispanics and Civic Engagement, found that nearly 90 percent of Latinos carry a mobile phone compared to 80 percent of whites.

And while other studies may show Latinos don’t access the Internet from a home computer, this study says it’s because they’re doing it from their phones. In fact, Latinos have become so adept at using their cell phones to Facebook, tweet, text message and surf online that the study’s authors are crediting Latinos with impacting three very important issues: immigration, education and voter registration, through cell phones.

The report says 53 percent of Latinos use their cell phones to access the Internet and the majority of those are English-speakers.

However, unlike some demographics who merely use their phones to read sites online, Latinos are taking full advantage of mobile technology.

Just as they have shown a propensity to utilize mobile technology, Hispanics have also moved quickly to utilization of apps. Research shows that Hispanics are more likely than Whites to access video sharing/downloading sites on their mobile devices on a daily basis – 24%, compared to only 12% for Whites. Hispanics are also the leading users of banking/finance apps, with 32% of Hispanics having used one within the previous month, compared to 27% of Whites

The report endorses the reality that it’s all about convenience, cost and ready connectivity when it comes to Latinos utilizing technology and shaping it to fit their lifestyles rather than be chained to a desk(top).

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