According to the latest from Nielsen, African Americans, Women, and Southerners talk and text the most in the United States. African Americans run up more than 1,300 minutes a month on average, followed by Hispanics at 826 minutes, Asian/Pacific Islanders at 692 minutes, and Whites at 647 minutes each month.
African Americans and Hispanics also text the most. Hispanics send and receive around 767 SMS messages a month while African-Americans send and receive around 780 – significantly more than Asians/Pacific Islanders (384 texts a month) and Whites (566 texts a month). The voice and text results are compiled from one year (April 2009-March 2010) of mobile usage data gathered by the The Nielsen Company, which analyzes the cellphone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers each month in the United States.
While African Americans in general make heavy use of their basic cell phone features, Women also stand out as a power user group. Women talk 22% more than their male counterparts, coming in at 856.3 minutes a month compared to men’s 666.7. They dominate in texting as well, using an average of 601 SMS messages a month compared to 447 used by the average American male.
As it might be expected, teens (<18) completely rule texting. They use 2,779 SMS messages on average each month. The 18-24 crowd is next in line, but only uses 1,229 messages per month on average. The 25-34 crowd comes in at 592, 35-44 at 441, and grandma and grandpa are probably sending and receiving less than 234 text messages each month.
This data is important for a number of reasons. If you’re trying to get people organized, mobilized, or keep them informed, you have to know the best ways to reach them. There is a reason no one under 30 listens to voicemail you left them.
This is also one of the reasons why there are so many black people on Twitter, if you missed the point. Even as some data suggests that African Americans are heavy mobile data users as well, it is imperative that we do not ignore talking and texting as options for communication. This is important whether you’re trying to run a business or start a movement.
It’s about lowering the bar to accessibility. One could argue that Twitter owes much of its success and growth to the fact that they supported SMS early on. No need for a special app or a data plan. It just worked on everything from the latest smartphone to the free Nokia with the monochrome screen. On the flip side, because so much of our community is into texting, Twitter and other platforms for SMS remain relevant and useful.