December 08, 2006

A recent national survey found that more online gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) individuals use social networks Friendster and MySpace per week compared to online heterosexuals. Other well-known websites such as YouTube, Craigslist and personal web logs also were found to be more popular among GLB individuals.

These are some of the highlights of a nationwide online survey of 2,541 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) conducted between November 13 and 20, 2006, by Harris Interactive®, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market. The results reported in this release refer to U.S. adults who are online.

27 percent of GLB individuals reported they visit the popular free video sharing website, youtube.com, at least one hour or less per week, compared with 22 percent of all heterosexuals. GLB individuals were also slightly more likely to visit Craigslist.com (20%), a centralized network of online urban communities, featuring free classified advertisements and forums, one hour or less per week (while 13% of heterosexuals say they visit Craigslist).

Even more significant is that gays and lesbians are online much more than their heterosexual counterparts. Excluding email, nearly twice as many gays and lesbians (32%) say they are online for between 24 and 168 hours per week, compared to 18 percent of heterosexuals.

Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, said, “We have consistently benchmarked strong online usage by the gay community. Gays and lesbians have shown their need to build and maintain an early and major presence on the web that translates directly into significant market opportunities. Social networks also appear to be second nature for the gay and lesbian consumer.”

Regarding web logs or blog use, the survey found nearly one in four GLB individuals (24%) reported to visit personal blogs, which are websites that serve as an individual’s personal online journal, compared to 12 percent of heterosexuals. In fact, over one in three GLB adults (36%) visit their favorite blogs everyday, while only 19 percent of heterosexuals say they visit their favorite blogs daily. GLB respondents also reported to have a more positive reaction towards advertising found on blogs, by two to one when compared to heterosexuals (22% vs. 9%).

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