The United States is a diverse nation of consumers with different wants and needs, backgrounds, opinions, values, and expectations. However, not all voices are always clearly heard, often leading to decision-makers remaining ill-informed.

CivicScience’s robust privacy-centric polling platform, fueled by our media partnerships, enables Americans from all walks of life to be heard and informed. In this series, we’ll take a closer look at Hispanic and Latino American respondents, who represent 19% of the U.S. population.

Here are three key insights about U.S. Hispanic consumers regarding social media usage habits and how they compare to the non-Hispanic U.S. population.

1. Social Media Usage and Top Platforms

With new social media apps introduced every year (e.g. Instagram Threads) and changes to longstanding apps (e.g. Elon Musk acquiring Twitter), social media habits are constantly fluctuating and impacting Americans differently. 

According to CivicScience’s ongoing tracking, Hispanic Americans are heavier social media users overall compared to non-Hispanic Americans. As of July 2023, 85% of Hispanic Americans say they use social media to some extent, compared to 80% of non-Hispanic Americans (n=5,541+). When it comes to how much time they spend on social media apps and sites, both are equally likely to spend less than two hours per day on social media (54%); however, Hispanic adults are more likely than non-Hispanic adults to use social media for two or more hours per day (31% and 26%).

Time spent across different social media apps also varies among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Americans. A close look at the top five social media platforms among Hispanic Americans shows that they report higher daily usage across nearly all apps compared to non-Hispanic adults. 

YouTube ranks No.1 among Hispanic adults for daily usage, whereas Facebook takes first place among non-Hispanic adults – with Facebook being the only platform non-Hispanic Americans use more frequently. Instagram usage has the largest gap in daily users, with Hispanic Americans 12 percentage points more likely than non-Hispanic Americans to use the platform daily.

2. Social Media as a Search Engine

While each social media app has its unique capabilities, digital ads and influencer marketing have become widespread across social media, especially on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. This has contributed to social media being associated with online shopping. In fact, many turn to social media to start their online shopping. CivicScience 2022 data found that TikTok was rising as a search engine for online product searches; however, June 2023 data showed that usage declined by 40%. 

A different story holds when looking at the data among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Americans who shop online. Amazon is the top search engine for both demographics, but non-Hispanic Americans (49%) report higher usage levels than Hispanic adults (44%). Instead, Hispanic adults are more than twice as likely to start their product searches on TikTok and slightly more likely to use Google.

3. Social Media Concerns

With social media being utilized in many different aspects of consumers’ lives today – 41% of Hispanic Americans say it’s important to their life, and 35% of non-Hispanic Americans say the same – discussions around social media’s harmful effects have also emerged, especially on children and teens. The U.S. Surgeon General has warned Americans about the detrimental effects social media has on children’s mental health, and some states have taken measures to regulate underage social media usage, such as requiring parental consent to download TikTok.

CivicScience data show that the majority of Americans believe that social media is ‘more harmful’ than not for minors. However, Hispanic adults are nearly twice as likely to say it’s ‘more harmless’ than non-Hispanic adults – with non-Hispanic adults eight percentage points more likely to say it’s ‘more harmful.’ Further analysis show that concern levels remain nearly unchanged among Hispanic and non-Hispanic parents (data not shown).

CivicScience has a constant pulse on the latest trends influencing Hispanic American consumers. Stay tuned for future insights from our monthly series exploring a variety of categories among Hispanic Americans, or get in touch to see more insights like these.