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BizReport : Research : January 04, 2007

Homosexuals Happier to Hang Out Online?

A national survey, released this week, concludes that the gay population spends more time online than straight people.

by Helen Leggatt

Witeck-Combs Communications, a marketing firm that specializes in the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual (GLB) market, worked with Harris Interactive on the online survey of more than 2,541 U.S. adults over the age of 18.

Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, said, "We have consistently benchmarked strong online usage by the gay community.”

The survey results suggest that the online GLB population favor social networking sites such as Craigslist, Friendster and MySpace. 33% of GLB’s surveyed said they visited MySpace weekly, compared with 28% of heterosexuals.

"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,” said Witeck.

GLB users are also more likely to visit personal blogs and react almost three times more positively (22% v 9%) to advertising content within them. 12 percent of straight surfers frequent blogs, compared to 24 percent of GLB surfers. 36 percent of GLB adults visit their favorite blogs daily while only 19 percent of heterosexuals visit their favorites everyday.

The online results seem to reflect the same community-based attitude that is found in GLB populations offline, and how advertising and word-of-mouth recommendations can be more powerful when it is done by, or within, these communities than when it is done externally.

Tags: blogs, gay, GLB, Harris Interactive, homosexual, social networking

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