The primary benefit of MiGente is its focus on the Latino audience. Like other culture-focused online communities, MiGente brings together people with a common cultural background and similar societal challenges. The Web site content fits the target demographic, with sponsors providing news and products most relevant to Latinos in the United States. From there, MiGente's members self-select interests in music and style, which are often influenced by members' culture and experience.
In April 2009, InteractiveOne started a three-year partnership with Terra USA, a leading producer of digital content with a primary focus on American Latinos. The new alliance allows the partners to cross-market and cross-sell between their audiences. MiGente members benefit from this partnership because the Web site includes news from Terra Networks, featuring articles in both English and Spanish.
Besides Terra Networks, you can see other site sponsorship through banner ads at MiGente.com. These ads are provided through DoubleClick, a Google-owned marketing company based in New York that serves many social networking Web sites. While such banner ad networks save time and marketing resources for sites like MiGente, the ads that appear may not always align with the target audience of the Web site.
Competitors for MiGente include other social network sites that offer targeted features for Latino members. Some well-established general audience sites like Facebook offer some features to network with other Latinos, or they offer a Spanish version of their entire site. However, the primary competitors for the English-language MiGente are the bilingual social networking sites like QuePasa and Vostu, and music networking sites like Cyloop.
MiGente does have issues not unlike those of other social network Web sites. Security for your personal information is always a concern with sites like MiGente, especially when the site doesn't provide encryption for you when you log in. MiGente does address the problem of phishing, though, with the option to create a security badge that always appears on the site when you access it from the same Web browser. Beyond securing your session, though, you must still determine on a member-by-member basis who you think is authentic and trustworthy, especially if you share a lot of personal information or plan to meet offline.
Latinos comprise an increasing portion of the U.S. population, with more than half of them regularly using the Internet. Likewise, Latino culture and people are making an increased impact on overall U.S. culture. With this growth, online social networking among Latinos is likely to climb, and social networks like MiGente are poised for continued success.
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Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- BBC News. "Latino culture sweeps across US." Nov. 5, 2003. (July 23, 2009) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3238523.stm
- Diaz, Cyntia Barrera. "For U.S. Hispanics, Web Options Multiply." Puerto Rico Herald. Aug. 22, 2001. (July 22, 2009) http://www.puertorico-herald.org/issues/2001/vol5n36/USHispWebOptions-en.html
- Fox, Susannah and Livingston, Gretchen. "Latinos Online." Pew Internet. March 14, 2007. (July 22, 2009) http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/Latinos-Online.aspx
- Frommer, Dan. "BlackPlanet Parent Community Connect Sells To Radio One For $38 Million." The Business Insider. April 11, 2008. (July 23, 2009) http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/4/blackplanet-parent-community-connect-sells-to-radio-one-for-38-million
- InteractiveOne. "Terra USA Joins Forces with Interactive One to Provide the Largest Social Offering to U.S. Hispanics." April 13, 2009. (July 22, 2009)http://www.interactiveone.com/article_04.php