Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Hispanics: How They’ve Influenced the Digital Industry in the U.S.

Jonathan Blum

Borders are becoming increasingly blurry. Globalization connects cultures in a way that we can now flourish in places where we were not born, making us “citizens of the world”.
The U.S. is one of the countries with the largest number of immigrants from all over the world. But the number of Latinos on American soil is greatest because of their proximity to the U.S. It is estimated that Hispanics represent 18% of the total U.S. population.

This has had many effects, including on the political front. With such a diverse population, communication across different demographic segments cannot be the same. Companies offering products and services have to design their messages to be able to connect with everyone, not just the average American. Politicians themselves organize certain political activities with the Hispanic population in mind because they know they offer the possibility of gaining political and social capital.

The same happens with technology. In addition to being known for the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is famous for Silicon Valley, the Mecca of technological development and headquarters for Google and Facebook. Recently, Latino organizations such as Mercado Libre have invested there as well. The Brazilian company, Totvs, a regional software leader, is among those who now have offices in the U.S.

Latinos are now seen as consumers and developers. As consumers, companies see us as relatively young, meaning we want cultural connectivity and digital flexibility. Companies such as Nielsen view Latinos as the community which has changed its consumer experience the most, as well as shown the most progress, in comparison with the rest of the market.
Culturally, there are significant differences in how Hispanics communicate, stay informed, consume content and mobilize for social justice through technology. All of this has given companies an opportunity to appeal to Latino consumers in a more authentic way while finding strategies to connect with them.

Cisneros Media for example, is fulfilling the content needs of the Hispanic population with custom development. Initially we did so through broadcast television, later through cable television and now our streaming video content is available on several platforms.

Latinos are now known as developers due to the success of their technology-driven businesses. There are at least nine digital unicorns in the region, worth a total of 23 million dollars. Four of these are from Argentina (Despegar.com, Globant, Mercado Libre, OLX); Brazil has B2W Digital and Totvs; Mexico has Softtek and KIO Networks and Chile has Crystal Lagoons. We Latinos are becoming true influencers.