A new survey in the U.S. shows that gays, lesbians and bisexuals lead in the usage of online social networks, websites and blogs.

The poll 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.

The online survey of 2,541 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) was conducted between November 2006, by Harris Interactive, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.

According to the survey, 27 percent of GLB individuals reported they visit the popular free video sharing website,, at least one hour or less per week, compared with 22 percent of all heterosexuals. GLB individuals were also slightly more likely to visit (20%), a centralised 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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