When it comes to social networks or even technology startups, United States more often than not accounts for the lions share in terms of creation of new networks and activity on these networks.
Even as other regions constantly find mentions for their high usage of one or the other network, there is one specific region which has been silently climbing the usage charts for some of the most used social networking platforms and the likes – Latin America.
Latin America and especially Brazil seems to have an affliction towards anything social media.
One might argue that Brazil or Latin American region is most known for high usage of networks that are passed their prime!! Orkut, Hi5 are commonly sighted examples where the usage in Brazil and other parts of Latin America has remained high despite a widespread decrease in usage from other regions.
But apparently, the internet friendly people in these regions are early adopters as well and they make their presence felt with the rising social networks as well. Sample usage trends from Latin American region for some of the most used services and social networks
- Social networks reach 88% of Latin American internet users. This is a significant percent in terms of social network usage. The % is even more sizable given that the internet penetration itself in Latin America is relatively high
- Orkut and Hi5 are obviously big in Latin America. So much so that Hi5 became truly focused on this market and introduced a spanish version of the site
- Facebook has already toppled Orkut as the top social network in Brazil. Latin America has an estimated 93 Million users on Facebook out of the 700 Million that Facebook has globally
- Brazil is the region witnessing maximum growth in terms of Twitter usage. According to 2010 stats, Brazil took the second spot after US for maximum traffic contribution to Twitter. They are also 2nd in terms of twitter addiction.
- Foursquare, though not a social network in many ways is a leader in Location Services or Location based networking if I may say so. Don’t worry, Brazil is right up there with usage and is growing super fast in the region. On a side note, mobile density in Brazil is extremely high with more than 1 mobile per person
- Too early to tell but I wont be surprised if Brazil tops the usage for Google Plus also :-)
Phew! Latin American region seems to have an affinity for social networking. The folks in these regions seem to be very active when it comes to adopting new social networking platforms.
High internet penetration and a fast growing economy could obviously be the drivers for the high social networking in the region but I also think that a lot has to do with the folks in the region and their inherent interest in creating and sharing content online.
What these trends also signal is the possible shift in the advertising dollar spend. Traditionally, US markets are considered the biggest for online and social advertising dollar spend. However, if the usage trends in Brazil are to be believed, global businesses with a target customer base in Brazil should start leveraging the potential opportunity in the region. With location based services like Foursquare, the opportunity for global brands to reach the local audience in Latin American region could be a potential goldmine.
What are your thoughts on high social networking usage in Brazil? Are there any specific triggers that result in the high usage from the Latin American region.