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The Latest on Social Media in Latin America

This post is also available in: Spanish

Recent studies from comScore, the Associación Mexicana de Internet (AMIPCI) and other entities offer insights about how Latin Americans are using social media. Along with successful case studies and other behavioral data, these findings can be helpful for integrating social media strategy into general advertising, marketing or media plans. Here’s a look at some of the key takeways.

>>>Latin Americans top world rankings in using social media. ComScore reports that each Latin American spends an average of 7.6 hours per month on social media—the world’s highest average and more than double the time in the much more populous Asia-Pacific region.
Out of the top 10 countries in the world for social media usage in hours per person per month, 5 of them are in Latin America. Argentina ranks #2, just 0.4 hours behind Israel, while Chile is #5, Colombia is #8, Peru is #9 and Venezuela is #10.

>>>Latin American women are the heaviest users. While men on social media slightly outnumber women (50.9% to 49.1%), each Latin woman averages 8.2 hours per month on social media, while each man averages 6.9.

>>>Older people in Latin America are big social media users. Despite the perception that social media is for the young, in Latin America social media has a 93% penetration rate among users 55 and older. This is just behind North America, which has a 94.7% penetration rate with this age group.

>>>Facebook rules in Latam. Facebook has over 100 million users in Latin America—the #2 spot is held by Windows Live Profile, with 36 million.
>>>LinkedIn is strong in Brazil. LinkedIn grew by 428% in Brazil in 2010 and the country is among its top 10 markets in the world. To that end, LinkedIn debuted its Brazil office in September 2011.

>>>Facebook has overtaken Orkut in Brazil. This has been predicted for quite a while, but it didn’t happen until August 2011. According to IBOPE, Facebook registered 30.9 users in Brazil that month, while Orkut had 29 million.

>>>Slideshare is surprisingly popular in Latin America. The presentation website has significant reach in the region. It was #5 in the region for unique visitors in November 2011, behind Twitter. Out of the 10 most penetrated markets for Slideshare in terms of percent reach by unique visitors, 7 are from Latin America. It’s most popular in Peru—15.5% of  the country’s online audience visits Slideshare every month.
Google+ started off strong in Latam. Within a month of its launch, Brazil became one of the top 10 markets for Google+, ranking #6 with 793,000 users. Other Latin markets with significant Google+ numbers include Mexico (308,000), Argentina (213,000) and Colombia (200,000).

>>>Messaging is what they do most. According to AMIPCI’s study, sending public or private messages is the top activity for Latin Americans on social media. Photo sharing and profile updating are the next most popular. Towards the bottom of the list of favorite social media activities is following company brands.
>>>Social networking is #1 among Argentine Internet users. Between June 2010 and June 2011, social networking doubled in its share of online minutes spent by Argentine Internet users. Its skyrocketing popularity came at the expense of other online activities: time on portals, instant messaging and emails all dropped.

>>>Mexicans are divided on social media ads. AMIPCI’s study showed that 39% of Mexican Internet users like seeing ads on media, but 44% felt neutral about them. The remaining 17% didn’t like them. This conflicted attitude reflects other research done so far about Latin Americans’ attitudes about social media ads.
>>>Blogs are big, especially in Brazil. While technically not social media sites, blogs are related because of the way they engage readers and allow for discussion via comments. Among Latin American Internet users, 3 out of 4 visit blogs. Brazil is the most blog-happy: 85% of its internautas visit blogs. In addition, the Associacao Nacional de Jornais reports that the readership of the blogs of Brazil’s top journalists is larger than the circulation of the country’s top 10 newspapers. These popular blogs include those of Juca Kfouri, Patricia Kogut, Fernando Moreira and Marcelo Tas.

To find out how we can help you reach Latin America with a precisely targeted social media campaign, please contact us at

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