Research: LatAm Internet Users Grow 16% in 2011

During its "Digital Future - Latin America 2012" webinar (Thursday, March 22), ComScore presented digital growth figures for Latin America for the December 2010 to December 2011 period.  Portada covered the event and brings you the most relevant and possibly trendsetting information for this year.

Latin America, the region with the fastest growing number of online users in the world

The number of online users in Latin America increased by 16% between December 2010 and December 2011, making it the fastest growing region for the period.  Middle East/Africa followed close behind with 14% growth, while the Asia-Pacific region posted an 11% increase. The number of digital users in North America grew by only 3%.
This growth is being driven by young users, who are leading the trend in Latin America. According to ComScore’s study, 60.8% of the digital population in LatAm is under 35, whereas globally the figure is 51.9%.  Latin American countries with the highest numbers of young online users are Venezuela (71.5%), Colombia (65.8%), and Mexico (62.8%) — all of them above the global average.

Facebook conquers Latin America; Twitter and Linkedin follow far behind

Although Google is the most visited site in Latin America, Facebook today is the place where users spend more time, with an average of 7 hours per visitor.
But Facebook does not only beat out Google.  In 2011, social networks increased their user time by 9.5 points, while at the same time, the time users spent visiting news sites fell by the same proportion. Meanwhile, instant messaging and emails also lost 8.2 and 2.6 points, respectively.
Globally, of the 10 world markets that are the most active on social networks, 5 are Latin American.  Hours clocked per visitor were 10.7 in Argentina, 9.5 in Chile, 8.7 in Peru, 7.6 in Colombia, and 7.1 in Mexico.
In terms of each social network’s market share, Facebook is the undisputed leader, posting a 50% increase during the period to reach 108.8 million visitors as of December 2011, and achieving 84% regional penetration.
Other social networks showing growth in the region are Twitter, which grew 60% in 2011, reaching 27 million visitors (equivalent to 24.8% of Facebook’s reach); Linkedin with a 79% increase, reaching 7.6 million; and Tumblr, which despite being the fastest growing social network at 232% percent, lags behind the others with 6.3 million visitors in Latin America.

Facebook beats Orkut in Brazil and conquers the display ad market

To understand the importance of Facebook’s growth, it is interesting to study the case of Brazil, where the social network grew 192% during the year— beating its main rival, Orkut, in December 2011. Conversely, Orkut saw its numbers fall by 5% during the same time period.
In addition, nearly 1 out of every 5 display ads (17.4%) in the Brazilian market are being placed in Facebook today, beating out Globo, UOL, Terra, and Google, among others.

In news, Argentina leads the field with Clarín and La Nación

In 2011, the audience for news and information in LatAm grew by 32%.  Even so, on a global level it remains one of the regions with less online engagement in this category: 22.1 minutes, well under the global average of 64.1 minutes spent per visitor on news.
Argentina is the only exception in the region, checking in above the global average at a staggering 99.2 minutes per user.  Mexico, on the other hand, tips in at the lowest level of the scale with 31.1 minutes per visitor.
In terms of digital news properties, Argentines also lead the way. Grupo Clarín ranks first, with 9.47 million visitors spending an average time of 57.4 minutes. Grupo La Nación was second, with 4.979 million visitors and an average site visit of 26.2 minutes.

Spike in video hits

Video viewing is seeing double-digit growth in Brazil (74%), Mexico (80%), Argentina (75%), and Chile (91%).  To date, the average viewer watches 147.2 videos a month in Chile, while the monthly figure is 141 in Mexico, 124 in Argentina, and 109.7 in Brazil.

Along with the growth in video viewing, the audience for online entertainment also grew 14% in Latin America.

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