There is no surprise about the growth of digital media in Latin America, but… What does it mean? comScore has recently launched a number of key trends for the region pointing to their implications for the rest of the year.

The report looked at significant trends in areas like social media, online video, digital advertising, mobile, and search and how those aspects will influence digital media.

"2011 was an extraordinary year for digital media in Latin America as more people than ever before went online and began adopting behaviours like social networking and watching online video with increasing frequency," said Alejandro Fosk, comScore senior vice president for Latin America.

In fact, Latin America’s online population grew faster than any other global region last year, hitting 129.3 visitors at a growth rate of 16% by the end of 2011.

Key insights during 2011:

  • Google Sites reigned as the most-visited property in December 2011, reaching 123.4 million visitors in the region, while Facebook.com led as the most-engaging web property accounting for 25% of all time spent online.
  • Social networking, which eclipsed portals as the most-engaging web activity in November 2011, accounted for nearly 30% of online minutes at the end of the year, an increase of 9.5 percentage points over the past year.
  • Latin America is home to five of the most engaged social networking markets worldwide. Internet users in Argentina averaged 10.7 hours on social networking sites in December 2011, followed by Chile (9.5 hours per visitor), Peru (8.7 hours), Colombia (7.6 hours) and Mexico (7.1 hours).
  • Entertainment sites continued to amass visitors in 2011, growing 14% to reach nearly 97% of all online users in the region. Peruvians, Colombians and Chileans spent the most time on Entertainment sites each averaging more than four hours per visitor at the end of the year.
  • Online video viewing grew rapidly in 2011 as total videos viewed grew by double digits across Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, fuelled by both an increase in viewing audience and a surge in videos viewed per viewer.
  • Fuelled by the holiday shopping season, online retail visitation jumped 30% as more Latin Americans turned to the web to shop and purchase goods and services. Among retail categories, comparison shopping had the highest penetration with nearly 1 in 4 online users visiting these sites in December 2011.
  • Latin Americans continue to display a strong propensity for search. In 2011, the total number of searches conducted increased 38% to more than 21 billion in December. With an average of 173 searches per searcher, Latin America leads the globe in search frequency.
  • Mobile phones and tablets continue to account for a growing amount of digital traffic, with Puerto Rico leading the region with 7.7% of all digital traffic consumed away from a personal computer. Apple led across nearly all markets in share of non-computer traffic fuelled by the iPhone and iPad.
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