We’re back with another installment in our Eye on series on the digital state of a nation, or in this case a continent. Today we are looking at one of the most rapidly expanding and exciting digital frontiers: Latin America. Latin America and Brazil, Mexico and Argentina in particular are often left out in discussions about the online marketplace which tend to focus on the US, Europe and Asia. But:
Latin America Online
- Latin America has 299 million online users this year up from 159 million in 2013
- Latin America is on track to have 221 million people on social networks this year
- Latin America is home to the fastest growing internet population in the world outpacing even Asia with penetration of 50 percent and growing
- 42% of these users where from Brazil
- Internet penetration across the Latin American countries is relatively similar
- Smartphone penetration ranges from 28 percent in Mexico to 17 percent in Chile
Latin America is not a region that should be taken lightly. Latin America is catching up to mature markets like Europe and the US. But it is crucially different in one aspect: social media use.
- 97.5 percent of internet users use social media!
- Latin American users spend 10 hours on average on social networks per month (an insane 5 hours more than the average worldwide) meaning they take 5 of the top 10 spots globally
- Brazil leads with 13.3 hours a month (a frankly indecent 160 hours a year)
Above all else
- In Latin America Facebook is KING
- There were 200 million Facebook users in 2013 according to Facebook with more than half accessing Facebook on mobile
- Brazil alone had 65 million Facebook users in 2013 (No.2 in the world)
- Facebook makes up 95 percent of the time that Brazilian users spend on social media
- Linkedin is growing and has 40 million users compared to 50 million in Asia Pacific and 65 million in Europe
- A key fact about Latin American internet denizens is that they are young. 80% are 18-44
- Brazil is quickly becoming the center of cybercrime in Latin America
- Traditional media still dominates advertising spending in Latin America, with spending on internet advertising hovering around 8-5 percent
So armed with these facts, we can conclude that:
- Social media advertising on anything other than Facebook is probably going to be a waste of time. Why limit your audience to 10%?
- If you are launching your service in Brazil you need to make sure your security is up to speed.
- Unlike Europe and the US, Latin American Facebook users spend a great deal of time on the site. Engagement is higher and Facebook Ads might have a higher ROI.
- Mobile Facebook ads are growing as is e-commerce, making Latin America an exciting prospect for e-commerce advertising.
- However, with smartphone penetration low compared to mature markets Latin America is more about potential at the moment.
Latin America is basically all about Facebook, and while it is potentially an interesting market for mobile and ecommerce it cannot compete yet with more mature markets. The average spend on internet advertising is also very low compared to Europe and the US. It is however excellent for those looking to enter a less mature market and build their audience gradually.