Latin America strongly engaged with social networks - study

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More than 114mn people in Latin America visited a social network site in June, representing 96% of the region's online population, according to a new study by consultancy comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR).

Latin Americans are strongly engaged with social networking. Half of the top 10 worldwide markets by time spent on social networks are in Latin America, with Argentina leading the region at 10 hours a month in June 2011.

Regarding the demographic profile of users, the Latin American audience is nearly equal in its composition of males and females, but females account for a larger share of time spent on social networks (53.6%) compared to males (46.4%). This trend was most significant in Brazil, where females accounted for 58.7% of all time spent on social networks.

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By age segment, people between 15 and 24 years accounted for the largest share of social network visitors at 33.1%, a trend most significant in Venezuela, where this age bracket accounted for three of every five social networking minutes (58.2%).

Facebook is a strong leader in Latin America's social networking market, reaching more than 91mn visitors in June, up 52% in the past year. The Facebook audience was nearly three times the size of the next largest site, Windows Live Profile, which reached 35.6mn visitors in the region. Orkut held third place with 34.4mn visitors, driven largely by the site's popularity in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Twitter ranked as the fourth largest site with 24.3mn visitors, up 59%.

According to comScore, social networking has become a key online activity across Latin America, demonstrated by its wide reach for consumer use and for brands, providing a channel to engage with current and potential customers.

But, the consultancy warns, integrating social media into a brand's marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution and requires further evaluation.