(^MK) Marketers be aware! Brazil’s social media market is booming. A recent Deloitte study reveals that in Latin America’s largest economy, consumers spend an average of 19.3 hours online for personal use versus 9.8 hours watching TV. Brazil is also leading a global trend: young consumers raised entirely in the digital age say computers offer more entertainment than TVs with its youth asking “What’s on the internet?” rather than “What’s on television?”
Huh, Facebook? Orkut!
Brazilians spend an average of 30.2 hours/month online (work+freetime), which is substantially higher than the worldwide average of 25.7 hours/month. Of these 30 or so hours, 8,2 hours are spent on Orkut, the leading social networking site in Brazil owned and operated by Google (numbers retrieved from comScore survey). What Facebook is for North Americans, Orkut is for Brazilians: ComScore data show that Orkut enjoys a nearly 80% market share in Brazil whereas Facebook is only popular with a small fraction of Brazilian social media users (ComScore data). Orkut.com.br ranks #2 among Brazil’s top 100 sites.
Social Media is boiling up!
As previously mentioned, social media and Orkut in particular are big among Brazilian Internet users. Among the top 20 sites in Brazil are many more social media, networking and instant messaging sites: #3 Windows Live, #5 YouTube, #8 MSN, #11 Blogger, #14 RapidShare, #15 Wikipedia, #16 4shared.com, #17 WordPress.com, #18 Blogspot. ComScore’s data show “that 85% of Brazilians age 15 and older who accessed the Internet from home or work computers in September 2008 visited a social networking site, up from 76 percent in September 2007.”
Largest Internet Audience in Latin America
Another important precondition besides an affinity to social media, is the size of the Internet audience as a whole. Brazil’s information technology structure is improving rapidly, with 67 million people online in November 2008, which is equal to 34% of the whole population. Brazil has the largest Internet audience in Latin America. The number of Brazilians with internet access ranks Brazil #6 in comparison with the world, according to the CIA Worldfact Book. The regions with most Internet users are #1 China (253M), #2 European Union (247M), #3 U.S. (223M).
The Future Looks Good!
Brazil is a fast-developing economy outweighing that of all other South American countries. With a real GDP growth rate of 5.2% in 2008, it ranks #81 in the world and is growing into one of the world’s leading economies and global growth engine. By way of illustration, the U.S. is ranked #181 (1.30%), Sweden #197 (0.70%), and Germany #180 (1.30%). Consequently, Brazil’s existing information infrastructure and the use and penetration of the Internet will grow.
Another indicator for Brazil’s vast telecommunications infrastructure are the 39.4 million main telephone lines in use, ranking Brazil #7 in comparison with other nations. Additionally, another 120.98 million mobile cellular phones are in use, which ranks Brazil #6 in the world, with a cell phone penetration of 61.1%.
Marketers Take Note: Grassroots!
Having researched the Brazilian social media market, I would highly recommend a communication campaign based on online grassroots and citizen journalism. Brazilians are critical to commercial advertisements embedded into social media, as witnessed by Google’s attempt to put ads on Orkut: Google immediately suspended the ads when opponents released a report showing advertisements on Orkut.