The Brazilian AOL

Brazil is leading the way as a big and growing market of internet users with 35% of Brazilians on the internet every day.  Contributing to the increasing online usage is Universo Online (UOL), a main internet portal in Brazil that contains the world’s largest content of news and information in Portuguese.  UOL had a monthly average of 1.7 billion page views in Brazilian homes last year and the average time per person on the website was 1 hour and 4 minutes according to Sobreuol.com.   The use of UOL is making it easier than ever for brands to market themselves to Brazilian audiences. uol.jpg picture by kstel2

 The UOL closely resembles AOL’s business model that was released in the U.S.  Much like AOL, UOL started by building a strategy similar to what brands can do today to market to Brazilian audiences.  First get a number of subscribers and later lock them in by offering an excellent portal to news, content and products on the internet.   If brands want to market their business, gaining the trust a small number of (online) followers and offering incentives to help make messaging the brand to other users easy, will help spur a viral effect.    

 In the 13 year history UOL has become Brazil’s biggest online service and Latin America’s largest private supplier for Internet access with over half a million subscribers in 118 Brazilian cities.  In a case study published by Stanford University, UOL has over 81% of Brazilian Net Surfers and it has managed to pass the mark of 130 million pages visited weekly, putting it well above sites like Disney (17.25 million a week) and CNN (100 million).  

 UOL’s 24 hour a day updates creates a window for brands to advertise information, blog and upload videos that pertain to their company to help reach and increase their audience reach.  In order to directly target the needs of the growing online public, brands should be aware that UOL contains UOL Chat which is the main meeting point on the Brazilian internet.  There are 7,000 chat rooms, in which more than 350,000 people may talk at one time, making the use of social media in Brazil an obvious choice for brands that need to utilize these tools to target audiences.

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5 Responses to The Brazilian AOL

  1. sroneill says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I did not come across much on UOL – and this is great info to know! It’s ironic how well UOL is doing in Brazil since AOL is not in the U.S. Perhaps they did not adopt AOL’s doomed “walled garden” approach?

  2. Interesting find on the Brazilian version of AOL – you do a good job taking a unique angle that other classmates didn’t choose and looking at the unique opportunities that it may offer for brands. Excellent title as well, it made me want to read more. It also stood out this week because you were one of the few students to take the nonobvious route and steer clear of devoting your post solely to Orkut. AOL, of course, has been on a long term decline here in the US. Given the popularity of several other sites, what I would have loved to see in this post was your point of view on whether UOL might be sustainable or if you think it may go the way of AOL. Regardless, nice post this week. (3)

  3. Evan says:

    Funny enough, I was thinking exactly what Rohit mentioned. Are there any risk or competition in Brazil for UOL? Thank you for writing more about UOL, I stumbled up on the company while doing my blog, it seems they’ve try to stay ahead of the curve.

  4. Adrienne Allmond says:

    Awesome Post. Would you consider UOL’s current state of popularity in Brazil to far exceed that of AOL when AOL was at its height?

  5. shayvg says:

    Interesting find. I didn’t come across the Brazilian version of AOL. I think it’s pretty interesting how unpopular AOL is now in the US. Do you think that’s why they have rebranded themselves in Brazil as UOL?

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