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eMarketer forecasts that there will be 221.7 million social network users in Latin America in 2014, or 36.7% of the population. More than half of those users will come from the top three markets, with 76.4 million residing in Brazil alone.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn—the business-oriented social network, which now boasts over 300 million users worldwide—estimates its current user base in Latin America is upward of 40 million.
According to January 2014 research by Lima-based digital research firm Futuro Labs, at least 28.6 million of those users lived in South America. Among the 10 markets reviewed in the region’s South Cone, penetration was highest in Chile, where 13.2% of the population—roughly 2.2 million people—used LinkedIn.
In absolute terms, Brazil boasted the largest LinkedIn audience in the region, with 15.5 million users; the social network currently estimates its subscriber base in the country to be north of 17 million. LinkedIn records also show that Brazil trails only the US (over 100 million users) and India (more than 24 million users) by that measure worldwide.
While Brazil’s global social networking juggernaut status is not surprising, Futuro Labs’ findings indicated the US-based social network had also established viable beachheads in other Latin American countries. LinkedIn user bases in Argentina, Colombia and Peru came in at 3.3 million, 3.0 million and 1.8 million, respectively. Such figures amount to 8.2% of the population in Argentina and 5.9% in both Colombia and Peru.
Beyond adoption rates, the demographic profile of LinkedIn users differs greatly from country to country. Take Mexico and Peru. According to an August 2013 AMIPCI (Asociación Mexicana de Internet) and ELOGIA survey, LinkedIn’s user base in Mexico was composed primarily by women (58%) and users under 35 years old (57%). LinkedIn estimates its current user base in Mexico to be above 5 million.
Futuro Labs, which comes up with its estimates by accessing LinkedIn’s advertising tool, found that users younger than 35 made up a whopping 79.5% of the site’s user base in Peru. But unlike the AMIPCI/ELOGIA estimate for Mexico, men were the majority in Peru, representing 59.0% of the audience in January 2014.
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