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Latin American Countries Among Fastest-Growing Twitter Markets Worldwide

Twitter user penetration rates remain low compared with Facebook levels

Emerging markets around the world are driving growth for Twitter, according to eMarketer’s forecast of worldwide usage of the microblogging service. And while the two fastest-growing markets worldwide this year—Indonesia and India—are in Asia-Pacific, the rest of the top five are in Latin America.

We estimate that the number of Twitter users in Argentina will be up 44.5% this year to 3.7 million, while Mexico’s Twitter population will grow by 39.0% and Brazil’s by 37.3%. Usage in Argentina and Mexico is expected to continue to rise by double-digit rates through 2016, while the same will be true in Brazil through 2015. By the end of eMarketer’s forecast period, Latin America will boast 43.3 million monthly active Twitter users, up from 14.3 million in 2012.

In terms of penetration, these numbers are not huge—eMarketer estimates 13.7% of internet users in Argentina will use Twitter at least monthly this year, which translates to 8.6% of the overall population or 19.3% of social network users in the country. These are the highest penetration rates among the three countries we break out in our Twitter usage forecast for Latin America.

This is substantially below Facebook penetration levels in Latin America, where, overall, 34.4% of the population is expected to use the social networking giant this year. But worldwide, we estimate that Twitter penetration as a share of social network users will remain below 13% this year, putting Argentina, Brazil and Mexico above average penetration rates even as penetration for the region as a whole tracks the worldwide average.

Currently, Brazil boasts by far the largest Twitter population in Latin America, with 45.2% of the total in the region. But that share is set to drop in coming years as Mexico, Argentina and other countries grow their user bases more quickly. By 2018, about two in five Twitter users in Latin America will be in Brazil, three in 10 will be in Mexico, and 15.2% in Argentina.

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all of its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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