Major markets in Latin America have already shown a penchant for social networking on the world’s largest social site, Facebook, at least among internet users. And the region is expected to grow its social networking user population by double digits through 2014. As it does, newcomers and mavens are turning not only to Facebook but to smaller social sites as well.
Google+, which has struggled to achieve significant penetration in the US market, the site’s home base, has been much more successful abroad. According to second quarter data from GlobalWebIndex, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico each had Google+ penetration rates around 30% of internet users. In Brazil, Google+ seems to have done a particularly good job infiltrating a market where Facebook is not yet ubiquitous. Twenty-eight percent of internet users in the country were active on Google+, compared to 35.6% expected to be on Facebook at the end of 2012, according to eMarketer.
While Google+ penetration rates in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina were still lower than in many Asia-Pacific countries, they were well above the levels in highly developed markets in North America and Europe.
Similarly, Twitter seems to be capturing the attention of consumers in Latin America. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina were each among the top 10 countries ranked by number of Twitter users, according to GlobalWebIndex. Dividing by population, Twitter had a higher penetration rate in each of those countries than in the US, China or India. In Argentina, 15% of the population was on the microblogging site.
Facebook’s competitors seem to recognize that in countries where social networking is still gaining ground, consumers are willing to spread their online socializing around and experiment with less popular sites.
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