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Social Network, Facebook Base in Latin America Smaller than Expected

Reduced forecast driven by decreased estimate of social network user base in Brazil

More than two out of three internet users in Latin America in 2012 will also be social network users and, like in other developing regions, social networking is a key internet activity driving online usage.

eMarketer has increased its estimate of the size of the social network user base in Mexico for 2012 by 2.4 million, with uptake driven by the country’s 2012 elections. Despite this increase, Brazil’s smaller-than-expected social network user population led eMarketer to revise downward its forecast for the number of social network users in Latin America this year, to 175.9 million from 191.8 million.

eMarketer has lowered its forecast for the number of social network users in Brazil in 2012 by 11.8 million and predicts slower growth in social network users throughout the forecast period than previously projected. This year, percentage gains will be at 13.5%, down from the earlier forecast of 14.4%.

In 2011, Facebook overtook orkut—previously Brazil’s biggest social network—in user numbers, making it the country’s top social network. However, like overall social network users, Facebook users in Brazil are also increasing at a slower-than-expected pace. The growth rate for Facebook users in Brazil for 2012 and 2013 has been decreased to 46.8% and 44.7%, respectively. eMarketer has reduced its estimate of the number of Facebook users in Brazil for 2012 only, from 45.4 million to 41.5 million.

The reduction of the estimated number of social network users in Brazil has led eMarketer to also decrease its estimate of the number of Facebook users in Latin America from 150.3 million to 142.8 million. However, Facebook will still remain a powerful social network in the region throughout the forecast period. eMarketer expects that by 2014, every one in three people in Latin America will use Facebook.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Marketers Increase Digital Media Spend for Multicultural Outreach” and “Consumers Readily Adopt New Mobile Banking Tools.”

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