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Mexico is an intensely social country, both online and offline. While overall internet uptake during the past decade has remained subdued due to the near-monopoly of telecom giant América Móvil, social media adoption and engagement among connected consumers has remained strong, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Mexico Social Media 2016: Updated Forecasts and Key Growth Trends.”
Because of telecom reforms enacted in Mexico during the past two years, there has been a dramatic drop in the cost of mobile and internet services, resulting from a rapidly increasing level of market competition. According to the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT), Mexico’s telecom regulator, overall telecom prices decreased 15.3% and prices for mobile services dropped 16.7% between February 2013 and January 2015. (The national consumer price index rose 7.2% during that same period.)
More recently, the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI)’s monthly consumer prices report showed that although overall inflation stood at 2.9% in February 2016 compared with 12 months earlier, prices for telecommunication services continued their downward trend, dropping by 9.2%. Given this change in the market, it’s very likely that more consumers in Mexico will be able to afford smartphones and internet services, joining the ranks of web and social network users.
eMarketer estimates that the number of social network users in Mexico reached 48.2 million in 2015. By the end of this year, a 13.5% increase will bring the total to 54.7 million, when more than three-quarters of internet users in the country will use a social network via any device at least once per month.
Certainly, social media is popular with consumers in Mexico who are already internet users. But there still aren't enough consumers on the web to make social media take hold across the country. eMarketer projects that just 57.8% of Mexico's overall population—which the World Bank estimates at 122.3 million—will be web users this year. This translates to less than half of the population visiting social networks.
eMarketer corporate subscription clients can view the full report here.
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