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According to a January 2013 Interactive Advertising Bureau México (IAB México) report titled “Estudio de consumo de medios entre internautas mexicanos” conducted by Millward Brown, only 7% of social network users in Mexico used LinkedIn in 2012, up from 5% the previous year.
An even lower estimate by Socialbakers.com put the number of LinkedIn users in Mexico at 762,683 on April 5, 2013. According to the social media analytics platform, that figure represented a mere 2.2% penetration of the online population and put Mexico in 30th place worldwide in terms of total users of the social network.
While the two penetration estimates would amount to considerably different figures of total LinkedIn users, both the IAB México/Millward Brown and Socialbakers figures confirm that LinkedIn uptake among consumers in the country is still quite low.
LinkedIn’s low penetration of the overall social network user base in Mexico is not surprising, given that social usage among consumers remains a personal affair, rather than professional. According to a March 2013 survey conducted by employment website Trabajando.com, among 3,000 of its users who were seeking jobs in Mexico, 48% of respondents said they used social networks purely for personal purposes, while 12% said they did so strictly for professional activities. The remaining 40% of respondents said their usage was mixed.
Despite LinkedIn’s low social network user penetration in Mexico, and the limited interest among networkers in using social for professional purposes, 22% of Trabajando.com’s job seekers said they used LinkedIn for professional purposes already, trailing only Facebook (37%) in the category.
As more companies and professionals leverage online resources to post and find jobs, LinkedIn will continue to grow in Mexico, albeit at moderate rates. But in a nation where only about 9 million people hold a graduate or undergraduate degree—according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI)—social networks geared toward professionals will likely remain niche properties for the foreseeable future.
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