Latin America Has Quite The Emerging Online Culture


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comScore released a teaser of their 2012 Latin America Digital Future in Focus today, a report that details the key digital trends in the region of the past year while pointing to their implications for the year ahead. One thing comScore did share from the report, though: the online life is a booming industry in Latin America.

The report looked at significant trends in areas like social media, online video, digital advertising, mobile, and search and how those aspects are shaping the current marketplace for the upcoming year. “2011 was an extraordinary year for digital media in Latin America as more people than ever before went online and began adopting behaviors like social networking and watching online video with increasing frequency,” said Alejandro Fosk, comScore senior vice president for Latin America.

Indeed it was, as comScore's report shows that Latin America's online population grew faster than any other global region last year, hitting 129.3 visitors at a growth rate of 16% by the end of 2011. Additionally, it looks like Latinos' online habits mirror their counterparts in the rest of the world as Google Sites was the most visited brand with 123.4 million visitors in December 2011. Also, like the rest of the world, Latin America loves its social networking, so much so that time spent on such sites accounted for nearly 30% of all minutes spent online.

Other key findings comScore hinted at today:

  • Latin America is home to five of the most engaged social networking markets worldwide. Internet users in Argentina averaged 10.7 hours on social networking sites in December 2011, followed by Chile (9.5 hours per visitor), Peru (8.7 hours), Colombia (7.6 hours) and Mexico (7.1 hours).
  • Entertainment sites continued to amass visitors in 2011, growing 14 percent to reach nearly 97 percent of all online users in the region. Peruvians, Colombians and Chileans spent the most time on Entertainment sites each averaging more than four hours per visitor at the end of the year.
  • Online video viewing grew rapidly in 2011 as total videos viewed grew by double digits across Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, fueled by both an increase in viewing audience and a surge in videos viewed per viewer.
  • Fueled by the holiday shopping season, online retail visitation jumped 30 percent as more Latin Americans turned to the web to shop and purchase goods and services. Among retail categories, comparison shopping had the highest penetration with nearly 1 in 4 online users visiting these sites in December 2011.
  • Latin Americans continue to display a strong propensity for search. In 2011, the total number of searches conducted increased 38 percent to more than 21 billion in December. With an average of 173 searches per searcher, Latin America leads the globe in search frequency.
  • Mobile phones and tablets continue to account for a growing amount of digital traffic, with Puerto Rico leading the region with 7.7 percent of all digital traffic consumed away from a personal computer. Apple led across nearly all markets in share of non-computer traffic fueled by the iPhone and iPad.
  • The full report will be released on Thursday, March 22, along with a live webinar hosted by Fosk. However, if you plan to watch, keep in mind that the presentation will be en español.