Google chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has described how South America is the search company’s fastest growing region. Schmidt who is soon to be re-deployed as chairman after founder Larry Page takes the reins in April, gave an interview over the weekend from Buenos Aires where he gave clues as to the search-giant’s new social media strategy in Latin America.
“Virtually all the countries are growing 50 to 100 per cent revenue growth. That is a lot due to the effect of the economic recovery from a global recession, but also the development of broadband and the development of the electronic commerce. We benefit particularly well as people move to the internet,” he said.
After managing to dominate the internet search and advertising markets, Google has seen its dominance questioned by the rise of social media, especially Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, but also by others such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Groupon, to name a few.
“I disagree that the only thing Google can do in social networking would be buying Twitter simply by the observation we have a very successful social network in Brazil, Orkut, which is growing and expanding,” he added.”
The online giant has recently opened new offices in Chile, Colombia and Peru.
However, Brazil appears to be the most rapidly growing country, and is well on its way to becoming Google’s sixth largest global market. Indeed, Brazil is the only market in which Google, through Orkut, has managed to beat Facebook in the social media sphere.
Having lost its lead in India, Orkut now holds on to Brazil as its last stronghold, where its 32.7 million users outnumber those in Zuckerberg’s network by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio.
In total, Latin America accounts for somewhere between two and three per cent of Google’s revenue, which totalled $29.3 billion last year.
Although Google dominates internet search, it has yet to dominate social networking and websites such as Facebook and Twitter have monopolised web traffic.
When asked about possible takeover talks with Twitter, Schmidt declined to comment.