Social networking has become the dominant online sector in Latin America, with Facebook accounting for 1 in every 4 minutes spent online, according to new data. The research, from comScore, looked at Latin America’s key digital trends of the past year and what they mean for the year ahead.
The 2012 Latin America Digital Future in Focus examines how the prevailing trends in social media, online video, digital advertising, mobile and search are defining the current marketplace and how they are likely to shape the coming 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. “The rapid adoption of these behaviors presents a world of new opportunities to digital marketers. In order to capitalize on this burgeoning digital economy, it’s important for brands and publishers to understand the key trends driving growth today so they can determine where to invest and how to position their offerings to the needs of the marketplace.”
Key insights from the 2012 Latin America Future in Focus include:
• Latin America’s online population grew faster than any other global region in 2011, rising 16 percent to 129.3 million visitors in December 2011.
• Google Sites reigned as the most-visited property in December 2011, reaching 123.4 million visitors in the region, while Facebook.com led as the most-engaging web property accounting for 25 percent of all time spent online.
• Social networking, which eclipsed portals as the most-engaging web activity in November 2011, accounted for nearly 30 percent of online minutes at the end of the year, an increase of 9.5 percentage points over the past year.
• 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.