By Sara Martinez
Newspapers from Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela are pulling in the highest numbers of Twitter followers for major dailies in Latin America.
For a few years, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas has created an informal ranking of Twitter followers for a select group of newspapers in Latin America. Not every newspaper is included.
Colombian newspaper El Tiempo has a Twitter following that has increased by 1.3 million followers since October 2014, making it the most followed Latin American newspaper on the social media platform, with a total 4.26 million followers.
Digital use is increasing overall in Latin America; Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are the countries in the region with the biggest digital populations, according to global media analytics company comScore. At the same time, newspapers in the region are seeing their Twitter followers increase by the millions.
Right behind El Tiempo on the Knight Center for Journalism in the America’s informal 2015 ranking is Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo with a Twitter following of 3.91 million. With 1.81 million followers at this time last year, the daily placed ninth in the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ 2014 informal survey of Latin American newspapers with the biggest number of followers. A year later and with a following that has more than doubled in growth, it has beaten out seven other newspapers in the region with mass followings.
In less than a year, many of the most followed newspapers in Latin America have seen a growth of a million or more followers, but not every newspaper has followed that trend.
Venezuela’s El Universal was ranked first with 3.02 million followers last year but it fell to third place despite growing by 730,000 followers. However, its following has quadrupled since the Knight Center’s 2012 informal survey.
4 International Media & Newspapers is an international directory that displays the most popular newspapers in the world based on the number of online searches. Although Jornal O Globo has earned this year’s number one spot on the directory, it is the fourth most followed on Twitter. It has a following of 3.68 million, an increase of 1.8 million compared to last year’s survey.
In the number five spot is Brazilian newspaper Estadao. The publication is also one of three Brazilian newspapers in the overall top five most popular on Twitter in Latin America.
Brazilian Internet growth has dramatically increased over the past few years with 55.7 percent of Brazil’s population now forecasted as being Internet consumers, according to statistics company Statista. The company expects the figure to grow to 59.5 percent by 2017.
Ranking in sixth place with 3.4 million followers is El Universal in México. The newspaper was ranked Mexico's top newspaper in 2011 on Twitter, and in 2012, it was ranked at the number one spot in the Knight Center’s informal survey of Latin American newspapers with the most Twitter followers.
While the Knight Center's informal survey did not cover all newspapers in the region, the results for our 2015 ranking are below:
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.