Social networking gains ground in Latin America

By Daniel Mora-Brito

Access to Internet has grown considerably in Latin America, increasing the access to social networks. According to a report by David Cuen for BBC Mundo (Spanish), Latin American Internet users don't surf in isolation. At least 95 percent of them have an account on a social network.

This figure contrasts with that of Great Britain and several Asian countries, where access to those applications ranges between 40 and 72 percent, respectively, Cuen adds. (In general, almost three out of four Internet users worldwide are subscribers to social networks, a total of 940 million people, the Insites consulting firm says.)

According to BBC Mundo, Latin Americans prefer to use FacebookTwitterHi5OrkutMySpace and Sónico, with various differences in access according to the country.

—Facebook continues to be the leading network in the market: of its 400 million profiles worldwide, 45 million are activated from Latin America. Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia concentrate the greatest number of users.

—In the United States, Facebook has managed to get more traffic than the Google site.

—In Brazil, networks like Orkut account for more than 30 million profiles, BBC Mundo says.

—MySpace, Hi5 and Sónico compete for their own positions. MySpace, according to data from Alexa, is the 14th most visited site in Mexico, and the 98th in Brazil; Hi5 occupies fifth place in Peru and Ecuador, and No. 86 in Venezuela; and Sónico occupies No. 16 in Bolivia, 48 in Colombia and 56 in Argentina.

According to a study by Nielsen, Twitter is the social network with greatest growth. A report from Next Generation Online, quoted by BBC Mundo, says that countries like Brazil account for 8.8 percent of Twitter's global users.

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.