Internet in Latin America and why marketers should care
Latin America’s Internet penetration is low, with only 35% of the population currently connected to the Web. However, with a growth rate of over 1000% since 2000, this has become the fastest growing geography in the world.
While there is still a long way to go, the outlook for the region’s online future is promising.
The proliferation at reduced cost of Internet-ready devices such as smartphones and netbooks and the increasing availability of accessible data plans are some of the contributing factors to this digital explosion.
No one can question that the Internet and social media are disruptive phenomena that are radically changing the way people work, play, communicate, and entertain themselves. Latin Americans are sociable by nature, and are flocking online to connect with their loved ones, make new friends, or just to communicate and share ideas.
Facebook already has over 500 million open accounts worldwide, of which over 68 million originate in Latin America. Although smaller, with only 154 million unique visitors in June – but boasting a whopping 305 percent increase from a year earlier – Twitter presents the fastest growth rate worldwide, according to market research firm comScore (http://bit.ly/axzGIF).
Brazil and Venezuela led the way in Latin American Internet growth and now rank as the second and third markets globally in Twitter penetration. But what does Latin America's astonishing rate of change mean to marketers and communications professionals? It means the world has changed, which inevitably changes the way companies do business.
This influence shift makes it imperative for business, communications, and marketing professionals to rethink existing models and adjust in order to succeed or perish.