SANTIAGO: Social media engagement is higher in Latin America than in anywhere else in the world, with Facebook alone accounting for 25% of the region's total internet minutes.
A new report from comScore, the digital research firm, found web-connected Latin Americans aged 15+ spent an average of 450 minutes each on social media sites during the month of April 2012 – longer than for any other region. The report also showed that almost 100% of the area's 127m internet users maintain a social media profile.
Moreover, the comScore data counted home fixed-line internet use only, and therefore did not include website visits either from internet cafes or mobile phones. This suggests that actual social media engagement levels are far higher than the report's data indicate.
Facebook maintained its position as Latin America's leading social brand in April, with 114.4m visitors spending an average of 460 minutes. The US-owned network increased its visitor numbers by 12% from April 2011, and accounted for around one in four of the region's total time spent online.
Elsewhere, Twitter received 27.3m users, spending 22.5 minutes, while Orkut had 25.7m users and an average of 96.6 minutes – though almost 100% the latter's user base lives in a single market, Brazil.
Pinterest, a US-owned photo-sharing network launched in 2010, is also enjoying stellar growth in user numbers, which have risen from 153,000 Latin Americans in January 2012 to 1.3m in April.
The network is most popular in Brazil, which accounted for 27.8% of the regional user base, and experienced the highest engagement in Puerto Rico, where users typically spent 24.3 minutes on the site during the month.
Alejandro Fosk, comScore senior vice president of Latin America, said: "While social networking isn't a new phenomenon, we are still seeing strong market growth, changing dynamics among the leading players, and the emergence of new social sites that make it an especially interesting market to watch right now."
He added: "Even though Pinterest currently reaches just 1 percent of the regional audience, its impressive growth since the beginning of the year suggests it could quickly become a key player in Latin America's vibrant social scene."
Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff