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Mobile drives LatAm internet

News, 26 October 2016

BUENOS AIRES: Nine out of ten people connected to the internet in Latin America have a smartphone, according to a new report tracking trends in digital consumption and mobile apps usage in the region.

IMS Mobile in LatAm, jointly produced by measurement firm comScore and digital marketing agency IMS, was based on results from an online survey of smartphone and tablet users aged 15 or older in six countries (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Chile).

This found that not only were smartphone users going online but that two thirds of them were using the device to make online purchases.

As well as shopping, video, social media and messaging apps were popular, with WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Google Maps, Instagram and Twitter topping the list.

Fully 85% of users in Argentina used their mobile devices for going to social networking sites on a regular basis, while nearly three quarters of mobile users in Colombia had Twitter installed on their smartphone or tablet.

But the report also noted that Snapchat and Spotify were seeing strong engagement among millennials compared to the majority of other apps measured – and smartphone consumption was also highest amongst this group.

In terms of specific countries, mobile users in Brazil, Colombia and Chile spent the most time connected on their smartphones per week, the report said.

And Android was by far the preferred operating system, with 81% of respondents owning an Android smartphone; it also accounted for more than 70% of tablet users (consumers in Chile and Brazil were found to be most likely to make purchases from a tablet).

"The study confirms that smartphones are the go-to device for many consumers as we see people across the region turn to mobile for everything," said Marcos Christensen, Senior Director of comScore Latin America South Cone.

"Digital media is where consumers spend most of their time compared to other platforms like TV, print or radio, so we expect that advertisers will move their marketing effort and resources the same way," he added.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff