Internet Users Grow by 20% in Latin America. Which Online Destinations are Gaining Ground?

From Portada – Oct. 15 2009

Televisa Digital sites in Mexico occupies the Nr, 10 position, behind nine online destinations that are headquartered outside of Mexico (interestingly Batanga has a place in the top 10 ranking with a growth rate of 55%).

The number of Internet users grew substantially in the three main Latin American countries during the August 2008 – August 2009 period, according to figures released by ComScore. Argentina is the country that grew the most with an annual growth rate of 29% to 11 million users, vs. 22% in Brazil  to 31 million users and 14% in Mexico to more than 13 million users.

What online destination are taking advantage of this growth, which ones are laging behind? Google and Microsoft continue to be in the top position in most Latin American countries. Both media properties’ number of unique users grew by approximately 20% (see the tables at the end of this article).

Mexico is the only large country where Google loses the first position. Microsoft sites lead in Mexico with a difference of over 400,000 unique users over Google.

The Brazilian market, by far the largest one in Latin America, continues to be in the hands of local players. UOL and Organizacoes Globo. However, Brazil Telecom, Terra and Yahoo are growing at a rate of 20%, twice the rate of the leading local players.


Social Networks: Difference between the different countries

The leading social networking properties have different degrees of success. In Argentina, Facebook grew at a very high rate of more than 300% (its user base grew from 1.6 million in August 2008 to 6.5 million in August 2009). The very high growth rate allowed Facebook to be the third largest online destination in Argentina after Google and Microsoft sites.

However, Facebook has not been able to replicate its good results in Argentina in the Brazilian market, where it does not rank among the top 20 websites. Orkut, a Google owned property , leads among Brazilian Social Networking destinations. Twitter, on its part, does not figure among the top 20 in Argentina or Mexico, but it does in Brazil.


Local players

As noted above, local players are most succesful in Brazil. In the Argentinean market Clarín is in the top 5, however its growth rate of 3% is far lower than the country’s overall growth rate of 29%. Televisa Digital sites in Mexico occupies the Nr, 10 position, behind nine online destinations that are headquartered outside of Mexico (interestingly Batanga has a place in the top 10 ranking with a growth rate of 55%). However, Televisa Digital sites’ number of unique users grew by more than 50%, far more than Mexico’s average of 14%.

Taringa.net is another Latin American based website that grew a lot. In Argentina, where it is headquartered it grew by 78%, while in Mexico it grew by 200% reaching more than 3 million unique users.