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Beyond Brazil: Digital Trends in Latin America

Author: Luke Richards for Econsultancy
Published Date: 17 February 2015

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time to pore over recent trends and to make predictions as to what the next 12 months might hold for the global digital landscape.

The latest update of our Internet Statistics Compendium strives to bring together key data from our own research, alongside a wealth of freely available secondary research from around the web.

It is our handy guide to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need and to help get your pitch or internal report up to scratch.

This month, some of the most interesting data I have seen has covered the digital markets in Latin America.

As I have written before on this blog (and in my Brazil Digital Landscape Report), the region is a fantastic example of speedy internet growth – and recent research published by We Are Social and comScore sheds more light on how these markets are developing.

Brazil For top-line internet user numbers, Brazil remains the key market in Latin America.

We Are Social puts the country’s number of internet users at 110m, and with just 54% penetration there is massive room for growth.

This makes Brazil the fifth biggest internet market on the planet – and growing at a rate of 7% each year (according to Internet Live Stats).

But some of Brazil’s neighbours are leading the Latin America digital landscape in other ways.

Argentina We Are Social’s data collection of Digital, Mobile and Social in 2015 also highlights Argentina as an important market in the region.

With 75% penetration and more than 32m active users, Argentina leads Latin America in terms of the proportion of its population having access to the internet.

Mobile is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a big enabler – with mobile internet itself reaching 59% of Argentinians.

It is not necessarily Brazil or Argentina which are seeing the most respective internet use on mobile devices. 

Recent research from comScore shows that in Mexico more than 20% of web pages are visited by mobile devices – this rises to around 24% when we include tablets too.

Perhaps, of the Latin American markets, Mexican marketers and online businesses are ensuring mobile content is better optimised than elsewhere in the region. Or maybe Mexican consumers are simply more engaged with a wide range of online content than other markets… 

Uruguay ComScore’s 2014 Uruguay Digital Future in Focus may challenge that last notion above, however.

Uruguay leads Latin American markets in terms of the number of websites visited per month per person.

On average, Uruguayan internet users visit 63 sites each month. More than Brazilian users who visit 59 and the Latin American average of 47.

As we settle into 2015, we are seeing emerging Latin American markets develop in their own interesting ways – with each of those above having their own unique strengths.

While Brazil may retain its dominance in terms of hard user numbers, smaller markets in the region are good places to look for evidence of strong engagement in general terms and on mobile.