Until recently, social networking in Brazil was not dominated by Facebook. Instead, Google‘s orkut reigned as the most popular social network. But in the last few months the numbers have changed dramatically, with Facebook and Twitter gaining serious ground while orkut is slowly fading into the background.
Back in April 2011, a survey by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi showed that the stats were already beginning to shift:
- 21% of internet users in Brazil accessed Facebook in April 2011, up from 14% in November 2010
- 17% of internet users in Brazil accessed Twitter in April 2011 (the site didn’t even register in November 2010)
- orkut visitors were down from 80% of internet users in November to 78% in April
Fast forward to August 2011, and data from IBOPE Nielsen Online shows that Facebook has taken the lead:
- Facebook had 30.9 million users in Brazil in August 2011 (68% of internet users)
- orkut had 29 million users (down to 64% of internet users)
- Twitter came in with 14.2 million (almost doubling to 31.3% of internet users)
While Twitter’s userbase is half that of Facebook or orkut, eMarketer believes Twitter “poses the bigger threat” relating to frequency of site use. In a survey released in March 2011 by e.life, internet users in Brazil were asked which three social network services they used the most. Twitter topped the results with mentions from 74% of internet users, while Facebook was noted by 63%. Just 34% listed orkut as one of the social networking services they used most often. And this data was from before Twitter introduced Brazilian Portuguese as an official language in June 2011.
According to eMarketer, “orkut, once a social powerhouse, is now in a head-to-head battle with Facebook and Twitter.” How will social networking continue to advance in Brazil, and which platform will emerge victorious? Will Google allow orkut to slowly decline in the hopes that Google+ will gain those users back in Brazil?