Potentially Useful Data on Latin American Internet Culture
From ad:tech Miami's "Latin American Consumer Habits and Online Behavior" panel. Information was provided by CEO Fabia Juliasz of ibope/NetRatings.
Percentage of internet penetration:
- Brazil, 22 percent (42 million internet users)
- Mexico, 22 percent (22.7 million users)
- Argentina, 26 percent (10.3 million users)
- Chile, 41 percent (6.7 million users)
Use varies by age, location, cost of resources and economic status. According to Juliasz, the trick is to target them locally.
Latin America consists mostly of verdant land and small communities. Cities are heavily concentrated and burdened by technology demand. This means most people in those cities can get online, but how they do it depends on what they can afford.
Where users are too poor to use a computer at home, most will use public access spaces. Free wifi and internet cafes proliferate Brazilian and Peruvian cities.
Juliasz further divided Latin American users based on four criteria:
- The Included, or users that can access technology at will. (Most Brazilian internet users go online at home, for example.) They compose 11 percent of Latin American multimedia use.
- Wannabes make 22 percent of Latin American multimedia users. Like yuppies, Wannabes are young professionals who feel appearance makes a major impact on success. As a result, they seek to be up-to-date with technology, whatever the expense. (They cannot always afford their tastes, but -- as is the case in America -- if they want something enough, they will find the money.)
- Keep-It-Simples (KIS), 30 percent. These people are upscale but disinterested in technology. They are mainly preoccupied with family.
- The Excluded, or users who have no proprietary access to technology. They hardly exist any longer and make up a whopping 37 percent of Latin American multimedia users.
During Q&A, she added most users check email upon first logging in, followed by extensive social media activity across sites like MySpace. (My opinion: they're probably checking for messages.)
Meaningfully, she also said there isn't much ecommerce activity yet, likely because of security concerns. In any event, young (in terms of internet experience) users DO NOT transact online; it is for more seasoned ones.
Overall, Juliasz applauded the growing irrelevance of the "Digital Divide" and said Latin American students no longer suffer from lack of available information.
The question is whether they will use that information positively in their communities, she said.