June 27, 2012

Culturally Mexico is naturally “social,” so it is not surprising that people there would take quickly to online social networks. According to a new eMarketer report, “Social Networking in Mexico: Bringing the Plaza Online,” “Mexico’s ‘plaza’ culture … makes for a population that is open to sharing opinions publically online. For marketers, Mexico’s social media audience is one that likewise is open to hearing brand messages.”

With a population totaling 115 million this year—and the largest Spanish-speaking market in the world—eMarketer estimates that internet adoption will reach 40.5% in 2012, for a total of 46.6 million users. That is lower than the average internet user penetration rate for Latin America overall, but still a significant number of users going online.

“Although social media adoption is naturally limited by internet adoption, and internet uptake in Mexico has not been as rapid as in some other countries, internet users in Mexico have embraced social networks more enthusiastically than individuals in other countries,” said eMarketer, which forecasts that the number of social network users in Mexico will reach 30.3 million this year, accounting for 65% of internet users.

“But social adoption is capped by economic realities,” said eMarketer. “Roughly half the population of Mexico falls below the poverty line. Internet and social network usage among the lowest earning of Mexico’s population is extremely rare, and there are scant signs of improvement in the near future.”

eMarketer expects social network usage to grow at double-digit rates in the coming years. “But despite Mexicans’ cultural affinity for social networks as an extension of the town plaza, economic obstacles mean that many in Mexico will not share in this new mode of communicating.”

For more information at http://www.emarketer.com

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