As of the end of 2012, Brazil is now the largest market for both Facebook and YouTube after the US, and is one of Twitter’s top-5 active user groups, which influenced the microblogging company to launch operations in São Paulo because “[t]he size of the market made it important to have our own presence,” said vice-president Shailesh Rao. Between September 2011 and September 2012, the average time spent by Brazilians on Facebook grew by 208 percent, and just as in the US and Europe, individuals have been propelled to international stardom via YouTube and other sites.
What’s the Big Idea?
Brazil is ideal for social media because, according to Facebook vice president Alexandre Hohagen, “our culture…really makes people much more open to include and connect to friends…[I]t’s common for someone to start talking to you in the elevator or in a restaurant just to start a conversation.” YouTube executive Álvaro Paes de Barros cites increased curiosity about the country in anticipation of Rio de Janeiro’s hosting of the upcoming World Cup and Olympics. Brazil is also benefiting from its openness: Although China is the world’s leading emerging market, it blocks most popular social media sites.