The Federative Republic of Brazil, also known as Brazil, is located in South America. This country is the fifth largest country in the world, and its population is about 199 million people. According to eMarketer (2013), about 107 million people in Brazil are internet users. But why the industry of social media networks is a market that has unprecedented opportunities? People in Brazil are really friendly, and they will strike up a conversation about T.V shows, news and sports even if they do not know you, says Alexandre Hohagen, vice president of Facebook’s Latin America division. Mr. Hohagen also mentions that Brazilian culture is an extroverted culture. As a result, young people have now the opportunity to share their preferences with each other using social media networks.
Source: eMarket, April 2013
Brazil has about 65 million Facebook users, and it is the second biggest user of Twitter. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ have seen great chances of expansion for their markets in zones like Brazil. With U.S and Europe markets saturated, and China’s citizens stuck behind the Great Firewall, social media networks have difficulties to find possible new opportunities. On the other hand, Brazil being one of the largest countries, and being the most populous country in South America, represents an unusual successful growth in social media market.
By December 2012, Internet users in Brazil were spending, cumulatively, 158% more time on social media sites than they had in December 2010. However, this growth is just the beginning of the expansion of social media marketers. According to Holmes, an average time spent on Facebook among Brazilians increased 208 percent last year, to 535 minutes per month. By comparison, global use declined by 2 percent during the same period.
The opportunity to be connected by mobile phones is cheap in Brazil; as a result, people from middle use mobile phones to get the way to stay connected on the internet. People like Michel Teló, with his song “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” or “ Oh If I catch you,” became famous because Brazilians shared his video through YouTube. This video got about six million fans on Facebook. Brazilians, unlike other citizens in South America, use social media to research new products, discounts, and check reviews about the products they want to buy.
But not all the people in Brazil are connected. Most of the population living in “slums” or “favelas” does not have easy access to new technologies. Brazilian government has been working in order to include marginalized people. This process about include people could be challenging because it is important to empower the individuals to take part of this change. The current projects proposed by the Brazilian government are: LAN (Local Area Network) houses and Telecentros. LAN houses are places where people pay to get access to the internet. According to the Internet Steering Committee in Brazil, LAN houses are responsible for almost 50% of Internet access in Brazil and in poor areas it is responsible for 82% of the accesses. Telecentros are establishments where people can access to the internet for free. Telecentros are usually implemented in areas where the populations with low income reside.
Even though Brazil is a big country with great opportunities for technology companies to growth, people in poor regions like favelas are still missing with the benefit of being connected to the rest of the world. How can government include marginalized people in the new technology era? What would be the consequences of empowering people to share information about Brazil? Will be the next mega events (the World Cup and the Olympics) affected by people who thinks that these kind of events will not help the country?
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