Facebook finally overtook Google’s social networking service, Orkut, in Brazil (article here). In 2011, Facebook added nearly 24 million new users to reach 36 million monthly uniques, while Orkut grew from 33 million to 34 million. Although Orkut has not seen any drop-off in users, given the wide discrepancy of the two companies’ user growth rates, it looks like Facebook is well on its way to dominating the Brazilian market. One particularly interesting characteristic of Brazil’s social networking usage is that the social networking growth has been outpacing internet growth.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, in 2010, Brazil had around 81.7 million internet users, or 41 percent of the population, making Brazil the 5th largest country by internet users. The World Bank shows internet penetration in Brazil grew 154 percent from 2006 to 2010 and 8 percent from 2009 to 2010. Meanwhile, the United States had 243.5 million internet users, or 79 percent of the population. This goes to show that there is still substantial room for growth in both internet usage and social networking usage in Brazil.