With the 5th world's biggest social media community, Brazil confirms its strength on the market. Aware of this potential, the country's two most popular social networks dispute a battle that seems to have no room for two winners
When analyzing the Brazilian behavior towards social medias, we can see a pattern: the new media comes along, a few cool people starts to use it, and then, out of nowhere, it becomes a fever, dominating the country.
It began with Orkut. The Google powered social network had its boom when it was translated to Portuguese, in 2005 and reigned absolute on the market until 2009, when a blue rocket landed in Brazil and started to bother.
The opponent shows its face
The Facebook expansion in Brazil was overwhelming. Until 2009, accesses to the website were so scarce that could not even be measured. According to the digital measuring company, Comscore, by the end of 2011, the network reached the mark of 36 million visitors, leaving Orkut – with its 34,4 million visitors – behind.
Google's network took almost six years to achieve its actual number, which makes Facebook's leap even more impressive. Particularly, 2011 was the boom year for Facebook in Brazil, with an increase of 298% of its number of members. And wherever the social media users migrate, they are followed by advertisers. The cost of the ads in Facebook had an increase of 74% in the same year. Social media experts attribute this feat to a more favorable scenario in Brazil, with the internet access growing and spreading throughout the population over the last two years.
Also, Orkut's members had a lot of complains about the website, which definitively contributed to their migration to Facebook. A lot of blockages on the network, number of friends limited to a thousand, difficulties in loading and sharing photos and discussing topics are some of these problems.
And there was also a final push that impulsed Facebook in Brazil: the release of the blockbuster “The Social Network”, that aroused Brazilians' curiosity for the website.
Is there room for two?
Until now, the fight in the social media's segment has brought benefits to their members, as both Facebook and Orkut try hard to improve their services to go further in the competition. But Orkut is struggling when it comes to popular innovations as its apps, layout and games are more and more similar to Facebook's.
That is unfortunate, after all, the great success of Orkut in Brazil was due to its simplicity. Although Orkut has not as many functionalities as Facebook, the layout is much more intuitive to the user. Any person, regardless on the level of web familiarity can learn how to use Orkut in the blink of an eye.
Despite Orkut's lack of creativity, Brazilians remain faithful to their pioneer social network. According to Cormscore, 87% of the Brazilian social media users are managing to keep their Facebook and Orkut accounts simultaneously. But for how long?
Other countries have gone through a similar competition. In the United States, Facebook had a battle with Myspace for the number one spot, that ended with a total win of Mark Zuckerberg's service. This example shows that a tie between Facebook and Orkut is unlikely.
Even Google seems to know that Orkut is not going to resist much longer. A good proof is the creation of Google Plus, another social media that comes with renewed propositions for the segment.
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