With Twitter’s most recent earnings report showing dismal user growth, it’s clear the company needs to focus on expanding to new markets. A new study from comScore indicates that Latin America might be the right market to target next.
The new comScore report claims that 57 percent of Latin American smartphone users are on Twitter — an incredible number compared with its base in the U.S. The data also said that 47 percent of Latin American smartphone users were engaged with Twitter in the last month.
By comparison, Twitter claimed only 23 percent of U.S. adults online, according to a Pew Research fact sheet from September 2014. Another figure, from eMarketer, said that less than 30 percent of all mobile users are on Twitter.
So what sets Latin America apart?
Well, for one thing, there is a major caveat to these strong Lat Am figures. While the region is “mobile first,” it is not smartphone first. Only a third of people in Latin America have smartphones and/or tablets. And it’s possible that early smartphone adopters are naturally more engaged.
But Maren Lau, chief marketing officer for Internet Media Services, the company that commissioned the comScore report, said that these numbers are still important. She thinks that Latin America’s large population of people under the age of 30 could deliver high user numbers and levels of engagement once smartphones become more ubiquitous in the region.
“I see 20 percent year on year growth, which is fairly rapid,” said Lau. She predicted two key developments:
- The development of 4G infrastructure in Latin America will help speed up the adoption of smartphones.
- The proliferation of Android phones will make smartphone technology more attainable for Latin American consumers.
Lau also cites the campaigns that both Twitter and Facebook ran during the World Cup last year as evidence that there’s plenty of potential for app adoption in Latin America. Facebook and Twitter promoted their platforms as the go-to platform for sharing information and talking about the World Cup. The campaign led to records levels of engagement for both Facebook and Twitter.
The study drew on a pool of 4,000 tablet and smartphone users from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Chile.