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Social media usage in Latin America - Statistics & Facts

As the COVID-19 pandemic forces people to stay home and avoid presential meetings, social media becomes a recurring tool for long-distance socialization. This trend is also visible in Latin America, home to over 430 million internet users. In the largest online markets in this region, between 35 and 52 percent of adults who participated in a 2020 survey stated that the time they spent on social media was a source of happiness. But if that year was a watershed for online social networking in Latin America, such shift also brought changes for this segment. Whereas the market share of platforms like Facebook and Pinterest mostly decreased in the region, Instagram, Twitter, and especially YouTube rose to the occasion.

Small countries, huge YouTubers

The six Latin American countries with the most YouTube users are also among the most populated in the region: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and Chile. They have almost 310 million users, altogether. Similarly, also the top channels in number of subscribers are based in Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. However, the size of the user base is not necessarily representative of a YouTuber’s power of influence. None of these countries are home to the two best paid online video creators in Latin America. As of September 2020, these prosperous YouTubers were based in El Salvador and Ecuador – which combined had around 13.6 million YouTube users, over 22 times less than the top six countries aforementioned.

Facebook, Inc.’s platforms still prevail

Ultimately, Latin Americans mostly use solutions such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, all owned by Facebook, Inc. Mark Zuckerberg’s flagship, along with the photo and video sharing social network he acquired in 2012, had around 346 million users in the region as of July 2020. Meanwhile, according to an estimate, there were over 360 million WhatsApp users in Latin America that year. In one of its largest markets, Brazil, even its spin-off app became popular. Launched in 2019, WhatsApp Business allows small and medium-sized enterprises to create online catalogs and interact with clients. As of February 2021, one out of five of its catalogs worldwide were in the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas.

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Social media usage in Latin America

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