Facebook surpasses Orkut as the most popular social network in Brazil

Brazil’s Facebook audience has close to tripled in the past year and engagement on the site has soared. The huge growth spurt has helped the site overtake Google-operated social network Orkut for the first time within the country.

In December 2011 Facebook attracted 36.1 million Brazilian-based visitors, an increase of 192% year-on-year. Orkut grew by just 5% over the same period, reaching a total of 34.4 million unique visitors in December 2011.

“Facebook’s rapid ascent in the Brazilian market has certainly been one of the most interesting stories to develop during the course of 2011,” said Alex Banks, comScore managing director for Brazil in a January 17 statement. “Brazil has always been a particularly social market and currently owns the fifth largest social networking population in the world. But despite the cultural affinity for social media, Facebook adoption had traditionally lagged in the market. That has all changed in the past year, during which the site has tripled in audience size as engagement has grown sevenfold to assume the leadership position in the market.”

There are only a few countries left in which Facebook is not the most popular social networking site in the world: China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Poland and Russia.

Social networking sites Renren, Tencent and Sina Weibo are hugely popular in China, where Facebook and Twitter are currently blocked by the government. According to comScore’s Media Metrix figures from October 2011, Twitter eclipses Facebook in Japan, Nasza-Klasa.pl is the most popular social network in Poland, Vkontakte beats Facebook in Russia and Naver Cafe is the most popular social network in South Korea.

Digital marketing firm iCrossing predicts that Facebook will hit one billion active users globally in August 2012. According to Facebook’s official stats, the site currently boasts more than 800 million active users.

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