The future for Internet tech companies, online advertisers and mobile startups is south of the border, according to the analytic company Comscore.
Latin America has the fastest growing Internet market in the world, having increased 12 percent in the past year to more than 147 million unique visitors in March 2013, according to a Comscore report entitled '2013 Latin America Digital Future in Focus.'
Latin America makes up just nine percent of the world's online audience, tied for last with the Middle East and Africa. The Asia-Pacific region makes up 41 percent of the world's online audience.
Not only was the burgeoning Latin American market the fastest growing, it was also the most social.
In the past 12 months people in Latin America spent the majority of their online time, 10 hours a month, on social media networks — this is double the global average of time spent online on social media networks. Not surprisingly, 5 of the top 10 most engaged markets with social content worldwide are located in the region.
The new numbers out of Latin America present a world of opportunities for online advertisers and online retail stores, particularly in Brazil, and particularly for American powerhouse Walmart.
The total number of online shoppers increased 16 percent in just one year to just over 109 million. With the most money spent by Brazilian and Venezuelan online shoppers, Walmart was the fastest gaining property of the top 10 most-visited retail websites, growing 163 percent in the past year, to 11.7 million visitors in March 2013.
Brazil is home to the region's largest number of Internet users, 62 million, nearly half of all of Latin America's online audience. As a result, online advertising in the country grew a whopping 97 percent in the past year, to 130 billion display ad impressions.
The ad market was dominated by Netflix Inc., which was the largest display advertiser in Brazil and Mexico with 2.7 billion and 463 million ad impressions delivered during a month.
Tablet and smartphone companies should also pay close attention to the Comscore report, that shows Mexico is in demand for mobile devices as well.
Mexico led Latin America with 13.9 percent of all web-based page views consumed beyond the personal computer, mostly on smartphones and tablets.
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