Facebook Becomes #1 In Brazil, Bumping Google's Orkut

By Jackie Cohen Comment

Facebook scored another victory in the battle against Google, by usurping Orkut’s former dominance of social media in Brazil.

According to comScore, Facebook’s presence in Latin America’s most populous nation has nearly doubled over the past year, while Google’s Orkut has grown only five percent.

Facebook enjoyed over 36 million visitors from Brazil last month, compared to just over 34 million for Orkut.

Compare that with the size of Brazil’s total Internet audience, just under 52 million, and the entire market for social media in the country, just over 47 million.

Clearly, Facebook is dominating social media in Brazil, but considering that only about a quarter of the country has Internet access, this leadership can only be called tenuous until a larger chunk of the population gets online.

However, Facebook’s dominance over Orkut is all the larger when you consider that the U.S. social network had overtaken Google’s social network in another major country, India, in August, 2010.

The change in market leadership in Brazil parallels a major staffing move that occurred almost a year ago: Facebook poached Google’s head of Latin American sales, Andre Hohagen, who’s based in Sao Paolo.

Yet it remains to be seen whether the growth of Internet usage throughout Latin America will also grow the use of Facebook in this part of the world.