If social networks are the new meeting place of the digital age, then Chile is at the forefront of modern communication and interaction. The South American nation has embraced new media technologies, placing fifth on a global ranking of time spent on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
According to a study on the rise of social networks in Latin America by international digital analytics group comScore, Inc., Chilean web users spend an average of 8.7 hours each month on these sites. The world average for monthly use of social networking, meanwhile, is just 5.4 hours.
A large part of Chile’s love affair with social media can be traced back to Facebook. The study found that 90 percent of the nation’s internet users are members of the popular site, making Chile the country with the third highest Facebook uptake in the world.
And despite the high penetration levels, the social networking tool continues to attract new members, who use it mainly to post comments, check friends’ profiles and upload photos. The number of Chileans visiting the site this year has increased by 8 percent, the study said.
Other social networking sites are also attracting new users, although they still lag behind Facebook in overall popularity. The second biggest social networking site in Chile is Windows Live Profile, which is linked to Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. In third place is Twitter, followed by Fotolog, a photo-blogging portal which counts Chile as its number one source of visitors worldwide.
While Chilean web users have a strong attachment to these established social media sites, they have been slow to adopt newer online networking tools like Google+. Although the search engine’s social networking site has taken off internationally with more than 10 million users around the globe, it only has 201,000 members based in Chile.