Brazil is the Social Media Capital of The World

Surprised? No, I’m not either. But why?

Sao Paulo HDR

Image via Ndecam

This needs some analysis. First off, the numbers are incredible –

  • 65m Facebook users (second largest market for the platform)
  • Brazilians spent 41% more time on Twitter in 2012 vs 2011
  • Facebook dwell time grew 208% (while the rest of the world dropped by 2%)
  • 129.3m online users
  • 21 billion online searches
  • Second largest consumer of YouTube videos (the US is at number one)
  • Top five active user group for Twitter
  • Expected $81 billion of ad spend in 2013

And this is expected to grow even further. Especially as, come 2015, the country will be the recipient of a 100-gb-per-sec internet connection to carry all of that data.

Interestingly, Twitter has chosen São Paulo as its Brazilian base and is in the process of hiring like crazy as I type. Why is this interesting?

Over the past few years São Paulo (and the ad agencies therein) have been producing the stellar kind of creative work that anyone would be proud to put their name against. Everything from the $73,000 bar tab, through to getting your face printed on a Burger King Whopper; it’s actually really quite hard to get through one page of Brandflakes for Breakfast without stumbling upon something awesome from São Paulo.

Innovative, smart, ground-breaking – all of it social, all of it awesome.

But why São Paulo? Well, you could say that culturally Brazil is more open and friendly, and therefore more creative. You could also say that the way of life and perhaps the weather over there inspires creativity and innovation.

Personally, I think there’s something else. Ready?

How about this: outdoor advertising is banned* in São Paulo.

Introducing the ‘Clean City Law‘ –

In 2006, Gilberto Kassab, mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, passed the “Clean City Law.” Citing growing concerns about rampant pollution in his city, Kassab decided enough was enough. But this was no ordinary piece of pollution legislation. Rather than going after car emissions or litterbugs, Kassab went after the billboards. Kassab wanted to crack down on “visual pollution.”

That visual pollution? Outdoor ads. Amazing. And the city has never been happier! Hurrah!

As mentioned, this law came into being during 2006 – the year that some might argue that social media started its way down the long road to success. So now you have a whole bunch of brands with outdoor money to spend elsewhere. Where does it go? Into better creative and, of course, new channels – such as social media.

Today, Brazil is the social media capital of the world. They’re hosting the next Olympics and the next World Cup. São Paulo is an ad-free zone and it drives creativity in all sorts of awesome and inspiring ways.

I might be talking rubbish, but I genuinely believe there’s a connection.


That’s all I got.


*this is not news, I know – but I only found this out this week and I still find it mental

Additional sources: WSJ, The Wall.



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One thought on “Brazil is the Social Media Capital of The World”

  1. Billboards are shotguns. Lots of pellets everywhere with no real targets.
    The issues of opt-in and proper targeting are much better dealt with by the Sao Pauli method (is that a thing yet?) so my call is #win

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