Social Networking Media Widely Popular in Venezuela

According to a recent study on internet usage in Latin America, the Venezuelan people stand third in the region when it comes to use of social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter.

By Juan Reardon - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Venezuela’s publicly-owned and operated Infocentros provide computer and internet access to the Venezuelan people at no cost to users (Archive).
Venezuela’s publicly-owned and operated Infocentros provide computer and internet access to the Venezuelan people at no cost to users (Archive).

Merida, July 31st 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - According to a recent study on internet usage in Latin America, the Venezuelan people stand third in the region when it comes to use of social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter. An estimated 30% of Venezuela’s 28 million people are currently registered on Facebook and 21% on Twitter, placing the country’s use of these two social media high above global averages of 10% and 3%, respectively.  

In the annual report published by Tendencias Digitales, or Digital Tendencies (in English), researchers found that 8.3 of Venezuela’s 11 million internet users are currently registered with Facebook, meaning 75% of all internet users and 30% of the general population are accessing this social medium.

With 30% of Venezuelans on Facebook, Venezuela ranks fifth in the region in Facebook usage, following Chile (47%), Puerto Rico (36%), Argentina (35%), and Uruguay (35%). In comparison, 30% of Spaniards currently use Facebook, while an estimated 10% of the world’s population accesses the site.

With respect to Twitter, made widely popular in the country after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched his own twitter account (@chavezcandanga) to communicate directly with the Venezuelan people, there are now some 2.3 million Venezuelans using the social medium. This means 21% of internet users in the country, and 8% of the entire population, are currently on Twitter.

Only Uruguay, with 17% of its people using Twitter, outranks Venezuela. Globally, only 3% of people access and use the site.

77% of Venezuelan internet users access YouTube, also classified as a social networking media, while some 64% communicate using Hotmail’s Messenger.

According to the web-based Internet World Stats, nearly 40% of Venezuelans have access to the internet, over three times the percentage of Bolivians (12.1%) and almost four times the percent of Hondurans (11.8%) and Nicaraguans (10.6%).

Earlier this year, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded Venezuela the King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the numerous government programs aimed at providing the entire population with access to information and communication technologies.

Though critics have accused the Venezuelan government of internet censorship, a recent report by OpenNet, a joint initiative between Harvard Law School and Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto, found that no such censorship exists.