Brazil Takes The Lead in Using Twitter

The Twitter social-networking craze has taken hold in Brazil, where the number of users is growing faster than in the US, Britain, Spain, Japan and other developed countries.

Brazilian politicians, athletes and celebrities of all kinds have succumbed to "Twittermania," a phenomenon that has become a true source of first-hand information and threatens take over terrain from the country's press services.

Among the most active users of this microblog tool on the Internet are soccer managers like Vanderlei Luxemburgo, auto racer Rubens Barrichello, Sao Paulo state Governor Jose Serra and TV host Luciano Huck, who tweet on Twitter to keep their "followers" up to date on their doings.

Twitter's immediacy and pace have spurred Twitter's progress in Brazil against blogs and other more traditional media.

A study carried out by the private statistics firm Ibope Nielsen in 10 countries shows that, in the month of June, Brazil took the lead in Twitter's worldwide penetration.

According to the study, 15 percent of Brazilian internet users visited the Twitter Web site in June either from home or their workplace, and the number of visits increased by 71 percent over the previous month.

The figures surpass even rich countries like the US, where users of the service amount to 10.7 percent of all internet users, and in Britain, 9.4 percent.

Next comes Australia, where Twitter's penetration rate is 5.4 percent, then Germany at 4 percent, Spain at 3.5 percent, and Japan with 1.4 percent.

Brazilian users visited Twitter pages in June for an average of 36 minutes, followed by Americans (31.1 minutes), British (25.3 minutes) and Germans (11.1 minutes), according to the Ibope Nielsen survey.

Twitter's growth can be explained by Brazilians' tendency to get on the Internet to find out what's happening around them since, according to another Ibope study, 36 percent of the country's internet users go online for news and 19 percent for entertainment.

Nonetheless, this immediacy can sometimes go against users and cause them real headaches, as in the case of the former coach of Real Madrid, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who lost his job because of Twitter.

Last June, just two days after opening his account, Luxemburgo was fired by the Brazilian club Palmeiras for criticizing on Twitter the way striker Keirrison handled negotiations that resulted in his being signed by Spanish team Barcelona.

Naturally, the trainer used the microblog to tell in his own words the news of his firing as soon as it happened.

Strangely enough, the president of Palmeiras also got on Twitter days later to inform the team's fans about negotiations to find a substitute for Luxemburgo.

Others like auto racer Rubens Barrichello prefer a more constructive use for microblogs - after compatriot Felipe Massa's accident last weekend during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, he kept followers posted on Massa's medical condition.

Aside from the sports world, politics has also become Twitter territory in Brazil, following in the footsteps of US President Barack Obama, one of its most famous users on the planet.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, and the governor of Sao Paulo state, Jose Serra, are two of the more active users of the service.

The case of Serra, who has almost 50,000 followers on Twitter, is perhaps the most significant because according to all the polls, he is poised to win next year's presidential elections.

That's why, besides his personal account, it is possible to find another on the Internet which, under the name Serra2010, is paving the way for the governor to a possible presidential candidacy.

Also visit

No comments: