Germany, Holland, Poland, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Italy) and Asia (Korea, China). We may have some issues covering certain other regions, as worldwide Internet penetration is still very low - 16% at last count. That's a concern too for the subject of today's post, Brazil. It has a national Internet penetration rate of just 14.1%. Even so, it is the 10th biggest country in the world in terms of Internet usage - due to its large population of 186 million. And Brazil Internet users are very community-minded and social, as we'll see in this post.So far in Read/WriteWeb's Top International Web Apps series, we've covered countries in Europe (
My thanks to Fabio Seixas, who provided me with the details about Brazil's Web market.
Fabio told me that Brazil's web industry is an important one - he said they have many areas with low economic activity, but in the medium-to-big cities there is high Internet usage. In the late 90's, the Brazilian web industry was dominated by a few large web portals. But now he is seeing a growing number of independent initiatives.
An important point is that the 14% of Brazilians who can connect to the Internet, connect to it a lot! Recently Netratings reported that web users in Brazil connected for an average of 19 hours and 24 minutes per month. Japan was in second place with 18 hours and 7 minutes of connection time per month, followed by France. This behavior perhaps shows the potential of the Brazilian web industry.
A number of new 'web 2.0' sites started up in Brazil last year. But like many other countries, Brazil has a lot of web app clones.
Top Web Apps
Here are some of the popular web apps in Brazil:
Videolog.tv is a YouTube clone, which is very successful within the teenage demographic.
Gazzag is a friends community network. It was launched with all the hype that Orkut created in Brazil. Around 70% of Orkut users are brazilians. Fabio says Gazzag did a great job creating a brazilian version of Orkut, but it didn't attract as many users as Orkut.
Camiseteria: This is Fabio's site and he says it is "probably the first web 2.0 project in Brazil, which launched in August 2005." Camiseteria is a tee-shirt store and community with some long tail and co-creation (DIY) concepts.
BlogBlogs is a blog directory and community tool, which has some aspects of Technorati. In BlogBlogs you can create a list of favorites and your online activities. It also has a ranking of brazilian blogs.
Wasabi: An RSS aggregation tool mixed with a community. You can set up your network of friends and aggregate their feeds from blogs, flickr, podcasts and many others. It's invite only currently - if you go to the homepage you'll just see a username/password screen, with the message: "To enter Wasabi you`ll need an invitation from someone who`s already in."
Overmundo is a collaborative blog about the brazilian culture. This project is backed by the brazilian government.
Linkk, Ouvi Dizer, Eu Curti: All of these sites are Digg clones. But in Brazil none of them have archived much success. Fabio thinks that brazilian users are very community focused and none of the above sites have used community features in a good way.
Aprex is an online office suite with calendar, contact list, tasks, virtual drive, notebook, blog and polls. This project was launched last month.
BarCamp is probably the only event with web 2.0 content in Brazil. Fabio says: "We lack some cutting edge events here, but we do have many web conferences."
Community plays a big part in a lot of the apps mentioned above. Fabio says that brazilian users have a special affinity for community:
"The Orkut effect was much bigger and faster here than the MySpace effect in the US - but not of quite the same proportions of course. Also our blogosphere is growing very fast, just like the rest of the world."
If there are other Brazilian apps you're aware of, please add them to the comments. Thank you Fabio for all the great information in this post!