Facebook has finally surpassed Google’s Orkut in Brazil. Launched in 2004, Orkut quickly caught on in Brazil and remained the number one network until the end of 2011. Facebook was Brazil’s number three most popular social network in 2010. A recent ComScore report showed Facebook’s steady increase throughout 2011. It only took the lead in December 2011, edging out Orkut with 36.1 million visitors.
In August 2010, the average Orkut user spent 275.8 minutes on the site, and only 29.3 minutes on Facebook. By December 2010, the average Brazilian user’s time on Facebook creeped up to 37 minutes. One year later, that number had shot up to an average 4.8 hours on Facebook.
“Brazil has always been a particularly social market and currently owns the fifth largest social networking population in the world,” said Alex Banks, comScore managing director for Brazil. “But despite the cultural affinity for social media, Facebook adoption had traditionally lagged in the market.”
It’s true: Brazillians are very community-oriented people. Orkut also is easy to pronounce in Portuguese because of the “ch” T sound. According to SearchEngineWatch, the lack of advertising on Orkut also appealed to Brazilians.
The ComScore report reveals a few more interesting data points about demographics of Brazilian Facebook users. They are 50.9% female and 49.1% male. The majority of users are under age 35, with 30.6% aged 25-34 and 28.2% aged 15-24 years-old. A few other interesting statistics stick out: 34.2% of those users live in São Paulo, and 12.9% reside in Rio de Janeiro.
SearchEngineJournal brings together a few different ideas about Orkut’s heyday and, not-so-surprisingly, the reasons it prevailed for so long may have to do with bragging rights, nationalism and the Portuguese language. And in 2008, Google moved its Orkut headquarters to Brazil.
We reached out to ComScore for more information about Orkut’s demographics in December 2011, when Facebook overtook it. Interestingly, Orkut Brazil’s demographics are very similar to Facebook Brazil’s. People 15-24 make up 31.4% of the site, and 30.8% of users are people ages 25-34. Orkut is comprised of 51.7% women and 48.3% male; 32.5% of users live in São Paulo, and 12.1% are in Rio de Janiero.
Right after the ComScore numbers came out, Google launched an Orkut app for the iPhone. It looks like they’re just too late.