Top Web Apps in Brazil

So far in
Read/WriteWeb’s Top International Web Apps series, we’ve covered countries in Europe (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.

My thanks to Fabio Seixas, who provided me
with the details about Brazil’s Web market.

Overview

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.

Flogão is a photo community based site,
just like fotolog.net. Another big player is Vibeflog, a photo community site for teenagers.

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.

Blogger.com.br is a free blog hosting tool, just
like blogger.com, controlled by one of the big Internet players in Brazil – Globo.com.

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.”

Summary

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!

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