By Lucy Jordan, Senior Contributing Reporter

BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – Twitter is set to open a Brazil office in an attempt to monetize its base of forty million users in the country. According to Semiocast, a French social media research company, Brazil has the second largest number of Twitter accounts, with 33.3 million accounts, after the United States.

Guilherme Ribenboim, director-general of Twitter in Brazil, Brazil News
Guilherme Ribenboim, director-general of Twitter in Brazil, photo by Divulgação.

“We believe our new office in Brazil will allow us to get closer to the users and show the value of our platform,” the company’s new director-general for Brazil, Guilherme Ribenboim, told Reuters.

“Brazil has rather mature Internet and advertisement markets. Our audience is very big and active,” he said. “We are going to try to monetize it.”

The U.S. social networking firm will base itself in São Paulo, and will likely hope to capitalize on Brazil’s swelling middle class.

Increasing consumer power and forty percent Internet penetration in Brazil have already attracted Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter’s chief rival Facebook. In late 2011 Facebook overtook Google’s Orkut, previously the most popular social network in Brazil, as the country’s most visited social networking site, according to analytics firm comScore, and now has some 65 million users.

After reaching an unprecedented 150 million tweets during the London Olympics, Reuters reported, Twitter will also be keen to gain a foothold in Brazil ahead of the World Cup 2014 and the Olympics in Rio in 2016.

“The World Cup and the Olympic Games offer huge opportunities to leverage and show the potential of Twitter,” said Ribenboim. “It is already happening. We are talking [to advertisers] looking for opportunities, strategies.”

However, Brazilians users are slightly less active on their accounts than the global average, with 25 percent of users posting a message between September 1st, 2011 and November 30th, 2011. The global average was 27 percent, and users in the Netherlands were the most active, with 33 percent.

Read more (in Portuguese).

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