Por QueEstelle Gonzales Walgreen
Facebook Goes Public, Updates Its Status Thanks to Its Latino Fans
Photo: Facebook en Espanol
Well it’s official the ‘Libro de la Cara’ or Facebook is officially a publicly traded stock and all grown up due in part to the millions of Latinos living on it, Latin America loving it and Brazilians obsessing about it.
Incidentally no one in the Spanish speaking universe calls it by that loose Spanish translation, that’s the power of this brand in Latin America it is simply Facebook.
There are approximately 8.5 million U.S. Latinos on Facebook and when you add Latin American countries you have approximately 138 million Latinos using Facebook. The $104 billion valuation before going public was based on 900 million users so Latinos worldwide makeup 15% of that incredible number.
Latinos embrace technology faster than any other group in the U.S., which is why 54.2 percent of Hispanics online use Facebook regularly versus 43 percent of their paler counter parts, non-Latino whites. Of course Facebook is not just for the common and the crass. Famous Latinos have become more famous with many of them becoming the most popular people on Facebook based on the number of ‘likes’, this includes Shakira with 50 million followers.
Facebook reports that half of its revenue comes from outside the U.S. and noted that Brazil has the highest active reach of Internet consumers with some 38.1 million Brazilians visiting Facebook in March alone. I’m sure the fact that the tax-cheat, I mean Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is Brazilian and hiding, I mean investing some of his windfall there doesn’t have anything to do with it. Or does it???
Mexico has some 32 million Facebook users and usually makes the list of top 10 countries giving the social network its user growth. With Facebook there is no need to be ripped off by prepaid calling cards or price gouging by Carlos Slim’s Telemex monopoly. You can bet they are toasting billionaire founder Mark Zuckerburg in the local cantinas applauding a billionaire that makes billions by not charging you for anything and only hoping Carlos Slim figures out how to do the same thing.
Communist Cuba was so impressed by Facebook, which is unofficially banned, that it created a fake Facebook called ‘Redsocial’ the ‘virtual meeting point for Cuban universities.’ Its domain name even has Facebook in it. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery they say.
In its eight-year history Facebook has been, to appropriate Sammy Sosa’s phrase, ‘berry berry good’ to us. In 2008 the company launched the Spanish version before any other language, it has close to 10 million followers now. Gracias we say. ‘Hispanic’ was the first ethnic option you could put on your Facebook profile – I’m sure it had nothing to do with Facebook advertisers wanting to stalk Latinos for their dollars. Gracias we say anyway.
Facebook, started as the meeting place for the socially awkward who can now claim more friends then they can in real life and as the place you get to buy fake things with real money, is now the second most popular ‘religion’ after Catholicism in Latin America.
So a tequila toast to Facebook for trading 465 million shares on its first day out of the box and setting a record by becoming the third-largest IPO in U.S. financial history.