Two recent developments seem to have conspired to spawn a new social network to take on Facebook: Latin America’s increasing digital growth and the recent revelation/scandal that our Facebook data et al is being spied on by the American government. Meet Facepopular, the brand new Latin American “Facebook”.
These days no marketer could afford to disregard the explosive growth of Latin America’s digital economy. The consumers are young (64% of the population is younger than 34) and the potential is enormous. Social media and e-commerce are booming. So much so that the area has the fastest growing internet population on the planet. Sales of smartphones and tablets are predicted to be astronomical and will create endless possibilities for online advertising and marketing. Amongst many others Twitter and Netflix have recently started to monetize in the LatAm area.
But Latin America always has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S.A., the “Big Brother” (even more true nowadays) leading the way in terms of trends and technology. That’s why we witness the launch of Facepopular, Latin America’s answer to Facebook last week. According to its creators, it’s aim is to “generate a communication and community interaction channel free from the arbitrary models imposed by other social networks designed and operated outside the Latin American region by multinational corporations.” It’s name stands for “frente alternativo contra el establishment” or “anti-establishment alternative front.” Its servers are hosted in Argentinia.
Visual elements have been reworked for the new audience. Instead of Emoticons we have EmoPerones paying tribute to former Argentine President Perón, his wife Evita and other Latin American heroes like José de San Martín or Simón Bolívar. Users can also nominate an “undesirable person of the week” as well as dislike posts.
The launch coincides with another important launch: A fibre optics ring that will link the nations of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and Community of Latin American and Caribbean states (Celac). Sounds like the creation of a new social eco-system.
Question is: Will Facepopular be popular? One thing I noticed is that it’s all in Spanish and no other language option is currently being offered. That could dim its global appeal. It also seems to be created with a strong political agenda in mind and that might prove not to be too popular with social media users. But it is early days yet.
Do you thing that Facepopular is a good idea? Do you think it will catch on in Latin America or even globally? Let me know.