How to Capture Mobile Users in Latin America

Sep 22, 2016
By: Marissa Camilli

The number of mobile subscribers in Latin America has grown 802.5% far outpacing fixed internet connections. For example, Brazil has 200 million people, but it has 278 million mobile phones in the country and is growing at a rate of over 20% per year. Brazil is the biggest market for mobile apps and billing, with 61% of the population making online purchases. With the number of mobile phones surpassing users, there is demand for new mobile content. Use these tips to get your app noticed and on mobile devices:

Cater to a Mobile First Culture

“Mobile first” means that an individual in Latin America is more likely to invest in a smart phone or a tablet than a desktop or a laptop.  In Mexico, upwards of 88% of users prefer a mobile platform over desktop or tablets.  If you are looking to make in-roads in Latin America, your content must invoke a mobile-first philosophy as well. Your apps should be geared towards people who are on mobile and on the move. Gone are they days where you can simply shrink your desktop website into the mobile space. You need an app. Users increasingly prefer and spend time in-app versus mobile web.

App Culture is Heating Up

You have probably heard the saying – “there’s an app for that.” Latin American countries have yet to see this reality, but they want it. Mobile users in Brazil indicate they spend a greater percentage of time in more tradition mobile activities such as calling, texting and emailing as the top functions they perform on their smartphones. Assuming these markets follow the route of other app savvy countries, there is ample opportunity to be a first-mover and, build the app ecosystem with popular categories, such as games, maintenance, and finance.

Learn the Language & Culture

There are nuances in the languages and cultures of Latin American countries. Paying attention to these differences will improve the reception of your content. Do not take any of your translations for granted— have local users review your content to make sure it resonates with cultural norms.

Understand the Laws

In order to take advantage of opportunities in Latin America, you need to understand the regulations that govern each of the different countries. Review the laws that regulate e-commerce, paying attention to the e-payments law as well as any net neutrality laws. The proper operation of payments and the storage of your data will depend on these laws. Infrastructure may need to be structured around these laws as well.


Follow these tips to leverage the growing mobile market and app opportunity in Latin America.  To learn more on how to get your app directly on devices in Latin America, contact us directly and ask about our native app preloads.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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