Google’s Page & Brin Visit Brazil
Before getting into the details of Google’s visit to Brazil and their plans in this emerging technological giant, I’d like to put an emphasis on the popularity of Google and Orkut in Brazil. Almost everyone with a computer or Internet connection in Brazil uses Orkut, and Brazil has 26 million active Internet users.
Having an Orkut account in Brazil is like putting sugar in your cafezinho, eating paozinhos for breakfast, loving Silvia Santos, watching Globo telenovelas, or heading to the beach from Christmas to Carnival. Orkut has become a bom successo in Brasil beyond what anyone at Google had ever planned. Wired Brazilians (Brasilieros que usar Internet) live sleep and eat coffee, Guarana, com Havianas, Pao de Quiejo, Netinho, arroz feijao, FUTBOL and Orkut.
Having lived in Brasil for two years in Curitiba (I think the whole city uses Orkut) and being married to a wonderful wife from Sao Paulo, I cannot emphasize this point enough. In Brazil, Orkut is the Internet and Google is search. Just like an average Paulista will not think twice about having a Saturday churrasca and inviting the whole barrio, Orkut usage and friendships are spreading like wildfire in Brazil (Brasil)… faster than Globeleza can Samba, but not with the speed and finesse of Ronaldinho or the late and great Ayrton Senna.
Beyond the current online community in Brazil (which is made up predominantly of the middle and upper class), computer usage and Internet access will also be spreading to the povao (the normal people), as Brazil is a country which is taking part of the MIT Laptop For Every Child Movement – which is sponsored in part by Google.
Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin just paid a trip to Brazil to explore expanding Google in the economic leader South America and the Mercado Sul.
For an explanation of all the Brazilian referrences in this post, please see this comment on my explanations of other Brazilian cultural phenominas besides Orkut.
Gavin Tachibana, Editor of Orkut, has a rundown on the trip to Brazil, which includes the duo’s credit card being shot down in Ipanema’s Gula Gula restaurant (Meu Deus do Seu! Is this the ValleyWag effect rubbing off?).
Here’s a rundown:
* Page & Brin paid a visit to Belo Horizonte, where Google’s research and development center for Latin America is located.
* Page & Brin greeted the Brazilian media wearing a couple of cool Brazilian-themed Google jerseys (which is much smarter than Mike Tyson showing up in Brazilian court wearing an Argentinian Futbol Jersey signed by Maradona)
* Sergey says he’s optimistic about Google’s future in Brazil and how different it will be than the headaches in China; “There’s already a lot of Internet activity and it’s such a large country that it’s going to grow very rapidly. There’s no particular hurdle to get more people. It’s not like the wires aren’t there, it’s not like there are any laws, regulations to make it hard to access. Once you have more broadband, you’re going to have much more activity.”
Hmmm… hear that Brasil Telecom? Google looking to offer affordable broadband in Brazil? Hint hint.
* Brin commented on Orkut: “I’m very excited about it as a service . . . orkut is unquestionably very large now.” When asked why orkut is so popular in Brazil, Brin said, “We don’t know. What do you think?”
This was a very exciting piece of news and I’m very excited about Google’s future in Brasil. Please feel free to comment below, in English or Portuguese. Parabens Google e Parabens Brasil!
By the way, I want one of those Brasil Jerseys… if anyone knows where to get one, please email me or comment below. En taum, quero uma Google camisa de Futbol, mas voces sabe onde da para comprar o mas Google Brasil quer da uma para mi, enviar um mail por favor.