Here are all of the posts tagged ‘asia’.

Social, Digital & Mobile Worldwide in 2014

by Simon Kemp in News

The astonishing growth of all things digital continues to gather pace around the world, as We Are Social’s new Social, Digital & Mobile Worldwide report on the key social, digital and mobile stats from around the world demonstrates.

It should come as little surprise that much of this growth is being fuelled by connected mobile devices, but this year’s data do reveal some interesting trends and anomalies, especially in relation to Japan and Korea.

You’ll find the complete story in the SlideShare deck above, but we’ve pulled out some of the highlights below.

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Internet
Adding up all the users in individual countries around the world, there appear to be around 2.5 billion global internet users today – roughly 35% of the world’s population:

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While this represents around 150 million more users than this time last year, these numbers may still be conservative. Reliable, recent data for some countries remains patchy, but the International Communications Union estimates that there are probably closer to 3 billion global internet users, with most of the difference made up by mobile-only connections.

Users are still not distributed evenly either, with some parts of the world still struggling to reach double-digit internet penetration. In particular, Africa, Central and Southern Asia all report relatively low numbers, although it’s worth highlighting that mobile internet users may contribute a significant – yet uncounted – increase in these areas.

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With reference to the continued growth in internet penetration, it seems clear that mobile connections will account for the vast majority of new sign-ups in the coming months. As the chart below highlights, the distribution of mobile penetration matches much more closely to the distribution of the world’s population, meaning most people around the world now have a realistic opportunity to access the internet:

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The cost of mobile data clearly remains a barrier in much of the remaining world, but as costs continue to fall, and as the benefits continue to increase, it’s likely we’ll see more and more people in the developing world putting increased importance on reliable internet access.

Social Media
Social channels continued to show strong growth over the past 12 months, with top social networks adding more than 135 million new users in the course of 2013.

This number is slightly misrepresentative of actual growth though, as we’ve decided to focus solely on monthly active user figures to report social media usage in this year’s report. As a result, some numbers may appear lower than they did this time last year (when we used total registered user numbers for some platforms), while the actual growth in active usage may appear smaller than it really was.

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Due to the different usage contexts, associated behaviours and opportunities for brands, we’ve also chosen to treat chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat separately to social networks in this year’s report.

However, these platforms continue to capture significant interest from users and marketers alike, a trend reflected in their huge active user bases:

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It also appears that social media is now an engrained part of the lives of people across different demographic groups. This increased ubiquity may result in some changes to the specific demographic bases of individual platforms, but even if people’s habits are changing, it appears that people are moving from one social platform to another, rather than deserting social media in its entirety.

Despite this increasing ubiquity, though, social media penetration remains unevenly distributed around the world:

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As might be expected, mobile is playing an increasingly important part in the social media landscape. Facebook reports that almost three quarters of its 1.2 billion monthly active users around the world access the platform through mobile, while on any given day, almost half of its users are mobile only.

The importance of mobile is mirrored across other platforms too, with Twitter increasingly a mobile-dominated platform, and platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram depending entirely on a mobile ecosystem.

Mobile
Given the above, most marketers have now accepted that mobile devices are people’s most important devices, but the opportunities they offer continue to evolve at a staggering pace.

Connected mobile devices have already outpaced more traditional means of internet access such as laptops and PCs, while smartphone sales now outnumber those of feature phones around the world too.

The number of mobile subscriptions jumped by 173 million in 2013, and the number of active mobile subscriptions around the world now equates to roughly 93% of the world’s population.

Penetration rates are more healthy all over the world too, with two-thirds of Africa’s population now mobile powered. Meanwhile, many regions – including those in the developing world – have penetration levels far in excess of 100%:

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Mobile broadband access has exploded around the world in recent months too, and 1.5 billion people now have access to relatively fast internet from their mobile devices:

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A Regional View
While the picture in many Western countries has converged, there are a number of areas around the world that maintain their idiosyncrasies. In particular, China and Eastern Europe continue to prefer local social networks, while Africa, Central and South Asia are considerably under-represented when it comes to internet penetration:

regional data overviews

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Asia
The world’s most populous region saw another strong year of growth across all things digital in 2013.

China’s social media giants continue to post strong growth, whether it’s active users on Qzone, or the incredible growth of Weixin (WeChat).

However, both Japan and South Korea have seen some fragmentation of the social media landscape, with chat apps like LINE and Kakaotalk continuing to gain momentum. Neither company releases monthly active user numbers though, so it’s hard to know exactly how these platforms compare to the more traditional networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Interestingly, however, ‘claimed’ usage of social media in both countries differs dramatically from the picture painted by Facebook’s monthly active user numbers, suggesting that Northeast Asia’s netizens may be harnessing a wider variety of platforms.

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Facebook continues to lead Twitter in both countries though, and appears to maintain its top spot almost everywhere.

China and countries in Eastern Europe host the few exceptions to Facebook’s global dominance, with Qzone and VKontakte claiming the top spots in a handful of nations.

However, with more than 1 billion monthly active users, it’s safe to say that Facebook will continue to play a central role in the social media landscape in 2014 too.

The Local Picture
We’ve gone into an extra level of detail in this year’s report too, offering insights into the local digital ecosystem across 24 of the world’s biggest economies:

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Alongside offering the key digital indicators, we’ve also collated some key behavioural indicators, including time spent on the internet and on social media, as well as the prevalence of important activities on connected mobile devices.

You’ll find all the facts and figures for each country in the complete 180+ page report on SlideShare (as embedded at the top of this post).

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Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide

by Simon Kemp in News

Continuing our series of data snapshots for Social, Digital and Mobile usage worldwide, we’re pleased to share the latest numbers for the different regions around the world.

All indicators show significant growth since last year’s worldwide report, with mobile clearly the driving force for all aspects of our connected lives.

Internet
Internet penetration adds an extra 3 points year-on-year to reach exactly one third of the world’s population, posting growth of a quarter of a billion new users in the past 12 months.

Much of this growth has come from ‘developing’ nations, with Asia accounting for a significant proportion of the global growth.

Social Media
Social media usage is up by almost the same volume, registering an additional 240 million new users in 2012.

However, in markets like China, the biggest shift we’ve been tracking is a change in usage patterns between different platforms, rather than growth in the absolute number of users of social networks.

Facebook continues to dominate the worldwide picture with close to a billion monthly active users, but Chinese platforms take the remaining 4 of the top 5 slots.

Sina and Tencent’s weibo offerings are clearly the biggest success stories over the past year, growing both their registered and active user bases by hundreds of millions.

Google+ has also made big gains since last year, although its 235 million monthly active users don’t quite give it enough weight to achieve ‘Global Top 5′ status. However, with more than 500 million registered users, it’s clear that Google+ has plenty more potential, and is surely one to watch in 2013.

Twitter continues its stellar growth too, passing 200 million active users a couple of months ago. The West’s favourite microblogging platform also passed the half-billion registered users milestone last year, and its popularity shows little sign of slowing.

Vkontakte continues to play an important role in Central and Eastern Europe, with the latest figures suggesting the platform has amassed just shy of 200 million registered users.

Meanwhile, the new breed of ‘Instant Messenger Plus’ platforms like WeChat (Weixin), Line and KakaoTalk look set to change the global social media landscape over the next few months, with Tencent’s WeChat already surpassing 300 million registered users.

Mobile
The mobile growth story continues to impress, with more than half a billion new subscriptions activated around the world in 2012.

Mobile subscription penetration now exceeds 91% of the world’s population, and although like-for-like data are hard to come by, it seems mobile now reaches at least as many people around the world as television.

The Future
All indicators suggest continued growth throughout 2013 too, so the critical question marketers need to answer now is,

How are we going to integrate all of these opportunities into a consistent and engaging approach that builds real brand value?

The answers to that question will be central to our posts in the coming months here on the We Are Social blog.

Stay tuned…

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Social, Digital, Mobile in Bangladesh

by Simon Kemp in News

Bangladesh is one of Asia’s giants, with a population of more than 160 million.

This ranks the country 8th in the world in terms of population size, ahead of Russia, Japan and Mexico.

Goldman Sachs also includes Bangladesh in its ‘Next Eleven’ economies, indicating that the country has a high potential to be one of the world’s biggest economies in the coming years.

However, many Bangladeshis still live on less than US$2 per day, and UNICEF reports that 50% of the country’s population lives below the international poverty line.

Despite these economic challenges, however, use of online media continues the stellar growth that we highlighted in last year’s report.

Internet use in particular has jumped exponentially, and according to figures from Bangladesh’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, users now stand at nearly 30 million across the country.

Critically, 94% of these users access the internet via mobile devices, the vast majority of which are feature phones.

This puts internet penetration in Bangladesh at 18%; that’s a huge leap from last year’s reported figure of just 1% (although that figure did not include mobile internet users).

However, perhaps the most staggering finding in this report is the fact that this figure is lower than the number of people who have no access to any media whatsoever.

Findings from Nielsen (cited here) indicate that 32 million Bangladeshis still have absolutely no access to media – 10% more than those who have access to the internet.

Much of this relates to economics; many Bangladeshi families still can’t afford a television, and an hour’s internet access in an internet café in Bangladesh costs the equivalent of 70% of the average daily income, putting the web well beyond the means of most citizens.

Perhaps for this reason, social media use in Bangladesh remains relatively low too, currently standing at just 2% penetration.

However, Facebook is adding a new user in Bangladesh every 20 seconds, and it’s likely that initiatives from some of the country’s telcos offering ‘free’ access to Facebook will help to boost user numbers well beyond the current 3.3 million in the coming 12 months.

There’s an obvious business benefit to this approach for the telcos too; almost half of Facebook’s users in Bangladesh are aged in the lucrative 18-to-24 age group.

More importantly, mobile subscriptions in Bangladesh continue to grow at a staggering pace, with the total now exceeding 100 million.

This means that penetration already sits at 63%, but this looks set to pass two thirds of the population in just a few months, with the country’s operators registering more than 50,000 new subscriptions every single day in the first 6 months of 2012.

And with a new mobile subscription activated on average every 2 seconds in Bangladesh, the country should easily add another 10 million subscriptions to its tally before the middle of 2013.

With growth like that, we’ll be putting Bangladesh in our ‘Digital Next Eleven’ as well.

The sources for all the stats can be found at the bottom of each slide in the SlideShare deck above. You can download a high-res PDF of this report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in Laos

by Simon Kemp in News

Today’s #SDMW report investigates the social, digital and mobile ecosystem in Laos.

Laos is one of Asia’s poorer countries, with average income hovering just above US$3 per day.

Two thirds of the population lives in one of the Laos’s 9,119 rural villages, and more than one third of the population is below the age of 15.

Official figures indicate that internet penetration in Laos remains relatively low, at just 8% – almost 3½ times lower than the Asian average.

However, these figures are from late 2011, and we estimate that the real number of internet users in the country is now much higher than the 527,400 reported by the country’s Ministry of Post & Telecommunications last December.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from Facebook indicate that at least a quarter of a million people in Laos use social networks, accounting for around 4% of the total population.

Critically, the number of Facebook users in Laos has jumped 64% in the past 6 months, with approximately 581 Laotians signing up to the network every day – that’s a new user every 2½ minutes.

The number of mobile subscribers in the country has also shown impressive growth since our last report at the end of 2011, with well over 1.5 million new mobile subscriptions delivering a jump of 43%.

Mobile penetration now stands at 83% of the population, up from 60% in our last report, with nearly 5½ million subscribers nationwide.

However, use of 3G services in Laos remains low, with estimates indicating that penetration is still less than 0.5%.

3G use has grown by almost 100% in the past 12 months though, and the ITU expects penetration to reach almost 20% within the next 3 years.

This has particular significance for Laotians, as it will bring internet services within reach for a far greater proportion of the population.

Access to infrastructure has been one of the biggest barriers to increased use of digital media in the country: according to data from Laos’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, fixed line telephony services still reach less than 4% of the population, and fewer than 25,000 people had signed up for an internet service provider by March 2012.

Indeed, more than one third of internet activity in Laos originates from mobile devices, and with desktops and laptops still beyond the means of most of Laos’s citizens, mobile internet access holds the key to online growth.

The good news is that 3G services already reach 80% of Laos’s population, and the government has a plan in place to extend this still further over the coming months.

Moreover, 4G services are already available in Laos’s capital, Vientiane, making Laos only the second country in ASEAN to offer such services after Singapore.

We fully expect that access to these advanced mobile networks will deliver impressive growth in all areas of Laos’s online ecosystem during 2013.

All data sources are at the bottom of each slide. You can download a high-res PDF of the report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in Cambodia

by Simon Kemp in News

For the next report in our series on Social, Digital and Mobile around the world, we’re exploring the fascinating ecosystem of Cambodia.

The Southeast Asian state’s population is just short of 15 million, but 80% of Cambodians still live in rural areas with limited technological infrastructure.

However, with almost two thirds of the country’s population under the age of 30, it’s perhaps less surprising that digital connectivity is increasing at an impressive pace.

Internet penetration in Cambodia is still on the low side at just 16%, but the number of internet users in the country has leapt up by almost 550% in 2012 alone.

Part of this growth has been fuelled by a surge in the number of internet providers, along with a 33% jump in the number of internet cafés in just the past few months.

However, the most exciting story comes from the handheld arena: almost one quarter of all Cambodia’s internet activity comes from mobile phones – a figure that ranks the country 15th in the world in terms of mobile’s share of internet activity.

Social media is still far from widespread in the kingdom however, with barely one in twenty Cambodians registered on a social network.

More than 1,000 people in Cambodia are joining Facebook every day though, so it shouldn’t take long for penetration to reach double digits:

Facebook Growth in Cambodia

Cambodians appear to be spending more time engaging with brands on social media too, with technology brands offering 3 of the top 5 most ‘Liked’ Facebook pages in the country.

Unsurprisingly, we predict that mobile activity will fuel growth in this area over the coming months too. With the average Cambodian possessing 1.3 mobile subscriptions, and with 3G penetration already beyond 20%, mobile phones are the obvious device of choice for much of the country’s population.

Indeed, Cambodia was the first country in the world to claim more mobile phones that landlines, and even today, fixed-line telephony services barely register, with just 4% penetration.

Meanwhile, demand for mobile devices shows no sign of slowing, and with clear momentum building behind smartphones in 2012, we’re expecting many more impressive numbers from Cambodia in 2013.

You can download a high-res PDF of this report here.

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