Here are all of the posts tagged ‘asia’.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Following the launch of our regional Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report last week, today we’re delighted to launch our series of reports into individual countries.
The first of these reports covers one of Asia’s most exciting markets: Vietnam.
With a population in excess of 90 million and an economy that grew by 5.4% in the 3rd quarter of this year alone, Vietnam represents a huge opportunity for brands all over the world.
The country’s social, digital and mobile landscape is evolving at an astonishing rate too, with internet users in the country increasing by 5% since our last report on the country at the end of 2011.
Key figures in this new report include:
- Almost 31 million internet users, representing penetration of 34%;
- More than 8.5 million social media users, but penetration of just 9% shows plenty of potential for more rapid growth;
- A massive 129 million mobile subscriptions, representing penetration of 139%;
- 19 million mobile internet users, equating to penetration of around 21%.
As the figures above suggest, feature phones still dominate Vietnam’s mobile landscape, but smartphone use is definitely on the rise.
We also noted a reduction in the number of mobile subscriptions since our last report, but given that subscription penetration still sits at around 139%, this likely reflects a consolidation towards a single active subscription per user rather than a drop in mobile use.
However, the most dramatic change in the country’s digital landscape this year has been the shift in power in social media. Just 12 months ago, there were only 2.9 million Facebook users in Vietnam; today, there are more than 8.5 million – a growth of almost 200%.
Startlingly, data from Facebook itself suggests that the network’s user base in the country has grown by 500,000 in the past 2 weeks alone. This data is backed up by Facebook metrics experts SocialBakers, who present the following impressive chart:
Although sudden increases like this are more likely to reflect a correction in Facebook’s data than an actual single-day change, these new numbers are still significant.
We’ve also heard anecdotal reports that some of Vietnam’s restrictions on Facebook have been lifted recently, so Facebook’s recent growth may genuinely have been quite dramatic, as local netizens realise they have easier access to the world’s most popular network.
It’s not just the speed of this growth that’s important though.
Up until last week (and indeed as we reported in our regional report just a few days ago), the leader in the country’s social media scene was local network Zing, which claims around 8.2 million users.
Although these latest official user numbers for Zing are a few months old and actual users may have increased since, it appears that Facebook has taken the number 1 spot in Vietnam, meaning it may be another step closer to its quest for world domination, as this revised version of our Social Network Map of Asia shows:
Intriguingly though, there is evidence to suggest that interest in Zing has also picked up again in the past few days, as the Google Trends chart below highlights. Note the sharp uptick towards the right-hand side, which shows that Zing is currently experiencing its greatest volume of search traffic for the past 12 months:
We’re still waiting to hear back from a representative at Zing for more up-to-date user numbers, but either way it seems that Vietnam’s social scene is certainly hotting up.
And given that almost 4 in 5 social media users in Vietnam have ‘Liked’ or follow a brand in social media, we’ll be paying close attention to where things progress in the coming weeks and months.