Here are all of the posts tagged ‘mobile’.
Social Brands Part 4: On The Go Is The Way To Go
It’s official: mobile is literally everywhere. Google tells us that more people around the world now own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush, while the UN just revealed that more people have access to mobile phones than toilets.
Here’s how things break down by geography:
However, despite the cellphone’s ubiquity, a recent WARC study revealed that barely 39% of brand advertisers in APAC consider mobile to be ‘very important’ to their current marketing plans, and a scant 29% actually have a mobile strategy.
So why aren’t marketers’ plans in tune with their audience’s existing behaviour?
In other words, it’s highly likely that, around the world, more people now use mobile phones than watch TV:
That’s a huge shift. Moreover, global cellphone adoption is still growing at a rate of 140 million new subscriptions per quarter.
Of course, many people around the world still rely on more basic ‘feature’ phones, but these devices still provide a level of intimacy that TV can’t match.
What’s more, the shift to internet-connected smartphone devices continues to accelerate with each month that passes, with global mobile data usage currently increasing at close to 30% per quarter:
Out of Sync
Perhaps more tellingly, people are more emotionally connected to their phones too: as we highlighted in our recent report on the country, 70% of people in China – the world’s largest consumer market – said that they “can’t live without” their cellphones.
People used to say the same of TV, but ironically, many people now use their mobile internet connections to download ‘TV’ content to watch on their mobile phones (sans adverts).
TV clearly still has a vital role to play in the marketing mix of course, and this isn’t about replacing one medium with another. Indeed, mobile has a big part to play in the continuing evolution of TV by enabling and driving phenomena like second screening and transmedia storytelling.
But in a world where brands can reach more of their consumers, more of the time, in more contextually relevant and intimate ways through mobile than through TV, marketers must spend more time – and more of their budgets – exploring how mobile can help them engage audiences and reach their objectives.
If Your Marketing Isn’t Mobile, It Isn’t Going Anywhere
Mobile offers a very different kind of audience experience to TV.
The latter is still largely a communal device; a centre piece that takes pride of place in the heart of our living rooms.
However, mobile is more personal; its primary purpose has always been to connect us with other people, rather than simply delivering passive entertainment.
Critically, people have more control over what they do on their phones.
They decide which activities they participate in, what content they consume, and where and when they do so:
Because of their size and increasing flexibility, mobiles have also become many people’s most important devices.
To put things in perspective, a recent survey found that 1 in 3 American smartphone owners would even give up sex before giving up their phones.
And with more and more of our activities shifting to mobile devices, this intimacy for mobile seems set to continue.
But, perhaps because of this heightened sense of device intimacy, people don’t welcome interruptions on their phones.
As with so many of today’s big marketing opportunities, interruptive, broadcast approaches simply aren’t the best use of the medium.
Social by Design
Critically, mobile phones started life as truly ‘social media’ – they were always intended to be a means of connecting people.
However, as they’ve evolved from voice-and-text handsets into today’s multi-purpose connected devices, the scope of the social interaction they offer has increased dramatically, to the extent that telephony has dropped way down the list of activities people use their ‘phones’ for.
Meanwhile, the importance of social networking on mobile devices continues to grow.
Smartphone users check Facebook an average of 14 times every day, and American smartphone users spent 40.8 billion minutes on social media mobile apps in July 2012. On an annualised basis, that’s close to 1 million years of human time spent on mobile social activities in the US alone.
Meanwhile, another recent survey from J. D. Power found that, across all age groups, American smartphone users spend an average of almost 2 hours per week using social media apps.
comScore now reckons that 55% of all social media activity in the US takes place on a mobile device.
These trends aren’t unique to the US though, and based on our recent round of SDMW research, mobile’s share of social activities around Asia is likely to be even higher.
More importantly, with the increasing role of mobile instant messaging apps (MIMAs) like WeChat, Line, and Kakaotalk, mobile social’s share of our attention is only set to increase.
Mobile doesn’t just offer new opportunities to drive attention and engagement though; it is increasingly becoming a key channel for conversions too:
Here again, the role of mobile social comes to the fore, with around half of Facebook’s users checking the site while in stores.
As a result, within the next few years, marketing strategies that don’t come to life on mobile devices will never come to life at all.
That shift requires a significant re-evaluation of the way we approach communicating with audiences too.
We won’t be able to rely on interruption anymore, and as we saw in the previous post in this series, marketers will need to get much savvier at adding value instead of finding more efficient ways of distracting people.
Consequently, it’s imperative that marketers explore mobile-social synergies, and build contextual engagement into the core of their engagement strategies.
So how do marketers make better use of mobile apps?
First up, the answer doesn’t have to be about building native apps.
Indeed, even when native apps are available, people don’t always use them; as Mark Zuckerberg revealed recently, “there are actually more people in the world using Facebook on mobile Web” than using the iOS and Android native apps combined.
The real trick is understanding why people use mobile devices – what are the specific wants, needs and desires driving their behaviour?
The best mobile marketing embodies a few simple principles:
- Deliver something of value, whether it’s utility, entertainment, or social interaction;
- Take advantage of context, using mobile devices’ portability to offer different experiences depending on where and when people engage;
- Keep things streamlined, with content that’s easily accessible and suitable across a range of different devices and connection speeds;
- Build in device portability, allowing people to continue their experience across phones, tablets and computers if they choose to, especially when sharing things with other people;
- Harness layers of detail, allowing people to enjoy a rewarding experience whether they’ve got just 30 seconds on their work break, or 30 minutes on the bus home.
Stay In Touch
Lastly, don’t forget that mobile is still primarily a social channel – a reality that presents a huge opportunity.
Social media experiences will increasingly come to life on the go, and here at We Are Social, we’re already planning on the basis that mobile and social should be seamlessly integrated to provide the best possible social experiences, wherever and whenever the audience wants to engage.
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.
Get ready for some huge numbers, as our latest #SDMW report takes a comprehensive look at all the latest online stats from China.
China has been the world’s largest online market for some time now, but its growth shows no sign of losing momentum.
We’ve explored a wider variety of data than usual in this #SDMW report to give a full flavour of online behaviour and trends across China, so alongside the usual Social, Internet and Mobile stats, you’ll also find some amazing data on e-Commerce, m-Commerce and Location-Based Services.
Here are the headlines:
- China has 564 million internet users, and the country’s online population continues to grow at a rate of more than 4 million new users every month;
- There are at least 597 million active Social Media users in China, with Tencent’s QZone continuing to lead, both in terms of registered and active users;
- More than 1.1 billion mobile subscriptions have been activated in China, and China’s citizens activate 4 new subscriptions every second, driving growth of 10 million new subscriptions every month;
- Mobile internet continues to dominate in China, with more than 400 million people across the country accessing internet services from their phones.
These staggering numbers give a sense of the scale of the online environment in China, but it’s only when we put the numbers in perspective that they start to have meaning.
A large part of China’s appeal to digital marketers lies in the sheer size of its population: if you took just 1 second to say hello to each of the country’s 1.34 billion people, it would take you more than 42 years to greet the whole nation.
The population is still growing too, albeit not as fast of some of its Asian neighbours.
China’s citizens are also slightly older than their Asian neighbours, with the media age of the population sitting in the mid 30s.
The Internet In China
China’s internet users outnumber the entire population of Western Europe, and continue to grow at a rate of 1.6 new users every second.
Much of the new growth is being driven by people from rural areas accessing online services for the first time via their mobile phones.
China now accounts for 51% of Asia’s internet users, and at 42%, online penetration in the country is well above the regional average of 29%:
Mobile is the primary internet access device for everyone in China, with 75% of the online population using their mobile phone for at least some of their internet activities.
China’s netizens spend an average of 3 hours per day online across all devices, with the most popular activities including:
- Instant Messaging (88%);
- Web Search (80%);
- Online Music (77%).
Online finance activities like internet banking and e-transactions lead the fastest-growing internet activities, and more than 220 million Chinese people now use these services in some form.
Social Media continue to be the hottest internet story in China, with active users numbers fast approaching 600 million – almost twice the total population of the USA.
China’s social media users spend an average of 46 minutes every single day accessing social media sites; added together, this means social media users spent at least 167 billion hours – some 19 million years of human time – on social media activities in 2012.
The country’s social media landscape is dominated by platforms operated by homegrown internet company Tencent.
Counting users on its Qzone, Tencent Weibo and Pengyou site, Tencent claims to host around 56% of the country’s active social media accounts, and QZone is home to at least half of Asia’s total social media population:
Weibo have been a real Chinese Social Media success story in recent months, and with more than half a billion registered users on Tencent’s Weibo service, it’s perhaps little surprise that weibo have garnered so much media attention both with China and abroad.
Moreover, 89% of China’s netizens have used a weibo at some time or other.
Active user numbers are a slightly different story though, with Sina’s Weibo service leads the weibo ctagory with almost 300 million active users:
The impressive growth of weibo were eclipsed in late 2012 though, with the explosion of one-to-one messaging services led by Tencent’s WeChat service.
With user numbers already in excess of 300 million, WeChat combines the convenience and intimacy of a messaging platform like WhatsApp and microblog-like ‘public posting’ features similar to those of weibo and Twitter.
WeChat is currently growing at a phenomenal rate, adding around 25 million users per month, the majority of whom are in China. Analysts are confident WeChat will add at least another 100 million new users in 2013.
More conventional instant messaging services continue to be ubiquitous in China too, with the country’s top platforms claiming more than 1.2 billion accounts. Tencent’s QQ service alone claims nearly 800 million users accounts.
In August 2012, 167 million of QQ’s accounts were online at the same time, setting a new record for the number of simultaneous users of the service. That’s more than the entire population of Russia.
Given all of this, the commercial opportunities offered by social media in China are clear, and extend well beyond the simple user numbers.
Two thirds of China’s social media users interact with brands in some way through social sites, and engage with an average of 8 brands each.
80% of the country’s social media users say they use these sites to search for information about products and brands, and almost 4 in 10 actively refer to their friends’ social media activities when making purchase decisions.
Social media use is also spread across age groups:
28% of weibo users actively search for brand information in weibo, and 50% of all weibo users claim to visit e-Commerce sites after noticing relevant information in weibo posts.
These numbers have inspired nearly a quarter of a million companies to set up a Sina Weibo account, and 25% of Fortune 500 companies – primarily companies based in the West – have a presence on China’s most active weibo platform.
72% of Sina Weibo’s users access the site via mobile devices, meaning the service’s contextual relevance has particular significance during active purchase occasions.
This contextual relevance extends to messaging apps too, and Tencent logs more than 700 million location-specific activities ever day via its QQ and WeChat services – that’s more than 8,000 every second.
Professional Social Networking is also on the rise in China, with more than 70 million people now using dedicated platforms to build their business networks:
The largest professional social network, Tianji, is growing at a rate of around half a million users every month, while LinkedIn has enjoyed some success in China too.
China’s mobile market continues to expand at an astounding rate, with 4 new subscriptions every second driving growth of more than 10 million new subscriptions every month.
Phones have become an integral part of Chinese citizens’ lives, with 70% claiming that they “can’t live without” their phone.
This may be due to the impressive functionality available on even relatively basic handsets in China:
It’s the mobile internet opportunities that we find most exciting though, and at 420 million users, penetration of mobile internet in China has already passed 30%.
China’s mobile internet browsers enjoy a variety of online activities from their handsets:
- News (62%);
- Web Search (46%);
- e-Books (44%);
- Weibo and Microblogs (41%)
The popularity of eBooks is of particular note; reading literature via mobile devices is hugely popular in China, and searches for eBooks topped the 2012 mobile search query rankings on China’s top search engine, Baidu.
China’s mobile users are still skewed towards younger age groups though, and 62% of the country’s subscribers are under 30:
You’ll find plenty more invaluable stats in the full report – here are some more highlights:
- China’s e-Commerce market was worth more than 1 trillion RMB in 2012 (more than US$160 billion);
- Location-Based Services reach 217 million people in China;
- There are 350 million visitors to online video sites in China, who watch a combined total of more than 4 billion hours of online video every month.
If you’d like to know more about this report, please contact us by email, or call Simon Kemp on +65 9146 5356.
We’d also love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions via the comments section below.
Meanwhile, you can download a high-res PDF of the full report here.
Please note that you’ll find the relevant source for each of the individual stats in this post, and for each of the data points in the report, at the bottom right-hand corner of the relevant slide(s) in the full report.
The online environment in Pakistan is changing rapidly, as a quick comparison between today’s report and our first edition from December 2011 will testify.
The key headlines from this second edition are as follows:
- Pakistan has almost 30 million internet users, although penetration remains low at just 15%;
- Social Media use has grown by almost 50% since our last report, passing 8 million monthly users in the past couple of weeks;
- Mobile continues to grow quickly, with the country’s telcos adding more than 1 million new subscriptions each month in 2012.
As ever with our SDMW reports though, it’s the more focused details that tell the best stories.
With more than two thirds of Pakistan’s 190 million inhabitants below the age of 30, it’s clear that the nation benefits from a young and dynamic population.
Furthermore, despite financial challenges – the average income in Pakistan is less than $3,000 per year – Pakistanis are embracing connected devices and the content that they offer.
Interestingly, 80% of Pakistan’s netizens spend more than one hour each day on the internet, although the average ‘internet session’ lasts just 5 minutes, suggesting that Pakistanis go online multiple times each day for short ‘browsing snacks’.
The majority of netizens use laptops to access the internet, although 30% of internet users go online via a mobile phone – perhaps unsurprising given that more than 100 million mobile subscriptions have been activated in Pakistan to date.
Mobile penetration still remains relatively low however, at just over 60% – well below Asia’s regional average of 82%.
Social media penetration also remains acutely low, with barely 4% of the country’s population using Facebook, even though the site appears to maintain its position as the most popular social network in the country.
Social media remains a largely male preserve too, with men accounting for almost 70% of the country’s social media users.
However, Facebook is adding new users in Pakistan at a rate of one every 12 seconds, and 28% of social media users make use of 2 or more platforms, suggesting plenty of potential for growth in social media use in the country during 2013.
Crucially for marketers, two thirds of the country’s Facebook users are below the age of 25, and more than half of them come from the country’s richest 10% of households, resulting in a highly concentrated social media audience of young, affluent consumers.
Nearly three quarters of these users log in to Facebook daily too, and spend an average of 40 minutes on the site each day, mostly between 6pm and midnight.
Twitter users hover around the 2 million mark, although some estimates put Pakistan’s Twitter population closer to 3 million. Google+ also appears to have a certain popularity in Pakistan, although exact user numbers are harder to come by.
As with many countries around Asia though, the real excitement lies in mobile. Someone takes out a new mobile subscription every 2 seconds in Pakistan, resulting in growth of 46,500 new subscriptions every day.
Despite this impressive growth, however, mobile internet usage remains sparse, and just 15 million people in the country access internet services via mobile, even though the government reports that 64% of the population has the potential to access mobile internet services.
Of those who already access the internet via mobile, 75% do so via Symbian-powered devices, and most people in Pakistan continue to rely on feature phones.
Lack of 3G coverage may play a role in the slow uptake of mobile internet, and extending the coverage of these faster networks beyond today’s paltry 0.4% of the population would likely boost the country’s online connectivity.
These numbers all point to significant opportunities for growth though, so Pakistan is certainly another one to watch for 2013.
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.
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 focuses on one of Asia’s most exciting markets: India.
With the world’s second largest population, India holds huge potential for marketers from all over the world.
The country’s 1.2 billion inhabitants have embraced social, digital and mobile technology too, and India’s online ecosystem offers some truly startling numbers.
To start with, here are the top headlines:
- India has 137 million internet users – more people than the total population of Japan.
- More than 60 million people in India use social networks – equivalent to the total population of Italy
- India is home to a staggering 934 million mobile subscriptions – equivalent to more than 13% of the world’s entire population
Despite these impressive numbers, however, internet penetration in India remains quite low, with just 11% of the population having used the internet.
The country’s 137 million users still put India in 3rd place on the global rankings by number of internet users though, and this number is continuing to rise by at least 1.5 million users per month.
Moreover, with 56% of India’s population aged below 30 – and a new child born in the country every 2 seconds – it’s clear that India’s digital journey still has plenty of potential for growth.
Indeed, India is the fastest growing online market in the world, and internet usage grew by more than 40% in the year to July.
Indian netizens also appear to spend a considerable amount of time online each day – up to 8 hours each – which adds extra weight to the basic user numbers.
These users spend plenty of money too; The Times of India reports that Indian youth will spend more than US$9 billion on mobile internet activities in 2012 alone. That’s more than the GDP of the Bahamas.
Social Networking continues to be the main driver behind much of India’s increased online activity, although social media penetration in India remains remarkably low at just 5%.
Facebook continues to dominate India’s social media landscape with more than 60 million active users, and the world’s most popular platform show no signs of slowing either, adding a new Indian user every single second.
With social networking use expected to grow by more than 50% in 2012, it’s likely that these numbers are also on the conservative side; estimates from eMarketer and Global Web Index both put Indian social networking users above 75 million.
Interestingly, 60% of India’s Facebook users are under 25, with barely 12% over the age of 35. They’re still predominantly male too, with barely 3 female users in every 10 on Facebook.
More than half of India’s social media users purport to use more than one social platform too, with Google+ claiming the second largest user base at around 50 million.
Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular amongst Indian netizens, with each claiming more than 15 million users.
YouTube has particular appeal for Indian audiences too, with 20 visitors every single second. Each month, almost 56 million visitors from India consume more than 4 billion videos – 25% of them via mobile devices.
And it’s mobile usage like this that’s leading the charge towards the future.
With almost 1 billion mobile subscriptions, India’s mobile market is second only to China’s.
Critically, more than one third of these subscriptions are from the rural areas that are home to 69% of India’s population.
Many of these rural areas still lack fixed communication infrastructure (mobile subscriptions outnumber fixed line telephones 30 to 1), so mobile holds the key to India’s evolving digital world.
Tellingly, there are already more than 50 million mobile internet users across the country, but this 36% of users accounts for more than 50% of national internet use.
Smartphone use is also picking up quickly in India, and the nation’s 27 million smartphone users each spend an average of more than 40 days every year using their phones – roughly 16% of their waking lives.
With numbers like that, it’s clear to see why we’re excited about India’s digital future too. We’ll see you there.
The sources for all the stats can be found at the bottom of each slide in the SlideShare deck above. You can also 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.