Here are all of the posts tagged ‘SDMA’.
Our latest research shows that the number of social network users is still growing rapidly across Asia, with platforms in South and Southeast Asian nations seeing the largest gains since our most recent Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report just a few months ago:
With 27 million (9%) of the platform’s 300 million users checking in every day, and more than 100 million posts every 24 hours, it’s clear that Sina Weibo is one of the most active platforms in Asia.
Similarly, Tencent’s Weibo offering also claims around 300 million users, and is definitely up there in the world’s most important social networks.
Meanwhile, Facebook has added more than 20 million users across Asia in the past 6 months, and now claims more than 192 million users across the 24 SDMA markets.
Although it has now been nudged back into 3rd place on the global Facebook user rankings by Brazil, India has still added more than 7 million Facebook users in 2012, and its 46 million users account for more than 5% of the worldwide total.
Interestingly, despite being blocked in most of China, Facebook now counts more than half a million users on the mainland, in addition to the 15.5 million users across Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Twitter also continues to be hugely popular across the region: it’s now the number one platform in Japan, with Japanese the second most used language on Twitter worldwide.
Twitter has maintained its popularity in Indonesia too, although Facebook is still the Southeast Asian country’s most popular platform.
For our final report in this edition of our series of reports on Social, Digital and Mobile across Asia, we’re exploring the world’s most ‘social’ country: The Philippines:
The Philippines has long been renowned for its highly sociable people, but there’s something magical about the way Filipinos have embraced social media.
Indeed, in its most recent survey, the GlobalWebIndex found that The Philippines leads the world in social media usage:
This may be surprising considering that only one third of Filipinos have access to the internet, but when you consider that more than 95% of these netizens use social networking sites – with more than 90% on Facebook alone – the rationale becomes a lot clearer.
Facebook is easily the most popular online destination in the country, and Filipinos spend considerable amounts of time on the site despite a large volume of access coming from simple feature phones. Indeed, at an average of 21.5 hours per week, Filipino netizens spend a lot of time on the internet in general, and are second only to Singaporeans in the Asian league of time spent online.
The average web user in the Philippines is just 23 years old, while almost 6 out of 10 social media users are below the age of 24.
However, it’s important to put these ages into local context. During a recent trip to the Philippines, we learnt that Facebook is particularly popular amongst housewives – many of whom are in their early to mid twenties – with this age group spending considerable amounts of time chatting on Facebook and posting simple updates about their daily activities.
Many of the women we spoke to stated that Facebook plays a central role in their lives, allowing them to stay in touch with friends and family, and providing a critical source of entertainment and relief from daily chores.
However, the world’s favourite social network takes on particular importance in situations where family members are overseas, with Facebook providing a cheap but constant way to stay in touch with loved ones in distant lands.
This has particular relevance for marketers; roughly 12% of Filipinos live outside the country, and these Overseas Foreign Workers – or OFWs, as they’re commonly known – provide a significant inflow of cash for those who remain at home. As a result, families supported by OFWs often have more disposable income than wholly domestic families, and therefore make an attractive audience for brands such as FMCG (CPG) products and telcos.
Social networking use is not restricted to the families of OFWs, however; many of the teenagers we spoke to talked about Facebook in similar ways to their Indonesian peers, and many said they’d happily sacrifice other luxuries to ensure they continued to enjoy access to Facebook.
This prioritisation of social connectivity is not a new phenomenon in the Philippines, however. Until recently, Filipinos were the world’s greatest users of SMS, with the country’s residents sending more than one billion messages per day. During those times, we’d often hear similar stories of families foregoing meals in order to ensure their phone had sufficient credit (or ‘load’, as Filipinos call it) to be able to send SMSes.
However, these sacrifices should soon be a thing of the past, with Facebook introducing a whole series of initiatives to provide free access to its platform in The Philippines. The free 0.facebook.com service has been available in the country for almost 2 years now, and Facebook looks to be taking free access even further, partnering with hardware manufacturers to develop special chipsets to ensure that its platform is available to users regardless of which handset or telco they choose.
The commercial justification for this becomes clearer when we consider the fact that almost two thirds of Filipinos have interacted directly with a brand via social media in the past 12 months. Furthermore, almost three quarters indicate that they have expressed personal opinions about brands – good and bad – via social media in the past year as well.
The nation’s love affair with social media seems to have propelled the internet into the top spot in terms of media preference, with Filipino web users spending almost twice as much time online as they do watching television.
Alongside chatting and sharing content, much of this time consists of gaming. More than half of the nation’s web users play online games on a regular basis, and social gaming is particularly popular.
Social media growth doesn’t show any signs of slowing either, with Filipinos setting up more than a quarter of a million new Facebook accounts in the past 30 days alone.
Meanwhile, it seems Filipinos are taking advantage of other social networks to provide a more efficient answer to SMS, with Twitter in particular citing considerable opportunities in the country.
However, the available data may fail to portray a key reality in Filipino web users’ behaviour.
The research we’ve found suggests that less than a quarter of the country’s netizens use mobile devices to access the web, but our own experiences in the country suggest that this figure is likely to be far higher, with the majority of Facebook’s users accessing at least some elements of the platform’s services via mobile devices.
The reason for this discrepancy may lie in the way that people access these mobile services, and the way they talk about doing so.
A number of Filipino telcos offer ‘free’ dedicated access to Facebook as part of overall telephony bundles, many of which do not include any other form of internet (or even basic data) access. As a result, many research survey respondents state that they don’t have internet access on their phones (technically true), even though they’re accessing Facebook from their handsets multiple times each day.
However, as mobile broadband becomes more widely available in The Philippines, we expect to see an explosion in the number of people accessing multimedia content via mobile devices.
Videos and music are already hot favourites amongst ‘fixed’ internet users, and many of the younger people we spoke with transfer considerable amounts of this content to their mobile devices.
As a result, we anticipate that The Philippines, along with Indonesia, will see some of the most interesting developments in digital behaviour in the world over the coming months.
Stay tuned to find out what they might be.
This post concludes this edition of our SDMA reports; we expect to publish the next edition in the final quarter of 2012.
For today’s Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report, we’re covering Singapore:
And we’ve got a bonus report today too. Although Brunei Darussalam is a totally separate country to Singapore, there are many similarities in the two countries’ Social, Digital and Mobile landscapes, so we’ll explore the two of them together:
The island state of Singapore may be small – at just 710 sq km, it’s one of the smallest countries in the world – but its 5 million inhabitants enjoy one of the most advanced digital infrastructures in the world.
At 70% of the total population, Singapore has the highest penetration of smartphones in the world.
Singapore is also home to one of the most digitally native populations in the world: 97% of Singaporeans aged 15-19 use the internet on a regular basis. 80% of all Singaporean internet users access the web every single day.
Indeed, the internet appears to be fast becoming the number one medium in Singapore, with locals spending more than twice as much time using the web as they do watching TV. Nearly half of Singapore’s netizens also choose to get their TV and movie content fix via the internet.
The internet trumps print media in Singapore too, especially when it comes to the lucrative 25-34 year-old audience. At 80% penetration for this group, Facebook‘s reach is well over twice that of the Straits Times.
Social media in general play a key role in Singapore’s digital landscape, with the average local netizen spending about an hour every day on social media sites. Facebook is the clear leader, with more than half the total population maintaining a Facebook account. According to Facebook, well over half of these users check in every single day.
Games are another popular online activity amongst Singapore’s connected audiences, as any trip on the nation’s MRT subways system will attest.
Indeed, it seems Singaporeans convert every moment of ‘downtime’ into an opportunity to engage in some form of connected activity. Glance around any train carriage during rush hour, and the people watching videos or playing games on iPhones, iPads and Galaxies will invariably outnumber those not staring at a connected device. Even short escalator rides are an opportunity to watch another Youtube clip or share something via Twitter.
Although fewer reported data are available for Brunei, the digital habits of the nation’s population appear to be quite similar to Singapore’s.
Internet penetration is even higher than in Singapore, and is second only to South Korea across the whole of Asia.
Critically, Brunei has the highest rate of Social Media use in Asia, with 55% of the population maintaining a Facebook profile.
Mobile subscriptions in the country also surpass the total number of people, with smartphones again being the devices of choice.
The future hold some exciting developments for these Southeast Asian nations too; in particular, Singapore is set to enjoy widespread 4G coverage in the coming months, while other government-championed digital and social media initiatives look set to ensure Singapore is one of the world’s most connected countries.
Meanwhile, many companies are looking to Singapore’s net-savvy citizens as an ideal testbed for their latest innovations – even Facebook appears to have chosen the island state to be one of the first places to test the new Private Messaging feature for its Pages.
We fully anticipate that the next edition of this report, which we’ll publish in just a few months, will show some impressive new developments in these two countries. Stay tuned…
Today’s Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report explores the digital landscape of Malaysia:
Perhaps the most striking finding in this report is that Malaysians have the highest average number of friends on social networks of any nation on Earth. Indeed, at 233, the average Malaysian’s Facebook network is almost 80% higher than the global benchmark.
Social networking in general is particularly popular in Malaysia, with nearly half of the population maintaining a Facebook account.
Malaysia’s netizens appear to prefer the internet to TV, spending almost twice as much time online as they do watching television.
However, more than 40% of Malaysian internet users access TV and movie content via the internet, and 80% of Malaysian web users stream online video content each month, so this finding may be more about the choice of delivery channel than it is about actual content preference.
Social sharing drives much of this content consumption, and considering the size of the average netizen’s social network, it’s perhaps unsurprising to learn that around one third of the country’s internet traffic is generated by social sites.
This love affair with social media shows no signs of showing either, with Malaysians setting up almost a quarter of a million new Facebook accounts in the past 30 days alone.
This is good news for marketers in the country too; Malaysia’s netizens are the second most likely in Asia to interact with a brand in social media, and three out of every five web users indicate that they’ve done so in the past year.
Music is another favourite amongst Malaysians, with 86% of the country’s netizens claiming that they download music from the web.
Reassuringly for the music companies, however, Malaysians are not averse to spending money online, and the country’s netizens spend an average of US$2,000 online each year.
A considerable volume of this spending is on travel, and more than 80% of Malaysian web users have bought flights via the internet.
Indeed, Malaysians appear to be particularly comfortable conducting a wide variety of financial affairs on the internet: one study even found that 86% of the country’s netizens use online banking – one of the highest rates in the world.
As a result of this broad affinity for all things digital, we expect to see internet penetration rates and overall digital sophistication continue to grow in the coming months, and we predict that Malaysia will further consolidate its position as one of the region’s digital champions in 2012.
For today’s Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report report, we’re going to contrast two Southeast Asian neighbours: Thailand and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma):
The populations of the two countries are still predominantly rural, but they’ve adopted the internet in very different ways.
Thailand’s youth in particular are seizing the opportunities that the internet brings them, and as with their other Southeast Asian neighbours, much of this activity flow through mobile devices. Research from Nielsen indicates that 36% of Thai internet users access the web via mobile devices, but this ratio is considerably higher amongst younger demographic groups.
This is perhaps unsurprising in light of mobile statistics; Thailand’s mobile penetration rate is in excess of 100%, but nearly three quarters of Thai mobile subscribers are under the age of 24.
Overall internet penetration sits at just 27% of the population, but data suggest that those who use the internet prefer it above all other media. For example, Thailand’s internet users spend more than 50% more time online than they do watching television.
Social networking is one of the most popular online activities, with 85% of all netizens visiting social media sites at least once per week. Watching video follows close behind, with 82% of net users streaming or downloading video content each month.
The Thais are also Southeast Asia’s biggest gamers, with 60% of internet users playing online games several times each week.
The picture in neighbouring Myanmar is remarkably different though.
The internet is highly regulated by the ruling junta, and access to many sites is either blocked or restricted.
Tellingly, Myanmar is one of only a handful of countries in the world that advertisers cannot target on Facebook. This list has become ever shorter in recent months, but Myanmar (along with North Korea) is still unavailable in the self-serve options, even though the Yemen has recently appeared as an option.
However, the internet situation inside the country isn’t quite as bleak as it might appear from the outside.
Local observers suggest that many of those who wish to access the internet often find ways to do so – mostly through the country’s large network of internet cafés.
Despite the fact that the majority of these access points are regulated by the government, many Burmese still manage to create and maintain a Facebook account, and anecdotal evidence suggests that around 80% of Myanmar’s internet users have an account on the world’s largest social network.
However, this is still only 80% of a very small base, and while accurate figures are hard to come by, even optimistic estimates suggest that penetration levels are stuck around the 1% mark.
This may be due in large part to the general lack of telecommunications infrastructure in the country, where, like mobile phones, fixed line penetration also struggles to achieve 1% penetration.
This looks set to change in 2012, however, as the country’s mobile phone infrastructure evolves.
Our opinion is that improved access to more advanced mobile devices will help accelerate internet adoption, although access will still be through basic feature phones.
Observers within the country predict similar trends, with Mizzima.com suggesting the number of internet users will triple over the next couple of years.
Whether this ‘digital revolution’ has broader implications remains to be seen, but the future certainly looks brighter for those with an appetite for the internet.
Mongolia is the world’s most sparsely populated country, but that doesn’t stop us including it in our Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia coverage:
The data on this North Asian country is a little sparse too, but given that around 30% of Mongolia’s population is nomadic, this is perhaps unsurprising.
This mobile lifestyle may be one of the main reasons why the country has such a high level of cellphone penetration though; official figures put the rate at 88%, but recent estimates suggest the figure is quickly approaching 100%.
Conversely, internet and social networking penetration remain low in Mongolia, but our expectations are for these rates to rise steadily over the coming months as improved mobile data availability make it easier and cheaper for people in the country to access internet services via mobile handsets.
Our optimism is also buoyed by the country’s demographic make-up: more than one third of the country’s population is below the age of 14, and we expect this group to lead Mongolia’s adoption of digital services.
Another nation to watch in the coming months.
We’re sharing a whole clutch of Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia reports today, as we profile a number of different countries across South Asia.
The data for these four countries is slightly thinner than it has been for some of our other reports, but the numbers in today’s presentations tell some interesting stories:
The most striking finding in Pakistan’s digital landscape is that mobile doesn’t appear to be the driving force behind the country’s internet revolution, at least for the time being.
Indeed, fewer than 20% of Pakistan’s internet users log on via mobile devices.
Pakistan’s netizens also appear to have been reluctant to embrace social networking, with barely one quarter of the country’s internet users having registered on social networks.
There may be a number of reasons why popular international platforms don’t fare as well in Pakistan as they do in neighbouring countries, but it’s unclear whether these are the sole causes for the current low levels of social network penetration.
However, we anticipate that Pakistan’s netizens will soon adopt a preferred social network, and we expect to see a significant rise in the number of social media users in the country during the course of 2012.
At 85% of the total population, Sri Lanka has the highest rate of rural living out of all the 24 countries in our SDMA studies.
This may be one of the reasons why internet penetration remains below 10%, but also why Sri Lankans have embraced mobile telephony.
In contrast to Pakistan, it appears that mobile access will drive the next wave of internet adoption in Sri Lanka, with the number of people accessing mobile internet services in the country jumping by 169% in one quarter alone earlier this year.
Meanwhile, with more than half the nation’s internet users already on Facebook, we expect to see continued growth in social network penetration in Sri Lanka during 2012 too.
Much of the growth in social media usage in the country will likely be driven by feature phones access, but we anticipate telcos in Sri Lanka will make increasing use of free data connections to sites like Facebook (the 0.facebook.com offering is already available via the country’s Mobitel network) as a way of enticing new subscribers and converting them into longer-term customers.
Bangladesh’s low levels of urbanisation may be the key reason for the nation’s low level of internet penetration too, although even mobile phones have only recently passed 50% penetration.
However, things are looking very promising for the Bangladeshi internet, with penetration levels jumping 80% in 2010 alone.
Although accurate internet user numbers for the country are hard to come by, the latest figures from Facebook suggest that this rapid expansion has continued through 2011, with the number of registered users on the platform exceeding the total number of internet users by more than 20% (we believe this is a data recency issue rather than a peculiarity of the Bangladeshi digital landscape).
Meanwhile, figures from SocialBakers suggest that this growth may even be accelerating as we move into 2012, with the number of Facebook users growing by around 7% each month (that’s more than 140,000 new accounts every 30 days)
Social network penetration exceeds internet penetration in The Maldives too, although the overall digital landscape in the world’s lowest-lying country is considerably more robust than it is in the countries above.
The Maldives have the highest rates of internet, social network, and mobile penetration of today’s featured countries, although recent data from SocialBakers suggest that social media growth may have plateaued for the time being.
It’s also interesting to note that the country’s social media users skew towards an older demographic compared to many of the other countries we’ve profiled in these SDMA reports, with more than half of the users in the country aged 25 and above. This is in particular contrast to Pakistan, where almost two thirds of the country’s social media users are below the age of 25.
Mobile penetration is also well in excess of 100% in The Maldives, but considering how spread out the country’s population is, these high levels of mobile ownership are quite understandable.
Completing the South Asian picture
No study of the South Asian subcontinent would be complete without an exploration of India, so be sure to compare today’s reports with the numbers we presented in our recent SDMA profile of the country.
The latest in our series of reports on the Social, Digital and Mobile landscapes across Asia looks at Hong Kong and Macau:
These countries are some of the most advanced in the world when it comes to the penetration and adoption of digital technologies, with more than half of Hong Kong’s population using social media
As we’ve seen in previous reports, mobile technology plays a central part in the digital behaviours across these countries, but in contrast to their Southeast Asian peers, China’s islands are already prolific users of smartphones.
Hong Kong‘s population has already taken to smartphones in a big way, and many users there already regard their devices as indispensable. More than half use their phone to perform mobile searches every single day, while nearly one third of smartphone users in Hong Kong admits to using their device while in the restroom.
Although ‘official’ data for Macau is limited, the landscape looks similar to the other two countries, with high levels of sophistication and widespread digital adoption.