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The Asia-Pacific region has a massive social network user base and a broad landscape of social networks for marketers to work with. From social sites such as Tencent Qzone and Sina Weibo in China to the increasing popularity of Facebook and Twitter in countries like Japan, India and Indonesia, the options are extensive.
With such enormous potential, increased monetization efforts in the region by Chinese and other Asian social networks will boost social network ad spending in Asia-Pacific, according to eMarketer estimates released in November. eMarketer predicts that spending in the region will rise 48% in 2013 and pass the $2 billion mark.
Japan and China, which have more sophisticated social network economies than other countries in the region, are helping to drive Asia-Pacific’s growth. Marketers there want to reach consumers who have shown a strong propensity to interact with brands on social media sites. According to a Q2 2012 InSites Consulting study, 66% of social network users in China and 56% of those in Japan followed a brand on a social media site—both greater than the US’s 53%.
Growth in social network ad spending in Asia-Pacific will be in the middle of the pack among the worldwide regions throughout the forecast, but rising faster than mature markets in North America and Western Europe, according to eMarketer estimates. That rise, aided by the enormous user base in the region, will help propel the Asia-Pacific region to take a 22.9% share of the worldwide total in 2013, just surpassing Western Europe’s 22.3% share. In 2014, that gap will widen to about a 3-percentage-point difference.
Nonetheless, spending per user is quite low in the region, attributable to the enormous user base of 616 million, as well as the fact that some Asia-Pacific countries, such as India and Indonesia, have immature digital advertising economies.
China, with the world’s largest social networking market, will have 307.5 million users by the end of 2012, eMarketer predicts, nearly double the US user base. In 2013, social network spend in China will reach $612.8 million. The market will experience rapid growth throughout the forecast period, including a 51.3% gain next year, just slightly faster than the anticipated regional rise of 48.3%.
Neither Facebook nor Twitter has an official presence there, though, leaving marketers’ advertising spend to collect among homegrown networks such as Sina Weibo, Renren and Tencent’s various social platforms.
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