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Internet use is almost synonymous with social media use in Indonesia, according to February 2015 polling by Asosiasi Penyelenggara Jasa Internet Indonesia (APJII). Using social networks was the most common digital activity conducted in the country, and beat out browsing and searching for information by nearly 20 percentage points among internet users surveyed.
APJII investigated Indonesia’s internet user population demographics and characteristics as well as its preferred activities. Though the digital audience was about evenly split when it came to gender (51.0% female), there was a decided skew when it came to age. Just under half (49.0%) of the internet population in the country was between 18 and 25 years old, with another 33.8% ages 26 to 35. That means more than eight in 10 internet users in Indonesia were under age 36.
The youth of Indonesia’s internet population could be one reason for the popularity of social networks—not just in absolute terms, but in relation to other digital activities. Social network penetration is high in many countries with older internet populations, but other activities surpass or rival it. In Indonesia, meanwhile, only 25.4% of internet users report using email, making social networks more than three times as popular. And only 11.0% reported buying and selling online, making social networks nearly eight times as popular.
The vast majority of internet users used a mobile phone to conduct their online activities. Fewer than one in three respondents went online via a laptop computer, and desktop or tablet access was even less common. By contrast, 85% of the internet population of Indonesia went online via mobile phone.
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