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Southeast Asia Has Among the Highest Social Network Usage in the World

Facebook is a key driver of growth across the region

November 25, 2015 | Social Media

Southeast Asia has some of the highest penetration of social network usage among internet users of anywhere in the world, according to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast for the region, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Social Network Users and Penetration in Select Countries in Southeast Asia, 2014-2019 (millions and % of internet users)

Indonesia has the highest social network penetration rate among internet users in Southeast Asia, with 77.4% of internet users visiting a social network at least once a month in 2015. Since Indonesia is also the largest country in the region by population, that cements its status as the largest social network market in absolute terms as well, with 72.3 million people using social networks monthly this year.

This number is set to climb to 109.8 million, or 82.2% of internet users, by 2018. The Philippines was No. 2 in Southeast Asia by both metrics, with 39.7 million people, representing 74% of internet users, regularly logging on to a social network in 2015.

Facebook Users and Penetration in Select Countries in Southeast Asia, 2014-2019 (millions and % of internet users)

Facebook has been the key growth driver for this forecast, with at least two-thirds of internet users in each of the countries regularly logging on to the platform this year. Indonesia is once again out in front with 67.7 million Facebook users (72.5% of internet users)—this number is predicted to grow to 105.1 million, representing 78.7% of all internet users.

Compared with Facebook, Twitter adoption within South East Asia is less strong. Vietnam and Singapore’s use of Twitter hovers around 10.5% of all internet users while Indonesia reports just 15.4% penetration, with higher growth predicted over the coming years than that expected for Facebook.

Twitter Users and Penetration in Select Countries in Southeast Asia, 2014-2019 (millions and % of internet users)

“Social network penetration, while high among internet users in Southeast Asia, is somewhat low in more general terms because internet penetration is lower than average in the region. This means that Southeast Asia presents significant opportunities for social network usage growth in the next few years,” said eMarketer VP of forecasting Haixia Wang. “With internet penetration still relatively low and mobile continuing to drive internet adoption in the key markets there, it will continue to be a hot spot for various digital activity growths in the next few years.”

eMarketer's forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

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