Asians muscling into social media world

Sep 26, 2010 by Philip Lim
Asians are muscling their way into traditionally Western-dominated social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Internet blogs, prompting major players to sit up and take notice.

Asians are muscling their way into traditionally Western-dominated social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Internet blogs, prompting major players to sit up and take notice.

With more than 220 million bloggers in China alone and nearly three out of five people in Singapore having a Facebook account, Asia is presenting a huge commercial opportunity for online advertising.

guru Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific director of Ogilvy Public Relations' global social media team, said regional users were jumping on the social media bandwagon at a faster rate than the rest of the world.

"Asia is... the most exciting part of the world for what's going on in social media," he told AFP on the sidelines of a social media forum in Singapore.

Facebook launched an Asian sales office in Singapore this month in order to to be better placed to sell ads to companies aiming for the region's consumers.

"The Asian market's a very, very big market for us," said Blake Chandlee, Facebook's commercial director for regions outside North America and western Europe. "It's an enormous opportunity for us."

Chandlee said Asia was the fastest-growing among Facebook's geographical markets, or "theatres", despite restrictions on access in China.

Crampton said the growing number of Asians connected to the Internet was a key driver behind the region's social media craze.

A report in July by research firm Nielsen said that "while the US pioneered much of the early Web 2.0 and social media innovation, Asia is playing no small role in shaping -- and in some cases leading -- the new social media landscape."

The report added that "Asian social media adoption rates have surpassed Western adoption rates".

As of December 2009, China had 221 million bloggers or more than twice the number in the United States, it added.

Crampton noted that Facebook's ranking of leading markets showed Indonesia was already a close third behind the United States and Britain in monthly active subscribers -- and poised to take second spot within months.

Facebook refuses to give regional or country breakdowns, saying only that it has more than 500 million users worldwide.

Data from market research firm Inside Network estimated that monthly active Asia-Pacific users of Facebook numbered 117 million, or more than 20 percent of the global figure.

In June this year Asians also "tweeted" the most on micro-blogging platform , outpacing the United States, according to data from Internet research company Semiocast.

"Twitter users in Asia, mainly located in Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, account for 37 percent of tweets," said Semiocast, which studied 2.9 million tweets over a period of 24 hours on June 22.

It said US-generated tweets now account for only 25 percent of messages on Twitter, down from 30 percent in March.

Asia-Pacific users are also creating social media content "to an extent that is unheard of almost anywhere in the world," Crampton added.

Data from research firm Forrester showed Chinese, South Korean, Japanese and Australians creating video, music and text content for social media at a much higher rate than Americans did last year.

And despite China's ban on Facebook and Twitter, the nation still boasts the largest number of social media users in any country thanks to locally-developed substitutes, the Hong Kong-based Crampton said.

"What has happened as a result is that domestic players have arrived, and these domestic players are the rough equivalents of what is happening internationally," he added.

He cited Chinese video-sharing website YouKu and social networking site Qzone as "being one hundred percent replacements" for foreign sites such as YouTube and .

Explore further: LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook says Asia is fastest-growing market

Sep 21, 2010

Asia is the fastest-growing region for new subscribers to social networking site Facebook despite restrictions on access in China, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

Apr 18, 2014

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Researchers uncover likely creator of Bitcoin

Apr 18, 2014

The primary author of the celebrated Bitcoin paper, and therefore probable creator of Bitcoin, is most likely Nick Szabo, a blogger and former George Washington University law professor, according to students ...

White House updating online privacy policy

Apr 18, 2014

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...