State of social networks in Southeast Asia

Are you curious about which social network is the most popular in each country in South East Asia? Do we see Facebook domination across countries or we have different pictures for each country?

I attempt to answer that question by using data from GlobalWebIndex. Before looking at the statistics, it’s important to understand that GlobalWebIndex uses Panel based questionnaire and some data from third parties.

Active user is defined as someone who uses/contributes to a social network in the last 1 month using either PC/Laptop/Mobile.

One user could use multiple social networks at any given time.

And I have a great news for you if you are big on Mobile First for APAC. GlobalWebIndex does have data for some of the Mobile First Social Networks as well.

Update 1: I remake the below content into powerpoint. So if you want to have the powerpoint version, here is the state of social media in Southeast Asia 2013

Update 2: Here is the state of Social networks in APAC in Q3 2014.

1. Facebook dominates social network landscape on PC across SouthEast Asia

This shouldn’t come as a surprise with Facebook reaches consistently around the 45% – 50% mark.

Thailand is the market that Facebook has the highest reach amongst PC users at 56.3%

facebook google+ twitter reach across south east asia countries


If you need the absolute numbers, below is the monthly active users for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam according to GlobalWebIndex

facebook google+ twitter monthly active users in singapore malaysia indonesia thailand philippines and vietnamAs you can see from the graph, Facebook PC population is highest in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam with nearly 19 million users in each country.

2. Facebook is still winning on Mobile, yet Twitter is challenging the number 2 position from Google+

Below is the monthly active users on Mobile for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter across the 6 countries in SouthEast Asia:

monthly mobile active users for facebook google+ twitter across southeast asiaIndonesia seems to be the most active social network population in SouthEast Asia, even though the online penetration is the lowest. Interestingly, Twitter population in Indonesia is actually more than Google+.

Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore users don’t seem to use Google+ and Twitter on their mobile as much with only 1.4 million Twitter mobile users in Thailand, 1.8 millions in Vietnam and 0.5 million in Singapore.

3. Whatsapp leads the way when it comes to Mobile First messenger/social network in South East Asia

With a total of about 21.31 million mobile monthly active users, Whatsapp user base is nearly 1.5 times more than the nearest competitor Line, 2 times more than KakaoTalk and 3 times more than WeChat.

monthly active users for line kakaotalk wechat whatsapp in singapore malaysia indonesia philippines thailand vietnam


Whatsapp is particularly strong in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, leading by more than 2 times the number of mobile active users compared to the nearest competitor Line.

However, right now the nature of Whatsapp is still mainly a messenger Mobile First app VS the Mobile First Social Network nature of Line, KakaoTalk and WeChat.

4. Singapore social network and messenger app on PC and Mobile in details

The graph below shows monthly active users in millions for different social networks and Messenger app in Singapore.

We have data for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter on PC and on Mobile.

singapore social network messenger app on pc and mobile

You could see that Facebook and Whatsapp dominate the market by a wide margin on PC and Mobile.

5.  Facebook, Whatsapp and Google+ are amongst the most popular in Malaysia

Malaysia shares the trend in Singapore where we see high numbers of users for Facebook on both PC and Mobile, Whatsapp on Mobile and then Google+ on PC

malaysia popular social network and messenger app on pc and mobile


6. Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp are the most popular social network and messenger app in Indonesia

Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp are the most popular social network and messenger app in Indonesia


7. Thailand users seem to favor PC social networks vs Mobile First networks or Messenger App

As you can see from the graph below, the number of users for Mobile version of social networks or Mobile First Messenger app are quite small in comparison to their PC counterparts.

thailand monthly active users on social network and messenger app


8. Popular mobile app in the Philippines

The graph below shows the number of monthly active users for different mobile apps in the Philippines

popular mobile app in the philippines

Interestingly we see Facebook Messenger, Skype and Twitter amongst the top 6.

eBay and Amazon mobile apps seem to do pretty well, with both are in the top 10. Google’s You Tube with 7.56 million users is the strongest Google App on Mobile platforms in the Philippines.

9. Popular Mobile Apps in Vietnam

popular mobile app in vietnam by monthly active users

It is not a big surprise to see Google Map, Facebook and You Tube are the top 3.

Instagram and Line each has about 1 million monthly active users while KakaoTalk is at 1.3 million monthly active users.

At 1.45 million monthly active users for Ovi Maps from Nokia, it looks like Vietnamese has a strong need for Map/Navigation Map.

Thats all from me for today everyone.

Have a great weekend,



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