Digital 2013: Asia Social Media Statshot March 2013
We're pleased to share the latest of our statshots for social media use around Asia.
Today's snapshot offers a more comparable definition of 'users', and is based solely on active users*, rather than the overall user numbers we used for some countries in previous reports where active user data wasn’t available.
Social Media Users
Despite this recalibration, the total number of social media users across the top network in each of the 24 Asian countries we profiled in our 2012 reports has increased to 874 million, reflecting 18% growth compared to our last full report in October.
This represents growth of more than 10 million new users of social media every month – a figure that's all the more impressive considering Facebook's recent clean up of 'fake' accounts.
However, social media penetration has fluctuated around the region in the past few months, with a number of 'mature' markets – including Brunei, Singapore and Hong Kong – registering a drop in penetration as the frequency of Facebook usage begins to slow.
Overall though, regional penetration remained static at 23%, in line with the overall global average:
More importantly, the drop in penetration across mature markets has been balanced by on-going growth in markets like India and Indonesia, both of which continue to see social media usage expand at impressive rates.
However, the most interesting story comes from North Asia, where we're seeing accelerating mass adoption of mobile chat applications.
Neither Japan nor Korea was a 'Facebook market' in our previous report – Korea's primary social network was CyWorld, while Japanese social media users appeared to prefer Twitter – but the rapid growth of newer chat platforms may scupper the world's favourite network's plans to grow in these countries.
Indeed, KakaoTalk and LINE already dominate the social media landscapes of South Korea and Japan respectively, with both platforms registering significantly more users than Facebook and microblogs.
Similarly, while Qzone continues to be the region's largest social network by active users, we expect to see this situation change in the coming months as a result of the increased implementation of China's real name rules for social media use, and the continued expansion of platforms like WeChat (Weixin).
Indeed, WeChat's success beyond its home market of China looks set to be one of the biggest social media stories in Asia over the next few months.
Given these trends, it's clear that mobile's role in the Asian social media landscape looks set to grow in importance.
* Figures reflect monthly active users, except for Korea where we've used daily active user numbers. Note that user numbers for Japan and Korea have been extrapolated from available data.
This article first appeared on the We Are Social blog.