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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     October 18  2016  

Brunei has highest social media penetration in ASEAN

Brunei has the highest social media penetration in ASEAN at 69 percent, more than double the global average, according to data published by We Are Social, a global digital media consultancy.

A regional report released by its Singapore office, titled 'Digital, Social & Mobile in Southeast Asia in 2015', stated that Brunei had 270,000 active social media users in the fourth quarter of 2015, representing 69 percent of the population.

The vast majority of these users — some 250,000 people — predominantly used mobile devices to access social media, representing an overall mobile social penetration rate of 64 percent.

According to the report, Brunei has an internet penetration rate of 81 percent, representing 319,000 active internet users on both fixed and mobile connections. That figure has grown by almost eight percent since 2014.

We Are Social said that digital connectivity in Southeast Asia has grown rapidly over the past year, with much of this growth attributed to widespread access to internet-enabled mobile devices.

In ASEAN, eight countries have mobile subscription rates greater than their populations, with the exception of Myanmar and Laos. Brunei has a total of 495,000 mobile subscriptions, 1.26 times its population.

“This mobile connectivity is quickly influencing the shape of the social media landscape too,” said Regional Managing Partner of We Are Social Simon Kemp in a blog post accompanying the publication of the report.

“Publicly available data indicate that Facebook remains the most popular social platform in all countries around the region… LINE registers almost as many monthly active users as Facebook in Thailand, and Viber is hugely popular in the Philippines.”

Across Southeast Asia, Facebook still ranks number one among users, followed by WhatsApp and QQ. Instagram and Twitter came in seventh and eighth, respectively.

“The social media landscape in Southeast Asia is becoming increasingly varied and exciting. The publicly available data suggest that Facebook is still the region’s most popular social platform, but other choices — notably chat apps — are capturing a significant share of people’s time and activities,” said Kemp.

The latest data suggests that Facebook remains hugely popular with millennial audiences, more than 70 percent of the platform’s 230 million users in the region are under 30 years of age.

Statistics showed that the largest demographic of Facebook users in Brunei was the 20-29 age group, reflecting the region-wide trend.

“Blackberry Messenger — now available to users of most smartphone operating systems — still has an impressive user base in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia,” said Kemp.

Social media use in ASEAN averages at 37 percent, just six percent ahead of the global average. However internet usage in Southeast Asia still lags behind the global average (40 percent vs 44 percent), but the increased accessibility of smartphones and mobile broadband subscriptions has significantly boosted connectivity across all of the region’s developing nations during the course of 2015.

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