ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Asians in social media world
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.
Social media 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.
Facebook launched an Asian sales office in Singapore this month to be better positioned 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 of 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 per cent of the global figure.
In June this year Asians also "tweeted" the most on micro-blogging platform Twitter, outpacing the United States, according to data from Internet research company Semiocast.
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