Southeast Asia

With a total population of 7 billion people, about 2.4 billion have access to the internet globally (of which 1.8 billion are “active social network users”). In addition, 6.5 billion people are mobile subscribers, setting penetration at a whopping 93 per cent, reveal the recent findings of Singapore-based social media agency We Are Social, basis its compilation of data on how mobile, internet and social media are being used globally.

According to We Are Social, social networks include major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Qzone, Google+, LinkedIn, Sina Weibo and Tumblr. Facebook continues to be ranked as the top-most used social platform, with China-based QQ as the runner up.


What’s up with Southest Asia?
In Southeast Asia, mobile penetration has turned out to be rather optimistic at 109 per cent, even if we discount the fact that most of the mobile subscriptions are probably running on feature or basic devices.

Southeast Asia enjoys 155 million internet users in a population of 630 million people. In the region, the number of social network users (number of accounts) has climbed to 161 million – one per cent more than the internet penetration.

e27 took a look at how mobile, internet and social networks are faring in the three Southeast Asian countries included in the data set: Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.



In Singapore,  a 100 per cent urbanised area with a total population of five million people, mobile penetration is at a whopping 148 per cent. According to Media Research Asia, the city-state also saw a smartphone penetration of 87 per cent, as of September 2013. Out of the 87 per cent, 81 per cent of the smartphone sales in Singapore go to Android platforms.

Additionally, Singapore boasts of an internet penetration of 73 per cent and a Facebook penetration of 59 per cent.



Thailand, a country which is widely known for its craze for social networks, reportedly, has a Facebook and internet penetration of 36 per cent and 26 per cent respectively. Thailand also enjoys mobile subscriber base of 84 million, giving its population of 67 million people a penetration rate of 125 per cent.

Social indicators also noted that an average user usually spends about three hours and 39 minutes on social media, and a good 36 per cent of mobile subscribers are users of location-based services.



As the largest country in the region, Indonesia stands as a stronghold of 281 million mobile subscribers. Its internet penetration at 15 per cent, however, is rather abysmal, even with a 25 per cent Facebook penetration.

Read also: Are we still talking about social location based apps?

In 2014, it is highly possible (also critical) and important for Thailand and Indonesia to pick up speed with regard to Internet subscription and social network usage. Singapore, on the other hand, could use some help in engaging its audience to become smarter users of smartphones and the Internet.

View the We Are Social’s slides:

Images: We Are Social