SINGAPORE: Six of the world's top ten countries for social media use are in Asia, recent research has revealed.

We Are Social's Digital in 2016 compendium highlighted the rise of social media across the region, which is outpacing Western markets in both the number of accounts and the time spent online.

More than 769m people in East Asia (Greater China, Japan and Korea) use social media, more than three times the number of people in South East Asia, the second placed region for usage with 239m, while in third place, North America has just 213m.

South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Thailand all ranked in the top ten countries, with the number of active accounts on the top social network in each country compared to the population all significantly above the global average of 31%.

South Korea ranks highest at 78%, with Hong Kong and Singapore both above 60%. The high numbers reflect the levels of connectivity of each market, which are among the wealthiest in Asia and also have very high smartphone penetration.

Though South East Asia's developing markets are playing catchup with connectivity, the numbers indicate huge future growth potential in coming years. Malaysia and Thailand in particular are already top ten players, despite have a lower internet penetration rate than other countries in Asia.

However, when it comes to the number of hours spent daily on social media, South East Asia is leading the charge with four developing countries in the top ten globally. 

The Philippines is number one globally, with its social media addicts spending more than 3.5 hours every day on social media. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia spend about three hours each on their favourite platforms, coming in at sixth, eighth and ninth respectively.

Data sourced from We Are Social; additional content by Warc staff