MANILA: The Philippines is one of the most social media savvy countries in Asia, a development not missed on Facebook, which opened its first office in the country last week.
Dan Neary, the company's vice president for Asia Pacific, highlighted research at the launch of Facebook Philippines that showed more than 49m Filipinos access Facebook every month, or 91% of the country's internet population.
Two-thirds of Filipinos are connected to a business Page on Facebook, he added, and they are using the platform to discover new brands and products.
"The Philippines is a highly engaged mobile-first nation filled with people who are creative, entrepreneurial and have a strong sense of community," Neary said in comments reported by Rappler.
According to data from Facebook Philippines, Filipinos spend 1.7x more time on Facebook and Instagram than watching TV. They also have 1.6x more friends than the global average, while sending 1.3x more messages than the global average.
Out of the 65% of Filipinos who access Facebook every day, the mobile app is used 90% of the time. Filipinos also spend one-out-of-five minutes online with one-out-of-four minutes on their mobile devices.
But Facebook is not alone in spotting digital opportunities in the country because Snapchat, the instant-messaging app, is also encouraged.
According to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel in a recent Bloomberg report, global users have recorded over 8bn video views per day, with each user spending about 30 minutes on the app.
And in the Philippines, where the average user spends 3.7 hours a day on social media, Snapchat has already gained a solid following among young users because of its unconventional approach to sharing on social.
As reported by Branding in Asia, Snapchat usage is expected to increase rapidly, perhaps in a similar way to Twitter, which Filipinos quickly adopted to the extent that it is now used by more than three-quarters (69%) of the entire population.
Data sourced from Rappler, Bloomberg, Branding in Asia; additional content by Warc staff