Social media penetration has remained stable in Malaysia, according to the latest data from YouGov and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Four-fifths (80.5%) of internet users have used WhatsApp in the past week, a dip of 2.0 percentage points (pp) from the previous year.

Facebook is the second most popular platform in Malaysia and also registered a drop in penetration this year. Just under four-fifths (78.4%) of internet users said they had used the platform in the past week, down 3.9pp year-on-year.

YouTube follows in third and managed to grow 0.5pp to 72.2% in 2019. Instagram continues to record strong growth, nearing one-half of internet users (48.2%).

Although penetration has largely remained flat, consumption is growing rapidly. Over one-half (51.9%) of WhatsApp users said they have spent longer on the platform in the past 12 months – only 7.8% said they have spent less time.

For Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, twice as many users say they are spending more time on the platform than those who say they're spending less time.

Facebook Messenger bucks this trend though, as most users (44.9%) are spending less time – although penetration has recorded two years of growth.

Asia Pacific is driving over one-half of total Facebook user growth, with India, Indonesia and the Philippines being key growth areas. Across Asia, gaming and e-commerce are two areas of growing interest and are increasingly being integrated with social platforms.