People wanting to get onto social media is what is now driving internet penetration across Asia, where social usage is generally above the global average – to the point where one observer has described it as an “addiction”.

In 2018, nearly a million people went online for the first time every single day, propelling the world’s internet population to almost 4.4 billion, according to Simon Kemp, founder and CEO of marketing consultancy Kepios.

“We see that the desire to use social media is actually one of the main things that brings people online for the very first time,” he told a recent Singapore event.

Citing figures from We Are Social and Hootsuite, he observed that South Korea (95%) and North Korea (0.1%) were at opposite ends of the Asian internet penetration spectrum, but added that “as a region, we are doing pretty well and very close to the global average”.

When it comes to social media, however, APAC is above average, he noted. (For more, read WARC’s report: Gaming, groceries and social: Asia’s biggest social media trends.)

Social media is “one of the biggest drivers of the time that we spend online as well as the number of users using the internet”, said Kemp, adding that only 17 million out of the world’s 3.5 billion active social media users are not accessing the internet by mobile.

In terms of eligible penetration, or share of users aged 13 and above who use social media, the worldwide average is 58%. That the majority of APAC markets are well and above this global average, he noted, is “fairly demonstrative of the fact that a lot of people in APAC are totally addicted to social media”.

While Facebook and YouTube remain the world’s top social platforms, new regional players are emerging – like TikTok, the Chinese short-form video-sharing app which boasts more than 500 million users.

TikTok is currently stepping up its efforts to woo users and advertisers in small-town India, where its engagement rates are reported to far outweigh those seen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sourced from WARC