Twitter, the social networking service, is finding that key cultural trends, sporting events and religious festivals are major drivers of growth in Asia-Pacific, a region that a senior Twitter executive has described as a “huge growth engine”.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific during a tour of major markets in the region, Sarah Personette, Twitter’s global head of client solutions, said Asia-Pacific made a “huge contribution” to the company’s revenue and audience growth in the first quarter.

According to the platform, APAC accounts for half of all global users of the internet (47%), mobile (48%) and social media (52%), while 60% of millennials aged 18 to 35 worldwide are expected to live in Asia by 2020.

“If we look at the fact that the majority of the millennial population will sit in high-growth urban markets – many of which are in APAC – coupled with internet connectivity trends, then the region represents a growing opportunity,” she said.

APAC consumers are increasingly turning to Twitter to comment on cultural events and the company noted an uptick during the recent enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in Japan, Twitter’s largest market outside the US.

Religious festivals are another big conversation driver in the region, according to Twitter, which observed 10.5 million tweets relating to Ramadan in April from Indonesia alone.

K-Pop, the popular South Korean music genre, generated 5.3 billion tweets in 2018, while sport is another social and activity that lies at the heart of Twitter’s growth strategy.

For example, there were 27 million tweets during the Indian Premier Leagues 2019 cricket season, up 44% from the previous year, while views of One Championship’s mixed martial arts videos grew from 2.3 million in 2018 to 4.3 million in 2019.

“We tend to be oriented around topics, interests and events that occur around the world,” said Personette. “It is a very different position from the Facebooks and Instagrams of the world.”

Meanwhile, video is Twitter’s biggest growth area and the company has formed about 60 video-content partnerships in Asia-Pacific, including the Indian Premier League, Channel 7 in Australia and DAZN in Thailand.

Sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by WARC staff