By the middle of last year, 924 million Internet users around the globe visited a social networking site, making it one of the most popular online activities, according to comScore.

More interesting for the issue at hand is the research the company conducted a few months earlier, based on data from its World Metrix service, that gives insights into social networking activity in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding China).

Their study found that 50.8 percent of the total online population in the Asia-Pacific region visited a social networking site in 2010, reaching a total of 240.3 million visitors. ranked already then as the top social network across the majority of individual markets in the region, while competing brands commanded the top position in certain markets, including Orkut in India, in Japan, CyWorld in South Korea and in Taiwan.

“While social networking continues to be one of the most popular and fastest growing Web activities in the world, its dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region exhibit significantly more individual market differentiation than in other global regions,” said Will Hodgman, comScore executive vice president for Asia Pacific. “In some markets, such as the Philippines, Australia and Indonesia, social networking is one of the most popular Web activities reaching nearly 90 percent of the entire Internet population, while other markets report less PC-based social networking penetration, which can often be attributed to the high propensity to engage in social networking via mobile devices in these markets.”

Social Networking Penetration Highest in Philippines, Australia and Indonesia

Internet users in the Asia-Pacific region averaged 2.5 hours on social networking sites and visited the category an average of 15 times. Across markets, the Philippines showed the highest penetration of social networking usage with more than 90 percent of its entire Web population visiting a social networking site during the month, followed by Australia (89.6 percent penetration) and Indonesia (88.6 percent penetration).

Social networkers in the Philippines also showed the highest level of engagement on social networking sites averaging 5.5 hours per visitor, with visitors frequenting the social networking category an average of 26 times during the month. Internet users in Indonesia also showed strong engagement with 5.4 hours per visitor and 22 visits per visitor, followed by Australia with 3.8 hours per visitor and 20 visits per visitor, and Malaysia with nearly 3.8 hours per visitor and 22 visits per visitor.

Social Networking Reach and Engagement in Asia Pacific Markets

  % Reach Average Minutes per Visitor

Average Visits per Visitor

Asia Pacific 50.8 148.9 15.1
Philippines 90.3 332.2 26.3
Australia 89.6 228 20.9
Indonesia 88.6 324.4 22.6
Malaysia 84.7 226 22.3
Singapore 83.7 220.9 22.1
New Zealand 81.2 217.5 20.3
Taiwan 75.9 131.3 18.3
Hong Kong 75.4 223.3 25.4
India 68.5 130.1 13
South Korea 63.5 131.4 16
Vietnam 46.1 49.5 7.2
Japan 42.3 120.5


Source: comScore World Metrix, February 2010
Total Internet Audience*, Age 15+ - Home & Work Locations
*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

Facebook Assumes Top Position in Majority of Asia Pacific Markets

An analysis of top social networks in each of the Asia-Pacific markets included in this report revealed various brand preferences across markets. was the social networking leader in eight of the markets – Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Vietnam – while in other countries competing brands captured the top position. Local players led in Japan ( and South Korea (CyWorld), while Google-owned Orkut ranked as the top social networking site in India and Yahoo!’s led in Taiwan.

Top Social Network in Individual Asia Pacific Markets by Percent Reach of Web Population


   Top Social Network in Market % Reach of Web Population
Asia Pacific 14.90%
Philippines 84.50%
Australia 69.40%
Indonesia 84.90%
Malaysia 77.50%
Singapore 72.10%
New Zealand 63.60%
Taiwan 62.50%
Hong Kong 62.60%
India  Orkut 46.80%
South Korea  CyWorld 54.20%
Vietnam 18.40%
Japan 18.90%

Source: comScore World Metrix, February 2010
Total Internet Audience*, Age 15+ - Home & Work Locations
*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

In the Asia-Pacific region, half of all Internet users visit a social networking site each month. Although Asia Pacific as a region reports lower social networking usage than other regions (due largely to low broadband penetration in some markets as well as restricted usage in places such as China), usage across the region continues to increase rapidly. Several markets in Asia were some of the most avid users of social networking in the world including the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, which each saw more than 90 percent of their online population social networking during the month.




What’s even more impressive than the sheer volume of traffic to social networks is the amount of time people spend on these sites. Social networks now capture more time than e-mail, news, games and entertainment activities online. Instant messengers are the only online activity more engaging than social networking in the region. In several markets, visitors are spending more than four hours a month on social networking sites including in the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand.


















The simple fact is that social networks just keep growing all across the Asia Pacific region leaving marketers no choice but to get engaged to keep pace with this trend.