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Social media & mobile in Thailand: numbers, main players and trends

23 Jan 2014

Social Media Thailand

 

Thailand is one of the hottest playgrounds for social networking platforms – with numbers that keep on growing especially for what concerns mobile penetration.

As the Bangkok Post recently reported:

“The number of mobile subscribers in Thailand this year exceeded the entire population by one-third, as some people subscribe to more than one number. The local mobile market grew by 9% to 95.5 million this year, with 25 million 3G customers using the 2100-megahertz network.”

 

95.5 million mobile phones out of a population of 67 million is a big number indeed. How many of them are active on social networks?

 

The Thai Facebook population

The answer is: a good amount, for sure.

Over 35% of the population is on Facebook, as the country counts more than 24 million total users (12,2 million men, 12,6 million women), which used to be 17 million less than one year ago, in Q1 2013.

The huge metropolitan area of Krung Thep Maha Nakhon – which the world knows as Bangkok – counts 13,6 million Facebook users.

The social network literally exploded in the country in 2010, with a 300% growth over the course of the year (source: Inside Facebook).

 

Facebook-Thailand

 

Yet it’s still making it on national news: in December 2013 a child murderer was caught by the police after Thai Netizens started posting about the missing kid on a series of local Facebook pages (full story on Tech in Asia).

 

The record of Instagram

Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram seems to be unstoppable in Thailand: the most photographed place in 2013 was the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok – one of the biggest mall in all Asia (picture below). The Bangkok Airport (Suvarnabhumi Airport) ranks among the top 10 as well.

 

Siam Paragon

 

But it’s not just about tourists: Thai stars are a big thing on Instagram. Actress Pachrapa Chaichua has 1,8 million followers, young drama actors Nadech Kugimiya and Prin Suparat well over 500 thousand.

 

Pachrapa Chaichua Instagram

 

The Thai Twitter scene

As reported by Tech in Asia, Twitter is rocking too:

“Throughout 2013 there were more than 1.7 billion tweets in the Thai language. Those were tweeted by 1.73 million users.”

 

The penetration of Twitter in the country is reflected by the presence of the most important brands and personalities on the platform. The largest Thai mobile provider (DTAC) counts over 180 thousand followers on Twitter.

The Thai account of former Prime Minister Abhist Vejjajiva is followed by over 456 thousand people; prominent Buddhist monk V.Vajiramedhi almost a million.

 

Twitter Thailand

 

Mobile in Thailand: WeChat vs. LINE

With a 130% mobile penetration and 25 million 3G users, Thailand is a quite appealing market, especially for what concerns Asia-based mobile IM platforms.

 

WeChat Thailand

 

In fact, Thailand is among the most important markets for WeChat and LINE, and both of them count several million users in the country. The latter claims to have 20 million users in Thailand, and partnered with L’Oreal to launch a local m-commerce campaign for Maybelline – all of this in December 2013.

 

Social media marketing?

For what concern marketing purposes, Facebook is still the main hub for many brands, both local and global – such as Pepsi and KFC, that run local FB pages counting well over a million fans (PepsiThai and KFC Thailand).

What are the best practices to engage Thai users on social media? Check out our analysis of five cool Facebook marketing campaigns coming from Thailand.

Guido Ghedin

Guido Ghedin

After his University years between Italy and California, today he deals with Market Research and Digital Scenario Analysis at Young Digitals. You can follow him on Twitter: @guido_ghedin.

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