Messaging apps are most utilised with over half agreeing that they text more than talk on their smartphones
With the escalating penetration of smartphones and improving internet infrastructure across APAC, the mobile device has become consumers’ primary gateway to the internet. According to a recent GfK study, accessing the internet via the smartphone has become a daily activity for 83 percent of the online users across eight key Asia Pacific markets, led by the Chinese (93 percent) and followed by the Thais (89 percent), Indonesians (88 percent), Singaporeans (87 percent) and Vietnamese (81 percent).
These are findings from the recent GfK study: The Connected Asian Consumer, which was conducted in May this year among 8000+ smartphone owners across eight Asia Pacific markets
“The smartphone gives an unparalleled reach to today’s connected consumer, which when compared with the different mass media, perhaps can be rivaled only by the TV, but even that is being challenged in a few of the markets,” highlighted Karthik Venkatakrishnan, APAC Director for Digital Marketing Intelligence at GfK.
Messaging apps: Becoming remote controls for day-to-day living
Messaging apps are used more than any other smartphone apps across most Asian countries, with Indonesia, India and Singapore taking the lead. Over 80 percent of users in each of the respective countries say they use it at least once weekly. At the opposite end is Japan, where less than two in five (39 percent) use messaging apps on a weekly basis
“At the rate which messaging apps are reportedly being used in this region, it is not surprising that a high proportion of connected consumers actually text more than they talk on their smartphone,” said Venkatakrishnan. “The top APAC countries where most consumers agreed with this statement were Singapore, Australia and India at 72, 64 and 64 percent respectively.”
Interestingly the Chinese still prefer to talk as much as they text—only slightly over a third (37 percent) of them agreed with this statement.
Social media: From simple networking to customer service and e-commerce
The Indonesians, Thais and Indians are the most avid users of social apps, with 86, 82 and 81 percent of these connected consumers using them on a weekly basis.
“Today’s social platform has changed over the years to now cover a much broader range of audience—not just the younger crowd who were the predominant users at the beginning,” said Venkatakrishnan. “They have also evolved from its original purpose of simple networking to now being heavily utilized by brands and businesses to engage their customers and to further their business agenda.”
For instance, nearly two-thirds of connected consumers in India (64 percent) and over half (54 percent) of those in Indonesia said they have some level of engagement with at least one brand on social media in the past week—making them the group of consumers in APAC who are most open to being engaged by businesses online. These are also the top two markets where consumers said they have watched online videos/advertisements by brands.
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