Social media in Indonesia: big numbers with plenty of room to grow

Indonesia_Joko Widodo_Mark Zuckerberg_Facebook_Feature Image

Recent reports from eMarketer and We Are Social paint a vibrant picture of Indonesia’s social media landscape.

Indonesia has a population close to 260 million people. While only one third of Indonesians are actively using the Internet that is still a lot of connected people – 88 million, according to We Are Social.

Here’s a graphic from We Are Social’s Digital in 2016 report showing Indonesia’s Internet, mobile and social user numbers.

Indonesia_We Are Social_Digital Year Book 2016_600

These are big numbers, but even further growth is expected as regulatory and infrastructure issues come into line with the country’s digital transformation.

For example, eMarketer expects the country’s social network user base to expand 52% from 2015 figures to hit 110 million users by 2019.

Here’s a breakdown of Indonesia’s current social media landscape:

1. Social media

Indonesians love social media. More than 80 million people in the country use social media, but this is still only one third of the population.

Indonesia_eMarketer_social media penetration_600

What’s interesting is social media is not used solely for social communications. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are some of the more popular platforms, but Line, Whatsapp and Path are also used as part of sophisticated ecommerce strategies for small businesses.

And the audience is young.  Almost 90% of Indonesia’s social network users are under the age of 34 (54% of them between 16 and 24), according to eMarketer.

Facebook

Three in four Indonesians using the Internet are also using Facebook. (That number is even higher as a percentage of total social media users in Indonesia – 94%). This is one of the highest Facebook penetration rates in Southeast Asia and ranks Indonesia (with 78 million Facebook users) fourth in global Facebook users by country.

eMarketer predicts there will be more than 100 million Facebook users in Indonesia by 2019.

Indonesia_eMarketer_Facebook penetration SouthEast Asia_400

As a testament to just how important Indonesia is to Facebook, (and equally how important Facebook is to Indonesia), here is Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer, Facebook, during a visit last week to the social networking site’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.

Indonesia_Joko Widodo_Mark Zuckerberg_Facebook_Feb16_300

At the time of publication, this post had attracted almost 250,000 likes.

Instagram

Instagram is growing in popularity in Indonesia and currently ranks second most popular social network behind Facebook for young people, according to January research from eMarketer.

Citing a survey from mobile research firm JakPut, it found 87.5% of mobile Internet users aged 16 to 35 used Facebook in the past week. This was followed by Instagram at 69.2% and Twitter at 41.3%.

The highest demographic to use Instagram was the 20 to 25 age group at 73.8%.

What’s interesting, is how they use the platform. According to the report, top pastimes on Instagram include exploring online shopping accounts, checking funny or joke accounts and posting travel photos.

eMarketer_Leading Instagram activities 16-35_Indonesia_204304

Body Shop Indonesia as an example, has almost 100,000 followers.

http://www.instagram.com/p/BB7MYEAFEtK/?taken-by=thebodyshopindo

InstaMeets are also hugely popular in Indonesia. One of the largest Worldwide InstaMeets was held in Jakarta in March 2015.

To learn more about how Instagram is being used in Indonesia, check out this video.

Twitter

Twitter comes in third as most popular social media platform in Indonesia, with close to 17 million users.  In recognition of the importance of this market, Twitter opened an office in Jakarta in March 2015.

It launched self-serve ads a month later – specifically targeting the country’s millions of small to medium businesses.

Indonesia_eMarketer Twitter predictions Southeast Asia

The social media platform has also been credited for its role in the Indonesian presidential elections in 2014. Denny JA, the founder of Indonesian Survey Circle, had 2014’s second most retweeted tweet when he posted in favor of Joko Widodo’s presidential bid.

Here’s the tweet:

2. Mobile

What can’t be underestimated is the role of mobile in Indonesia. We Are Social’s Digital in 2016 report estimates 70% of web pages in Indonesia are served on mobile phones.

More than nine in 10 social network users in Indonesia access social media via a mobile phone.

Indonesia_We Are Social_Websites Served to Mobile_Jan 2016_600

Mobile Internet ad spending in Indonesia will account for 25% of all digital spend this year. By 2019, that figure will hit 60% and account for 15% of total advertising spend.

Indonesia_eMarketer_Ad Spend_Sept 2015

Indonesia is a mobile first country – which means many of its newest users are discovering the Internet for the first time from a mobile phone. For brands engaging social media strategies in Indonesia, mobile user experience needs to be at the forefront of all marketing considerations.

*Featured image reproduced courtesy Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook.

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