Thursday November 19, 2009 17:06 —PRESS RELEASE LOCAL
Social network site (SNS) users in Asia/Pacific indicate that MOBILE is now the way to go, potentially overtaking PCs as the device of choice, according to IDC's recent survey-based report, Examining Usage, Perceptions, and Monetization: The Coming of Age for Social Network Sites in Asia/Pacific [Doc #AP628202S].
In countries such as China, India, Korea, and Thailand, over 50% of the users interviewed have now made accessing SNSs via the mobile phone a weekly habit. This is particularly widespread in the China and Thailand markets, where 62% and 65% of respective users regularly obtain news alerts and notifications, receive and reply to messages, upload photos, or update personal status and profiles on popular SNSs via mobile phone browsers.
By contrast, Australia and Singapore see the lowest percentage of users who access mobile versions of SNSs, where only 19% and 25% of respective users login weekly via their mobile browsers.
“The prevalence of owning a cellular phone over a PC in China, India and Thailand has directly boosted the popularity of mobile SNS access,” said Debbie Swee, Market Analyst, IDC Asia/Pacific Emerging Technologies Research. “In Korea, however, there is strong usage for a different reason — the market is technologically advanced and has already seen mass adoption of mobile Internet as compared with all other countries surveyed in the study.”
"As for Australia and Singapore, despite also being technologically advanced markets, the overwhelming importance of the PC over mobile has created strong inertia against adopting regular mobile access of SNSs," Debbie continues.
The IDC survey further indicated that mobile operators’ pricing strategies are possibly keeping many non-users away from mobile social networking. Majority of users who have never logged in to SNSs through mobile phones before have cited the hefty data tariffs as the main obstacle. These service fees can be in the form of mobile Internet, SMS or MMS access.
SNS users have, however, asserted that more are likely to try out mobile versions of SNS if telcos offer more affordable data rates. The availability of user-friendly mobile applications is also perceived as a notable area of improvement, albeit to a lesser extent.
"The survey findings thus show that mobile phones and mobile Internet hold the promise of changing the SNS landscape in the Asia/Pacific region. Particularly in markets where PC penetration is relatively low, mobile phones have the potential to eventually overtake the PC as a preferred way of accessing SNSs,” said Debbie.
“For mobile operators in China, India and Thailand, IDC believes a low flat-rate Internet access fee would complement and increase mobile SNS adoption. However, in Australia, Korea and Singapore where data tariffs are already relatively low, operators need to correct users’ misconceptions of pricey data plans through advertising and other marketing efforts. Failing to do so could mean that mobile Internet applications and services, not just mobile SNSs, will take longer to truly take off," Debbie adds.
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Social Networking Sites (SNSs) - Web-based services that facilitate interaction between groups of individuals, by allowing them to (1) create public or semi-public profiles, depending on the privacy level set, to describe themselves, (2) link to a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and organization of these connections varies from site to site. SNSs include sites such as Friendster, Facebook, Hi5, and MySpace. Non-SNS include sites such as YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia.
About IDC’s 2009 Asia/Pacific Social Networking Sites (SNS) survey conducted by IDC’s Asia/Pacific End-User Research and Statistics (ERS) Group
IDC's Asia/Pacific Social Networking Sites (SNS) survey was conducted by IDC's Asia/Pacific End-User Research and Statistics Group (ERS). The consumer survey interviewed 1,400 social network site users, aged between 15-35 years old, from December 2008 to January 2009. The survey is part of a series of studies that evaluate the impact of Web 2.0 on Internet users in Australia, India, China, Korea, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 45 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.
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