Social Media in the Philippines

Have you ever wondered how many Filipinos are as active as you are right now in the Internet? That’s exactly what Universal Mccann had in mind. In fact, the organization conducted a social media study covering 29 countries (in Wave 3*) and 38 countries (in Wave 4**), both of which include the Philippines. In fact, Universal Mccann shows how Filipino Internet users grew from 3.3 million to 4.2 million in about a year—the different between Universal Mccann’s Wave 3 study (completed in March 2008) and Wave 4 study (completed in March 2009). By March 2009, the Internet has reached 21.5% percent penetration in the Philippines.

Let’s put this into perspective:

Uploading Videos

From 60.13%, 67.51% of Filipino Internet users have uploaded videos in the Internet. If you are one of the people who have uploaded a video in your profile, that makes you one of the 33% of active Internet users who have uploaded a video in their profile—a stark difference from the previous Wave, where only 16.9% of the entire Internet population  have tried uploading a video.

98.1% of active Filipino Internet users have watched a video

67.51% of active Filipino Internet users have uploaded a video

That’s not very surprising—with the way Filipinos love uploading videos about basically anything. From learning how to be  a Filipino to dancing inmates, Filipinos would upload anything and everything. And let’s not forget the fact that Halili’s scandal seeped to the public through a video upload.

What this statistic shows is that Filipinos are beginning  to contribute content to video sharing websites at an increasing rate. In fact, it is oe of the most remarkably improved–only next to Korea, that is.

Watching Videos

When it comes to watching videos, Filipinos take the top spot—98.1% have already watched a video. That means about 4.12 million Filipinos have watched a video in Youtube, Google Video or one of the many video sharing sites.

67.51% of active Filipino Internet users have uploaded a video

98.1% of active Filipino Internet users have watched a video

And why not? WithFilipino-made videos like Juana Change, Happyslip, Moymoy Palaboy, what kind of Filipino would not want to watch videos? With the way Filipinos absolutely love watching television, it’s not surprising they’ve carried the same practice online. In fact, there are plenty of website that air television shows in the Philippines, one of which is www.pinoychannel.tv. Stick around and maybe you’ll find a video of me playing in a certain game show. 😉

Blog Readership

When it comes to reading blogs—otherwise known as online journals—how exactly do Filipinos fare? Mccann’s Wave 4 doesn’t mention the changes in the  blog readership of the Filipinos, but the statistic in Wave 3 give enough information as to how much Filipinos love reading blogs.

As a matter of fact, Filipinos are only second South Korea when it comes to reading blogs. The statistics of blog readership is in proportion to the total number of Internet users in that country.

90.3% of Filipino Internet users have read a blog

90.3% of Filipino Internet users have read a blog

From 64%, 90% of Filipino Internet users have read a blog.

From 64%, 90% of Filipino Internet users have read a blog.

One of the greatest proofs of the bloggers’ clout in the Philippines are blog organizations like Bloggers Kapihan and Cebu Bloggers Society. The Philippine Blog Awards, also, remain to be one of the major events where popular bloggers gather.  Perhaps this also explains why companies are beginning to tap into bloggers for publicity. An example of this is the Trinoma Blogger’s Tour.

Social Networking

83.1% of Filipino Internet users belong to social networking sites–the highest ration in any other country. That’s fairly unsurprising to me.  In the Philippines, two social networking sites (Facebook and Friendster) are among the top 3 sites in the Philippines. Multiply is the ninth, while Twitter is the eleventh. Filipino companies are also beginning to enter the sphere of social networking sites and applying traditional advertising principles (ie., banners in social networking sites) in these sites. This statistic also explains why Filipinos constantly trend in Twitter’s trending topics.

83.1% of Filipino Internet users belong to a social network

83.1% of Filipino Internet users belong to a social network

The Lowdown

Universal Mccann tells us that only 4.2 million Filipinos–21.5% of our total population–are in the Internet. That makes us the fourth lowest country when it comes to Internet penetration.

Philippines, fourth to the lowest when it comes to social media penetration

Philippines, fourth to the lowest when it comes to social media penetration

Personally speaking, I find 21.5% Internet penetration as just too low a percentage. That’s why I checked the areas covered by the Universal Mccann study, the areas shaded with red:

The places covered by the Universal Mccann Study

The places covered by the Universal Mccann Study

If you examine closely, only two areas of the Philippines are shaded red: a part in Luzon and Mindanao. Does this immediately eliminate Internet users in other places in the country, like Visayas or Southern Mindanao? If yes, then a big portion of active Internet users in the Philippines may have been discounted.

The areas in the Philippines covered by the Universal Mccann study

The areas in the Philippines covered by the Universal Mccann study

What Mccann’s study proves is that, given the number of people in the Philippines included in their research, Filipinos are truly active Internet users in more ways than one. Moreover, it also calls for an in-depth study about Internet use in the Philippines–that which will give a clearer and more solid insight on how active Filipinos use the Internet. Will such an in-depth study be helpful at all? If companies really want to look more into the behavior of Filipino Internet users, then yes, it is.

The results showed by Universal Mccann for the areas that they covered are promising, what more if a study applies to the entire Philippines? Since the country is an archipelago, it will help companies determine where to concentrate their social media efforts.

*To view the entire slideshow of Universal Mccann’s Power to the People study Wave 3, click this.

***To view the entire slideshow of Universal Mccann’s Power to the People study Wave 4, click this.

Disclaimer: All photos were taken from the Wave 3 and Wave 4 studies of Universal Mccann.

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