Thailand may not have the most advanced technology in the world, or the fastest internet speeds. But it has embraced the digital age more completely than any other country. The reasons can be debated, but the statistics are clear: With an incredible average of 9 hours and 11 minutes spent online per person per day, including 5 hours and 13 minutes spent using mobile internet, Thais are the most relentlessly connected people in the world. Again.
According to Hootsuite’s most recent report on Thailand, fully 90% of the country’s 57 million internet users go online every day, while none are in the habit of connecting just once in a month. Of the myriad online activities available for Thai internet users, browsing social media and watching videos remain the most popular. Google, Facebook and YouTube continue to top the country’s monthly web traffic reports.
Thai cybernauts spend an average of 3 hours and 11 minutes using social media each day. Much of this time may indeed be for purposes other than socializing; Hootsuite’s survey revealed that 34% of the country’s netizens use social media for work purposes.
As the king of social networking, Facebook gets about 400 million page views from Thailand each month, followed by YouTube (monthly traffic: 370 million). Though YouTube currently sees less traffic than Facebook in Thailand, it has overtaken the social network in terms of actual time spent.
Thai netizens spend 30 minutes per visit to YouTube, while Facebook visits are just half as long (14 minutes). Even though Facebook has been trying to encourage its users to post videos, YouTube is still considered the most popular video sharing site – and Thais enjoy streaming videos more than other types of content.
With streamed content becoming ever more normalized, it is no surprise that 98% of Thai internet users watch videos online each month.
Even though online platforms represent a clear preference among Thai consumers, traditional platforms like TV are still going strong. The average Thai person still spends 3 hours and 44 minutes watching television each day. Much of this time is likely spent outside of home, as TV screens can easily be found in public and commercial areas.
Breaking Down the Numbers
Taking a wider perspective, Thailand’s 2018 digital statistics show many similarities to the findings from the previous year. The number of active internet and social media users in the country are essentially unchanged, suggesting that the country’s digital environment may have reached its current capacity.
At the same time, however, the methods of connecting online continue to evolve. The number of mobile subscriptions in the country has once again increased, rising 1.7% to add more than 2 million new accounts. At the same time, the number of mobile social media users has also increased by 6.5%, for an addition of over 3 million new users. 71% of Thailand’s total population are now active mobile social users.
Smartphones are undeniably the most popular device for the country’s netizens to get online, dominating the means of internet access. 79% of the population in Thailand now accesses the internet through their smartphones. Online activities also vary according to the type of device that is used to get online. Thai mobile phone users engage in the following activities with their devices:
- 95% chat with others
- 95% watch videos
- 85% play games
- 74% use banking
- 80% use map services
In terms of mobile application rankings, Facebook is in second place behind LINE when measured by monthly active users. As a freeware application, LINE remains Thailand’s most popular chat service between electronic devices. Other notable findings include Lazada’s 5th place ranking. Thailand’s online marketplace continues to grow as people get more and more accustomed to online shopping.
Taken together, these statistics paint a very clear picture of how Thailand consumes its media. The country maintains its richly textured culture and traditions in so many areas – but its embrace of digital communication is complete and irreversible.
Simply put: If the business sector wishes to reach its customers, it had better invest heavily in online marketing. With the average Thai person spending more than half of their waking hours online, consumers are extremely well versed in the language and customs of online society – and particularly that of social media. For a business or organization to stand out in such a crowded field, they will need an attractive brand identity and excellent messaging.
Lexicon is a full-service digital marketing agency in Bangkok, Thailand. We specialize in corporate storytelling and produce all of our content in-house, including branding, copywriting, video production and graphic design. We bring all of our services together and use Digital PR and social media marketing storytelling to connect our clients with the ideal target audience.