The many uses of social media
As the Asia Pacific region is becoming increasingly connected with quicker broadband speeds and stronger internet access, Asian consumers have past the point of using social media merely as a means to connect with friends and family. Social media stands as a retail platform for consumers to shop, review, and become more aware of products available – propelling consumerism to an all-time high. Influencing culture is also a widespread trend throughout the world and Asia Pacific alike. Celebrities endorse products through social media as a means of enticing social media users to purchase products or follow certain trends. Influencers are paid to make posts on social media which will appeal to their followers. In this way it was calculated that Japanese influencers made an average of over four Instagram posts a week. Social networking sites have also allowed people to connect on a professional basis with internet users all over Asia Pacific stating they use social media for work purposes. Gaming through social media is yet another feature which has emerged, with platforms making it possible for users to compete against each other through online games.
Facebook remains a key social media platform throughout the world and Asia Pacific, having reached just under a third of the world’s population. Asia Pacific accounted for an astronomical number of Facebook’s monthly active users and also represented a dramatic share of the social media market in the Asia Pacific region. However, despite Facebook’s huge success across the region, Asian platforms are on the rise throughout Asia Pacific. WeChat (Weixin), owned by Tencent, is a messaging, social media, shopping, and online payment services which has found significant popularity in Asia. The social media site recorded over 1.2 billion monthly users in China alone. Qzone, TikTok, QQ, Line, and Sina Weibo have all emerged as beloved Asian social media networks, with each platform making a prominent mark on the industry. With the number of social media users growing continuously and expressing no plans to limit their usage, it appears as though social media will remain a dominant force in the Asia Pacific in years to come.