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Social media in Thailand - statistics & facts

Social media in Thailand began with Hi5 and myspace before the introduction of Facebook and YouTube. With increased internet penetration and smartphone penetration rates, Thais became more active online through other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, LINE, and most recently, TikTok. Despite stiff competition from other social media sites, Facebook and YouTube remain the country’s key platforms. Thais are also moving towards Chinese-based social media platforms such as WeChat, Sina Weibo, and Tencent QQ since Chinese culture is becoming more prominent in the country. Undoubtedly, social media has evolved into more than a way to connect; it is now an integral part of the user’s daily life in various aspects.

Major social media platforms in Thailand

Facebook is the leading user-generated platform among Thais. However, the way that Thais use Facebook has changed in recent years. Sharing pictures and information about their daily lives has become secondary to keeping up to date with the news or watching funny videos on the platform. Despite its popularity, the number of Facebook users is expected to decline, making way for more penetrative platforms. That being said, YouTube and Meta Platforms’ products, such as Facebook and Instagram, are facing increasing competition from other forms of social media in Thailand, especially from Twitter and TikTok. These platforms are becoming extremely popular among the younger generation of Thais who want to consume effective and time-efficient content in a fast-paced world.

Social media as a sales and marketing channel

There has been a constant increase in user-generated content, leading to a significant rise in influencers and online interaction. According to a survey conducted in October 2020, the majority of Thai respondents followed at least one influencer, making social media influencer endorsement one of the most effective marketing tactics for modern businesses.

Business owners in Thailand are also known to engage in ‘social commerce’ by selling directly through their social media pages or accounts. Thais generally prefer to purchase through the most popular social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, primarily by watching live streams. Businesses that operate through social media conduct customer service through chat applications such as LINE, Thailand’s most popular messaging platform. Because of the personal communication with online clients and the convenience of browsing and purchasing items, social commerce has significantly contributed to one of the primary reasons for social media use in Thailand in recent years.

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