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SEA Insights

Instagram, Snapchat make headway in SEA

Kristie Thong

Southeast Asia Editor

Social 31.03.2017 / 00:00

social media apps on phone 2 col

More consumers in the region are turning to these photo-sharing social platforms

There is a plethora of image-editing and selfie apps in Google Play and Apple’s App Store today, and this is due to the growing popularity of photo platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. The increased use of Snapchat, particularly among younger millennials and Gen Z consumers (aged 16-19), has spurred social apps such as Instagram and Facebook and even messaging app Whatsapp to introduce similar story-like features that disappear after 24 hours.

While the use of Facebook and YouTube continues to dominate the social experience in Southeast Asia, there are an increasing number of consumers on Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram is most popular among consumers in Malaysia and Singapore, with 73% and 63% of connected consumers on the platform respectively. In these two markets, one in three connected consumers is sending photos on Snapchat. Developing markets are also catching up, with an average of 40% using Instagram and 13% on Snapchat.

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“The rise of Instagram and Snapchat highlight how consumers are eagerly adopting visual ways of expressing themselves, as they embrace the ability to capture and share moments,” says Zoë Lawrence, APAC Digital Director at Kantar TNS. “Importantly, the adoption of these new platforms is incremental – people are using them in addition to Facebook, WhatsApp and other social channels. This provides brands with multiple new channels to engage with consumers in a deeper and more effective way.”

While younger consumers are the biggest social media users across all platforms, Kantar TNS’ Connected Life 2016 study highlights unique opportunities in consumer behaviour. There is a rise in the ‘Insta-Gran’, where one in five (19%) internet users in Asia Pacific aged 55-65 now use Instagram, a 47% jump from the year before. This age group is also venturing onto the temporary photo-sharing experience of Snapchat, with 9% on the platform up from 2% in 2015.


Be mindful of consumer attitudes

While there are new opportunities for brands to engage connected consumers, brands need to be mindful of evolving consumer attitudes. 25% of consumers in Southeast Asia will not follow a brand on social media, but influencers may hold the key to connecting with consumers: An average of 79% of connected consumers in Southeast Asia will check out social media posts from celebrities or social media influencers.

Younger consumers are more influencer-oriented while the older generations rely on friends and family. However, older consumer groups have gradually adopted social media tools and it’s likely they may soon also refer to influencers for inspiration and information.

 Lawrence recommends that brands no longer look at social channels as “blank media space for advertising”. “Consumers are demanding content that is integrated seamlessly into the platform, enhancing rather than interrupting the use of it. To do this successfully, it’s essential to maintain the brand values of the platform being used. Instagram is a place for highly-curated, enhanced images, whereas Snapchat is raw, in-the-moment and humorous. Brands need to approach each platform individually to ensure the content created mixes seamlessly into the user-generated feed and maintains their own integrity.”

Source : Kantar

Editor's Notes

Connected Life by Kantar TNS is a global study of the digital attitudes and behaviours of 70,000 internet users across 57 countries. It uses comprehensive analysis of how connectivity changes people’s behaviour to address the big challenges for marketers. It does so by looking in detail at consumers, connections, content and commerce, providing the strategic guidance needed to keep, engage and influence the people that matter.

For more data and insights on connected consumers in Southeast Asia or to speak to an expert, please contact us.

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