The APAC region has become a powerhouse of social media and online communication in this digital age. Users from Asia-Pacific countries make up 2.4% of all global social media users worldwide, the highest concentration worldwide. Brands can learn a lot from observing global social media trends, even without immediate plans to reach a global audience. Identifying emerging trends and channels keeps your team — and strategy — ahead of competitors and your finger on the pulse of what’s current.
We uncover what this means for the region's intricacies of social media consumption, the most popular platforms, and the trends that drive their success.
This blog explores:
APAC, short for Asia-Pacific, is a region that encompasses a vast area in and around the Western Pacific Ocean, including countries such as China, Japan, India, Australia and many others. It's important to note that defining the official APAC countries can vary depending on specific criteria or context since there is no official definition of which countries officially belong to the APAC designation.
Prominent and reputable organizations such as the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agree on several countries that fall within the APAC region. However, there are differences in their inclusion of countries like Afghanistan, India, Laos and a few others.
The APAC region is a vibrant and diverse part of the world, celebrated for its cultural depth, cutting-edge technology and pivotal role in driving the global economy.
In 2023, the Asia-Pacific region was home to approximately 60% of the global social media user base. With a growth rate of 2.7% annually, this region is set to welcome over 59 million new users this year, surpassing the combined user influx of the rest of the world.
Asia is home to many popular social media platforms, but their usage and popularity can differ significantly from country to country. While we're familiar with the social networks in the Western world, many of these platforms may be off-limits in some of the world's largest markets. For instance, in China, popular platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter face accessibility hurdles due to censorship laws. As a result, other social media platforms have seen significant growth. Let's explore popular Asian social media apps and networks.
Across different countries, various social media channels have emerged as the go-to platforms for communication, entertainment and business. The following will explore some of the most popular social media channels in different countries.
As of June 2023, WeChat had over 1.3 billion monthly active users, making it the country's most commonly used Chinese social media app and overall platform.
With 343 million active users in 2023, Facebook is India's most popular social media platform.
With 95 million active users in 2023, Line is Japan's most popular social media platform.
With 71 million active users in 2023, Facebook is the Philippines' most popular social media platform.
With 17 million active users in 2023, Instagram is the most popular social media platform in South Korea.
With 15 million active users in 2023, Facebook is Taiwan's most popular social media platform.
With 51 million active users in 2023, LINE is Thailand's most popular social media platform.
With 99 million active users in 2023, Facebook is Indonesia's most popular social media platform.
Marketers must have an understanding of social media platforms in the APAC region even if the market isn’t their immediate focus.
This is because APAC trends can have a global impact. The launch of Douyin in China, which later became TikTok in North America, is a perfect example. In 2017, Douyin’s parent company, ByteDance, merged with Musical.ly, re-launching the platform as TikTok in the new region. Keeping up with APAC trends can help marketers gain insights into the next big social media phenomenon.
Beyond trends, the APAC region has a massive social media user base that North American marketers should not ignore. In 2023, over 52% of the world's social network users were in the APAC region. The growing user base presents an unparalleled opportunity to connect with a vast and diverse audience, particularly when exploring expansion opportunities and tapping into social demographics.
Finally, APAC is a perfect place to try new marketing strategies and engaging fresh audiences. Understanding the APAC markets can help marketers adapt to various audience preferences and foster new communities.
Dash Hudson's suite of sophisticated features is valuable for brands seeking to break into the APAC market or strengthen their global social media strategy.
With Dash Hudson's Competitive Insights, brands gain access to AI-powered solutions that revolutionize their understanding of the industry and competition on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. By leveraging this data, brands can make informed decisions and develop winning strategies to stand out from competitors in the APAC market.
Additionally, Dash Hudson's AI-Powered Social Listening tool enables brands to monitor relevant conversations to identify areas of success and opportunities within their content — effectively allowing brands to navigate the market and take advantage of APAC trends.
Douyin, known as TikTok outside of China, is a popular short-video-sharing platform that has become popular for user-generated content and creative video formats.
Douyin and TikTok are essentially the same platform but have different names in different regions. Douyin is the Chinese version, TikTok is the international version, and the same parent company, ByteDance, owns both.
Launched in September 2016 by ByteDance, this platform has become one of China's most influential social media platforms, with over 750 million daily active users.