Not long ago, the Philippines was labelled as the “Social Networking Capital of the World.” It’s not very surprising as Filipinos, recoginized as one of the most active users of social networking sites, make use of popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for a variety of purposes beyond mere entertainment and “social networking” per se.
While online social networking sites influence much of the digital marketing trends in the Philippines, other web-based activities and platforms are now beginning to shape the country’s digital marketplace. The impact of the latest trends in mobile and search, e-commerce, web usage, online games and video among others are indicative of the evolving digital future of the Philippines.
The following digital trends are seen to be creating more avenues and opportunities for brands and businesses to gain more reach.
1. Growth of Internet Users in the Philippines
In the whole Southeast Asian region the Philippines’ Internet audience has the fastest growth, recording an increase of 22% since March of 2012. With more and more Filipinos gaining access to the Internet and personal computers, it is expected that the number of Internet users will boom from 33 million in 2013 to 41 million this year. This establishes the fact that the number of Internet users in the Philippines grows at a much higher speed than other markets.
Atop an expanding pool of reachable audience, Filipino Internet users spend a noteable average of 16.4 hours online everyday – one of the highest in Southeast Asia. This entails better engagement and access to your Internet audience.
2. Young Filipinos Drive Growth of Internet Users
Much of Internet penetration among consumers hit the younger age bracket. In the Philippines, 40% of the Internet market is comprised of 15-24 year olds, 27% is made up of 25-34 year olds while 35 year olds and older composes the remaining 31%.
Internet users under 35 are also heavier web users recording 16.4% of average usage as compared with those aged over 35 with an average usage of 16%.
3. E-commerce Patronage among Filipinos is on the Rise
With the emergence of local and national online retail shops, the Filipino audience is steadily getting hooked. At an average, the Filipino user spends 17.4 minutes in scouring online retail shops that reach 53.3% of Filipino Internet users.
The average Filipino spends 25.9 minutes surfing the web for news and information, with an average reach of 50% for news channels. On the other hand, blogs that feature relevant news get an 49.7% reach with Filipinos spending 14.4 minutes per visit.
While it’s relatively lower than retail and information, the travel category still sees healthy traffic with a reach of 27.8% of Filipino Internet users spending 15.7 minutes on travel sites such as airlines, travel agents and hotels/resorts.
4. Social Networking is still the Biggest Player in the Digital Market
In spite of the recent changes in the News Feed algorithm of Facebook, the number one social networking site in the world, social networking still captures the largest consumer time in the Philippines when pitted against other Internet services.
Across Southeast Asia, Social Networking screen time in the Philippines records the highest figure at 41.5%. Other services such as e-mail and instant messaging grab a 17.3% chunk of screen time while 14.5% is is used for entertainment.
5. Online videos and entertainment continues to build Filipino audience
Because a large chunk of the demographic of Filipino Internet users are composed of young people, entertainment achieved 82.5% reach in 2013 with the average user spending a 2.9 hours per day on entertainment sites.
In April 2013, online videos in the Philippines achieved 18% growth over the previous year.
While Youtube is still the most sought after entertainment/video sharing site in the Philippines, 14.5% of videos viewed are accessed through Facebook.
These trends continue to reinforce the importance of digital media in the Philippines as a potent and influential avenue in affecting people’s lives and businesses. More and more Filipino consumers are patronizing brands through various digital platforms. That being said, the Filipino digital marketplace sees an infinitely bright future and is definitely worth investing in.