“We’ve seen that in mature markets where people have been online for years and where access is ubiquitous, the internet has already become a commoditised item that consumers take for granted.” says TNS chief development officer Matthew Froggatt.
A recent survey conducted by the British market research firm TNS has concluded that less digitally developed countries such as Malaysia have the most buddies in online social networks, the Japanese have the fewest. This project conducted 50,000 interviews spanning 46 countries.
Froggatt adds that “In rapid growth markets that have seen recent, sustained investment in infrastructure, users are embracing these new channels in much more active ways. The digital world is transforming how they live, develop and interact, and online consumers in these markets are leaving those in the developed world behind in terms of being active online and engaging in new forms of communications.”
TNS found that countries such as Egypt and China have over 50 percent of digital engagement than more mature markets such as Japan (20 percent), Denmark (25 percent) or Finland (26 percent), despite the latter having the more advanced internet infrastructure.
Social networking has skyrocketed in Latin America, the Middle East and China, but most in more established digital markets still spend more time on e-mail.
The study reveals Malaysians have the most friends on social networks, with an average of 233 friends, and also spend the most time using social media — an average of nine hours a week. Brazilians are also digitally popular, with an average of 231 friends.
The Japanese had the smallest average circle of friends at 29, and Tanzanians had an average of 38. But the study’s findings noted that some might embrace fewer — but closer — friendships.
Researchers also concluded that “emerging” digital markets have shot past more mature online markets in terms of blogging and social networking.
“The research shows four out of five online users in China (88 percent) and over half of those in Brazil (51 percent have written their own blog or forum entry, compared to only 32 percent in the US,” TNS said.
The heaviest users of social networking are in Malaysia, where they rack up nine hours per week, Russia, with 8.1 hours per week and Turkey with 7.7 hours per week.
The study also indicates those who have online access most often go to the Internet for media consumption; 61 percent of online users go to the Internet daily, compared to 54 percent for TV, 36 percent for radio and 32 percent for newspapers.
“The Internet is a huge part of life in the 21st century but how it affects our lives varies depending upon where in the world you live,” said TNS Chief Development Officer Matthew Froggatt said in a statement.