Lately, Facebook has dominated headlines with news of regulatory issues and slowing growth. But that’s only
part of the story of how social media is evolving. Since 2015, the percentage of the world’s population using
online social networks has grown from 29% to 42%, according to agency We Are Social’s “Digital in 2018” report.
Globally, 3.196 billion people use social media.
The hottest social market is now Asia, which accounted for a whopping 64% of global growth in the past 3 years,
with social media use on the continent rising from 1.065 billion users in 2015 to 1.779 billion this year.
For global brands, Asia is a critical market to understand, with growing spending power and geopolitical
importance. In China especially, social platforms have become cultural nerve centers, rich with authentic,
passionate consumer opinion. More than social networking, these platforms integrate e-commerce, gaming,
payments and video. Users discuss products, companies and issues in hundreds of millions of public
conversations every day.
Of course, finding insights in Asian language text requires robust filtering technology and expertise. Enterprise
brands, particularly in the technology and gaming sectors, have begun to invest in analysts and algorithms that
can understand the zeitgeist of social trends across Asia. For its part, the Socialgist platform performs statistical
analysis on Asian language text to execute smart word tokenization that recognizes character combinations in
each language, and provides metadata to help you understand popular links and audiences.
In my experience analyzing social conversations in Asia, I have often found unexpected, nuanced opinions about
world leaders, brands and celebrities. Ultimately, studying consumer attitudes through social media without including platforms in Asia gives you a partial picture of global perceptions. Social’s reach continues to grow in emerging markets around the world, and new platforms will enter the landscape as it continues to evolve.