Thailand and Malaysia Are Southeast Asia’s ‘Digital Frontrunners’

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Thais are Digital Frontrunners

Source: Bangkok Post

Young smartphone users in Thailand are making up majority of mobile service usage in Southeast Asia, according to a recent study by Telenor Research. It revealed that Thailand’s young smartphone owners are leading the pack in terms of utilizing the internet on their mobile phones.

Respondents were spread out among seven countries; Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Serbia, Hungary, Sweden and Norway and all identified as ‘digital frontiers’ within ages 16-35. The survey examined usage patterns across a wide range of internet activities, from browsing, messaging and sharing, to shopping and watching videos. Here are Southeast Asia’s numbers:

  • Internet video call was the most popular among Thai users, with 65% using them daily
  • 68% of Thai users also said that they use messaging apps several times a day, compared to a high 71% in Malaysia
  • 49% Thai smartphone owners also admit to only using the SMS function on their phones once a month, or never

Thais are ‘Digital Frontrunners’, what does this mean?

The high percentage suggests that young consumers are adopting mobile browsing behavior and opting for internet services rather than old fashioned SMS messages. This could be one of the key reasons why Thailand has a high percentage of social commerce transactions through mobile phone applications and explains why Facebook chose Thailand as the first country to test out its social commerce payment system.

In Thailand, 32% use internet voice calls compared to 35% ordinary mobile calls. The small gap between indicate a shift regarding the future of mobile usage in Thailand and already evident growth of m-commerce.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 22. Read the full article here.

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