When you think of social media, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a Meta platform, such as Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. Indeed, when I wrote the recently-published Webcertain search and social report 2023, I found that these three platforms dominated the social media landscapes of countries time and again. But assuming that the Meta platforms dominate everywhere would be a mistake that could lead to you missing out on opportunities. There are multiple countries where the Meta platforms do not dominate the social media landscape as they do elsewhere. The infographic below lists six countries where the Meta platforms do not take the top spot when it comes to social media – do any of these countries or platforms surprise you?
Which countries have an unexpected top social network?
The recently-published Webcertain search and social report 2023 looked at 57 countries around the world. Out of these 57 countries, six had an unexpected top social network – in other words, 11% of the countries surveyed. In this context, “unexpected” means not a Meta platform (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), which dominates everywhere else. As you can see in the infographic above, the six countries with an unexpected top social network were:
- China: WeChat is the most popular social platform in China.
- Japan: Line is the most popular social platform in Japan.
- Qatar: TikTok is the most popular social platform in Qatar.
- South Korea: KakaoTalk is the most popular social platform in South Korea.
- Taiwan: Line is the most popular social platform in Taiwan.
- Thailand: Line is the most popular social platform in Thailand (in joint first place with Facebook).
What is WeChat?
WeChat is the most popular social platform in China. WeChat is sometimes nicknamed China’s “super app” due to its huge range of functions. Within WeChat, it is possible to message friends, share photos, order takeaways, book tickets, book hotel rooms, shop online, order professional services, leave business reviews, donate to charities, pay utility bills – and that barely scratches the surface. Whatever your business, there will likely be a place for you on WeChat.
What is Line?
Line is the most popular social platform in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Line started life as an app very similar to WhatsApp – i.e. an instant communication app. It is the main communication tool for many families, as it is popular across generations and genders. It then expanded its ecosystem to include Line Pay (its mobile payments system), Line Manga (for reading manga on your mobile phone), Line Music (for music streaming), and Smart Channel (which provides content such as weather information and news). Line allows businesses to open an official account to advertise on the platform.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is the most popular social platform in Qatar, as well as seeing high levels of popularity (although not reaching first place) in many other countries as well. TikTok is a short-form video platform that is currently available in over 150 markets and has over 1 billion active users. What’s more, with 92% of TikTok users taking action after watching a TikTok video, you can understand why marketers are increasingly turning their attention to this incredibly popular app.
What is KakaoTalk?
KakaoTalk is the most popular social platform in South Korea. KakaoTalk is a messenger app that allows users to engage in text, voice and video chat. Users can also upload photos, videos and music to their profiles, get organised with the calendar feature, and get access to exclusive coupons and deals from brands. Brands can create business pages on KakaoTalk that have feeds just like Facebook where people can like, share and comment on their posts.
Want to learn more?
Did you realise just how different the social media landscape is in different countries around the world? It goes to show the importance of properly researching your target markets and creating a tailored marketing strategy that targets the right platforms for each country. To learn more fascinating facts and stats about how digital marketing works in 57 different countries, check out the Webcertain search and social report 2023 by clicking the button below!
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