Over 111 million Facebook users in Asia on New Year’s Day; Slowing growth, Indonesia widens lead and South Korea on hyper-growth

Facebook in Asia 2010

As of January 01 2011, there are a total of 111.9 million Facebook users in Asia. The social network added almost 20 million new Asian users in the Quarter 4 2010. After increasing by 10 million users in the month of October 2010, Facebook experienced growth slow down between November 2010 and December 2010. Nevertheless, Facebook population grew by 21.4% in Asia in the last quarter of 2010.

In November 2010, Indonesia overtook the UK to become the world’s second largest market for Facebook (behind the United States.) In Quarter 4 2010, over 5 million new users from world’s fourth most populous nation joined Facebook. Indonesia also widened its gap with second-place Philippines over the last 3 months. In November 01 2010, the gap between Indonesia and second-place Philippines was 11,901,900 users. Now, the gap is 13,227,560.

Today, there are over 32 million Indonesians using Facebook. Philippines is behind Indonesia, with over 18 million, followed by India (16.9 million), Malaysia (9.5 million) and Taiwan (8.7 million).

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Facebook exceeds 100 million users in Asia; added 10 million users in October 2010

Facebook in Asia 2010

In the beginning of October 2010, there were a total of 92.1 million Facebook users in Asia. By end of the month, the figure has surpassed the 100 million user mark (specifically, 102.2 million). That’s an increase of 10.1 million users in a month or 10.9% month-on-month growth!

Indonesia continues to top the Facebook Population in Asia list with 29.8 million users. Although the country is fast approaching the 30 million user mark, the most populous Southeast Asian nation continues to show impressive 12.2% growth rate (the 10th highest among the Asian nations). During the month of October 2010, Indonesia registered the highest increase of % of Total Facebook Population in Asia, an increase of 0.3 percentage point, from 28.9% to 29.2% (India increased by 0.2 percentage point and Japan with 0.1).

Cambodia registered the highest growth rate at 24.6%, followed by Afghanistan (23.3%), Mongolia (19.7%), Japan (19.6%) and South Korea (18.9%). And Bangladesh joined the 1-million users group in October 2010. As of now, there are a total of 13 countries in Asia with over a million Facebook users.

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Winners at the 10th International Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) 2010

International APICTA Awards 2010

The 10th International APICTA Awards 2010 was held on Friday October 15 2010 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia.

This year, a total of 180 nominations from 16 member economies for 16 categories. “From a small member base of 5 countries in the first International APICTA Awards, we have now grown to include 17 nations across the Asia-Pacific region, most recently adding Taiwan to our ranks,” said Sutee Satanasathapon, Chairman of APICTA. The 16 member economies of APICTA are Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since it started in 2001, the awards programme has recognized and rewarded the innovation of numerous ICT companies across the Asia-Pacific region. Past APICTA winners have contributed to the regional ICT Industry with two such examples being:

  • CyberPlanet Interactive Co. Ltd., 2004 Winner for Media and Entertainment, has become a public-listed company and expanded into China and Japan to become the largest console game developer in South East Asia
  • Les’ Copaque, 2007 Winner for Best Start-up Company, is now rated as one of Malaysia’s foremost production and animation houses with its flagship animation series, Upin & Ipin with broadcast in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Malaysia won 4 Awards

There are a total of 29 Malaysian finalists for this year’s Awards, consisting of 24 companies, 3 universities and 2 schools. Winners are judged based on these criteria:

  • Uniqueness
  • Market potential / value for public
  • Functionalities and features
  • Quality and application of technology
  • Presentation

In this year’s International APICTA Awards, a total of 4 Malaysian entries winning the following categories – Research and Development, Tourism and Hospitality, E-Learning, and E-Government. Singapore-based Ephone International Pte Ltd clinched two awards – Best E-Health and Best Start-up Company – for its product, EPI Life. Other notable winners are IP Payments Account Receivable Solution from Australia, which won the Financial Industry Applications category and Thai company, Geomove Co. Ltd. for their Sensor Service Grid application, which won the Tools & Infrastructure category.

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Coming soon: Facebook Credits available at retail stores in Asia

Facebook Credits virtual currency platform set to expand its payment options in Asia. Facebook and MOL Global just announced a strategic partnership to enable the purchase of Facebook Credits using MOLPoints, an online micropayment system developed and managed by Malaysia-based MOL, one of the largest internet companies in South East Asia.

Credits, the official virtual currency on Facebook, enables the purchase of gifts and virtual goods for games and applications on Facebook platform. Popular games like Farmville, Millionaire City, Hotel City, Petville, Bejeweled Blitz, Hotel City, Barn Buddy, Likeness and hundreds other games and applications are already accepting Facebook Credits (up-to-date list of games here). There are over 200 million unique Facebook users playing games each month. Soon, these social gamers can buy Credits using MOLPoints. And they can reload the MOLPoints through MOL’s network of over 500,000 physical (e.g. 7-Eleven, cybercafes, bookstores), online banking and mobile payment channels, in over 80 countries.

“The relationship with Facebook demonstrates MOL’s growing role as a leading payment provider for social networking sites in Asia, especially in our core countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India,” said Ganesh Kumar Bangah, group chief executive officer for MOL Global.

He added, “Over the last few quarters, we have seen a double-digit increase in payment transactions and payment volume. This partnership continues MOL’s momentum to build the largest end-to-end content, distribution and commerce network in Asia.”

According to Vaughan Smith, director of business and corporate development at Facebook, “working with MOL means we can offer the benefits of Facebook Credits to millions of people in Asia using a payment system that is already widely used and trusted. We’re investing in the long-term future of Facebook Credits and we view this agreement as a major opportunity to broaden the availability of a simple, unified currency that can be used in games and applications across Facebook.”

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Fastest Growing Asian Countries on Facebook

facebook f8

These new figures are compared to the figures extracted in March 01 2010. Refer to table below: South Korea with the largest increase of 65%, between March 01 2010 and June 01 2010. Other countries with double-digit growth rate are Thailand with 28.3%, India 27.7%, Japan 21%, Pakistan 12.9%, Malaysia 12.3%, and Vietnam 10.4%. Compared to figures extracted in March 01 2010, total Facebook users in Indonesia and Taiwan have shown decline (not sure if it’s really declining or errors in figures extracted from Facebook.com or something else).

Between March and June this year, Thailand replaced Hong Kong as the sixth largest Facebook users in Asia, Pakistan replaced Singapore in no. 8 spot, and South Korea jumped from no. 13 to no. 11, replacing Vietnam. Also, Malaysia is fast approaching Taiwan to become the fourth largest Asian country on Facebook.

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