Social networking changed the way people communicate online. The world came closer, people reconnected with long lost friends and relatives, and everyone just started expressing and sharing more. However, while social networking may have brought people closer, smartphones have redefined social networking itself.
Smartphones have made social networking more instant, more accessible and far more connected than it was in the pre-smartphone era. Granted that people could chat via instant messaging and share pictures, but with smartphones people could share their moments as they were experiencing them, at that very instant.
This is why social networking and chat figures among the top things people do with their smartphones, as per our Smartphone User Persona Report (SUPR) 2015. We saw this not just with our India and Indonesia reports, but also with our recent SUPR for Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.
These reports, that segment smartphone users into unique user personas, suggest that Social Stars can be found across all three countries. 20% of Thai smartphone users are Social Stars, while those in Malaysia make up for 13% of the country's user base. Around 11% of Philippine smartphone users can be segmented as Social Stars.
As much as 50% of their time spent on smartphones is taken up by social networking, chat and VOIP apps. For instance, Social Stars from Thailand spend just over 2 hours a day using their smartphones. Over 73 minutes of this time is spent on social networking and chat. Social Stars from Philippines spend close to an hour a day on their smartphones catching up with the world and connecting with everyone through social networking and chat.
Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Skype feature among the top apps used by these Social Stars. Their overall data consumption ranges from as low as 251 MB per day to as high as 508 MB per day. While this data consumption is a mix of various apps, it is safe to say that much of it is driven by social networking and chat apps since they are accessed the most by these users.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that while Social Stars from Malaysia and Philippines are predominantly female, most of those from Thailand are males. Another interesting trend the reports show is that most Thai Social Stars are between 18 to 24 years of age, those in Malaysia are between 25 to 30 years of age. However, surprisingly, Social Stars from Philippines are all 36 years and older.