In the digital shift, the Philippines has taken the global lead in at least one measure: time spent on social media.
That is according to the closely followed internet trends report released by social media management platform Hootsuite and United Kingdom-based consultancy We Are Social Ltd. on Tuesday.
The report, called Digital in 2017, showed that Filipinos spent an average of 4 hours and 17 minutes per day on social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. The data were based on active monthly user data from social media companies as recent as Jan. 2017.
The Philippines is followed by Brazil (3 hours and 43 minutes) and Argentina (3 hours and 32 minutes).
The United States, where many of these social media players were founded, is among the bottom half at an average 2 hours and 6 seconds per day. The least active—the Japanese—logged on to social media an average of 40 minutes per day.
The Philippines’s social media usage stands in stark contrast to its internet speed. Fixed broadband speed here is among the slowest in Asia Pacific while mobile connections are among the fastest, according to the most recent Akamai report.
There appeared a relationship between poor fixed broadband speed and time spent on social media.
The top three social media users, the Philippines, Brazil and Argentina, had an average fixed-line broadband speed of 4.2 megabits per second (mbps), 5.5 mbps and 5 mbps, respectively.
The fastest was South Korea, with 26.3 mbps. (South Koreans logged on to social media an average of 1 hour and 11 minutes per day).
As experts debate whether users spend more time on the internet because of the slow speed, the Digital in 2017 report revealed a clear trend: that internet usage was on the rise.
According to the report, the Philippines’s internet and social media users grew by over 25 percent, up 13 million and 12 million over last year, respectively. Mobile was also a fast-growing platform accounting for 38 percent of all web traffic in the country, up by almost a third over 2016, the report showed.
The Philippines, so far, had a social media penetration rate of 58 percent, higher than the average of 47 percent in Southeast Asia.
Around the world, internet users grewby 10 percent, or an additional 354 million people, while active social media users jumped to 21 percent or an additional 482 million.
Global active social media users using a mobile platform surged to 30 percent or another 581 million people.
The total internet penetration rate stood at 50 percent or 3.77 billion people, the Digital in 2017 report showed.
“Half of the world’s population is now online, which is a testament to the speed with which digital connectivity is helping to improve people’s lives. The increase in internet users in developing economies is particularly encouraging,” Simon Kemp, a global consultant at We Are Social, said in a statement.
The report compiles data from the world’s largest studies of online behavior, conducted by organizations including GlobalWebIndex, GSMA Intelligence, Statista and Akamai in “a comprehensive state” of social media reference.