Having just returned from holiday in Thailand, a country I’ve visited regularly over the last 20 years, it was amazing to see just how much the country has changed in that time. And it’s not just the obvious investment highlighted by the new shopping centres and luxury hotels that have changed the countries outlook, but also the connectivity of its people.
I’m in regular touch via social media with family in Phuket so I was aware that FB and Twitter were widely used, but I was amazed to discover that statistics put Thailand as the third highest user in the world, based on daily average time spent on social media. Highest average number of hours per day went to Argentina with an average of 4.4 hours, followed by Mexico at 3.8 and Thailand at 3.7. The UK was 17th on the list with an average of 2 hours per day.
I’ll admit this came as a surprise given that a significant proportion of the population still live in pretty basic accommodation without the benefit of internet connectivity, but this is apparently explained by the huge growth in mobile devices. In fact Facebook, which remains the most popular platform, reports that almost three quarters of its 1.2 billion monthly active users access it via mobile devices.
In fact – forgive me I’ll just throw one more set of stats out there – the number of active mobile subscriptions around the world is now roughly equivalent to 93% of the global population. This means that for countries like Thailand and other emerging markets, there is an entire generation who for the first time are able to access information and exchange views in a way we take for granted. What an incredible opportunity that represents – and given the daily usage figures – one which people are actively taking advantage of.