Social Media – Platforms of the East
Here at DMT, we have social media covered. Facebook and Twitter are our go-tos, and we’re also experts when it comes to LinkedIn and Instagram (In case you didn’t know), but a question has been on our minds recently. We know all about social media in the West, but what platforms are used by our Eastern neighbours? We decided to do a little bit of digging.
WeChat (AKA, Weixin 微信) is one of the most popular messaging apps in China. Though it has similar feel to Facebook and messenger, it has upped the game in terms of privacy settings. Only those who are verified by you can see your updates, your contact list isn’t visible to others and you can only see interactions of people on your contact list. So if you were to post a photo and have a friend comment something slightly crude, your mum won’t see it unless they’re connected.
In addition to this, you have the Subscriptions feature which is essentially adding a brand as a “friend” so you’re subscribed to their latest news as though you have received a message. The final instalment to this platform is Wallet, which is pretty self explanatory. By using Wallet you can transfer money, pay for virtual goods, order taxis, pay for movie tickets, and so much more. It also features the ability to pay for goods in shops, just like you would with Apple Pay, but this is done using QR reading, as opposed to using your thumbprint. It’s amazing how much you can do with this one app!
Highly similar to WeChat, Japan’s most popular platform to use is Line. With Line you can download virtual stickers, emojis and games, all of which come with the app’s mascots. Another few extras which Line provides is the ability to stream videos and make video calls to your contacts. You are also able to buy merchandise of your favourite line mascots and characters in their physical stores. The app has about 218 million monthly active users (July, 2016) and makes its money from its virtual stickers and games.
There is quite a pattern with these apps, as it seems KakaoTalk, South Koreas most popular platform, shares almost identical qualities to both Line and WeChat, but is merely a messaging platform. There isn’t a newsfeed feature, but you can still subscribe to brands like you would with WeChat, and the Plus Friend feature gives to access to various vouchers and deals.
Well, we all know about WhatsApp, which is the highest active platform in Hong Kong. With 41% of the online population using the platform every day, WhatsApp is a basic platform for calls, messages, sending photos and videos, and even sending voice messages. You need a phone number for a contact to add them, but once you have done so you can get chatting with ease.
Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore
Much like here in the West, Facebook dominates these three countries. With a total of 109.3 million users on the network, it’s safe to say that Facebook isn’t failing to gain attraction away from the West.