Bangkok has some 8.68 million Facebook users, followed by Jakarta (7.43 million) and Istanbul (7.07 million), according to a list published by the well-known international social media analytics company Socialbakers.
The Thai capital beat out global megalopolises like London, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York City, and Los Angeles, Socialbakers found. The other Southeast Asian cities included in the top 20 were Kuala Lumpur (number 13 world-wide, with 3.33 million users) and Singapore (number 17 globally, with 2.66 million users).
Bangkok’s estimated 8.68 million users is remarkable given that the city’s metropolitan population is thought to be approximately 16 million, according to an official at Thailand’s National Statistical Office. (Estimates of Bangkok’s metropolitan population vary widely, with some other tallies coming lower).
Statistics like the Facebook ranking “definitely have to be taken with a grain of salt,” says Byron Perry, a Bangkok-based social media watcher who has written about the Facebook cities list. Mr. Perry, a 28-year-old Bay Area native, told Southeast Asia Real Time that Socialbakers’ rankings are typically derived from Facebook’s advertising data, which can present complex geographic issues. Users accessing Facebook from outside metropolitan Bangkok, for example, may appear to be in the Thai capital if their Internet service provider is located in the city.
Meanwhile, there is at least one other big reason to view the list with caution: It lacks data for some key cities in Asia, including those in the Philippines, a country that Socialbakers says has 27 million users. In addition, the list does not include Hong Kong or cities in Japan or South Korea. All of these countries have sizable populations of users. (Facebook is blocked in China, and Chinese cities are not included on the list, either.)
Still, the social network is clearly extremely popular in the Southeast Asian country. “Facebook in Thailand for many people is the Internet,” says Mr. Perry. “They watch videos, send messages and communicate with friends, play games. It replaces the browser.”
Mr. Perry notes that one reason some Thais may be such heavy Facebook users is that Thai society places great importance on social connections, and many people enjoy interacting with — not to mention talking about — their friends and acquaintances. Facebook is viewed as “a utility, not a new trend” in Thailand. It’s “what people are using to do everything on the Internet,” he says.
The Socialbakers list reveals another interesting statistic: The Facebook penetration rate is listed as 104.8 percent for Bangkok, compared to roughly 20 to 80 percent in other top ten cities. This may be due, Mr. Perry says, to users in Thailand employing more than one Facebook account to correspond with various sets of friends — or surreptitious lovers.
In terms of rankings by country, Socialbakers’ statistics show that the U.S. has the most Facebook users, followed by Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. The Philippines, France, and Germany round out the top ten.
Thailand, with an estimated population of 67 million, sits at number 16 on the list, with 14 million users.
Report by : Wall Street