Indonesia's Social Media Landscape: An Overview

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About 150 million Indonesians are currently online on social media – in other words, 56 percent of the country’s massive population. Indonesia has one of the largest digital audiences in the world, which is good news for businesses who plan to market their offerings through social media.

However, Indonesia’s social media audience isn’t just large, but also active. The average Indonesian spends 3 hours and 26 minutes logged on to social media every day. For comparison, the global average is 2 hours and 22 minutes.

Below, we’ll take a look at how Indonesians consume the top 5 most popular social media platforms (YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Line).

According to Hootsuite and We Are Social, 88 percent of all Indonesian internet users – about 132 million people – actively use YouTube. Other research suggests that up to 47 percent of Indonesians access YouTube every day for about 30 minutes on average.

53 percent of Indonesians use YouTube to look up product information, and 86 percent of Indonesians use it to understand how to use products.

This also means that YouTube content creators are becoming increasingly influential social media KOLs. By March 2019, 200 Indonesian channels had gained over one million subscribers; a 5x year-on-year increase compared to 2018. Also in 2019, one Indonesian content creator became the first channel in Southeast Asia to hit ten million subscribers.

Many Indonesians use YouTube to catch up on TV content in lieu of TV-on-demand services like Netflix. 8 of the 10 most viewed YouTube channels in Indonesia are TV studios. As of October 2018, the most viewed channel in Indonesia belongs to RCTI, a popular TV studio, with over 2.7 billion total views.

Indonesians use messenger and VoIP platforms to communicate.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Japanese platform Line are the two most popular instant communication channels among Indonesians. During Q3 of 2017, about 40 percent of Indonesians – at least 100 million people – are using WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Line has 90 million Indonesian users.

Users in fast growth markets like Indonesia prefer messenger apps to avoid the expensive wireless carrier fees for text messages.

WhatsApp and Line are quickly rising to replace previous market leader BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). Previously the leading messenger platform in Indonesia, rising competition made BBM steadily lose users before being shut down in 2019.

These two social media platforms are also popular ways for large and small businesses alike to interface directly with customers. It’s common for Indonesian SMEs to offer their WhatsApp contact information as a way to collect inquiries and feedback from customers. Meanwhile, LINE’s more versatile structure allows businesses to come up with creative ways to communicate with customers such as chatbots.

Indonesia is Facebook’s fourth largest global audience.

By January 2018, there were over 130 million Indonesian social media accounts on Facebook. This equals about 6 percent of the total global users at that time. As such, Indonesia has the largest number of Facebook users in Southeast Asia and the fourth-largest globally after Brazil, the United States, and India.

Indonesians also actively use Facebook as a social marketplace through business pages. 27 percent of Indonesian online shoppers have bought something based on the information they found on Facebook, and 31 percent have made purchases based on Facebook recommendations.

As for demographics, Facebook in Indonesia is more popular with more mature users. The older Indonesians are, the more likely they are to use this social media platform; research in 2016 suggests that 94.2 percent of Indonesians aged 30 to 35 actively use Facebook compared to 80.9 percent of Indonesians aged 16 to 19.

Like Facebook, Indonesia’s Instagram audience is also the fourth largest in the world with over 56 million users as of April 2019. However, in contrast to Facebook, younger users are more likely to prefer Instagram. Over 73 percent of Indonesians aged 16 to 25 use Instagram compared to only 55.8 percent of those aged 30 to 35.

As with the other social media platforms, Instagram is an active social marketplace in Indonesia. A survey by Ipsos suggests that up to 81 percent of Instagram users use this platform to learn more about the brands they’re interested in. Furthermore, 76 percent of them claimed to have made a purchase after discovering a brand on Instagram.

According to the same survey, Instagram is also a vital marketing platform for small businesses. Up to 52 percent of Indonesian small business owners prefer to refer customers to their official Instagram profile rather than their website. Also, up to 82 percent of Indonesian SMEs actively communicate with customers through Instagram direct messages.

So, what’s the conclusion?

Indonesia’s social media audience holds massive potential for any business to get traction. However, setting up a business in Indonesia can be complicated. We advise that you connect with professional consultants who can help guide and manage everything for you.

Greenhouse has experience in handling all processes related to PT PMA registration, including preparing all the paperwork. We’re happy to help you start incorporating your business in Indonesia. Learn more about our solutions.

We can connect you to on-site service providers or help match you with the right service provider for your needs.

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