Unless you’ve had business or holiday reasons to visit Indonesia, chances are this Asian nation might not be as familiar to you as, say, India or China. Here are some facts you probably weren’t aware of:
- As one of the world’s major economies, Indonesia is a member of the G-20.
- It covers over 17,500 islands and, with a population approaching 240 million, is the world’s fourth most populous country.
- Indonesia is currently at the forefront of a social media revolution.
Facebook and Twitter
Social media giants Facebook regard Indonesia as their fourth-largest marketplace. In the bustling capital, Jakarta, there are an estimated 11 million users. Of these, the most popular fan page subscribed to is Opera Van Java. The hugely popular improvised comedy show on the Indonesian Trans 7 TV station boasts 7.6 million fans. Other Facebook fan bases numbering well into the seven millions include Mario Teguh, the charismatic motivational speaker (7.3 million) and Dahsyat, the music TV show (7.2 million).
Twitter look upon Jakarta as the city at the foremost of their 140-character communication revolution, while the second city, Surabaya, follows at number six in their user tally. Every second of the day, the information superhighway is being bombarded by tweets – some 10.6 billion worldwide. The fact that 2.4% of these messages are emanating from Indonesia illustrates the scale of Twitter’s popularity in this corner of Asia. Indonesians are making a huge imprint on the ‘twittersphere’, typing out and sending a dizzying average of over 900 tweets every minute; that’s 15 every second! 87% of all these tweets are composed on mobile phones.
Twitter’s accounts in Indonesia can be further broken down to underline these enormous figures. Popular culture is just as all-pervasive here as anywhere else in the planet. The 26-year-old pop and hip-hop singer, Agnes Monica Muljoto, is followed by almost 6.8 million Twitter users. Songwriter and cultural ambassador Sinna Sherina Munaf, aged 22, can boast a tally of 5.3 million and rising.
Elsewhere in the Indonesian social media world, the most popular YouTube channels are malesbanget.com, with 4.1 million subscribers, Gadis Gery (2.9 million) and Pocari Sweat (2.85 million). Almost 1.4 Indonesians use LinkedIn, over 70% of whom are aged between 18 and 34 years old.
Indonesians aren’t just using Twitter as another form of communication; they are truly embracing the powerful potential of this social network, with over half the messaging being retweets. This means that Indonesian topics are frequently ‘trending’ in the overall Twitter listings.
This simple act of reading an original 140-character message and then passing it on has had a fundamental impact in many areas. When the Indonesian footballer Irfan Bachdim, who currently plays for Thai side Chonburi, tweeted an advert for his favourite isotonic drink (Pocari Sweat), many of his fans seized on his recommendation and retweeted. A trending topic snowballed, which had a significant sway on the global market. English Premiership football clubs, such as Arsenal, have realised the potential enormity of the market forces in the world’s fourth most populous nation. The North London side have established a Twitter feed aimed at Indonesian ‘Gunners’ fans, with messaging conducted in English and Bahasa.
The size of this market cannot be underestimated. Social media is embraced by an estimated 96% of the Indonesian population. This represents far more than the numbers reading newspapers or tuning in to the radio; in fact, this staggering demographic is a bigger ratio than anywhere else on the planet. Because Twitter and Facebook are now considered social mobile brands, they are gaining new users at a phenomenal rate as Indonesians engage with the expanding infrastructure that has been taken for granted in Asian countries, such as Singapore, for some time.
Brandcast Media is an award-winning creative, digital and video agency previously based in London and now Singapore, as featured in Campaign Asia. Brandcast Media is looking to use Singapore as a hub to reach new clients across Asia and has been taking a closer look at Indonesia.