FACEBOOK might be seeing its dominance in South Korea beginning to slip, a report by research house eMarketer revealed.
Despite the fact that Facebook can easily claim the social media throne all over the world, data gleaned from a survey by DMC Media that revealed less than half of all respondents consider the social network their primary platform. This year, only 40.5 percent of respondents gave answers in the affirmative, compared to the 64.6 percent of people who gave the same answer last year.
This news emerges after reports that Facebook has been bleeding new users to other social media platforms such as Instagram (which is owned by Facebook Inc.) and Snapchat. Instagram saw its global favorability grow 21.9 percent this year, compared to the 3.8 percent who claimed it as their platform of choice in 2016.
The findings of the survey also revealed that local offerings are gaining more ground among users, such as South Korea’s KakaoStory, which is a multi-platform messaging app that’s is an amalgamation of Facebook’s timeline-based format, Instagram’s photo stream and Twitter’s micro-blogs. The platform saw its popularity grow from 12.4 percent to 21.2 percent.
Another homegrown brand, Band, saw its preference rate rise 7 percent to touch 12 percent in 2016.
The prominent role of these local social networks is reflected in other research, such as Nielsen KoreanClick’s market survey which found 14.9 million unique Android users of Band and 13.7 million. Comparatively, Facebook and Instagram only registered 10.1 million and 5.7 million users on Android phones.
These numbers are particularly important, considering the fact that South Korea is the home of smartphone makers Samsung and the majority of the local market is dominated by Android handsets. According to Demystify Asia, iOS handsets only make up around 30 percent of the total market, while Android phones rule the East Asian country with more than 70 percent market share.
Facebook is responding by pouring more money into its Instagram investment, gifting the company with advanced advertising tools and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Instagram will be an integral pillar of Facebook’s plans to continue growing and attracting younger users to its platform.
eMarketer previously reported that Facebook was failing to capture younger audiences which it was losing to other apps such as Snapchat.
eMarketer’s own figures are less conservative. We estimate that there will be 14.9 million Facebook users in South Korea this year, with that number growing to 16.1 million by 2021.