Online chatter, Twitter continue to grow in Asia – report

PR firm Edelman APAC and Singapore-based online intelligence firm Brandtology have announced the latest Asia Pacific Digital Brand Index, a joint partnership which began back in October 2009.

The announcement is definitely worth a look (over here) though I’ve picked out two key summaries which are below:

Online chatter grows and grows

The first DBI (October 2009) tracked 800,000 mentions of survey brands in the quarter, while the fourth and most recent DBI (10.3, August 2010) tracked 2 million. This finding demonstrates that as more Asians come online, they are happy to build or join communities to discuss (technology) brands, pass verdict on products, and share content that catches their eye.

The unprecedented rise in social network usage across the region has also not gone unnoticed in the DBI. For example, this quarter, the DBI (10.3) in China saw social networks finally overtaking bulletin boards in terms of total conversation about surveyed technology brands. We all knew people were talking – but the speed of increase has been startling!

The Twitter Phenomenon

Asia has been a major contributor to the 100+ percent increase in the platform’s usage over the past 12 months. In October last year, Twitter represented approximately 18 percent of the conversations found in the first DBI (ex-China). This has since grown to represent almost half of all posts tracked about technology brands surveyed in influential local channels monitored – with a high in India where microblogs account for a whopping 69 percent of all conversations!

As Steve Rubel eloquently puts it “we are quickly moving from a Web of pages to a Web of streams, and one where tech brands need to be omnipresent and working in, and reacting, in real time.”

Anyone who has been following this blog (or even just keeping their eyes open) will have noticed how the internet and, Twitter in particular, have grown rapidly across Asia.

Talking about “Asia” is quite a wide ranging, all encompassing term for a continent which varies culturally, ethnically and (amongst many others) technologically.

Of course India and China steal the headlines and emphasis given their huge populations and economic influence, however it is my person opinion that Southeast Asia is where much of this grow has/and is taking place.

Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have seen public access to the internet accelerate hugely with the rise of smartphone adoption, while countries like Vietnam and Thailand are a little further behind in the development curve, but also exhibiting huge potential.

The growth and change isn’t without difficulties – see for example this post on web censorship in the region – but I do believe Southeast Asia truly is an exciting region for the internet and technology right now.