Assessing Truehits’ data on Thailand’s digital scene
Truehits announced a number of interesting statistics about the Thai technology/digital scene during its annual award event last Friday. The Bangkok Post has picked up most of the data which concerns Thai websites and services (using stats from 2010) which explains why there is no mention of social media or more mainstream sites as they are not Thai.
The highlights, taken from the Bangkok Post, are republished below:
Internet users: 20 million – increase 27% over last year
Apple iOS (mobile devices) responsible for half of the daily mobile internet browsing sessions in Thailand. The total number of internet sessions (per day) from mobile devices is broken down as follows:
- 200,000 iPhone
- 45,000 iPad
- 57,402 Nokia
- 22,000 BlackBerry
The 10 most popular websites in terms of content this year are: sanook.com, kapook.com, mthai.com, dek-d.com, exteen.com, teenee.com, manager.co.th, truelife.com, gmember.com, and playpark.com.
The rankings have changed little over past few years:
- 38% of Thais are most interested in entertainment content
- 12% online games
- 10% blogs and web boards
- 6.3% shopping
- 6.1% news and information.
- The four least popular categories are property at 0.03%, health 0.26%, adult entertainment 0.32%, and government 1.14%.
Google remains Thailand’s favourite search engine with a 99% share, while Microsoft Bing had only 0.53%.
Web browser usage:
- Microsoft’s Internet Explorer: 65.6% of users (-13% from 2009)
- Mozilla’s Firefox: 15.9% (+2.7% from 2009)
- Google Chrome: 11.8% (+8.4% from 2009)
Summary: [Truehits CTO] Mr Piya [Tanthawichian] said the figures reflected the fact that Thailand only consumed technology by purchasing hardware and using foreign services, rather than building its own technology or using local online services.
It is important to bear in mind that Truehits data is taken from a number of sites it monitors and, as has been suggested, its advertising interests may play a role in certain rankings too, so the data is by no means to be taken as factual.
So while I would advise against treating these statistics as gospel, nonetheless they do provide an interesting set of conclusions that can be drawn.
For example, despite BlackBerry’s dominance in the smartphone industry, its users are less active online although many BlackBerry users operate set tariffs, the popular of which offer unmetered social services – such as BBM, Facebook, Twitter, etc – with internet access not included. As such, many BlackBerry users do not use the internet – as Truehits would define it – although a mobile user making use of social networking, albeit through an application – is arguably online and making use of the internet although not through a browser.
Sadly there is no breakout on comparison of fixed-line internet usage against mobile internet but, with smartphone ownership increasing and the Thailand’s operators looking set to introduce 3G publicly this year, the mobile phone will likely continue to become a key access point for internet usage in the country.