Indonesia and Social Media

Tue 8 February 2011 11:36, Vitto Christaldi

Indonesia and Social Media

Hi! My name is Vitto Christaldi, I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, and have been living in The Netherlands since 2008. I am student of International Communication and Media at Hogeschool Utrecht and now working at FirstFocus as an intern. 


I am familiar with social media since I was in junior high school. I am a user of most of the major social media platforms and really fascinated on the effect that it brings to society nowadays. It is not only booming in America or Europe, but also in far east Indonesia. In the next couple of months, I will personally give you an insight on the movements of social media and the market in Indonesia.

If you are “always” on twitter, you might have noticed some strange words on your trending topic a couple of days ago. "#cumaditwitter" or "G4k 5uk4 T03l154N B36iNi3". Well, if you are wondering who was behind those trending topics, the answer is "the Indonesians". The Indonesian users of social media platforms have been growing the last couple of years. How far are they growing? Let's take a look!

Statistics show that 20,8% tweets in the world come from Indonesia. That makes Indonesia the most prolific twitter user in the world after Brazil (20,5) and Venezuela (19,0). Even The United States, the home of "the twitterers", have only 11,9%!

Facebook on the other hand, attracts more users in Indonesia than Twitter. According to statistics, Facebook has grown from 209.760 users in July 2008 to 25.912.960 users in July 2010, to 32.129.460 in January 2011. That is 15.217,25% growth in 30 months!! Mark Zuckerberg has obviously succeeded on expanding his creation to the corner of South East Asia. 


But what is actually happening in Indonesia? Using Facebook chat, I interviewed some people who use both social media platforms to get the insight of the growth of Facebook and Twitter in Indonesia. From those chats, I picked up a little that can represent how people view Twitter and Facebook in Indonesia. So here goes the short chats with those two friends


Me : So let's get it straight, is it true that Facebook and Twitter are growing in Indonesia?

Friend 1 : Yes! It is even impossible for someone not to have a Facebook account. It is a must to have! However, Facebook is becoming more boring. Most people here prefer to use Twitter to Facebook.

Me : But why Twitter?

Friend 1 : I use Facebook only for games. Twitter on the other hand, is like a chat box. More interesting and more personal. Besides, Twitter is more up to date. During the World Cup, I did not have to watch the matches! I just had to check my Twitter timeline to know the scores. Sometimes it is also fun to compete in the trending topics. Indonesia finally has recognition in the world.


Me : What do you think about social media nowadays in Indonesia, especially Facebook and Twitter?

Friend 2 : I like Facebook more because there you can meet old friends, make events, do promotions, advertisements,  make fan pages, etc. Once you have optimized the use of Facebook, you can get a lot of benefits! In twitter, you are just spamming people with useless information like retweets and stuff.


Facebook vs Twitter. Interesting! In my conclusion, Indonesia is a promising market for online marketing. Number of users of social media platforms keeps going up, that means the number of internet users in Indonesia also raising. But it is best to use Facebook and Twitter as the way for online marketers to promote, for those two are the most used social media in Indonesia. 

Twitter has an easier way to announce updates, because it is personal and the messages that it delivers are shorter and more clear. Facebook in the other hand, has better features for promotion (applications, fan pages, quiz, events agenda, etc). If  both platforms are used, it can be very effective to reach the customers in Indonesia. You can for example promote or announce the new products on twitter and link it to games or applications on Facebook.

Next time I will continue my observation in Indonesia on the new comer “Foursquare” and the local social media “Yahoo! Koprol”, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, do not hesitate to give me feedback!


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