Understanding Social Media in The Philippines: A Year End Report

Understanding Social Media in The Philippines: A Year End Report

Being involved in social media (social networking) is one of the most active web-based activities in the Philippines. Because of this, Filipinos are declared to be the most active users on a number of web-based social network sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. The use of social networking websites has become so extensive that the country is now called “The Social Networking Capital of the World.” In fact, social media related activities are also used in the Philippines as a form of election campaign material, as well as political, marketing and propaganda tools.

As of the beginning of this year, the total population in the Philippines has reached over 100 million – and 46% of the population are active Internet users. It’s not surprising that almost all Filipinos are actively joining social media, not just to connect with friends and family but also for the purpose of catching news, purchasing products and services, and even job searching.

Indeed, social media continues to change the way we live. Here are some facts from We Are Social regarding digital statistics in the Philippines from this year:

Trivia Time

  • 47% of Filipinos are active social media users and 40% are active mobile social users.
  • The total number of mobile subscription in the Philippines is 119.2 million; it’s 117% of the total Filipino population.
  • 87% of Filipino adults are mobile phone users.
  • Facebook is the most active social media platform with 26%, followed by Facebook Messenger with 23%, while Twitter and Instagram also top the list with 13% and 12%.
  • Filipinos with ages 20-29 years old are the most active users on Facebook.
  • When it comes to mobile activity: 33% are using Mobile Messenger; 26% watching videos and 23% playing games.
  • Social media platforms are used for searching and purchasing products and services by 29% of the Philippine population.
  • The Philippines tops time spent on the Internet using PC or tablet with 5 hours and 12 minutes; the highest time spent in countries around the world.
  • Sadly, the Philippines has only an average of 3.2Mbps in terms of the net connection speed versus the global average of 5.1Mbps.
  • The Philippines tops the list of countries with the most time spent on social media each day.

Over 40% of Filipinos own an active social media account, according to studies conducted by IT security services. This is larger than that of most technologically advanced countries such as South Korea and Japan, whose social media penetration amounts to 30% and 19% respectively.


The Philippines was once called the “Selfie Capital of the World” – as analyzed by TIME through geographic coordinates with 258 selfietakers per 100,000 people on Instagram.

Facebook is King

Apart from a healthy obsession with Instagram, the country also leads in social media penetration particularly on Facebook with over 94% of its Internet users using the popular social network, 40% MORE than users the United States. The Philippines also records the highest figure – with an astounding 42% – of total screen time spent in social networking.

Social Media: Marketing and Economy

The strong digital presence and lifestyle of the Filipinos is testament also to the equally strong economy of the country. Despite suffering the worst natural disasters ever recorded in previous years, GDP growth rates continue to be in its favor. As the country – often cited as “Southeast Asia’s Strong Man” and with a 33% annual growth in number of active mobile social accounts – it is good to see that the Philippines is on the way to win the crown of “Digital Lifestyle Capital of the World.”

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