Facebook is one of the most popular social networking site being used by Thai people. Where Bangkok has been ranked top highest numbers of Facebook users in the world. Bangkok has some 8.68 million Facebook users, followed by Jakarta (7.43 million) and Istanbul (7.07 million), according to a list published by the well-known international social media analytics company Socialbakers.
The Thai capital beat out global megalopolises like London, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York City, and Los Angeles, Socialbakers found. The other Southeast Asian cities included in the top 20 were Kuala Lumpur (number 13 world-wide, with 3.33 million users) and Singapore (number 17 globally, with 2.66 million users). Bangkok’s estimated 8.68 million users is remarkable given that the city’s metropolitan population is thought to be approximately 16 million, according to an official at Thailand’s National Statistical Office.
(Estimates of Bangkok’s metropolitan population vary widely, with some other tallies coming lower). Statistics like the Facebook ranking “definitely have to be taken with a grain of salt,” says Byron Perry, a Bangkok-based social media watcher who has written about the Facebook cities list. Mr. Perry, a 28-year-old Bay Area native, told Southeast Asia Real Time that Socialbakers’ rankings are typically derived from Facebook’s advertising data, which can present complex geographic issues.
Users accessing Facebook from outside metropolitan Bangkok, for example, may appear to be in the Thai capital if their Internet service provider is located in the city. Meanwhile, there is at least one other big reason to view the list with caution: It lacks data for some key cities in Asia, including those in the Philippines, a country that Socialbakers says has 27 million users. In addition, the list does not include Hong Kong or cities in Japan or South Korea. All of these countries have sizable populations of users. (Facebook is blocked in China, and Chinese cities are not included on the list, either.)
Still, the social network is clearly extremely popular in the Southeast Asian country.
“Facebook in Thailand for many people is the Internet,” says Mr. Perry. “They watch videos, send messages and communicate with friends, play games. It replaces the browser.”
Mr. Perry notes that one reason some Thais may be such heavy Facebook users is that Thai society places great importance on social connections, and many people enjoy interacting with — not to mention talking about — their friends and acquaintances. Facebook is viewed as “a utility, not a new trend” in Thailand. It’s “what people are using to do everything on the Internet,” he says. Highest Facebook Users in the World
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