Social media users in metropolitan China and India are much more apt to be “creators” on the platforms than their Western counterparts, according to a new report.
Forrester Research polled about 100,000 consumers in Asia, Latin America and North America in the second and third quarters of 2011, and the results show that people in emerging markets are often enthusiastic adopters of social media. Among those who have Internet access, 93% report using social media once or more a month vs. 49% in the seven European countries in the study — the U.K., France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Consumers in emerging markets also tend to be creators, according to the report. In fact, 80% of Indians and 76% of Chinese fit that description, which Forrester defines as someone who publishes a blog or a website, uploads video and/or music and/or writes and posts stories once or more a month. In the U.S., the figure is 24% while in Europe it was 23%.
Reineke Reitsma, vp and research director at Forrester, says the differences are less attributable to differences in national character than respondents’ age and relative positions on the adoption curve. Overall, the Chinese and Indian people polled were younger than their U.S and European counterparts. (They were also urban — all of them were based in major cities.)
One country that emerges as distinctly different in the survey is Japan, which indexes lower on social media usage than everyone else. Just 28% of Japanese visit a social networking site once or more a month and only 13% visit Facebook. Reitsma says that Japanese consumers prefer anonymity, which is why Twitter and mixi are more popular.