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Facebook has seen tremendous growth in Southeast Asia over the past several quarters, at the expense of formerly dominant competitors like Silicon Valley companies Friendster and hi5, and locally-based networks.
The leading countries in terms of overall growth in traffic have been Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, based on the data we track in our monthly Global Monitor Report. Notably, Indonesia is now Facebook’s number three country in the world in total audience size, trailing only the United States and the United Kingdom. And yet, Facebook has seen little growth in Japan and South Korea — two of the most lucrative markets in the region — and it is blocked in mainland China, East Asia’s largest and fastest-growing market.
One country in which Facebook has enjoyed an exceptionally meteoric rise is geographically near to these Southeast Asian growth zones but offers us a unique view on growth throughout Asia. Taiwan’s Facebook traffic and engagement are growing as fast as the most standout Southeast Asian success stories, and yet it is different from these markets in one key way. Like the island metropolises of Hong Kong and Singapore, Taiwan has adopted Facebook the way the Southeast Asian markets have. But, culturally and linguistically, Taiwan, also like Hong Kong and Singapore, remains deeply connected to East Asia.