Bangladesh, a developing nation, boasts a robust and resilient economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that the country’s economy has not witnessed a decline since 1975. In recent decades, the growth rate has accelerated, averaging 5.5% during the first ten years of the 21st century and 6.6% in the second ten-year period.
Despite Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth, its internet penetration rate remains relatively low compared to neighboring countries like India. Official government data indicates a 71.4% internet penetration rate, but when accounting for double counting due to mobile cellular subscriptions, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates the actual rate to be under 30%. This rate is considerably lower than that of other nations with lower per capita GDPs than Bangladesh.
This low internet penetration has contributed to a reduced usage of social media among the population. However, it is worth noting that nearly all individuals with internet access are active social media users. Although a substantial increase in social media users was anticipated as internet infrastructure improved, the number of users has instead decreased over the past year. Estimates suggest that the total number of users dropped from 49.5 million in 2022 to 44.7 million in 2023. A separate analysis from Napoleon also identified similar trends, with both Facebook and Instagram experiencing declines in users over the past year.
Throughout 2022, on average there are about 50.3 million active social media users in Bangladesh on a monthly basis with an annual growth rate of 10.1 % in 2021-22 . This represents about 29.7 % of the total population. These social media users on average spend about hours on social media and each on average have accounts on platforms.
By the close of 2022, the dominant social media platforms in Bangladesh were Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, IMO (a messaging app), and Messenger. Data reveals that roughly 50 million individuals, equating to 29% of the country’s population, actively use Facebook. Moreover, a 2021 survey conducted by a local university, albeit with a limited sample size, discovered that almost all urban students are active on Facebook.
IMO has gained popularity in Bangladesh and other nations where internet connectivity is sparse, as it offers a low-bandwidth alternative for making calls and sending messages. The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Consequently, IMO’s growth tends to be inversely correlated with the expansion of internet penetration.
In recent years, TikTok has experienced a notable surge in popularity, although no official figures are available. Google search data indicates that interest in TikTok surpassed that of Instagram and IMO by the end of 2021. However, it still significantly trails Facebook in terms of overall interest.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 0.93%, there is now around 49.31 million Facebook users in Bangladesh . With male users account for around 67.65% and female users account for around 32.35%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.1%, there is now around 4.9 million Instagram users in Bangladesh . With male users account for around 68.34% and female users account for around 31.66%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.22x, there is now around 5.66 million LinkedIn users in Bangladesh.
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