The Philippines boasts one of the most active social media communities among Southeast Asian countries. Based on aggregated data from various sources, we estimate that there are around 94 million active social media users, the majority of whom access these platforms via their mobile devices.
It’s also interesting to note Filipino social media usage habits. With many daily activities tied to social media, users in the Philippines spend an average of 4.1 hours on these platforms each day, which is significantly higher than the global average of around 2 hours.
However, due to inadequate infrastructure, a large percentage of Filipinos still lack internet access, and the overall speed is quite low compared to neighboring countries in the region. According to the World Data Lab, the Philippines ranks 7th globally in internet accessibility.
During the pandemic, an increasing number of Filipinos have turned to digital channels, especially social media, to stay connected with friends and family. Merchants have also joined the online community to engage with customers who are no longer visiting retail stores.
For example, Puregold Price Club, the third-largest supermarket retailer in the country, has strengthened its online presence by launching the Puregold Mobile App and actively using Facebook and YouTube to create a more streamlined customer experience. The president was quoted as saying, “We want to be where our customers are, and we all know that means having a strong presence in the digital space.”
Social media has played a crucial role in the direct selling landscape in the Philippines, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many direct selling companies had already started leveraging digital channels to enhance customer engagement and sales, the pandemic accelerated this shift as businesses adapted to reach clients they could no longer connect with in person. Companies like Amway Philippines transitioned from person-to-person selling to online platforms, investing in the development of their digital presence, such as the Amway Exclusive Shopper program.
At the same time, many direct sellers, including Herbalife, turned to social media to establish more personalized connections with consumers. Leading brand Avon even reported that its sales agents used social media to find new ways to deliver products to clients without bypassing social distancing measures. The brand saw a significant proportion of its sales shift online as consumers increasingly embraced digital channels during the pandemic.
As mobile commerce continues to grow, social media users are expected to do much more than just engage with content. Although online marketplaces still account for most mobile commerce sales, the role of social media as a sales platform is expanding. Facebook has introduced another marketplace option for Filipino sellers and buyers through Facebook Marketplace. While the platform primarily features consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions, reducing direct competition with players like Zalora and Shopee, it remains an emerging threat in the business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile e-commerce landscape due to Facebook’s strong presence in the Philippines. Additionally, Instagram is gaining traction as an important channel for brands to showcase their products, with both small and large businesses increasingly utilizing the platform.
During the pandemic, live selling has also grown in popularity, despite overall internet speeds remaining low across regions. While users and merchants currently leverage live selling mostly on e-commerce platforms, we expect more people to engage in live selling on social media platforms in the future.
Given the latest survey available, in Philippines there are about 93.8 million active social media users (Log in at least once in a month) in 2022. This is about 82.4 % of the addressable demographics. Also, Throughout 2021 to 2022, the number of users has grown 3.4 %.
In the Philippines, Meta-owned platforms like Facebook and Messenger enjoy a much higher level of popularity compared to other parts of the world. It is unusual to see both platforms boasting a high number of monthly active users. Generally, Facebook is the more widely used platform, while the chat app Messenger isn’t as actively used in other countries.
The popularity of Facebook and Messenger in the Philippines has encouraged many merchants, including large consumer packaged goods brands, to utilize these platforms for sales and customer engagement. For example, Wilcon, the Philippine counterpart of Home Depot, has been particularly successful in using Messenger during the pandemic by offering services such as virtual tours and after-sales support.
We also see an increasing number of people leveraging Facebook Marketplace to sell directly to other users. Since Facebook launched its marketplace solution five years ago, the growth of social commerce has only accelerated. According to a survey published by iKala, a software provider, the Philippines exhibits a higher percentage of purchases through social media channels compared to other surveyed Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.
Instagram is also experiencing rapid growth in the Philippines. The platform is becoming an increasingly important channel for brands to promote their products and is widely used by businesses of all sizes. In recent years, however, TikTok has been the most dominant platform in terms of growth, nearly tripling its market share in the last five years and now reaching around 41.3% of the population.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 0.94%, there is now around 90.2 million Facebook users in Philippines . With male users account for around 46.45% and female users account for around 53.55%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.03%, there is now around 19.02 million Instagram users in Philippines . With male users account for around 37.61% and female users account for around 62.39%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.26%, there is now around 42.8 million TikTok users in Philippines . With male users account for around 0.362 and female users account for around 0.638.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.16x, there is now around 13.21 million LinkedIn users in Philippines.