Although Turkey has lower metrics in regards to internet and mobile usage, it still boasts a thriving internet economy, with a large percentage of its population actively using social media platforms. With a growing population of over 85 million people, increasing access to the internet and mobile devices, and the pandemic changing behavior towards more online activities, Turkey has shown a promising outlook for its internet economy, and especially social media to thrive.
Despite the potential for growth, the Turkish government’s concerns over misinformation and the impact of social media on the country’s political stability have led to legislation aimed at increasing its control over these platforms.
In mid-2020, the Turkish lawmakers passed a bill requiring social media companies with over one million daily users, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to establish offices in Turkey. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in penalties, including decreased bandwidth and reduced accessibility for these sites.
In 2022, there was yet another harder regulation aiming at social media, or internet company in general. The law requires tech companies to appoint Turkish nationals to manage their local offices, store data within Turkey, and furnish user information to the government upon request. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in the blockage of the company’s services.
Despite regulations, censorship, and the possibility of government manipulation in the short term, social media is already deeply ingrained in the daily lives of the Turkish people and continues to grow in popularity. Coupled with demographic factors, including a young population that is tech-savvy, have been yielding the fast paced adoption of more creative way of using social media that’s more integrated to their lives.
The pandemic has led to increased use of social media for work, school, and businesses. Despite the proportion is still small, with newly adopted habits and more customized features, social commerce is on the verge of becoming mainstream for many use cases.
Throughout 2022, on average there are about 68.5 million active social media users in Turkey on a monthly basis with an annual growth rate of 14.8 % in 2021-22 . This represents about 80.8 % of the total population. These social media users on average spend about 2.98 hours on social media and each on average have accounts on 8.1 platforms.
For a long time, Facebook was the dominant social media platform in Turkey. However, during the pandemic, there has been a shift towards using Instagram and WhatsApp, with Instagram surpassing Facebook in 2021 and WhatsApp following suit the next year.
There is also an interesting observation that going from Facebook to Instagram is a westward trend. With provinces in west such as Hakkâri, Van, and Şırnak already shown strong interest in Instagram before the pandemic, judging from their search trends and app downloads. Over times, many western turkey are adopting instagram gradually to now its being the most frequent used platform.
However, these three platforms can be considered equally popular in Turkey. They simply serve different demographics and for different purposes. With Facebook as an example, Nestlé Waters, the most popular packaged water brand in Turkey, took advantage of this with the launch of a new service which enables consumers to place orders through their Facebook account. The service also enables consumers to select the delivery time for their order. Over the forecast period, the fierce competition between leading brands is set to continue, which will force companies to innovate in terms of similar new services, especially those which utilize technology.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 0.99%, there is now around 65.7 million Facebook users in Turkey . With male users account for around 59.36% and female users account for around 40.64%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.02%, there is now around 52.36 million Instagram users in Turkey . With male users account for around 56.53% and female users account for around 43.47%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.34%, there is now around 30.8 million TikTok users in Turkey . With male users account for around 0.606 and female users account for around 0.394.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.15x, there is now around 13.14 million LinkedIn users in Turkey.
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