Thailand's digital dependence revealed in new internet study
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Thailand's digital dependence revealed in new internet study

Thailand shows a strong level of digital readiness with a high penetration rate for internet usage, social media engagement, mobile connections, online shopping and digital payments, according to the "Digital 2022: Thailand" report.

The report was released by DataReportal, which analyses and collects online data from around the world, in partnership with creative agency We Are Social and strategic consultancy Kepios.

There were 54.5 million internet users in Thailand in January 2022, some 77.8% of the total population, the report indicated.

About 56.8 million people engaged in social media, accounting for 81.2% of the population, while there were 95.6 million cellular mobile connections in Thailand, or 137% of the population, in January this year.

Citing a survey by global market research company GWI in the third quarter of 2021, the report indicated people in Thailand spent a daily average of 9 hours and six minutes using the internet.

Some 96.2% of the internet users accessed the internet via mobile phones, with the daily average of time spent 5 hours and 28 minutes.

According to the report, the GWI survey indicated finding information topped the reasons for people using the internet, according to 67.6% of internet users aged 16-64 in Thailand. Second was news and current events (64.1%), then watching videos, TV shows and movies (60.8%) and finding new ideas and inspiration (60.4%).

The GWI survey revealed 31.4% of Thai internet users aged 16-64 used a banking, investment or insurance website, or a mobile app each month.

Some 36.2% used a mobile payment service and 20.1% owned some form of cryptocurrency.

In addition, people in Thailand spent an average of 2 hours and 59 minutes on social media.

In Thailand, there were 50 million people on Facebook, 42.8 million on YouTube, 35.8 million on TikTok, 35.7 million on Messenger, 18.5 million on Instagram, 11.5 million on Twitter, 3.3 million on LinkedIn and 277,000 on Snapchat.

Citing App Annie's ranking of mobile app downloads in 2021, the report indicated TikTok was No.1, followed by Facebook, Shopee, Mor Prom and Messenger.

Regarding mobile apps ranked by total consumer spending, Line took the pole position, followed by YouTube, TikTok, MEB and Tencent Video.

The GWI survey indicated 68.3% of Thai internet users purchased a product or service online each week.

Some 45.8% indicated they ordered groceries via an online store.

Free delivery is the No.1 incentive for internet users to complete an online purchase, according to 57.7% of respondents, followed by coupons and discounts (49.2%), the cash on delivery option (37.6%) and customer reviews (31.8%).

Citing statistics portal Statista, the report indicated US$973 million was spent on digital media downloads and subscriptions in Thailand in 2021.

Spending on video games took the top spot with $516 million, followed by video on-demand at $213 million, e-publishing with $134 million and digital music at $110 million.

The report also indicated 12.2 million people in Thailand ordered food delivery via an online platform in 2021, up 21.1% year-on-year.

The total value of online food delivery orders reached $400 million last year.

In 2021, 36.8 million people in Thailand engaged in digital payments with total payment transactions of $19.3 billion, up 35.5% year-on-year.

Some 36.6 million people purchased consumer goods via the internet in 2021, up 8.7% year-on-year, with total spending tallying $19 billion, the report indicated.

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