When one steps out their door, one checks for the essentials needed to go about the day: wallet, car key – the mobile phone. Over the years, our mobile devices have evolved to include numerous functions unthought-of decades ago; it’s quite shocking to think back to a time when a mobile phone was merely used to make phone calls. Today, social applications incorporated into mobile devices take communication with family, friends and colleagues to a whole new level.

According to Nielsen’s study, this “social” phenomenon is very prevalent in Asia Pacific. The report polled over 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Nielsen says that about three in five Asian social media users interact with social media through a mobile device. These numbers are significantly higher in Singapore and Indonesia, at 70% and 65% respectively than the global rate of social mobile networking (47%).

Perhaps, the upgrade of the average mobile phone to what we now call a “smartphone” is one of the contributing factors to society’s so-called addiction with their mobile devices.

If you reside in Asia, you’re more likely, compared with any other region in the world, to own a smartphone. Nielsen’s report states that ownership of smartphones in Asia (now at 44%) has almost doubled compared to the same period in 2011. Comparatively, smartphone ownership in Europe and North America are at 30% and 31% respectively.

The Social Factor
The emergence (and high usage) of social apps has definitely contributed to the growing numbers of smartphone ownership. The report reveals that using social media to keep in contact with family and friends as well as a source of entertainment remain the top two reasons for social media participation on the mobile platform.

“Social media is the fastest growing media in history and today over three in five internet users globally use social media,” says Yasir Yousuff, NM Incite Managing Director, APMEA. “Use of social media by consumers in Asia Pacific is higher than any other region in the world and with increasing ownership and reliance on internet capable mobile devices; we will see an exponential increase in cross platform behaviour and mobile social media engagement.”

Ease of e-commerce
Engaging in social media to learn more about brands, products and services and to hear others’ experiences about products and services are activities highly participated in, according to the Nielsen study. In fact the study showed that about two thirds of social media users in Asia Pacific turn to social media as a source of information or product reviews at least once per week, while almost three in five social media users are actively seeking deals online such as monetary incentives, coupons and promotions.