Indonesia: From Friendster to Facebook

UPDATE: I just added a related posting on iPhone vs Blackberry in Indonesia.

Jeremy Wagstaff says Friendster faces a mass defection over to Facebook in Indonesia.

Why? According to Jeremy, it is a simple formula:

Cheap BlackBerries smuggled in without import duties that cost a few hundred dollars and just US$17 per month for unlimited data + large number of people stuck in bad traffic + broadband at home costing upwards of U$100 per month = Growth of mobile Internet

For Facebook, this formula turned into an accidental boon, thanks to their popular mobile applications. Friendster, however, has been suffering due to their lack of a competitive mobile offer.

Within this phenomenon it is interesting to note that social networks are important, even when Internet penetration rates are fairly low on a national level.

More details from Jeremy in the video:

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31 comments

  1. Fascinating indeed

    however, do people 'transact much in Indonesia? or mostly for social purposes?
    just curious.

    and if they do transact, is it mostly on social commentary, or on purchasing of things physical or virtual?

    would be great to have some of your insights.

    Many thanks.

    @GarethWong

  2. Fascinating indeed

    however, do people 'transact much in Indonesia? or mostly for social purposes?
    just curious.

    and if they do transact, is it mostly on social commentary, or on purchasing of things physical or virtual?

    would be great to have some of your insights.

    Many thanks.

    @GarethWong

  3. @GarethWong
    The vast majority of Indonesian Internet users do not purchase anything online. Games, music, chat, surf and email are among the top uses of Internet. Fewer than 4% of Internet users in Indonesia buy something online.

  4. @GarethWong
    The vast majority of Indonesian Internet users do not purchase anything online. Games, music, chat, surf and email are among the top uses of Internet. Fewer than 4% of Internet users in Indonesia buy something online.

  5. 😉 as expected. thanks for sharing UR insight. & tweet.

    but if thats the case, its more eyeballs, more important.

    since my feed is private, pls do follow me @garethwong
    I did tweet from my public account though @cxoeurope

    had wanted to drop you a line/call when I was last in HK, forgot to do so. sadly.

    BR
    @GarethWong

  6. 😉 as expected. thanks for sharing UR insight. & tweet.

    but if thats the case, its more eyeballs, more important.

    since my feed is private, pls do follow me @garethwong
    I did tweet from my public account though @cxoeurope

    had wanted to drop you a line/call when I was last in HK, forgot to do so. sadly.

    BR
    @GarethWong

  7. “Cheap BlackBerry knockoffs + large number of people stuck in bad traffic = Growth of mobile Internet”
    Ah, Jeremy Wagstaff holds the key to the secret of the universe! How did he find out?

    Yes, the rates are fairly low, around 10%. Hopefully the new govt administration will soon both increase the rates also promote the usage of internet.
    Indonesia has a distinct characteristic, this is something cultural rather than political however; it's accustomed to polarized, centralized authority. By “authority”, it's varied from trends, media hype, and so forth. This 10%–from social media users to citizen journalists, you name it–makes up (sometimes even decides for) the rest.

    This could be good or bad, depends. Bright side of it is, certain marketing or branding strategy wouldn't have to aim for the majority of numbers, and just get that 10% of the market. Jeremy Wagstaff mentioned “large number of people stuck in bad traffic”, he referred to Jakarta, I reckon? That's exactly how the smaller part of local market represent the larger portion.

    Another cultural issue, Indonesians are people that go out to shop. Online transaction is not much of a lifestyle necessity, online marketing is much more promising hotbed. The opportunity lies while people are going out to shop, they take a stroll (most likely in the mall, as in the video), say hello to neighbors and friends. This is where social media comes into the scene.

    Don't have access to statistics required for now, just a personal analysis. :)

    Regards.

  8. “Cheap BlackBerry knockoffs + large number of people stuck in bad traffic = Growth of mobile Internet”
    Jeremy Wagstaff holds the key to the secret of the universe! Bad traffic, that answers practically everything.

    Yes, the rates are fairly low, around 10%. Hopefully the new govt administration will soon both increase the rates also promote the usage of internet.
    Indonesia has a distinct characteristic, this is something cultural rather than political however; it's accustomed to polarized, centralized authority. By “authority”, it's varied from trends, media hype, and so forth. This 10%–from social media users to citizen journalists, you name it–makes up (sometimes even decides for) the rest.

    This could be good or bad, depends. Bright side of it is, certain marketing or branding strategy wouldn't have to aim for the majority of numbers, and just get that 10% of the market. Jeremy Wagstaff mentioned “large number of people stuck in bad traffic”, he referred to Jakarta, I reckon? That's exactly how the smaller part of local market represent the larger portion.

    Another cultural issue, Indonesians are people that go out to shop. Online transaction is not a lifestyle necessity, online marketing in this case is a much more promising hotbed. The opportunity lies while people are going out to shop, they take a stroll (most likely in the mall, as in the video), say hello to neighbors and friends. This is where social media comes into the scene.

    Don't have access to statistics required for now, just a personal observation. :)

    Regards.

  9. Was just in Indo and everyone of my wife's family were talking facebook. last time it was friendster. The shift has been sudden

    As for buying stuff online Indonesians cant order from many sites due to restricted delivery processes which is due to fraud.

  10. Was just in Indo and everyone of my wife's family were talking facebook. last time it was friendster. The shift has been sudden

    As for buying stuff online Indonesians cant order from many sites due to restricted delivery processes which is due to fraud.

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  13. Spot on. The Friendster to FB transition also proves that the Internet is Dog Years ie. 1 year equals 6 Internet Years. In the social networking space things happen fast but when you multiply by 6 you can see why in less then half a year an entire country can move from one social network to the next. Proving that it Social is not a destination but a dimension. Just using FB connect to share this article my FB community is a win win for both Thomas Crampton's blog (whee I found the video/artice) but also FB.

  14. Spot on. The Friendster to FB transition also proves that the Internet is Dog Years ie. 1 year equals 6 Internet Years. In the social networking space things happen fast but when you multiply by 6 you can see why in less then half a year an entire country can move from one social network to the next. Proving that it Social is not a destination but a dimension. Just using FB connect to share this article my FB community is a win win for both Thomas Crampton's blog (whee I found the video/artice) but also FB.

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  17. guntar

    It's not necessarily about the traffic, Indonesian people would prefer facebook because it enables them to whine, to talk about what they think and do and such. It's what connects friends in seemingly real time. Facebook is perceived more as a personal weblog for Indonesian. Twitter is not quite popular yet, since Indonesian use facebook as twitter as well (and many Indonesian blogs are suffer because of facebook).

    Guntar, Jawa Timur, Indonesia.

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  21. adamgollam

    Indonesia is growing very fast and in the upcoming years there were be “blood baths” for gaining the control over the market or anyways, the supremacy.
    __________________________________________
    Adelaide Hotels

  22. adamgollam

    Indonesia is growing very fast and in the upcoming years there were be “blood baths” for gaining the control over the market or anyways, the supremacy.
    __________________________________________
    Adelaide Hotels

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