2010 SG Survey of Internet Behaviors: Why We Go Online (Part 2) Reply


Social interaction is at the heart of Singapore’s Internet.

Online Behavioral Preferences in SG

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of the 2010 Survey of Online Behaviors in Singapore.  Here I asked technographics-type questions to understand what people are doing online.  The answer, quite clearly, is that people are watching videos and social networking.  Comparing 2009 to 2010, Twitter has emerged as a force inside Singapore with YoY growth at 308.5%.  This finding would be consistent with Edelman‘s Digital Brand Index and their conclusion, specific to technology brands, that Twitter has become a key discussion channel (as always, let’s be careful how we use statistics/findings; DBI was a different study using different methods).

However, Singapore’s Gen X does lag behind the younger generations in terms of social media uptake.

Why Do SG Netizens Go Online?

Next we asked respondents what are their top-three reasons for going online. 

  • Consistent with Part 1 of this report, social interaction was the dominant reason we go online.  45.7% of the valid responses indicated that netizens go online for social interaction while, ranking second, only 12.8% reported that getting the news was their top motivation. 
  • The #2 reason for going online is getting the news (18.1%).  Reading the news, however, was not such a dominant answer for the #2 motivation.  17.3% said social interaction is the number two reason while 14% said that downloading music or videos was #2.
  • The #3 reason for going online is passing the time (19.4%).  Again, other answers offered slightly weaker yet competing motives.  17.3% indicated that downloading music or movies, and 14.6% indicated that learning, was the #3 motive for going online.

People have been saying for years that Asia’ Internet users show a tendency to use the Internet for entertainment (also here and here), and this study sees a similar pattern of behavior.   

What Don’t We Do Online?

The answers seem equally clear.  Business or e-commerce, shopping, financial transactions, and web application or development consistently scored in the low single-digit range.  While I cannot predict the future based on the data collected, I can say that currently any type of online business/transaction appears to offer little motivation for going online in Singapore. 

On a slightly different note, one interesting number was that downloading music or movies scored only 4.6% as the #1 reason for going online.  So while consuming entertainment goods may be a top priority in this Internet market, a preliminary suggestion might be that such consumption cannot compete with social interaction.  In other words, Singapore’s netizens seem to clearly prefer interacting online, but when we cannot do so we then turn our attention to consuming music and videos.

What Concerns Us While Online?

Part three, the final installment, will tell us a bit more about our concerns/reservations while online.  Please stay tuned.

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