Facebook is Hong Kong's top digital platform in survey commissioned by company

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 4:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 11:50am

Facebook outranks popular messaging applications WhatsApp and WeChat as the most favoured digital platform in Hong Kong, according to a survey commissioned by the social network.

The survey, conducted by market researchers TNS in January, found that 91 per cent of 1,068 respondents said Facebook was the main social network they used, followed by WhatsApp, Yahoo, YouTube and WeChat.

Of those surveyed, 44 per cent said Facebook was where they first read about breaking news.

Eric Tan of TNS said this figure was "alarming" and that users were "multisourcing" their information now. "The exposure to information is no longer about consumers consuming media, but they are being forced, in that they are being exposed to it when they open up Facebook."

This is the first time Facebook has released such comprehensive details about the habits of its Hong Kong users and is seen by many as part of its push to capture more advertising dollars from Hong Kong and mainland businesses.

About 4.4 million people in Hong Kong use Facebook, and spend 13 minutes on average each time they log on.

The survey also found that traditional media made less of a mark, with respondents planning to spend 8 per cent more time on Facebook, while spending 15 per cent less time reading newspapers and watching television, and 21 per cent less time browsing magazines.

The online survey was aimed at people aged 18 years and above who accessed social networks at least once a month. The sample size was said to reflect Facebook's Hong Kong population, but TNS did not elaborate on this.

According to social media statistics provider Socialbakers, the largest age group of Facebook users in Hong Kong is 25 to 34, followed by 18 to 24, with 55 per cent of users female.

Jayne Leung, head of greater China for Facebook, said Hong Kong users particularly liked watching or posting videos on Facebook and this was a potential avenue for companies seeking to raise their profile in the city.

She said Hong Kong's mobile penetration rate of 238 per cent, and the fact that 83 per cent of homes had high-speed internet meant social media were an easy way to capture new customers.