Indonesia emerged as the fifth-biggest country in terms of Twitter users, with 4.1 billion tweets having originated here last year. (Reuters Photo/Dado Ruvic)

Indonesia Fifth-Largest Country in Terms of Twitter Users


MAY 03, 2017

Jakarta. As of March this year, the number of Twitter accounts reached 328 million globally, representing a 14 percent increase from the same period last year.

Indonesia emerged as the fifth-largest country in terms of Twitter users, with 4.1 billion tweets having originated here last year.

"We can't provide the number of users in Indonesia. But it is one of the biggest in the world and it made it to the top-five," Dwi Ardiansyah, Twitter's head of business development for South East Asia and Australia, said during the launch of its latest product, Twitter Lite, in Jakarta on Wednesday (03/05).

Dwi said 77 percent of the Twitter accounts in Indonesia are active.

"Indonesia is an important market for Twitter. We often see many global trending topics come from the country," he said.

According to online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal Statista, Indonesia had nearly 24.34 million active Twitter accounts as of May last year, placing the country in third place globally.

However, this was way below India, the second-largest, with 41.19 million active users and the United States, which topped the list with 67.54 million.

Despite an increase in the number of Twitter accounts, 15 percent of the total are assumed to be bots, meaning that they are not managed by humans.

According to a collaborative research study conducted by the University of Southern California and Indiana University, there may be 48 million Twitter bots. However, Indonesia's state-run news agency Antara reported that Twitter rejected the result by saying that "not all bots are negative."

The research did not stop Twitter from expanding its reach to attract more users in countries with lower internet speeds.

Last month, Twitter announced the launch of Twitter Lite, which it says is smaller and uses less data.

Indonesia is the second country where the new platform was launched, after India last year.

Dwi said Twitter Lite – which claims to be 70 percent more efficient in terms of data usage – will increase the number of users globally.

Arvinder Gujral, Twitter's head of mobile business development for Asia Pacific, said Twitter Lite was launched to cater to markets with slow internet connection speeds, where most users still have smartphones with small storage capacities.

Twitter said users in Indonesia's smaller cities and rural areas want to be part of the conversation, especially in discussions about sports and entertainment, but that the internet connection speeds are often inadequate.

Indonesia has an internet penetration rate of only 20.4 percent, lower than many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Statista. Despite slow connections and pricy data plans, Indonesia is still one of the countries with the highest number of internet users in the world.

As of 2016, nearly 88 million of the country's more than 250 million people were active internet users.

Many Indonesians access the internet regularly through their mobile devices. In 2016, an estimated 26.5 percent of the country's people accessed the internet from their mobile phone.

Indonesia is also a leader in the region in terms of mobile web usage. Excluding apps, Indonesians spend on average, 66 minutes on the internet via their smartphones daily. Statista also found that Indonesian smartphone users spend an average of 69 minutes per day on mobile apps.

It said Facebook was the most popular social network in 2016, topping Instagram. Facebook had a daily reach of 77.6 percent last year, with nearly 30 percent of the country's people using the platform.