Singapore – We Are Social, a socially-led creative agency, and Meltwater, a global leader in social and media intelligence, have released Digital 2023 Singapore, their latest annual report highlighting the most notable findings on digital trends and social media in Singapore.

Singapore continues to have a high Internet and social media adoption rate, with our recent study showing that 96.9% of the population are Internet users and 84.7% are active social media users.

Despite the high adoption rate, daily time spent with media and devices has slightly decreased. Singapore users spent an average of 7 hours each day using the Internet, 22 minutes more than the global average of 6 hours and 37 minutes.

Video consumption remains popular and has even risen slightly in 2022. Around 9 in 10 Singaporean users watch videos via the Internet each week, with music videos being the most popular at 41.2%, followed by comedy at 28.8%, tutorials at 27.2%, and livestreams at 21.2%.

Interestingly, Singapore spends the most time on video-based social media apps, with YouTube being the top app in Singapore. On average, users spend 20 hours and 54 minutes per month on the platform. However, TikTok has seen a significant rise in usage and has taken the second spot, with users spending an average of 20 hours and 18 minutes per month on the platform, a 4-hour increase from 2021.

Overall, Singapore’s high adoption of the Internet and social media has led to a dynamic and thriving online community, with users actively engaging with various types of content and spending significant time on video-based social media apps. The trend is expected to continue, making Singapore one of the leading countries in digital engagement.

Singapore’s high Internet and social media adoption have also driven significant growth in consumer goods e-commerce. Our recent study found that nearly 60% of Singapore users purchased consumer goods over the Internet, resulting in an estimated total annual spend of USD 6.41 billion in 2022.

Fashion and electronics were the most popular categories, with a combined spend of more than USD 3.3 billion, accounting for more than 50% of the total spend. But the most significant growth in the consumer goods categories was seen in food and beverage, with spending on both categories up by more than 13%.

Meanwhile, digital services are also on the rise. Singapore users spent over USD 400 million on digital media subscriptions and downloads, including a staggering 51% spent on video games.

As international borders opened up, Singaporeans’ online annual spending on travel-related services not only recovered but thrived. Online spend on package holidays reached USD 1 billion, while vacation rentals saw an 86% increase, and cruises more than doubled to USD 20.61 million (+136%).

In the age of digital discovery, over a quarter of Singapore users are turning to retail websites to browse and explore new brands, products, and services. Social media advertising is also a valuable source of information, with 24.8% of users finding new brands through social ads. But search engines remain the top source for brand discovery.

In response, advertisers are investing heavily in search, social, and influencer marketing, with digital ad spend making up 62% (USD 1.59 billion) of the total advertising spend in 2022.

Search ads hold the biggest share for digital ad spend, followed by social media, while online influencer activities saw the most considerable increase in ad spend, growing 20.7% YoY. 

In conclusion, digital channels have become increasingly important for businesses looking to tap into Singapore’s market. With online shopping and digital services on the rise, the competition for attention and sales is more intense than ever. As users become more discerning with the content they consume, the challenge is for marketers to create more meaningful content to stand out.

To learn more about digital behaviour and trends in Singapore, check out the full report here and sign up for our webinar here.