Social, Digital and Mobile in South Korea

Simon Kemp

Today’s Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report takes an in-depth look at the landscape in South Korea:

South Korea is another Asian powerhouse in the global digital revolution, partly thanks to the leading technology brands like Samsung and LG that call the country home.

However, in a similar way to the situation we saw in our recent Japan report, many of the country’s digital advances go unnoticed in the West, perhaps due to the language barrier.

Koreans have taken a particular shine to social networking, with more than half the country’s population registered on CyWorld.

Facebook has recently taken over as the platform of choice amongst the county’s most active social media users though, with the global leader now attracting around 400,000 more users than its local competitor each month.

CyWorld is still a force to be reckoned with, however, and the strength of its local network means it should continue to be a relevant player in the South Korean social media scene well into 2012.

Meanwhile, Twitter is growing quickly in the southern Korean peninsula, and already counts more than 3 million registered users.

Koreans regularly enjoy the fastest internet connections in the world, a benefit which has helped promote a number of activities that many in the West still crave. Impressively, almost half of all Korean web users have streamed entire movies via the internet.

The country’s internet users are also avid consumers of blogs, with 85% of South Korean netizens visiting blogs every month.

South Korea’s mobile landscape is also noteworthy, with Koreans leading the world in mobile data consumption. Android is the platform of choice, with 60% of the country’s smartphone users owning an Android device.

However, South Korean netizens may enjoy their digital fixes a little too much; the South Korean government estimates that around 2 million people in the country suffer from internet addiction.

Our tip is for continued movement in a more healthy direction though, so expect to see lots of great developments in the South Korean digital landscape during 2012.