Filipinos’ Christmas still joyous despite pandemic, Twitter data shows

November 30, 2021 - 7:52 PM
The Twitter app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken July 13, 2021. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Filipinos still managed to have holiday cheer despite the scourge of the coronavirus pandemic in December last year, according to data from a study.

Twitter’s Holiday Research found a staggering 2.3 million holiday-related conversations in the Philippines during that period last year.

In a graph Twitter released, the buzz on the holidays started in September 2020 or the start of the so-called “Ber” months that marked the start of the Christmas season in the country.

Graph from Twitter’s Holiday Research from January to December 2020

Between September and October, the study showed that some personalities started to “get in the mood” of Christmas.

“Celebrities and television channels start to release Christmas special singles and shows from October,” the description in the graph read.

In November, talks on gift ideas and wish lists filled Twitter Philippines.

Topics on decorating, gifting and other festive activities dominated the micro-blogging platform by December.

On New Year’s Eve, Filipinos sent one another hopeful tweets as people welcomed 2021.

Amid the strict travel and social restrictions still in place, Filipinos still brainstormed ideas related to celebrating Christmas such as shopping for gifts, decorations and food through Twitter.

Of these topics, holiday greetings made up 53% of the tweets.

Next to this is entertainment-related topics at 22%.

Tweets about shopping accumulate to 11% of the online chatter.  During this period, e-commerce websites compete to provide the best offers during the season.

“In the Philippines, 42% of shoppers would like to see brand deals while 35% are looking for gift suggestions from brands, and 36% of them also expect to see more heartwarming content from brands this holiday season, Twitter said.

Twitter also found that some of these conversations eventually lead to an increase in sales on the part of the brands and online stores.

“Apart from the ever-bustling community, 43% of Filipinos on Twitter also get their inspiration from the interests/topics they follow, while 32% get their ideas trending topics and hashtags. These conversations on Twitter convert into sales. On average, a 10% rise in conversation-driven by brands lead to a 3% increase in sales,” Twitter said.

Martyn U’ren, Twitter’s research director for Asia Pacific and Global Export, said that these findings showed that Christmas remained to be a “joyous occasion” in the Philippines based on their vibrant conversations on Twitter.

“Holidays remain to be a joyous occasion as seen on how vibrant the conversations are on Twitter throughout the region. What’s unique about the Philippines is that it’s known to have the longest Christmas celebration, and our insights showcase exactly just that,” U’ren said.

“The hype begins once Ber months set in and people are already into gift suggestions from brands, which 35% of Filipinos look out for, while 36% look for heartwarming Christmas special content. Holidays are special because it is the time to connect with their loved ones, and more so, we believe it’s the best time for brands to follow suit for their audience,” he added.