Why Filipinos have high internet consumption, according to online users

February 7, 2023 - 7:11 PM
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Student in front of laptop
A student in a video conference. (Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay)

Filipinos are among the world’s major consumers of the internet, according to the latest data of a report.

Meltwater and We Are Social in January released a report titled “Digital 2023” that offered insights into the internet behaviors and trends of more than 203 countries and territories in the world.

Here, different sets of data were divided into the following categories:

  • Internet consumption
  • Social media use
  • Mobile use
  • E-commerce
  • Digital marketing

Overall, the researchers found that there are 5.16 billion internet users in the world, or 64.4% of the entire population.

Meanwhile, there are 4.76 billion active social media users, or 59.4% of the population.

Researchers estimated the global population to be 8.01 billion.

Where does the Philippines rank among the internet users in the world?

The Philippines has only 73.1% internet adoption. This is the number of internet users as compared to the country’s population.

This is also considered low compared to other countries where nearly all their residents use the internet.

The four countries at the top with 99.0% of internet adoption are Ireland, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.

Despite the relatively low number of users, the Philippines ranked high in internet consumption.

The report stated that Filipino users spend an average of nine hours and 14 minutes online per day, thus placing in the third spot.

South Africa topped the list with an average of nine hours and 38 minutes. It is closely followed by Brazil who spends an average of nine hours and 32 minutes per day.

The Philippines, meanwhile, ranked high at 97.3% in using the mobile phone to gain access to the internet.

This time, the country topped the list in terms of usage. Filipinos spend at least five hours and 31 minutes going online through their phones.

This means not all Filipinos are using the internet. The active ones mostly use their mobile phones to go online and perform most of their tasks there.

Possible factors

Lack of safe and accessible recreational options and the high cost of living are seen by several online users as among the reasons why Filipinos spend most of their time virtually.

Educator and TikTok content creator Lyqa Maravilla pointed out the lack of worthwhile options available for Pinoys’ entertainment and pasttime.

“I know what usually follows is this idea na tamad lang talaga ang mga Pinoy and media-obsessed,” Maravilla tweeted.

“May grain of truth naman siguro talaga diyan, but it’s also hard to distract people from distractions kung walang accessible at worthwhile na mapagtutuunan ng atensyon at effort,” she added.

Others also mentioned the poor transportation system and worsening inflation as factors for this situation.

“[Because] most of us have nowhere to go [especially] due to inflation, less public spaces, terrible [transportation] system. Most would prefer to stay at home and spend time online than waste money for their food/family needs,” a Twitter user said.

Several Redditors on the forum r/Philippines, meanwhile, said that these numbers can be an opportunity to improve the quality of content online.

“There is a market for Filipinos to develop their own games and streaming industry. ABS-CBN is currently trying to do something about it through their effort of digitizing their catalogues and offering it as a streaming service like iWantTFC. GMA is trying to catch up with Kapuso streaming,” one Redditor said.

“If others can leverage this, we can slowly encourage those people under those numbers to do or learn/know about something else na they are interested in,” another Redditor said.