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Social networks: Macau loves Facebook, Estonia into diversity

People in the tiny Asian nation of Macau love Facebook. No seriously, around 90% of them check the social network on their phone at least once a month.

That’s according to the latest State of Mobile report from mobile web browser Opera Mini. This particular report focuses on social media and Macau’s addiction to Facebook isn’t the only surprising finding.

Estonia for instance isn’t exactly picky when it comes to the social networks it frequents. The tech-savvy Eastern European country has a high representation of both Facebook and Twitter, as well as more regional networks such as Odnoklassniki and VKontakte. Other countries such as Israel and Latvia also show a more diversified distribution of visits to different social networks.

Given Facebook’s status as the world’s most popular social network, it’s hardly surprising that it dominates traffic from Opera mobile users. Just over half of Opera Mini’s 194-million users visit Facebook at least once a month.

Asian countries dominate Facebook visits from the mobile browser with Indonesia and India coming out tops. That’s more or less in line with social analytics tool Socialbakers’ statistics. The higher prevalence of emerging markets in Opera’s data (Nigeria, Mexico, Vietnam, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia and Turkey are all on the list) is largely down to high usage of the browser on feature phones. In more developed countries, people are more likely to visit Facebook (and most other social networks) from native apps.

Facebook use

There are however significant differences in the usage of different social networks globally. In each country surveyed, one network usually is on top with a large majority of users. Other social networks usually get minor parts of the user base.

Facebook and Twitter, are the only social networks with true global representation. For Odnoklassniki, Russia and other CIS countries make up the top lists, both percentage-wise and in raw usage numbers. For Odnoklassniki, the top-ten countries, based on unique users, are: Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan.


The popularity of Odnoklassniki and vKontakte is inversely proportional to Facebook and Twitter, making these countries a challenge for social networks originated in the USA. The same goes for China, where the usage of social networks does not follow the same patterns as other countries. Inside China, the Chinese social networks are dominant, but outside they are practically non-existent in the Opera Mini domain lists.

Outside of mainland China, Weibo (Opera appears not to distinguish between the offerings from Sina and Tencent) is popular in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan. Outside of Asia, it’s largest presence is in Australia most likely due to a large ex-pat Asian community.

Weibo Map

Opera’s figures come from an analysis of its browser traffic from the 215-million plus people who use its mobile offerings.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
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