Social media and online applications in Indonesia have shown sharp growth in recent years and remain highly popular. Indonesia not only has a huge population (numbering about 250 million people and around half of which is below thirty years of age and therefore likely to use social media) but per capita GDP has also been rising steadily due to robust economic growth resulting in an expanding middle class who can afford to buy mobile phones, smartphones as well as internet access. With smartphone penetration currently still low (compared to its regional peers) at about 23 percent, there is still room for growth, also for online applications and social media as a characteristic of Indonesia is that most Internet users use a mobile device to access the Internet.

Smartphones proved popular in Indonesia, particularly due to the affordable, low-cost smartphones which can compete with the more expensive international brands. Indonesia, which is already ranked within the top ten of the global largest smartphone sales markets, is estimated to see smartphone sales climb to 46 million in 2014 (and about 39.8 million of these sales involve new smartphones). According to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan smartphone penetration in Indonesia will exceed 50 percent in 2015 from only nine percent in 2012 and 23 percent in 2014. The firm believes that the Indonesian market is in the early to middle stage of data usage increase.

Another statistic that indicates that there is still ample room for growth of online products in Indonesia is that the country’s Internet penetration rate stands at around 30 percent only. This implies that 70 percent of 250 million people (125 million) are still not connected to the Internet. Another interesting statistic, released by marketing research agency Millward Brown, is that Indonesians spend an average of nine hours per day using their electronic devices, the most out of 30 countries surveyed.

Indonesia has about 70 million active Facebook users (an active user is someone who opens his Facebook account at least once per month) and therefore constitutes the fourth-largest Facebook community after the United States, India and Brazil. It is worth noting that about 86 percent of these Indonesian Facebook users use a mobile device to access their Facebook account. Furthermore, Southeast Asia’s largest economy currently has around 30 million Twitter users.