Twitter, the online social networking and microblogging service, plans to open an office in Jakarta within the next six months as the number of Indonesian Twitter users has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2013, Indonesia had 29 million Twitter users, making it the world’s fifth-largest Twitter community after the USA, Brazil, Japan and the UK. The American social media giant already owns five offices in the Asia-Pacific region. Similar to other companies, Twitter waited until after the elections before expanding to Indonesia.
Indonesia witnessed two elections - the legislative election (April) and presidential election (July) - in 2014. Being a relatively new democracy (since 1998), a number of investors preferred to wait until these elections were over for reasons of political certainty. Especially the presidential election turned out to be a tight race between market favourite Joko Widodo and controversial former army general Prabowo Subianto. Widodo was declared winner of the election but the Constitutional Court case that was filed by Subianto made investors nervous.
Adam Baim, President for Global Revenue and Partnership, said that Twitter can deliver better services to its Indonesian community after it has opened an office in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Indonesia is now the primary market of Twitter in the region. Particularly the capital city of Jakarta is a major “Twitter hub”. In fact, it is now the world’s most active city in terms of tweet messages. Social media consultant Semiocast said that two percent of 10.6 billion tweets worldwide originate from Jakarta. This city thus has the largest concentration of Twitter users, beating London and Tokyo on second and third place.
Social media and online applications in Indonesia have shown robust growth in recent years and there is still plenty of room for further growth ahead. Indonesia not only has a huge population (numbering about 250 million people, 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 that can afford to purchase mobile phones, smartphones as well as Internet access. Moreover, Indonesia's Internet penetration is still low at around 30 percent. This implies that 70 percent of 250 million people (125 million) are still not connected to the Internet.
In Indonesia, Twitter is not as popular as Facebook. Indonesia’s Facebook community numbers around 70 million (active users), making it the world’s fourth-largest Facebook community after the United States, India and Brazil.