Over Half the World is Online; Viet Nam Among Top 10 for Facebook Use

Essential Insights Into Internet, Social Media, Mobile, and E-Commerce Use Around the World

2018 Q2 Global

Here’s the latest, according to We are Social and Hootsuite.  Of the 7.615 billion human beings on this planet, 4.087 billion are online, which equals a global Internet penetration rate of 54%.  3.297 billion of them are active social media users, which amounts to a 43% penetration rate.  (To view all 50 slides from this April 2018 presentation click on the link above or the screenshot.)  

What’s notable for Viet Nam is that it ranks 7th among countries with the largest active Facebook user bases with 58 million, a 16% YOY increase. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) ranks 6th (!) with 14 million active users. Finally, related to these two rankings, the Vietnamese language ranks 7th with 61 million users.  Viet Nam’s current population is  96,509,781, based on the latest United Nations estimates, which means a nationwide Internet penetration rate of 63.20%.

For more information about Vietnamese online behavior, check out this 3-18 post I wrote for The PIE News entitled How the Vietnamese Use the Internet, Including Social Media.  

Peace, MAA

Consumer Barometer with Google in Viet Nam

This is a useful resource that reveals the following information, most of it fairly up-to-date, about Vietnamese online habits. The relevant data graphics are displayed after four (4) key questions.

Keep in mind that Viet Nam currently ranks 7th in the world for Facebook users with about 64 million accounts, a 40% increase (!) this year alone. This in a population of about 96 million. (That’s 3% of the global total.) It’s clear that those are not unique accounts and that many people have more than one, which also applies to mobile phones. Ho Chi Minh City ranks among the top 10 cities globally for having the most Facebookers with 14 million users.

How do Vietnamese connect to the Internet?


Do they use the Internet for personal purposes?

internet use for personal purposes

How often do Vietnamese go online (for personal Internet usage)?

frequency of internet usage

What online activities do they do on their smartphones at least weekly?

weekly smartphone online activities

How digitally savvy are Vietnamese netizens?

digitally savvy





Vietnam climbs to seventh worldwide for number of Facebook users: report

top 10 countries FB

This is the latest top 10 ranking for Viet Nam and it’s extraordinary like the country itself, in many respects.  It was not that many years ago when Vietnamese Facebook accounts numbered in the hundreds of thousands.  What is especially striking is the 40% increase in only six months. 

In a population of about 96 million, rounded up, suffice it to say that Facebook is about to plateau, if it hasn’t already.  Yes, Facebook is the #1 website in Viet Nam, according to SimilarWeb and Facebook Messenger is the #1 chat app in a very crowded and competitive marketplace of chat apps.

Viet Nam is one of the reasons why Facebook earned $8.03 billion in revenue and $1.04 actual EPS in the first quarter of this year with nearly 2 billion users.

In its latest quarterly report, Facebook beat analyst expectations on profitability and on revenue for the ninth straight quarter.  Viet Nam is one of the reasons why total revenues were $9.32 billion, a 45% increase over last year’s second quarter.  The greatest contributing factor was mobile advertising.  (For better and for worse, just over 2 billion people, an estimated 27% of the entire human race, are on Facebook.)

If you want to advertise any product or service in Viet Nam, especially for young people but , increasingly, for their parents, too, you have to use Facebook.  This is one reason why Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth, which currently stands at $72.7 billion, making him the planet’s 5th-wealthiest person, will continue to increase.


A Day Without Facebook in Viet Nam

facebook logoFacebook is hot in Viet Nam.  I mean sizzling, ubiquitous, on fire.  Seemingly indispensable.  It connects 35 million people in a population of about 94 million, who check their accounts on a regular basis, mainly from their mobile devices.  Facebook Messenger is the preferred means of online communication among young people.  According to a January 2016 tech presentation, average daily use of social media, i.e., Facebook is king, via any device is 2 hours and 18 minutes a day.  That’s nearly 10% of each day that Vietnamese spend on Facebook.

Facebook can be informative, enlightening, touching, and entertaining.  That’s 5% of it; the other 95% is garbage, in my opinion.  Spending time on Facebook looking for something of value is like mining for gold.  You have to sift through A LOT of worthless ore to find a few nuggets of gold.


Actually, Two Days, Give or Take

OMG.  For some reason (I’ll leave it to others to speculate), Facebook was down for much of the weekend – a blessing in disguise?  Facebookers flocked to their Twitter accounts to express their discontent, frustration, and anger.  It was like a heroin addict who suddenly couldn’t score.  Withdrawal symptoms began to set in almost immediately.  How were they going to spend all that precious time?  What were they missing out on?

One website called OutageReport-Facebook features a “Facebook Outage Map” that shows where the site can’t be accessed around the world on any given day.  It also has a green button that Facebookers can click on to confirm that the current status is OK in their city and a red one to inform the site that things are not OK.  There’s another website called Downdetector that has a more attractive “Facebook Outage Map” with map and satellite views.

Courtesy of Downdetector.  Screenshot from 18.20 on 15.5.16.  The big yellow spot is HCMC and the small one is Hanoi.

Both received a steady stream of Tweets from disgruntled Facebookers in Viet Nam who couldn’t get their fix.

Aaahhhh! What’s wrong with #Facebook. Can’t connect

Only 2days of weekend,why can’t access FB &Ins

So sad, to day i can’t connect to Facebook in Viet Nam.

HI @_____ w’d you kindly let me know what is happening on Facebook website today in Vietnam? Many people can’t access this site today

Yes, dear reader, Facebook can be addictive.  (Just Google “Facebook addiction.”)   Take a look at yourself and people around you.  There’s plenty of good research into this topic, including how it can even be measured in brain patterns.  One study found that the brains of people who report compulsive urges to use Facebook show some brain patterns similar to those found in drug addicts.  Researchers in Norway developed a psychological scale to measure Facebook addiction, the first of its kind.  Do you have a fear of missing out (FoMO)?  Are you really addicted?  Take one or both of these quizzes and find out, if you dare.

Quiz: Are You Actually Addicted to Facebook?

The Facebook Addiction Test

What could these Facebookers in Viet Nam have done – offline, in the real world?  First, step back and take a moment to recognize that this brief respite was a blessing in disguise.  Find something worthwhile to do in the here and now.  Talk to your family and friends, exercise, hang out at a cafe, read a book, close your eyes and let your mind wander and recharge.  The possibilities are endless.  Look Up! a la the 2014 video poem by Gary Turk, which now has over 57 million views on YouTube.  Think of what you are “MO” on by spending inordinate amounts of time on Facebook.  Like the Internet itself, Facebook is a double-edged sword, both a blessing and a curse, but you’re in control.  Right?

A day without Facebook is like a day without sunshine?  Hardly.


“The key question to keep asking is, ‘Are you spending your time on the right things?’ Because time is all you have.”  (Randy Pausch, 1960-2008)

Facebook Use Plateauing in Vietnam

FB April 2014
Source: Allin1Social

As with economic growth, Facebook growth has its limits.  After phenomenal increases in recent years, it looks like Facebook (FB) use is beginning to plateau in Vietnam.  In a country with a population of 92 million and an Internet penetration rate of about 40%, it was inevitable that this segment of the social media market would begin to mature.

As I wrote in a January 2014 blog post, there were over 22 million FB users, twice as many as the previous year.  As of last week, that figure had jumped to 24 million, which means that 65% of all Vietnamese netizens and 26% of the entire population is on Facebook.  That’s extraordinary in a country with a 2013 per capita income of just under $2,000.

The current gender distribution is 55.2% male and 44.8% female and the most popular segment is males between the ages of 18 and 24.  The chart below has additional information, including the fact that the age/gender segment with the highest increase was females 45-54 and the age segment with the highest growth in the past three months was 35-44.

Source:  Allin1Social
Source: Allin1Social

Below are the top 15 Facebook fanpages number of fans, sector, etc. as of two (2) weeks ago.

1 Samsung Mobile Vietn… 1,246,811 +18.5% 102,323 15% 3% 61% Product/Service
2 Tuổi Trẻ 871,585 +41.5% 25,771 12% 7% 80% Media/News/Publishing
3 ChọnMua 868,318 -0.9% 7,982 3% 2% 54% Website
4 Lazada Vietnam 846,996 +13.6% 28,643 2% 2% 51% Retail/Consumer Merchandise
5 Hoa Hoc Tro Magazine 581,162 +5.5% 22,736 5% 6% 61% Magazine
6 BBC Vietnamese 575,638 +70.1% 161,607 9% 56% 90% News Media Website
7 Sony Vietnam 559,240 +15.4% 24,860 12% 19% 99% Product/Service
8 KFC Vietnam 504,608 +15.3% 12,342 7% 10% 78% Food/Grocery
9 ZALORA Vietnam 501,691 +38.6% 8,513 2% 1% 57% Retail/Consumer Merchandise
10 Axe Vietnam 447,904 -0.5% 89 2% 0% 10% Product/Service
11 FPT Shop (Fptshop.co… 399,734 +75.2% 44,402 17% 4% 54% Computers/Technology
12 Nokia Việt Nam 398,330 +8.4% 8,521 6% 36% 92% Product/Service
13 Mật Ngữ 12 Chòm Sao丶… 393,180 -0.1% 2,003 0% 4% 61% Community
14 Pepsi 389,756 +20.9% 3,382 10% 27% 92% Food/Beverages
15 Báo Thiên Thần Nhỏ… 373,727 +18.5% 17,031 4% 31% 98% Magazine

Vietnam: Fastest Growing Facebook Market in the World


The number of Facebook (FB) users has doubled over the past year to over 22 million, which amounts to 61% of all netizens in Vietnam.  As one post pointed out, “Global brands are definitely eyeing the Vietnamese Facebook market.”  The implications for student recruitment are also obvious.  If you want to reach out to young people, you need to need to do it online and through social media platforms such as FB, which is now the second most popular website in Vietnam.  It is an essential means of communication not only through Vietnamese language posts, updates and the like but also synchronous communication via chatting.

Age ranges for FB users in Vietnam are as follows, rounded up or down:

  • 13-15:  8%
  • 16-18:  18%
  • 19-24:  39%
  • 25-30:  21%
  • 31-40:  10%
  • Over 40 (old! :-)):    4%

This is what Vietnam’s age distribution looked like in 2013 broken down by gender:

VM_popgraph 2013
Source: CIA World Factbook

With a median age of 28.7 years the youth of the population is exemplified by the fact that 43% of all Vietnamese are between 0-24.  65% of all FB users fall in the 13-24 age range and 86% into the 13-30 range.  See you on Facebook!


P.S.:  As an aside, Vietnam’s gender imbalance problem (crisis?) jumps off of the above population pyramid.  There are more than 1.1 million boys than girls in the 0-14 age group (!).  It is estimated that with a gender ratio at birth of 112.3 boys per 100 girls, between 2.3 and 4.3 million Vietnamese men will be unable to find a partner in 2050.

Facebook Users Reach 15 Million Mark in Vietnam!

facebook logo

Break out the champagne bottles and pop those corks!  As of 11 June 2013, there were 15 million Facebook (FB) users in Vietnam, a penetration rate of 16.39%.  This means that nearly half of all Vietnamese connected to the Internet are “facebooking.” 

Vietnam ranks 17th in the world in FB use between Spain (16th) and Egypt (18th).  In fact, there are more FB users in Vietnam than Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. 

Some other interesting and, in some cases, remarkable facts: 

Users By Cities

Ho Chi Minh City: 3.2 million (21%)
Hanoi: 3.6 million (24%)
Haiphong: 380,000 (2.5%)
Can Tho: 220,000 (1.47%)
Danang: 380,000 (2.5%)
Hue:  220,000 (1.47%)

Gender Distribution

Female:  44%
Male:  56%

Age Distribution

13-18:  4.16 million (28%)
18-25:  6.8 million (45%)
25-35:  2.8 million (19%)

Mobile Penetration

Mobile:  72%
Non-mobile:  28%

Mobile Diversity

Android:  58.3%
iOS:  36.1%

Bottom line, literally and figuratively:  If there’s a message you want to communicate to young people in Vietnam, which has a median age of 28.7 years, Facebook should be a key part of your outreach strategy.