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.


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 (… 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.

Did You Know That…

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing Facebook markets in the world?  

Facebook-LogoAs of 21 February 2013, 11.22 million (11,224,400) Vietnamese were on Facebook (FB).  That’s over a third of all Vietnamese online and 12% of the total population.  So while FB has been losing users worldwide as a result of “the ongoing cleanup of fake, spam, user-misclassified and duplicate accounts” (i.e., down from the 1 billion reached last October to 963,812,360 on the 21st), there has been spectacular user growth in some countries, including Vietnam.  Here are the top five (5) countries with the highest user growth rates

  1. Brazil:  65,657,820   2.61%  (33% of the population.)
  2. Philippines:  30,214,140  1.34%  (32%)
  3. Vietnam: 10,965,880 3.62%  (12%)
  4. Turkey:  32,260,920 1.16%  (44%)
  5. Poland:  10,164,260 3.24%  (27%)

Over the past week alone, over a quarter of a million Vietnamese landed on planet Facebook (+2.33%), making Vietnam #2 after Egypt. 

Given the high and increasing level of Internet penetration, you can expect this growth to continue and everything that portends for communication, self-expression and commerce. 

Some Implications for Institutional Branding and Student Recruitment

  1. Create fresh, appealing and up-to-date content for prospective international students (i.e., give them a reason to focus, if just for a moment). 
  2. Create content in the target languages of your key markets.
  3. Use FB for data mining purposes. 
  4. Hire a social media staff member, full-time (expensive), part-time (less expensive) or as an intern (inexpensive or no expense). 
  5. Ignore Facebook at your peril!