Understanding the online behavior of Filipinos

You can see it reflected on the top search trends on the Yahoo! Philippines most of the time: Filipinos are searching for more entertainment-related content online. Whether it’s the latest Willie Revillame controversy, or wardrobe malfunctions of different stars, online users in the Philippines can’t get enough of celebrities.

One of the key findings of the Net Index 2010 Philippines study that Yahoo! and Nielsen Media released today is that search tops the online activities of Filipinos. From 58 percent in 2009, search has grown to 76 percent this year, with young and middle-aged users (10-39 years old) driving usage.

Jay Bautista, executive director of Nielsen Philippines, said at a press briefing that the craving for entertainment-related content is what propelled search on top of Filipino online activities this year.

Entertainment-related content accounted for 62 percent of searches, video was responsible for 52 percent, while information/research documents accounted for 44 percent and music/audio clips, 31 percent.

Bautista also noted that social media was driving the online activities of Filipinos, citing in particular the staggering growth of Facebook usage in the country from four percent in 2009 to 83 percent this year.

“Social media has four distinct areas,” Bautista said, namely, social networking, user-generated content, community groups/forums and blogging.

He said that social media usage varies depending on factors such as income. Lower-income individuals, he pointed out, concentrate on consuming content, whether user-generated content such as online video or social networking updates. Those with higher education and better income are more likely to multi-task, creating as well as consuming social media.

In his opening remarks, Yahoo! Philippines general manager Jack Madrid stressed that Yahoo! partnered with Nielsen to provide an in-depth study on the online behavior of Filipinos.

“Net Index 2010 is a way for us to give a deeper understanding of the Filipino Internet user,” Madrid said. Through these insights, Yahoo! is better able to fulfill its commitment to fully addressing the needs of its audience and partners.

“This is all about the audience and the integrity of our stories,” Madrid said, as he cited Yahoo! Philippines’ successful Purple Thumb coverage of the Philippine elections as a case study not only for the Philippines, but other markets.

In response to a question from the media, Madrid also cited the newly launched Yahoo! Pulse social networking service that integrates the Yahoo! and Facebook experiences of users on one platform.

To follow the ongoing social media coverage of Net Index 2010, follow the #NetIndex2010 hashtag on Twitter and the @yphnewsroom Twitter account.

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