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Indonesia’s love affair with messaging - Top 15 Apps

by Niko Waesche , 11.12.2015

Indonesia is a large and vibrant growth market, offering significant opportunities for consumer brands as well as for technology and media companies. With 250 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populated country in the world, with millions of people rising into the middle class each year. Its GDP is in excess of US$900 billion and it is, with over 1,000 islands, a melting pot of cultures, languages and attitudes. What’s more, with internet access being almost entirely smartphone-based, Indonesia provides an exciting opportunity to gather insight on the future of media behavior.

That’s why, last year, GfK established its first Crossmedia Link Panel in the region. Already in existence in a number of other countries including Germany, The Netherlands and Brazil, GfK Crossmedia Link uses sophisticated metering software that is installed on panelists’ internet-enabled devices to passively track and measure their digital behavior. Using this approach, we can measure digital behavior that is very hard to accurately ascertain using conventional surveys. Our panels provide better data on actual unique users across different devices and time spent with specific apps that enables us to compare user behavior by country (where we have a Crossmedia Link Panel).

GfK Blog - Indonesian's love affair with messaging2

What did we find out in Indonesia?

  • People in Indonesia spend significantly more time on their smartphone apps than people in The Netherlands and Germany.
  • Indonesians spend an average of 32 hours per month each using apps. That’s compared to 27 hours by Brazilians, 20 by Germans and 17 by the Dutch.
  • Of the 32 hours that Indonesians spend using apps, 19 are spent using communication and messaging apps. This is roughly the same amount of time that German and Dutch people spend each month using all of their apps.
  • While users in other countries also spend most of their app usage time using messaging apps, this only accounts for around one third of their total app usage time – i.e. between 5 and 13 hours per user, per month. By investing almost 60% of their app time on messaging, Indonesians clearly love messaging.
  •  Three apps – all messaging apps – used by Indonesians are BBM, WhatsApp and the Korean/Japanese Service Line.
  • The top three app categories in terms of time spent using them for all countries are messaging, social and then gaming.
  • Indonesians spend a significant amount of time using a variety of social media platforms. They love not only Facebook but also Twitter and Path. While Path was not successful in the US, Indonesians favor it over a number of other social platforms.
  • Apps that offer ways to overcome traffic jams, a huge problem for commuters in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, are also very popular in the region. Motorcycle taxi app GO-JEK is among the top 15 of apps in terms of time spent. And GO-JEK was only launched in January 2015. Reuters published a great piece on GO-JEK recently.
  • Shopping apps have a comparatively low reach in Indonesia, with the most popular shopping sites being OLX (owned by Naspers) and LAZADA (owned Rocket Internet). Ecommerce, however, is growing fast in the region.
  • Financial and banking apps also have a low reach, with the digital financial services’ infrastructure still awaiting development.

The top 15 apps in Indonesia

Indonesia 3 Indonesia 2 Indonesia 1

We are just at the start of our work in Indonesia. We are already unearthing interesting insights into media usage behavior in the region and how this compares with that of other countries where we have a Crossmedia Link Panel. For example, read “Think With Google” insights on our deep dive into the purchase journey of today’s mobile-first consumer. Our data is most powerful when used in combination with other data sets, such as mobile app visits or programmatic data in DMPs.

We are also already working with partners such as Google and reaching out to others, including advertisers, media groups and agencies, to build a powerful data ecosystem in Indonesia that enables better consumer insights, personalized services and smarter advertising.

For more information please contact Niko Waesche at niko.waesche@gfk.com.