Well, this doesn’t come as a complete surprise because most Malaysians have WhatsApp on their smartphones. But the sheer number of Malaysians on WhatsApp is quite an eye-opener! The Digital News Report 2017 says that Malaysians are the world’s largest users of WhatsApp at 51%. In fact, the use of WhatsApp for news is starting to rival Facebook in Malaysia.
In his blogpost, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak wrote that the report also mentioned Malaysians as getting 86% of their news feed online, 45% from publications, 54% from television, and 15% from radio.
As seen in the Digital News Report 2017 infographic above, smartphones are still the main device for Malaysians (65%), followed by computers (45%), and then tablets (18%).
According to Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, previously, a study made by TNS Global found that Malaysians are the largest group of WhatsApp users (77%) and Facebook Messenger (41%).
Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said that WhatsApp was the main choice for consumers because of its many advantages such as simplicity and speed in communication and information sharing, and effective interfaces within an organisation as every instruction or alert could be sent without time restriction, and saves cost. He added that WhatsApp also helped the ordinary businessman to promote his (or her) endeavour without spending a lot of money, and widely used as an effective political campaign tool.
“Just imagine a WhatsApp group with 200 members. If someone has 10 WhatsApp groups, in a short time he can share information with 2,000 people,” he explained.
On a related note, other social media platforms that are popular with Malaysians are Facebook (58%), YouTube (26%), WeChat (13%), and Instagram (13%).