Top 5 social media platforms by total users in Malaysia

How many Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter users in Malaysia? Let's find out!

As a marketer, have you been wondering what other platforms can you consider besides the duopoly of Google and Facebook?

By considering that YouTube and Instagram are the properties of Google and Facebook respectively, do marketers have any viable options?

So the first question is, which social media platforms are Malaysians active on?

Top social media platforms in Malaysia?

Let's first find out from Digital in 2018 in Southeast Asia by We Are Social on the most active social media platforms in Malaysia. By referring to the chart below, pay attention to the light orange bars representing social network.

This is because marketers can utilize social network platforms like Facebook for mass marketing outreach, but the same cannot be said for chat apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp which is meant for private communication tool.

While there are some marketers who engage in illegal WhatsApp blastings, chat app should be treated similarly like email marketing for CRM communications, not to spam your prospects.

Most active social media platforms in Malaysia (2018)

So if we exclude chat apps from the chart above, below are the top social network platforms in Malaysia. We have also estimated the number of users by platform by deriving the total active social media users of 24M reported in the same publication.

  1. Facebook: 70%, 16.8M users
  2. YouTube: 69%, 16.6M users
  3. Instagram: 49%, 11.8M users
  4. Google+: 32%, 7.7M users
  5. Twitter: 30%, 7.2M users
  6. LinkedIn: 19%, 4.6M users
  7. Pinterest: 17%, 2.4M users
While some of you might question how Google+ is included above, the number of users by platform seems to be quite off if we derive by this method.

Let's try and source data elsewhere.

How many Facebook users in Malaysia?

Total Facebook users in Malaysia

Launch your Facebook Ads Manager, set the audience open to all genders and age ranges in Malaysia, edit placements to Facebook only, then check the potential audience reach.

There are 23M Facebook users in Malaysia.

How many YouTube users in Malaysia?

Total YouTube users in Malaysia

It is not easy to find any publicly released figures but according to Google internal data as shown above, there are 20M YouTube users in Malaysia as of February 2018.

That is why YouTube has been positioned as the #1 TV channel in Malaysia.

How many Instagram users in Malaysia?

Total Instagram users in Malaysia

Similar to how we derive the Facebook's figures, you can check the potential audience reach by limiting the placements to Instagram only as shown above.

There are 11M Instagram users in Malaysia, which is almost a 70% increase from the 6.5M users announced by Facebook 2 years ago back in 2016.

How many LinkedIn users in Malaysia?

Total LinkedIn users in Malaysia

There is an analysis earlier this year reporting 9% of our population are LinkedIn users (2.75M), with Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia are the top 3 Southeast Asia countries in this aspect.

Let's verify this number at LinkedIn Campaign Manager, if we set the target location to Malaysia and open everything else. there are 4.4M LinkedIn users in Malaysia.

How many Twitter users in Malaysia?

Total Twitter users in Malaysia

The Twitter users annual growth chart shown above is reported by Statista. It seems to be slow and steady if we compare to the other social media platforms mentioned earlier.

According to Statista's estimation, there are 2.2M Twitter users in Malaysia (2018).

The top 5 social media platforms in Malaysia

Even though the measurement for each platform above could be different (registered users vs active users), we can now rank the top 5 social networks in Malaysia as below (updated in Q3 2018):
  1. Facebook - 23M users
  2. YouTube - 20M users
  3. Instagram - 11M users
  4. LinkedIn - 4.4M users
  5. Twitter - 2.2M users
This is quite different from the estimations made by We Are Social, and I personally think this version is more realistic. Twitter's total could be higher though, and we can add TikTok with its 4M users in Malaysia to this list.

  • [message]
    • Updates: MCMC has released the Internet Users Survey 2018
      • Refer below for the top 6 social network app in Malaysia, as this MCMC report can be another reference point. It is just weird that Google+ is in the list, a service which Google is in the process of shutting down.
Top social network apps in Malaysia
1. Facebook - 97.3%
2. Instagram - 57.0%
3. YouTube - 48.3%
4. Google+ - 31.3%
5. Twitter - 23.8%
6. LinkedIn - 13.3%

So to answer the first question of this article, marketers can actually explore LinkedIn, Twitter and TikTok beyond Google and Facebook's properties.

In my opinion, below are the general characteristics of the top 5(+1) platforms:
  • Facebook: Market to the matured audience :)
  • YouTube: Replacing TV commercials
  • Instagram: Market to the younger audience :)
  • LinkedIn: Premium audience, working professionals
  • Twitter: Audience is more skewed towards Malays
  • TikTok: Audience is even younger than Instagram

For marketers, understanding the audience behaviour, ad type and format by each platform is the key to successful campaigns.



Silver Mouse: Top 5 social media platforms by total users in Malaysia
Top 5 social media platforms by total users in Malaysia
How many Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter users in Malaysia? Let's find out!
Silver Mouse
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