Ever heard of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or Snapchat? Of course, here in our western culture we cannot bypass these social media giants. But on the other side of the world, the social media cards are shuffled completely differently. We therefore thought it would be interesting to list some of the largest social media platforms in Asia.

Overzicht sociale media netwwerken in Azië

WeChat

WeChat or rather the Asian counterpart of Facebook is the first social media platform on our list. Just like WhatsApp and Messenger, it is a conversation platform, but with a slight twist. In addition to your standard conversations, you can do so much more on the platform, from ordering airline tickets to paying for your next coffee. WeChat is a product that comes from the Tencent company, one of the largest media companies on the Asian market. WeChat is currently the largest social media platform in Asia with only 1 083 million users.

wechat interface

QQ

QQ was the predecessor of WeChat and is also a product of Tencent. It was, until two years ago, the market leader when we looked at social media platforms on the Asian market. But in the meantime, however, you can find them in 7th place in the world ranking with 803 million users. QQ is also so much more than just sending and receiving messages. You can play online games, customize your avatar, send and receive large file emails, share Snapchat-style disappearing videos and animations, and participate in online groups of like-minded individuals.

Their loss of users is largely due to the fact that their latest updates and features turned out less than expected, while WeChat hit a home run with every new update. Reminds us immediately of the Snapchat versus Instagram updates story! By the way, are we the only ones who get a nostalgic MSN feeling from this interface?

qq interface

Qzone

It seems that Tencent is in control of all major social media platforms in Asia. Because they too are the brains behind Qzone. Users can write blogs, keep journals, send photos, listen to music and watch videos. Qzone has seen the number of active users fall in recent years, currently they only have 531 million users. Is their popularity peak over? Or can the strong community feeling on the platform be their salvation?

qzone interface

TikTok 

TikTok is a social media app for creating and sharing short videos. In this case the developer is not Tencent, but the Chinese company ByteDance. In November 2017, this company took over the forerunner and biggest competitor, the American musical.ly. TikTok is extremely popular with the younger generations. Of the 500 million users, more than half are younger than 30 years.

The original idea behind these apps was to let people film themselves while they are playbacking their favorite songs and then send them afterward to their friends. But over time, the platform started to lead a life of its own and it has grown and has become so much more. Since mid-2019, companies have also started to notice the impact of the platform, which is resulting in the first detailed TikTok business accounts. In Belgium, for example, clothing brand ZEB makes clever use of TikTok: they do not have their own TikTok account, but work together with Belgian TikTok star Stien Edlund.

Stien Edlund TikTok ster

Weibo

Finally, we have Sina Weibo. Over the past eight years, the platform has been transformed from the Chinese equivalent of Twitter to a comprehensive platform that integrates the main functions of social media channels such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. It owes its great popularity to the fact that there was a wave of social unrest in China in 2009. The government put the blame on the free flow of information and blocked Twitter, Facebook and many local microblogs as a result. Sina Weibo was introduced as a solution, the new platform would control the flow of incoming messages by following and blocking ‘sensitive’ content. So social media censorship is a real thing in China …

weibo interface

With this we end our list of the most popular social media platforms in Asia. Have we forgotten one? Let us know and maybe we’ll include it in part 2 😉