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The Development of Cambodia’s Social Media and Digital Scene

There are over 27.16 million mobile connections, 7.16 million internet users, 4.9 million active social media users and 4.4 million active social mobile users in Cambodia.

Facebook has firmly established itself as the choice platform for social media users in the Kingdom with the network boasting 4.8 million registered users and 2.9 million daily active users.

If you use Facebook, you’d be accustomed to your timelines being flooded with a never-ending plethora of photographs, status updates, videos, and the odd gif.

In 2017 however, this could all change not least because of Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift technology.

Oculus is set to be the propelling force behind Facebook’s stride into the world of virtual reality with 250 million worth of investment already committed to developing this area. In announcing the appointment of Hugo Barra, who was previously responsible for XiaoMi’s global expansion, as the Vice President of Oculus, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg outlined their belief that “virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform”.

In addition to this VR technology, three more content categories are progressively permeating our social media platforms. These categories include ephemeral content, immersive content and live content.

When it comes to ephemeral content, we’re talking about the increase in time-sensitive content through platforms like Instagram Story and Snapchat. In terms of immersive content, you could simply look at the increase in the 360 videos available on Facebook and YouTube for this content type. As for live content, Instagram and Facebook Live have both proven to be viable platforms for streaming events to your fans.

Given these three new content categories, there is a demand on advertising companies to ensure that content being produced is refine, creative and packs a punch in its visual aspect.

Specifically for the Cambodian market, these new content types present boundless opportunity for investors to reach out to an as yet untapped market especially when you consider the usage patterns of Cambodian customers who are heavy mobile users.

While the Kingdom may boast over 27 million mobile connections, only 45% of these connections are connected to a 3G or 4G network. In other words, there is more than half the Cambodian market that is as yet unreached through digital advertising and through the aforementioned Facebook content.

On the surface, the vast divide between mobile connections and those with a 3G or 4G connection could appear discouraging. However, it is this very disparity between mobile connections and those connected to the Internet through mobile devices that could be an attractive proposition to investors if looked at in context.

Consider first the behavioural patterns of Cambodians on social media. Already, they have proven to be extremely active social media users through their mobile phones with 4.4 of the 4.9 million active social media users making use of a mobile connection.

Next, consider the government’s thrust to improve the Kingdom’s internet and mobile infrastructure as well as telecom companies like Smart investing large sums into improving Cambodia’s internet connectivity, Cambodia’s Internet connection is set for exponential growth in the years to come.

Combine this with Cambodia’s growing economy (yet another 7+% growth is predicted in 2017) which will lead to an increase in spending power for the average Cambodian, it is very likely that the gap between mobile connections and being connected to broadband through mobile phones will be closed in the coming years which opens the door to reaching a substantially larger audience through digital mediums.

All in all, 2017 is set to be a brand new era for digital content with new content formats springing to life while Cambodia presents businesses, advertisers and investors with promising growth opportunities.

Check out the infographic below for an overview of the Kingdom’s social media and digital statistics.