After spending the second half of 2021 besieged by a prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnamese are finally taking off their masks and… dialed up the volume on social media use in 2022.
According to Decision Lab’s quarterly report on Vietnamese connected consumers, the popularity of social media platforms took a hit after Q2 2021, when Vietnam underwent its most severe COVID-19 outbreak. YouTube is the prime example: By Q4 2021, YouTube declined 7.5% in popularity compared to Q2 2021.
In the first quarter of 2022, Vietnamese consumers returned to pre-pandemic level of engagement and usage on social media platforms. Standing at 85%, YouTube was able to become popular among users again in the first quarter of 2022.
In the first quarter of 2022, all social media platforms but Pinterest became more popular. Surprisingly, Twitter hit an all-time high penetration rate of 26%, a 44% increase compared to the previous quarter. Dubbed “the de facto public town square” by Elon Musk, has Twitter finally taken off in Vietnam?
While Facebook & Zalo largely maintained their dominance in the social media category, TikTok saw a 10-percentage-point increase in usage in Q1 2022. All other social media platforms became more popular, with the exception of Pinterest.
It's all in the Gen X
The rise of Twitter was driven by a surge in popularity among Gen X users. Compared to Q4 2021, 16% more Gen X Vietnamese used Twitter in Q1. This signals a growth rate of 177% in Twitter usage among Gen X Vietnamese, which makes the single-digit growth rate of Twitter in other age groups negligible.
Social media penetration rates-by age groups
Similarly, TikTok was another platform that was adopted more and more by Vietnamese across generations. Used by one fourth of Gen X population in the previous quarter, TikTok was now used by 41% of Gen X after one quarter. That said, this number is dwarfed by TikTok’s penetration rates among Gen Y (61%) and Gen Z (72%).
The connected Vietnamese consumer
With many social platforms becoming more popular in Q1 2022, how many platforms are Vietnamese using? Per our calculations, on average, Vietnamese use 4 to 5 social media platforms. As expected, Gen Z uses a slightly higher number of platforms on average (~5), while Gen X uses around 4 platforms.
The number of multiplatform users increased in Q1 2022: 70% of Vietnamese now use more than 4 social platforms, up 10 percentage points from the previous quarter. Facebook remains Gen Z and Millennials’ primary applications. For Gen X, Zalo continues to play a central role within consumers in this age group’s selection of apps.
The first quarter of 2022 was great news for social media platforms. As Vietnamese are gearing up for a post-COVID world, they returned to pre-COVID level of engagement on some social media platforms. That said, platforms such as Zalo and TikTok are the true winners of this period, whose growth rate remained stable after the second quarter of 2021.