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Linh Vu

Decoding the Text-based social media boom in Vietnam: Implications for businesses

Decision Lab's latest "Connected Consumer Q1 2024" report highlights the growing traction of text-based social media among Vietnamese users, particularly on platforms like Threads and X (formerly known as Twitter). This trend raises important questions for businesses and marketers regarding the potential benefits of incorporating these platforms into their strategies.

The initial growth signal of text-based social media in Vietnam

Text-based social media platforms, commonly known as micro-blogging sites, are often used as a destination for users to exchange information, express opinions, and discuss with others. 

According to Decision Lab's latest report, these platforms are becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam's digital ecosystem. By the first quarter of 2024, X had made a significant comeback, nearly matching its performance from the third quarter of 2023. In contrast, TikTok, the short video app, has experienced a decline.

Download the Connected Consumer Q1 2024 for more insights

Sự phát triển của các nền tảng

A particularly noteworthy development is the steady rise of Threads, Meta’s new public conversation app. This platform is gaining traction across various age groups, with a pronounced uptake among Generation Z. Threads achieved a penetration rate of 5% in Q1 2024, marking a two percentage point increase over the past three quarters. While this growth may seem modest, it indicates the growing appeal of text-based platforms, particularly among younger users who are increasingly seeking out spaces for meaningful dialogue and self-expression.

Download the Connected Consumer Q1 2024 for more insights

The surprising rebound of X

The significant increase in X's popularity after three consecutive quarters of decline has caught many in the Vietnamese market off guard. Following Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform last year, several changes were implemented, including modifications to platform policies, rebranding to "X," and the removal of the iconic blue logo. Reports from news outlets and industry experts suggested that the platform had suffered revenue losses due to these changes. Consequently, user numbers were expected to decline, especially in Vietnam, where X has historically not been a top priority.

However, a possible explanation for this unexpected rise can be attributed to the platform's inherent nature. X is renowned for its ability to rapidly disseminate the latest news and provide a space for users to freely share and express their opinions. Moreover, X boasts a user base that spans multiple countries and geographical regions. In light of the current global turbulence and ongoing conflicts, Vietnamese users are increasingly turning to X as a source of information and a forum for discussion. 

The steady momentum of Threads

Meta's micro-blogging app, Threads, has maintained a consistent growth trajectory in the last three quarters. The platform has been gaining significant traction, especially among younger users who are attracted to its seamless integration with Instagram. Although Threads' user base currently trails behind that of X, the platform's robust app downloads and engagement performance indicate its potential to secure a considerable market share in Vietnam in upcoming periods.

One of the key factors contributing to Threads' growing popularity is its perception as a content repository from peer communities. Users' feeds on the platform not only include content from the individuals they follow but also from other users who share similar interests. Moreover, Threads' algorithms facilitate easier content virality by allowing posts to appear on the feeds of all users interested in a particular topic. This feature and the Generation Z's openness to engaging with strangers through reply threads have further propelled the platform's growth.

Download the Connected Consumer Q1 2024 for more insights

After nearly a year since its launch, we have already seen several brands, businesses, and universities adopt Threads as a supplementary social media channel. Notable examples include Glints, Tomorrow marketers, Coca-Cola, Sephora, and RMIT University. While the long-term effectiveness of these efforts remains to be seen, the platform's growing user base and engagement metrics suggest Threads could become an increasingly important part of Vietnam's social media landscape in the coming years.

Implications for business

Whether businesses should invest in text-based platforms depends on various factors, including the nature of the business, its current capabilities, and its target audience.

Thue Quist Thomasen, CEO of Decision Lab, shared:

“As text-based platforms have demonstrated initial growth, early adopters of new platforms like Threads can gain significant advantages and have ample experimentation opportunities. However, it is crucial to recognise that exploring new channels is a time-intensive process that does not always yield successful outcomes. Moreover, given the ever-evolving nature of the social media landscape, predicting the next trend with certainty is challenging. Therefore, businesses must carefully evaluate their goals, target audience, and available resources before investing in text-based platforms while remaining agile and adaptable to the dynamic digital environment.”

Download the Connected Consumer Q1 2024 for more insights