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Khuu Dang Thien

Decoding the habits of the connected Vietnamese consumer this Tết


Exponential increases in smartphone usage and Internet connectivity has led to incredible changes in the lifestyles of Vietnamese consumers over the last 10 years. Decision Lab’s latest report, The Ultimate Guide, is a useful tool for advertisers navigating the complex web (no pun intended) that is Vietnam’s evolving digital habits. As Tết approaches, use this document as a ‘how-to’ when it comes to understanding where and how long Vietnamese consumers hang out online.

Staying connected

In Vietnam, Facebook still reigns supreme as the most used and therefore most important social network. Ninety-seven percent of Internet users surveyed by Decision Lab said they were using it, while 63% claimed that it was ‘indispensable’ to their daily lives.

However, Facebook is no longer the sole player.

Several other contenders have emerged in recent years and have already begun carving out their own niche in a crowded space. As a result the average android or smartphone in Vietnam now has 3.7 social media apps downloaded on it, of which, Vietnamese consumers will generally choose either one or two that they ‘can’t live without.’

Notably, because Facebook is popular with a broad range of age groups, the newer apps are increasing the level of segmentation in this market.

For example, while Vietnamese messaging app, Zalo, is already being used by 86% of Gen Xers and 90% of the Millennials who responded, Instagram and TikTok’s numbers are much lower. These two social sharing apps have been more successful with a younger audience. Twenty-five percent of Gen Zers said they were now using Tik Tok, which is a rapidly growing short-form video platform, and 66% of them are regulars on the world’s most popular picture and video story-sharing app, Instagram.


“There’s an app for that!”

Apple’s famous 2009 slogan “There’s an app for that” couldn’t be  more ‘apt’ when it comes to modern Vietnamese’s digital habits. Consumers today can access their favorite content with the literal ‘click’ of a finger.

  • Youtube remains the most popular platform for listening to music, with 57% of Vietnamese most likely to use it. However, this doesn’t mean local and other international players are giving up without a fight, including Spotify, who have found themselves an audience amongst Gen Z audiophiles.

20191119 - The Ultimate Guide (Version 3)

  • YouTube also wins when it comes to watching movies, both in terms of platform preference and frequency of use, with 66% viewers watching at least once a day. As the below graph demonstrates, locally-based movie streaming sites are much less popular.

  • The picture looks very different when it comes to short-form videos, however, with Facebook on par with YouTube as the to-go platform (41% vs. 40%). This difference is accentuated among Gen Z and Millennials, who are both more likely to watch short videos on Facebook than YouTube. As demonstrated below Gen X still prefers watching short video content on YouTube.

  • In terms of daily news, publishers continue to leverage Facebook as a means of increasing their own traffic, with 36% of Vietnamese consumers reporting that they obtained their news through the social network.

    20191119 - The Ultimate Guide (Version 3) 2
  • Facebook also remains the most popular choice for connecting with friends, however, Gen Z are increasingly using Messenger as their preferred channel for communication.

  • As a preferred device for ‘aimless’ browsing, 61% choose Facebook on their smartphones.


Navigating the clutter

While there is no doubt that consumers today are easier to find than ever, it is still up to marketers to be there at the right place and the right time. It remains a core marketing challenge to not only know where their potential consumers are, but to understand how these consumers are reacting to their content across multiple platforms.

To gain a deeper understanding of modern Vietnam’s digital consumption habits, download Decision Lab’s free report  ‘The Ultimate Guide’ or get in touch with us today at decision@decisionlab.co for a free demonstration of our products.