Vietnamese consumers are going back to pre-pandemic levels of usage and preference for different social media apps in the first quarter of 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Q2 2021 stalled social media growth in Vietnam. Though Vietnamese used social media as a distraction during this period, social platforms failed to grow beyond their existing user base.
However, in Q1 2022, Decision Lab’s “The Connected Consumer” report indicates strong growth from nearly all major social media sites. Importantly, as the new normal dawns on Vietnam, the country’s connected consumers are turning back to pre-pandemic Internet habits.
The new social media normal
Zalo, the local social media giant, rose to record-level importance to Vietnamese consumers in Q4 2021 for helping users navigate the pandemic with health declaration features. However, in the first quarter of 2022, Zalo’s position as Vietnamese consumers’ primary app contracted by 27%.
Instead, Vietnamese users returned to using Facebook. The social media giant’s position as Vietnamese consumers’ primary application grew by 6 percentage points in Q1 2022, coming close to pre-pandemic levels.
Facebook also regained consumer favorability in other categories. For example, in the news category, Facebook witnessed a growth of 10%, surpassing Google and local publishers by a large margin. Facebook also gained more traction as an ecommerce site, attracting more Gen X and Millennials consumers in key cities of Vietnam
The one winner
If there’s one winner of Vietnam’s pandemic period, it’s TikTok. While other platforms struggled after Q2 2021, TikTok still maintained its overall penetration rates. At the same time, this platform asserts further dominance within the short-video category, gaining 12% of consumer favorability as the go-to short-video platform in Vietnam.
During Q1 2022, Meta introduced short videos onto Facebook. Per our analysis, Facebook didn’t gain more consumer favorability as a short-video platform in this time period. That said, given Facebook's status as the most widely used social media app in Vietnam, Vietnamese users might flock to this platform for short videos in future quarters.