Facebook can’t take Asian growth for granted

A piece I wrote ahead of Facebook’s IPO, casting a skeptical eye over assumptions that Asia would continue to be a source of major growth for the company. Even as Facebook fever grips investors ahead of the social networking giant’s potential $100 billion-plus initial public offering, its breakneck growth in Asia may be slowing as […]

Southeast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

The mobile revolution is moving from second tier countries in Southeast Asia to the third and final tier. Whereas previously Indonesia and the Philippines were seeing the biggest growth in mobile Internet traffic, now it’s Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia which top the list in terms of user- and usage-growth, according to the Opera State of […]

Facebook’s ‘Locality of Friendship’

This visualization by Facebook intern Paul Butler illustrates what he calls the locality of friendship. I was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends. I wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them. It’s a magnificent effort and scores […]

Facebook in Asia: Seeds of Decline?

Some thoughts after trawling through data I’m collecting on Facebook membership in selected Asia Pacific countries Membership of Facebook in developed Asia Pacific territories declined for the first time in a year in September, suggesting, possibly, that interest in the social networking site in the region has peaked. The figures may also reveal insights on […]

Facebook’s Asian Growth: Not Everywhere is North

I’ve seen some posts recently suggesting that Facebook is not doing well in Asia-Pacific. This, for example, from Forrester’s Reineke Reitsma: For example, Facebook is struggling to gain ground in Asia Pacific: With 58% of online adults accessing it, Orkut is the leading social platform in metropolitan India, while 27% of Japanese online adults use […]

Podcast: Hotel Business Centers

Spending a week in the Philippines at one of Manila’s fancier hotels reminded me how far hotel business centers have to go to catch up with the rest of the leisure industry. A weekly column I recorded for the BBC World Service Business Daily (the Business Daily podcast is here.) To listen to the podcast, […]

Evoting? First Bad Omen

I’m in the Philippines to look at their preparations for an automated evoting election in May. This morning’s visit to the hotel’s business center wasn’t a good omen: no antivirus software on their computers. This might not tell us very much about the potential for disaster in an election which is supposed to be entirely […]

Facebook in Asia: A Limit to Growth?

Here are the latest figures for Facebook populations in Asia-Pacific: Country Users Australia    7,395,200 New Zealand  1,279,260 Indonesia    15,254,060  Singapore    1,763,340 Malaysia    4,155,880 Philippines    8,667,880 Thailand    2,000,320 Hong Kong 2,565,440 China    60,440 India 5,459,440 While there’s no doubt that Facebook is the premier social networking site in most Asia-Pacific countries, with subscription growing by about […]

Time to Give the Telephone Back to the Cellphone?

Was interviewing a guy intimately involved in the mobile phone industry the other day, and we were comparing the various features of our sophisticated smartphones, when he suddenly leaned over and said, “Off the record, but this is my favorite phone.” And he showed me this: Nokia 1100, photo Mobile Phones UK The Nokia 1100, […]

Piracy Helps Some Countries Grow

One can only imagine Bill Gates’ discomfort: Standing silently as the Romanian president told the world that pirated Microsoft software helped his country become what it is: Pirated Microsoft Corp software helped Romania to build a vibrant technology industry, Romanian President Traian Basescu told the company’s co-founder Bill Gates on Thursday. “Piracy,” Reuters quoted him […]