TNS Connected Life 2016, a recent global study surveying the online behaviours of approximately 70,000 internet users across 57 countries revealed that the use of visual social media platforms, Instagram and Snapchat, has risen sharply across APAC.
It comes as no surprise as APAC sees over a billion smartphone users within the region, with the highest smartphone penetration in densely populated, Singapore.
While a digital-savvy population comes as no surprise, the study also shows that while the majority of online sharing may have traditionally occurred on Facebook, users are now shifting to other popular platforms that specialise in visual content.
The significant rise was most evident in Singapore over the course of the past two years, as Instagram users rose from 51% in 2014 to 63% in 2016. However, it still ranks third in the region, behind Malaysia (73%) and Hong Kong (70%).
Snapchat usage may be markedly lower but its popularity has risen exponentially, almost doubling from 19% to 37% in Singapore within a year. Hong Kong ranks highest with 46% of internet users with the app, followed by New Zealand (39%) and Malaysia (37%).
Many might be quick to assume that the rise in usage is merely a millennial trend; the study actually reveals that 33% of users aged between 55 and 65 are also Instagram users, with 10% on Snapchat.
It consolidates the notion that perhaps millennial behaviour is more about being mobile and digitally savvy than coming from a particular age bracket. Not least, it demonstrates the increasing power of visual storytelling as a means of capturing the attention of its users.