One of the things I’m really fascinated about is social media and how people use it in different countries. It’s been a minor part of my studies as well, but most of all a personal interest. While living abroad I’ve discovered how the role of social media and its different platforms effect on people’s’ everyday life. The constant development and changes make discovering and using it interesting.
While smartphones are becoming increasingly common, the social media platforms also change and make it possible to connect, share and discover anywhere, anytime.
Finland is often considered to be behind many countries and being compared to our dear neighbor, Sweden. What is now cool in Sweden might next year be cool on Finland. It is also interesting to notice how people with different age and living conditions use different platforms for different purposes.
Instagram has recently been increasingly popular and has become one of the marketing communication tools for businesses. Based on my experience; in Finland the biggest user group are people in age between 16 and early twenties.
Not many finnish businesses have yet created an instagram account but one good example is a cider brand Happy joe cider, (http://instagram.com/happyjoecider) the visual content is carried out nicely with colorful pictures with a soft focus. I’m sure instagram profiles like this will become increasingly popular among companies in Finland. I tried to google swedish businesses with instagram accounts but found nothing particularly interesting. The biggest american companies, e.g. Starbucks, Victoria’s secret, Virgin america, etc. actively use instagram in their marketing communication.
In Korea instagram is still pretty unknown although most people have a smartphone they actively use. Based on my experience, social media in general is behind even Finland. For instance foursquare and linked in are almost totally unknown and when checking in somewhere on foursquare you can see that a lot of people there are foreigners, although in Korea foreigners are a really small minority.
In addition to Facebook Koreans have a mobile app called Kakao Talk. Kind of like What’s app, but with games, group calls and chats and possibility to upload and share photos, calendars, etc. Koreans often also get their email account on a korean portal, such as Naver or Daum.
Haven’t found any korean friends with a twitter account yet. Even though Finland is also considered a developing country when it comes to twitter I’d say it’s ahead of Korea a lot. In Finland it’s mostly popular among journalists and politicians, but many young people are slowly getting into it. I’ve had a twitter account for a few years now, but didn’t actively use it until recently. Although I find it great being able to share and discover thoughts openly with strangers.
Me, I’m a little bit of everywhere, but I’ve focused on using few platforms actively. I’ve been putting more effort on twitter and instagram, and like many others I’m getting a bit bored on using Facebook. It’s great with keeping up with friends and loved ones, but is too broad in content. I believe the future will involve more specified platforms, which can already be seen: instagram for pics, twitter for thoughts, linked in for professional networking… What else? We’ll see.