By DAVID DIZON
What do Filipinos like to do when they're on the Internet? According to a new study by New York-based media agency Universal McCann, active Internet users in the Philippines use the World Wide Web to watch online videos, read blogs and upload photos in photo-sharing sites.
The Wave.3 Social Media Tracker study also showed that there are an estimated 2.3 million bloggers in the Philippines as of March 2008. It said there are now 184 million bloggers worldwide, with China having the largest blogging community in the world with 42 million bloggers.
The study, which interviewed 17,000 Internet users in 29 countries, showed that the Philippines has an estimated 3.7 million active Internet users aged between 16 to 54 who go online almost daily. It said Internet penetration in the country was at 15.4 percent or 14 million Filipino Internet users as of April 2007, according to data from the Internetworldstats Web site.
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The study showed that 98.6 percent or about 3.6 million active Internet users in the Philippines use the Web to watch videos. The study said about 60.5 percent or 2.2 million active Filipino Internet users said they would upload videos to a video-sharing site such as YouTube.
The study said 90.3 percent of active Filipino Internet users said they use the Internet to read blogs. This is second only to South Korea, which had 92.1 percent.
The same study also showed that only 65.8 percent of active Internet users in the Philippines have started their own blog, which is equal to about 2.3 million bloggers in the Philippines.
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On the other hand, 86.4 percent or 3.14 million active Filipino Internet users said they used the Web to post pictures in photo-sharing sites. A total of 83.1 percent or about three million active Internet users in the Philippines said they created a profile on social networking sites such as Friendster or Multiply.
Aileen Apolo, Google country consultant for the Philippines, said higher interest in video-sharing sites such as YouTube is born out by its rising popularity in local media.
"As a user and someone who is an active member of the Internet community, I believe that a lot of Filipinos are really watching YouTube. Anywhere you go, you hear people talking about YouTube and read about it on blogs. Lately, there's also more interest in video blogging," Apolo told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
She said more Filipinos are also using social networking sites to get connected with friends and relatives. She said she started her own Friendster account by posting pictures and later videos and a blog, which she transferred to Blogger.com.
She said the Philippines has a very active blogging community not just in Metro Manila but in other areas such as Davao and Cebu.
The Universal McCann study also showed that only 61.8 percent of active Filipino Internet users have downloaded podcasts while 45.2 percent said they subscribed to an RSS [really simple syndication] feed.
The study said there is a growing trend of active Internet users uploading and sharing rich multimedia content on the Web.
"This represents a real shift in media consumption from passive to personal control. As the Internet becomes more central to living room media consumption, it will impact the way we consume television. In the short term it is commanding more of our time, fuelling duel media consumption in home (laptop with the TV on) and changing our relationship with media to one of being in control," the study said.
It said Web distributed content could potentially become another revenue stream for existing content producers and brands as video sites begin to cut advertising revenue with uploaders.