TikTok, Facebook vie for bigger market shares in Vietnam

Facebook and TikTok are trying to get a bigger piece of the pie in Vietnam following YouTube’s overwhelming market share of video ads.

TikTok, Facebook vie for bigger market shares in Vietnam

Both the global social networks are trying to capture viewers with new strategies, VnExpress has reported.

Statistics by global marketing agency We Are Social showed that in 2018 Facebook had over 58 million users in Vietnam. In late 2017 it launched a video-based sub-platform called Facebook Watch.

The biggest global social network has been hosting an online, real-time trivia game (Confetti) for several nights a week for almost half a year in which participants could win actual money. The move is part of Facebook’s efforts to win more users.

A participant probably wins the prizes if they share the game on social media. The rewards would be higher if 300,000 people are online and playing at the same time.

Chinese video app TikTok, the youngest of the three, has also launched fully in Vietnam after a year’s trial. Unlike YouTube and Facebook, which have made no moves to set up a subsidiary in Vietnam, TikTok established a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City last December.

It had 12 million regular users per month in Vietnam as of the end of March 2019. It has more than 1,000 official content creators, artists, influencers and content producers.

The video app expects to triple the number of official content creators to 3,000 by the end of this year, said Policy Director of TikTok Vietnam Nguyen Lam Thanh.

One of TikTok’s top priorities this year is to make sure users can find all kinds of content on the platform, whether it’s entertainment, learning or inspirational trends, he said.

The app has revealed major ambitions by announcing partnerships with other media firms such as state-owned VTV, VTVCab (cable TV), the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Center, and the Danang Department of Tourism.


Currently, the platform is in its ad-free phase with no certain plans for ads. In December 2018, Director of Communications for TikTok Vietnam Diep Que Anh said they are waiting for the market to mature.

Given the recent moves by major media streaming platforms to capture more engagement and impressive growth in the sector, digital advertising looks to be the future.

A recent report by French marketing agency Criteo said while TV and print media are the two top channels in Vietnam in terms of advertising spending, online advertising has been growing at the fastest rate.

Criteo predicted that, 89% of the total marketing budget in the country would be used for online advertising by 2022 in scenario that 34% of smartphone users would have two or more connected devices by then.

In 2017, the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information estimated that Google and Facebook occupied 80% of the online advertising market in Vietnam.

It’s not surprise to see Facebook and TikTok’s strategic moves to boost its market coverage in the context that 87% of respondents saying in 2018 that they used YouTube platform.

In 2017, a representative of the platform said out of four Vietnamese using smartphones, three use YouTube on their device.

While YouTube has been criticized for being unable or unwilling to act on internal alarms flagging toxic content for fear of throttling engagement in Vietnam, Facebook has received reprobation from Vietnamese authorities for failing to comply with tax responsibilities and manage toxic contents as well as illegally placing ads.


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