Go to a restaurant or coffee shop and take a look around, almost everyone is looking at their smartphones; and mostly not talking to each other. It is not a surprise to find out that more Malaysians use the internet through their phones rather than their computers. This is primarily the reason why more and more avail for Video, Internet, and Phone Unifi package.
A survey by Google
Google conducted a survey last year and found that Malaysia is one of the 5 countries where people connect to the internet through phones more than their computers.
As a matter of fact, according to Google, about 35% Malaysian say they only use their phones for internet access which makes them the number one country worldwide as to “smartphone internet access exclusivity”.
What do Malaysians do with their Smartphones?
Aside from updating their status on Facebook, posting pictures of food and places on Instagram, and ranting on Twitter, Hariz Noor, 24, told Malay Mail Online, “I follow news sites both on Twitter and Facebook to keep up. There… they update regularly with some even minute by minute.”
Gim Yuen Hui, 19, on the other hand, does not visit news site frequently but keeps up-to-date with current events in the country through her friends that share the news on Facebook or WeChat. WeChat is an instant messaging application developed in China that has become increasingly popular around Asia.
News Consumption Trend in Malaysia
The new trend of keeping up with current events seem to be adopted more by the younger generation, most especially by those who are active on social media and have online presence.
Speaking to a number of young Malaysians, they said that they would rather go through their timelines in Twitter and Facebook than visit news sites specifically for the reason that it has become some sort of a routine to frequently check social media sites. Another factor is that even news outlets are visible on social media itself, updates are much faster and real-time.
“These social media applications are popular because the younger generation prefers shorter and more concise news with interesting headlines as most people now are reading via their smartphones,” said Hariz, a communications student.
Niki Cheong, a writer, lecturer, and social activist, agrees that most people nowadays prefer “bite-sized” news provided on social media which makes it a lot easier to read and share to friends.
“You can’t read long-winded articles on your phone as it is time consuming. There is going to be a big shift to chats in 5 years or so but for that they have to change their structure. They need the kind of structure in place where it allows easier sharing especially among groups of friends,” said Cheong.
Ikhwan Nazri, editor of the Amanz.my website, said that although people use social media for news updates, they also tend to be wary about the trustworthiness of news that are being shared by people.
“More younger people read news on social sites to know what’s happening but the problem is sometimes the news may not be true. They need to make sure the source of news is verified before they go on to share it among their friends,” Nazri said.