Social-networking sites such as Facebook continue to drive the growth of mobile Internet use in Indonesia.
In addition, most users were “leapfrogging” traditional forms of Internet access such as on PCs to go straight to mobile devices, according to a survey by Yahoo and Taylor Nelson Sofres Indonesia released on Monday.
The survey of 1,500 Internet users in seven cities revealed that 48 percent of respondents accessed the Web from mobile phones, compared with 26 percent the year before.
“Internet users in Indonesia prefer to access the Net through cellular phones because it is cheaper, with unlimited data plans also helping,” said Karthik Venkatakrishnan, TNS’s business director.
Some 77 percent of those surveyed used social-networking sites, compared with 58 percent last year, with such sites replacing e-mail and instant messaging as the dominant media for interaction.
Indonesians use a variety of social-networking sites but Facebook is by far the most popular, with about 20 million users.
The popularity of accessing social-networking sites over mobile phones has created a unique phenomenon in Indonesia.
In this country, users bypass computers for their Internet access, the study showed
“In other countries, people use personal computers to access the Internet first and then switch to mobile. But Indonesian users jump straight to cellphones instead of using a computer first,” Venkatakrishnan said.
The lack of fixed-line infrastructure and the high price of computers compared with mobile phones have driven the phenomenon, especially in rural areas, he said.
The phenomenon has also seen the popularity of Internet cafes drop, with only 64 percent of those surveyed saying they use them, down from 83 percent last year.