Edited by Shintaro Okazaki
Chapter 18: Social Media Usage and Responses to Social Media Advertising in Emerging and Developed Economies
Shu-Chuan Chu and Sara Kamal INTRODUCTION Researchers have long debated the democratization of digital technologies (Hoffman and Thomas, 1998) advocating that the growth and adoption of information and communication technologies (ICT) will bridge the gap between developed and developing nations, in terms of access of information. In 1981 the International Finance Corporation (IFC) coined the term “emerging markets” for nations with fast developing economies, the features of such an economy including “their transitional character with transitions occurring in economic, political, social and demographic dimensions” (Mody, 2004, p. 4). These economies are said to experience the shared phenomena of quick economic expansion, and influx of international and human capital, coupled by increased technology. Recent industry reports such as the “Digital Life” survey by TNS, a leading global market research firm, provide evidence that consumers in emerging countries are heavily employing the use of social media platforms to keep up to date with the latest information and interacting with their peers (Financial Times, 2010a). The volume and level of interaction of social media users has decidedly shifted from developed countries (e.g., the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan) to emerging markets (e.g., India, China, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates). Many users in these emerging and newly developed economies are surpassing the penetration and usage rates of their developed counterparts. According to latest industry reports some of the world’s most engaged and frequent Internet users hail from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China (TNS Digital Life Report,...
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