Macro commentary by eToro analyst for Romania, Bogdan Maioreanu
A life without the internet is hard to conceive in 2022. Even the UN has called for universal access to the internet by 2030. In Romania the access to the internet is broadening and the time we spend using the internet is increasing. Two thirds of the Romanians are using social media, a majority of them on a mobile phone with Android.
The percentage of Romanian households having internet access increased by 1.3% in 2022 reaching 82.1%. In the urban areas close to 89% of houses are connected while in the rural area 73% of houses have internet. The percentage of people that use the internet increased too, reaching 89.7%, 1.1% higher than in 2021.
The global population reached 8 billion this year and at global level there are 5.07 billion estimated internet users. The number of Internet users grew by 3.5% compared to last year. Latest aggregated data report from datareportal is showing that worldwide, on average, people are using the internet about 6 hours and 37 minutes every day. Romania is ahead of the average with 7 hours and 13 minutes but well behind the South Africans that lead with over 10 hours.
At the global level, 92.1% of Internet users are accessing it from mobile devices. Globally 71.55% of mobile data consumption is coming from Google (GOOG) Android devices but this share decreased by 1.2% in the last year. Just 27.8% of Internet data usage is coming from Apple (AAPL) IOS devices, a near 4% increase compared to the previous year, with the rest of 0.65% of data usage coming from other operating systems.
At a global level, 59.3% of the world’s total population is using social media while in Romania this percentage is 67%. We are behind other European countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, UK and Austria. Romanians are using social media on average 2 hours and 25 minutes daily or 34% of their internet time, less than the global average but ahead of the above mentioned countries. Austria is the last in the survey with only one and a half hours of daily use of social media.
Despite almost 66% loss of share price this year, Meta Platforms (META) sites are dominating the user count as the most used social platforms. Facebook leads with 2.93 Billion users, followed by Whatsapp with 2 billion users and Instagram with 1.4 billion users. Besides Meta we have Google’s (GOOG) Youtube with 2.5 Billion users, the Chinese Wechat with 1.3 billion and Tiktok with 1 billion users. Elon Musk’s Twitter is in 14th position in the ranking with half a billion users. If we are looking at users’ favorite platforms, the first three places are dominated by Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram, with an aggregated total of 45% of active social media users while Twitter is far behind with only 3.5%.
According to the datareportal report, 54% of the Romanian internet users are utilizing social media for searching brands and their content, 42% as a source of news, 19% are using it to follow influencers and 12% are using it for work.
Romanian investors are using google.com as their main source for searching information followed by social media, according to the latest eToro Retail Investor Beat survey. This is seen also in the general public where the most viewed websites are in order google.com, youtube.com and facebook.com. The search engine market is dominated by google with 92.42% followed by Microsoft (MSFT) bing with 3.45%, yahoo with 1.32% and the Chinese Baidu (BIDU) with less than 1% after losing more than 60% of its traffic compared with last year.
Bogdan Maioreanu, eToro analyst and markets commentator, has over 20 years of experience in financial services and investments and a strong background in journalism. He held different Corporate Banking management positions in both Raiffeisen Bank and OTP Bank, before moving to business consultancy roles working for IBM Romania among others. Bogdan is an Executive MBA from Asebuss and Washington University.
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