Observing Malaysian Social Media

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media Marketing

The Most Followed Twitter Users in Malaysia (Oct 2017)

Since 2014 we have been building up a database of profiled Twitter users in Malaysia. We currently have over 630,000 profiled user accounts that are location-based. What this means is that we can analyse opinions and interests not just by state, but by area (e.g. cities, constituencies, campuses, malls, suburbs / taman). We have demonstrated the application of this database for opinion analysis (browse here) and by-elections (link). We are currently working on improving the level of detail for our profiles and are now sharing part of our research results with the public.

Using a sample of 24,677 users from our database, we collected their lists of Twitter ‘friends’ (user accounts that people follow). This resulted in a list of 2.07 million users. This list was then used to summarise the top 207,500 most-followed users by users in Malaysia.

The Top 10 most-followed Twitter users are below:

Rank @ScreenName Name Market Reach (%)
1 instagram Instagram 39.385
2 Khairykj Khairy Jamaluddin 35.665
3 9GAG 9GAG 32.577
4 Matluthfi90 Matluthfi90 27.459
5 yunamusic Yuna Zarai 25.064
6 501Awani Astro AWANI 23.982
7 NajibRazak Mohd Najib Tun Razak 23.625
8 waktuSolatKL Waktu Solat WP KL 22.653
9 SantapanMinda Santapan Minda 22.134
10 ustazharidrus Ust Azhar Idrus 21.818

Market reach is defined as the percentage of users in Malaysia who follow that Twitter user. Based on this list, Khairy Jamaluddin (MP for Rembau, Minister of Youth and Sports, UMNO Youth Leader) is both the most-followed person and most-followed Malaysian in the country. But his market reach is only 35.665% of users in Malaysia. This shows that no single user on Twitter ‘owns’ the Malaysian market. Because we are using profiled users, the possibility of fake followers (or phantoms, fake accounts etc.) is a non-issue.

The Top 10 users have a combined market reach of 82.25%. Most Twitter users in Malaysia have a market reach that would be considered small. But a small market reach does not mean that a tweet has no chance of going viral. Due to the high degree of connectivity between Twitter users plus the Twitter Search factor, there is always a chance for a tweet getting retweeted and spread throughout the network.

Using the data that we collected, we performed a network analysis on how the most-followed Twitter users are connected to each other based on their followers. For this analysis we used the top 4,704 users. This covers all user accounts followed by users in Malaysia with a minimum market reach of 0.61%.

Users that have a shared appeal (affinity) will have overlapping audiences, which is equal to strong connections if the overlap is high. For example, users that tweet primarily about football will draw interest from other people who like football.

Based on the network analysis we generated a map showing clusters of users with a strong affinity for each other. Based on where they are in the map, you can see the affinity that different popular users have with each other. Users with a greater market reach are shown in a larger font, coloured from a scale ranging from blue (least popular) to orange to red (most popular).


The full-size version can be viewed at our Flickr page here.

At a glance you can see that the top users are close to each other where @Khairykj and @instagram are visible. As stated earlier the Top 10 users have a combined market reach of 82.25%. Despite the fact that these users don’t tweet about the same topics, their proximity to each other is due to their mass market appeal.


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