During a cocktail party held yesterday for several folks from Google Asia-Pacific, the Product Manager from SEA asked me this — while blogging is huge in the Philippines, why isn’t Blogger enjoying the same popularity? I gave him some figures off my head as he wrote it down. And here are some reasons why.
Yes, Blogger is also widely used as a blogging platform by a lot of Filipinos but it did not generate the same level of popularity as YouTube in the country. This is primarily because of other competing platforms:
- While Blogger had the first mover advantage, it did not enjoy as much popularity in the early 2000 as LiveJournal (DiaryLand, Pitas, Blogger and LiveJournal were all launched in 1999). The Philippines is on the Top 10 LiveJournal users worldwide, at #8 with 60,961 users. In terms of search volume, Philippines is at #5 for LiveJournal.com
- According to Google Trends, Multiply has 200,000 daily unique visitors from the Philippines, twice as many from a year ago. In Alexa, the Philippines ranked #5 for Multiply’s traffic origins contributing to an estimated 13.4% of its total users. With Google Insights, Philippines is #1 for Multiply searches. (Read my related story on ABS-CBN and Multiply deal.)
- According to Google Insights, the Philippines is in the Top 5 for Xanga.
- Friendster also enjoys the #1 spot for the Philippines worldwide. Google trends estimate 1 Million daily unique visitors to the site. There’s an estimated 10 Million Filipinos having a Friendster account. If just 1% of them opens a Friendster blog, that’s already 100,000 users.
On the other hand, Blogger.com isn’t even on the Top 25 of countries by usage according to Alexa. I can’t get any more traffic details since Google Trends don’t show data from Blogger.com. However, Google Insights rank the Philippines #5 for blogger.com searches.
And almost everybody knows that BlogSpot is the #1 host for spammers. Last year, a study found out that 75% of all blogspot.com accounts are spam blogs. Even antivirus and security company Sophos noted that the number one host for malware on the web is Blogger, with blogspot.com accounts contributing to at least 2% of total malware webpages globally.
There’s also the growth of an alternative (and ad free) platform in i.PH, WordPress.com as well as the self-hosted WordPress.org application. Even offline support is present, credited to the two upcoming WordCamp Philippines. We’re not even counting the local Drupal and Joomla community as well as alternative platforms such as TextPattern, Expression Engine, and MovableType.
Unlike YouTube, Blogger has so many other popular competing platforms being used in the Philippines that it failed to dominate the market despite the surge of blogging in the country.