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'Third gender' users spend most time on the Net: survey

USING SOCIAL media is the No-1 behaviour among Thai Internet users, followed by reading news and e-books online, while "third gender" users spend the most time on the Internet, according to a survey by the Electronic Transactions Development Agency.

Chief executive officer Surangkana Wayuparb said the agency's "Thailand Internet user profile 2014" survey was conducted during April and May via the ETDA's website and social media among 16,596 Internet users.

Some 55.6 per cent of the respondents were women, 43.1 per cent were men, and third-gender respondents made up the remaining 1.3 per cent.

The survey found that Thai Internet users spent an average time to 50.4 hours per week - or 7.2 hours a day - accessing the Net, which is around 56 per cent higher than last year's level, when they spent 32.3 hours per week online.

In terms of gender-based access, the third gender spent most time on the Internet at 62.1 hours a week, followed by men (51.8 hours) and women (49 hours).

Moreover, 77.1 per cent of respondents use a smart phone to access the Internet for an average of 6.6 hours a day, while 69.4 per cent use a desktop computer to access the Net for an average 6.2 hours a day, and 49.5 per cent use a notebook computer to go online for 5.3 hours per day on average, she said.

The prime time for smart-phone users to access Internet is from 4pm to midnight. For those users who access the Internet via a desktop computer, the prime time is from 8am to 4pm.

The ETDA survey also found that Internet users purchased products online costing an average of Bt4,000 per transaction, with the highest-priced item bought this way costing Bt15,000.

The agency chief said the survey also found that 92 per cent of respondents used a mobile device.

Some 78.2 per cent of these respondents used their device to access social media, 57.6 per cent to read news and e-books, and 56.5 per cent to access information and knowledge.

Surangkana also said Facebook was the most popular social-media network among Thai Internet users, with a penetration rate of 93.7 per cent, followed by Line at 86.9 per cent and Google+ at 34.5 per cent.

The survey will help government agencies to create a strategy and direction in relation to Thai Internet usage, not least among the third gender.

Methini Thepmani, permanent secretary at the Information and Communications Technology Ministry, said the "Thailand Internet user profile 2014" would enable agencies to develop a strategy for the laying down of IT infrastructure and drive digital laws such as those concerning data privacy, cyber-crime and intellectual property - moves that would enhance the country's overall competitiveness.

"I think the Thai Internet user profile will be very useful for government agencies and the private sector to understand Internet users' behaviour and promote Internet literacy to around 50 per cent of the population, under the National Information and Communication Technology Master Plan II," she added.




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