'More proactive' Filipino netizens turn to internet to pursue goals, passion: Google analyst

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 13 2019 10:02 PM | Updated as of Dec 13 2019 10:13 PM

MANILA - Filipinos became "more proactive" internet users in 2019 as they use the world's largest search engine to learn new things and to help them make better choices, a Google analyst said Thursday.

Among the most searched key words in the Philippines are tutorials on using various products, understanding foreign language, cooking, losing weight, and even voting in the 2019 midterm elections, Google Philippines principal industry analyst Geia Lopez said.

"They are searching more for different products and services so they're thinking about their choices before they make a purchase," she told ABS-CBN News.

Filipinos who are hooked to the Hallyu have been searching not just about boy bands and girl groups, but have been studying Hangeul through the internet, Lopez said, noting that "How to read and write in Korean" ranked as the third most searched tutorial on Google Philippines.

"They are immersing in their passions and when it comes to trying to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be, they are also using the internet in that way."

Top gaming-related searches also show how Filipino gamers are relying on the internet to "pursue their passion" in e-sports.

"It is not just gaming for the game specifically, but they love it so much they want to win at it that they're searching for cheat codes," Lopez said.

"They are also passionate about sports. They want to find out the latest scores in boxing, NBA," she said.

DIVERSE CONTENT

The demand for tutorials have also diversified the content produced by YouTube channels, Lopez said.

"Youth culture permeates in video platforms in general, but it doesn't mean that it's only the youth who is watching or subscribing in YouTube," she said.

"Videos do not just cover the usual music or video tutorials, there is for example hog farming. It's very diverse," she said.

Television personalities have also contributed to online content as Filipino celebrities continue to open their own YouTube channels due to the "opportunity to expand their fan base."

Six of the top 10 emerging YouTube creators this year are mainstream media personalities, while the top 3 most viewed videos on the online platform are recaps of television shows.

"Catching up to your favorite TV shows is one of the top behaviors on YouTube," Lopez said.

"It is the combination of different platforms that make wonderful and effective campaigns," she said.

The trend of crossing over from television to online, and vice versa, will most likely continue in the coming years as internet penetration in the Philippines continues to improve, the analyst said.

"As internet penetration becomes more mainstream, we realize that there is more you can do in the internet aside from making connections," Lopez said.

"I think it's for anyone to try and disrupt... It's just a matter of anyone wanting to introduce something new," she said.