Photo-sharing iPhone app Instagram recently revealed the top 15 most popular places where Instagram photos were taken in 2011 and, surprisingly enough, there were three locations in Bangkok, Thailand on the list.
Coming in at the number two most popular spot in the world for Instagram photos was Bangkok’s Suvarnbhumi International Airport, bested only by the world famous Disneyland in California. Number 11 and 13 were the Siam Paragon and Terminal 21 air-conditioned mega-malls, respectively.
Anyone who’s been to the Thai capital may find this as no surprise perhaps. If there are three things Bangkokians love to do most, it’s to travel, shop, and take silly self-pics whilst doing so. Terminal 21, in fact, offers the best of both worlds as it’s an airport-themed mall, complete with faux departure zones and different floors designated as Tokyo, San Francisco, Istanbul, etc.
The only city in the world with more locations on the list was tech epicenter and home to Instagram, San Francisco. Joining Bangkok with three locations each in the top 15 were the New York and Los Angeles areas. The only other Asian location on the list was Hong Kong International Airport at number six.
Since its launch in the Apple iTunes store October 2010, Instagram has skyrocketed to over 15 million users around the world. In November 2011, it was reportedly adding 100,000 new users a week. That’s even more phenomenal when one considers that it’s still only an iPhone app. An Android version is reportedly in development.
That Bangkok is one of the top cities in the world probably won’t surprise those that follow the tech scene in Thailand. Country-specific statistics from Instagram aren’t currently available, but a look at other known stats on Thailand can give an idea of how gaga for gigabytes the country is. Thailand is the number one early adopter in Southeast Asia, according to a study from audience measurement company Effective Measure, meaning that Thais rush out to buy the latest smartphone or download the latest app ahead of even wealthier Singaporeans. The same study found that Thailand is third in Southeast Asia – after Indonesia
and Singapore – when it comes to using the internet on mobile devices.
Bangkok is also the fifth largest city for Facebook users in the world with about 7.4 million users (see chart below), according to SocialBakers. Interestingly, Jakarta is first in the world with about 17.5 million!
That three locations in Bangkok landed in Instagram’s top 15 demonstrated Thailand’s increased importance as a market for new technology. With millions of gadget and app hungry citizens in Bangkok alone, I reckon companies like Instagram will start paying the country even more attention.
[Photo via tanyh on Instagram]
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