Trends in the Use of Social Media by Youth in Cambodia

Trends in the Use of Social Media by Youth in Cambodia

Trends in the use of social media by youth in Cambodia 2020

Information about social media consumption by youth in Cambodia is very important for businesses who are their target customers are youth. Here are some observations made available for your informed-decision on your business and organizations, working with young people in Cambodia.

  • The golden time to access social media: lunchtime and at night from 8-10 pm.
  • Unemployed and student: use social media more on  
  • Employed youth in low-skilled work: only consume social media more on Sunday. ​
  • Facebook and YouTube are the popular platforms for the youth -> the most important sources to reach out to them. ​
  • All youth use smartphones to access social media (not using any other devices). ​

Quote: “Facebook helps me to get new knowledge, get updated news, connect friends & families, and other educational content”, a young female from Rural​ said.

  • TikTok is one of the popular platforms that the majority of youth use for entertaining purposes if compared to Facebook and YouTube. ​
  • Youth use Telegram as a means to share videos or big files size to ensure quality and easily download  Yet, none of the young people from rural know about Telegram. ​
  • Youth in both urban and rural use Instagram as a platform for entertainment, especially following celebrities and seeing friend activities. Their engagement with this platform is more into liking. ​

From a young people’s perspective, Facebook and YouTube are not only for entertaining but also for education and getting new information. However, TikTok and Instagram are the platforms to access for entertainment only. ​

Ways that youth consume Social Media​

  • Scrolling newsfeed is the first thing they do when using Facebook. 
  • They scroll and stop to watch their favorite contents or see their friends’ posts, more into entertaining. 
  • However, they have never seen any job-related content. ​
  • In most cases, youth go on Facebook and then swap to YouTube when there is nothing to do with Facebook.

So, their routine on Facebook is to scroll newsfeed around the pages they like and their network (friends on Facebook) -> the digital strategy should be developed to reach their network and conduct activities to make our page known. ​

Social Media in Cambodia

Social Media in Cambodia

Engagement and reaction on social media​

  • It is no different in liking and sharing on Facebook between male and female 
  • Young male end to react more through comment either criticize or ask questions about the news, compared to female youth who tend to talk offline about celebrity and viral news with their
  • When youth go online, they like to make it alone so that they have freedom of chatting or seeing what they  ​
  • They go online with a friend only if they see interesting information so that they can share with each other. e.g. hot news, something related,
  • Most youths do not know about “save function”. So, in order to refer to contents later in the case of not having enough time to watch or having access to fast-speed internet, they share those contents to their wall, send to their own Facebook Messenger or save to their own.

Young people’s preferred formats on Facebook​

Most youths use Facebook Messenger, where Facebook Group is the least usage. ​

  1. Facebook messenger​
  2. Facebook page​
  3. Facebook live ​
  4. Facebook group​

Facebook Messenger​

  • All youth experience with Facebook  ​
  • Youth usually connecting with their friends, families, and beloved ones through messenger.
  • When they are interested in any content or information on Facebook, they pass the links to their friends through Facebook Messenger. 
  • For those who have experience with Facebook Group, they tended to use group messenger for communication rather than go to the group page. 

Facebook Page​

  • Half of the youth have favorite Facebook Pages and those common pages are about news/hot news, comedy, movie, education (new knowledge), and song. Others do have a favorite page but cannot recall the page names at all since they see those pages mainly through newsfeed.
  • All youth get to know the pages through their newsfeed and the similar pages that emerged (once they liked a specific page, more similar pages are emerging that they can see).
  • Length: 3-5 mins
  • Frequency: every day at night, particularly on weekends

Facebook Live​

Youth viewed it as a good way to know their friends’ lives, receiving hot news, and watching their favorite content.

  • Frequency: at night from 7 pm upward, 2-3 times a week especially on  ​
  • Setting: Indoor/outdoor and different postures -> combined postures, different views as well as stable sound and  ​
  • Celebrity: Female youth prefer having  Both genders want a good quality of videos. ​
  • Engagement: on their friends live and their favorite contents (like and comment) -> question and answer session on educational contents

Facebook Group​

  • Most of the youth do not know Facebook Group, and those who know it do not really access it and only see the group from the notification.
  • They prefer using a group in messenger more. ​

Auto-Reply Message​

  • Almost all the youth experienced the chatbot through pages selling products. 
  • It is perceived as good on instant reply with detailed information. ​
  • Urban youth feel positive on chatbot compared to rural participants who prefer talking directly to people.
  • Rural youth feel that replies to them in English is difficult to

Young People’s Favorite Contents​

  • Entertaining (more) and educational in general -> to expose our contents to them, there should be a combination of entertainment and education. ​
  • What makes them engage: posts that ask questions (multiple choice pictures).
  • What attracts them to view: thumbnail > short caption > acceptable  ​
  • All types of youth like comedy and quoted content. ​
  • Older age youth like news/hot news.
  • Younger age youth like something trolls and fun.
  • The features of the posts/contents that would make them remember, feel, think, and/or take action are more about quotes and educational videos as it is related to them. 
  • User-Generated Contents: A few youth generate content on their own, merely related to their personal lives. Most of them do not generate any content owing to shyness.
  • The ways they generated their own contents are in terms of pictures or videos using an app called Vivo and Facebook live.
Social Media Report in Cambodia

Social Media Report in Cambodia


  • Facebook and YouTube are the most important sources in reaching out to the target 
  • The golden time to post content is lunchtime and at night (8-10 pm). Posting on weekend would reach out more target 
  • To expose our contents to the target audiences, there should be a combination of entertainment and 
  • The posts that ask questions can make more  ​
  • Facebook Group is the least used function; therefore, this function is not the priority source to reach our contents to 
  • The routine activity on Facebook is to scroll newsfeed, so the digital strategy should be developed to reach their networks and conduct activities to make our page known (e.g. more outreach, page promotion, … )
  • The chatbot is not a preferred “reply” for a rural audience and the majority of youth prefer talking directly to people, so it is better to reply to them manually. ​
  • The digital team should place a person who always replies to commenters as many others can continue to jump into conversation engage by reading it while they are not a good starter in 
  • Since YouTube is one of the popular platforms that audiences accessed compared to Facebook, promoting YouTube page, and get audiences to subscribe your brand channel would make our contents reaching them. 

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