Here’s why Thai tweets are getting attention from Silicon Valley | Techsauce
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Here’s why Thai tweets are getting attention from Silicon Valley5 min read

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Posted date February 7, 2019

Thai tweets on Korean boybands, soap operas, and a national debate on whether to blanch suki noodles or not has caught the attention of Silicon Valley.  Here is a look at the top hashtags on Twitter in 2018 and what lies ahead for in stream video ads on the platform. 

Thailand is one of the biggest users of social media with 3.9 active Twitter users in 2018.  This number is expected to reach 4.1 Twitter users in 2019 according to Statista.

Source: Twitter

Why has there been such a strong burst of tweets in the kingdom and what is everyone talking about?  Recently Twitter announced the top 10 hashtags on Twitter in 2018.  The results are definitely interesting as Korean and Thai entertainment has dominated the platform.  There is the list of top 10 hashtags. 

Source: Twitter
  1. #GOT7: This South Korean boyband has topped the charts in 20 countries with its EP “Eyes On You” and into the hearts of Thais apparently as it has topped the # for the whole year. 
  1. #เป็กผลิตโชค: Thai singer Palitchoke Ayanaputra, aka Peck has gained a large number of fans after wining the Best Asian Artist Thailand at the 2018 Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong and being voted the number 1 male entertainer of the year in Thailand. 
  1. #wannaone: Another South Korean boyband that has just wrapped up with a final concert, which was of course trending.  
  1. #บุพเพสันนิวาส: Thai period TV drama Bupaesaniwas has truly impacted modern Thai culture, making it a trend for everyone to have a traditional Thai outfit in their closets at home.  It has even gone international in Cambodia and is expected to make a comeback with a second season in 2019. 
  1. #bambam: Another Thai artist, Kunpimook Bhuwakul, aka BamBam, rose the fame too, but as a member of a South Korean boyband Got7. 
  1. #exo: Having performed at the olympics ceremony in 2018, the South Korean boyband took the third K-Pop related hashtag listed on Thailand’s top 10 hashtags in 2018. 
  1. #bnk48: The first of its kind, this Thai idol girl group took Thailand by storm in 2017 and continues to be a new form of entertainment.  The girl group, which is a sister group to Japan’s AKB48 girl group, has become immediate idols, performing even for the Thai prime minister. 
  1. #ถ้ำหลวง: This is the only news story among the top hashtags for 2018, but it has definitely been a global story.  The Tham Luang cave rescue of 12 young Thai footballers and their coach from a cave in the north of Thailand trended for weeks throughout the world. 
  1. #บาสเด็กอ้วนที่แท้จริง: Bas or Suradech Piniwat was all over Twitter in Thailand in 2018 as a singer in the group SBFIVE.  He is known fo this role in the Thai LGBT TV series “2Moons: The Series”. 
  1. #เลือดข้นคนจาง: “In Family We Trust” is the second Thai soap opera to make it to the top hashtag list.  The drama on ONE 31 Channel was widely received and discussed on Twitter. 
The peak hours of tweeting takes place right before bedtime. Source: Twitter

What makes Thailand’s Twitter “sphere” so unique is it has become very integrated into Thai culture where everyone loves to be a part of a community.  It is a community that chats live on every episode of a hit drama series and one that reaches out to the world community, joining in voting on the hottest Korean bands. 

To blanch or not to blanch your suki noodles?

If you are an outsider, you would probably not get it.  The biggest national debate for Thais in 2018 was not about politics (which is interesting, given that the elections are coming soon), but it was on whether you would blanch your noodles at MK Suki restaurant or not.  

Source: Twitter

Some how out of no where, twitter users started debating about whether noodles at the famous hot pot restaurant chain should be boiled a bit before eating or not.  While one side said it took away the taste of the noodles, the other said it softens the noodles to the right texture.  Why this became such an issue that went right to the hearts of Thais was because people grew up eating MK Suki with their families.  

MK says it is about timing. Source: Twitter

The debate started right before the weekend and the MK marketing team jumped right into action.  The team knew they had to run with the debate before it faded away so immediately they came up with promotions on Twitter and the trend became extra hot, bringing customers to the restaurant to try for themselves to see what was better, blanched noodles or not.  This was pure organic and an lesson to other brands that it is not about how much money you invest on social media, but how you understand the community and acting at the right time. 

New Focus on In-stream Video Ads

Source: Twitter

With the focus turning to video content, Twitter is set to evolve with its in-stream video sponsorships and video ads.  Similar to other platforms, advertising is put in the form of a pre-roll ad on a publisher’s or an influencer’s video.  It is skippable after 5 seconds of play.  Twitter already serves as a platform for video content links so it is set to make the channel connect more directly with target groups.  70% of the profit from ads is shared with the owners of the original videos.  

Source: Twitter

With the launch of this latest feature in Thailand, it will definitely be interesting to see what new topics Thais will tweet about in 2019. 

 

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