Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Facebook Taking Over as Social Media of Choice in Korea

As I'm sure anyone can attest, Facebook tends to be a huge time-consumer during our day-to-day activities.  We find more and more ways to spend time each day on the site--whether it be uploading photos, writing posts on our friends' walls, or playing some online game like Farmville.

Until recently, however, Facebook didn't have much popularity in Korea.  Most Koreans prefer their equivalent of the social networking site, named Cyworld.  However, with the increasing popularity and use of smartphones, other social networking sites have really taken off.

Twitter has been instrumental for many companies and organizations here to get out important information quickly.  I couldn't go to any store or watch a movie preview without seeing a Twitter account being advertised. In the fast-paced world that Korea is, Twitter is a great way for netizens to get their thoughts out without delay.

But as of late, more Koreans have been logging onto Facebook, and seemingly abandoning Twitter.  Those who switch cite the interface of the two websites as their main reason for switching.  Twitter, as quick as it is in getting information out quickly, is mainly a one-sided social network.  People tweet, and you can follow their tweets, but the site lends itself more to brief exchanges of information rather than a lasting connection.  This is where Facebook has entered as the social media of choice.

I've noticed the number of Koreans on Facebook has climbed considerably since I first moved to Korea.  These are not just Koreans who speak English or have foreign friends, but also many other Koreans ranging from teenagers to college students to young professionals have joined.  Even businesses and companies are now creating profiles and pages to better link with potential employees and customers.

While many Koreans are jumping on the Facebook ship, there are others who don't.  Some still prefer Cyworld over the big blue page, and that's good enough for them.

Who knows what the next big thing in social media will be in Korea?  Only time will tell.


  1. Hello, Heather. Sorry dropping in on your blog. I found it via TeachESLKorea.com on their Teacher Spotlight. I'm seriously considering applying through the program, but as I research around the web I read horror stories about shifty hogwans, dropped contracts, and moldy apartments.

    It looks like you've been enjoying yourself, though. You have quite an informative blog, it’s been a pleasure to peek around. Have you run into problems while living in S. Korea? Do you think those horror stories stem from bad programs, and if so, what's different about "Teach ESL Korea?"


    K.C. O’Shaughnessy

  2. It's a world-wide phenomenon. It could be seen everywhere, not only in Korea.

  3. I know it's a world-wide phenomenon. My post was merely commenting on the article on the news that focused on Korean social media, since this is a blog about Korea.

  4. Hi K.C., Thank you for stopping by the blog.

    There are horror stories about Korea, yes, but not everyone has a negative experience. The best piece of advice I can offer is to do your research about a school before you decide to sign its contract. Google is a great resource for finding information, as well as talking to current and former teachers at the school.

    Most of the people I know who have gone through Teach ESL Korea have had a positive experience, but I myself did not end up getting a job from them. I contacted them a while back looking for a job, but found one elsewhere.

    If you have any other questions or would like more information, you can email me. It's in my profile info. Thanks again, and I wish you luck!


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