Digital 2023 Report on Laos Released: Internet, Mobile, and Social Media

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Digital 2023 Report on Laos Released: Internet, Mobile, and Social Media
A woman livestreams on her smartphone during a boat cruise in Luang Prabang. (Photo: Teng).

Internet penetration and social media use increased in Laos in 2023, with internet speeds increasing and more adoption of mobile phones. 

Meltwater and We Are Social have revealed their joint global digital overview report for 2023, releasing digital information and data across the world, including Laos.

The population around the world using the internet has surged to 5.16 billion with 64.4 percent of the world’s total population now online. Social media use has grown to 4.76 billion, while more than 5.44 billion people worldwide now use mobile phones, according to the report.

Laos

The state of digital in Laos 2023 report shows that 85% of the population are now mobile phone users, 62% of the population has access to the internet, and 44% of Lao people in Laos utilize social media.

Internet speeds average 28.33 Mbps in Laos, with a year-on-year increase in the speed of fixed internet connections by 20%.

The population of Laos has increased to 7.58 million in 2023, with the number of mobile phone connections increasing by 7.8% between 2022 and 2023, while the number of internet users has increased by 1.4%.

49% of the population is female and 50% of the population is male, while 37% of the population dwells in urban areas and 62% lives in rural areas.

Mobile phones dominate web traffic in Laos, at 14.2%, while 32.3 % of web traffic was downloaded to laptops and desktops, with 17.2% being accessed by tablet computers. No data was provided for other devices such as video game consoles.

The percentage of webpages provided to mobile phone browsers reached 78.9% at the end of last year.

Social Media Use

The overall number of active social media users in Laos was 3.35 million, or 44.2% of the population, with 2.95 million users aged 18 and above using social media in the country and 100% of users accessing social media through mobile devices.

Facebook‘s advertising reaches 3.20 million of the population, decreasing by -8.6% quarter on quarter and year-on-year. Some 46% of Facebook accounts in Laos are owned by females, while male users make up 53%.

Instagram records a smaller user base in Laos at just 488,000, with only 6.4% reachable by adverts on Instagram, decreasing by 8.1% quarter-on-quarter, or 20.3% year-on-year. Of these Instagram users, 58% are female while 41.2% are male.

Twitter estimates a total of 238,000 users in Laos with the potential ad reach growing by 61% with 3.1% of the population in Laos, 69% of which are female.

According to the report, there are 140,000 LinkedIn profiles in Laos, which represents just 1.8% of the population – 58% of these are women, while 41% are men.

Mobile Phone Use

According to the research, Laos has around 6.45 million mobile phone connections, making up 85% of the country’s total population. 87% of these mobile connections are broadband (3G – 5G).

According to GSMA Intelligence data, mobile connections in Laos climbed by seven percent between 2022 and 2023.

Android consumes the largest share of web traffic from mobile devices at 81.34%, while Apple IOS devices see an 18% share of web traffic in Laos.