On November 17, 2009, at the Google Day in Istanbul, Jack Flanagan (EVP of comScore) presented some hardcore insight about the role of Turkey in the digital world. This was no surprise to most of us, as ComScore has been publishing impressive news and reports regarding the Turkish market, for quite some time. (November 11, 2009; July 16, 2009 & May 27, 2009.)
Today I was gathering some industry insight for a client, and I reviewed this valuable presentation. It only occurred to me today, that Flanagan’s slides kept a well hidden fact about the Turkish Internet market.
According to comScore’s qSearch data, Turkey, with its 18.9 million home & work Internet users, was globally ranked 13th. This data was excluding the access from the public & shared computers, together which, the extended universe would amount to 28,7 million (26.7 million in May 2009). Being ranked #13 wasn’t so impressive after all, taking into account that Turkey has a large population of 71 million. In another slide, he was comparing the global monthly searches by country. Again, Turkey was ranked #10, with 2.7 billion searches by month, in August 2009. This time, slightly better, but still nothing surprising to justify being one of the most engaged online audiences in the world: Worldwide; #2 in Msn Live Messenger usage; #3 in Facebook users, #4 in watching video clips & surprisingly #1 in Friendfeed traffic’s surpassing even US.
Then suddenly I discovered that when I combine & extrapolate the two slides I would get a completely different picture & ranking: Turkey was now ranked #3 worldwide in “searches per user per month, ahead of US & France, slighltly behind UK & Canada.
And most of the “adafter” goes to all Turkish advertisers, ad people, media people responsible for lagging way behind the world in digital ad investments, a big chunk goes to Turkish retailers leaving the e-commerce scene to just about 3.5 web properties, some goes to talented creatives who still resist to stay digitally illiterate. You might think that Facebook is just for fun, Messenger is a loss of time, social media is nothing but an ego boost. But you can not deny search. Search is curiosity, search is customer service, search is buying interest, search is comparison, search is everything that made Google. So think again, before it’s too late. This is a revolution! We are #3, we should try harder.
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