From Cambodia’s largest technology digital convention, Digital Cambodia, to the recent release of Cambodia’s very first tech startup report, Startup Kingdom, all eyes are on Cambodia’s digital economy this year in light of the new Industry 4.0!
As social media usage in Cambodia continues to rise, tech giant Facebook still remains the platform of choice for Cambodians. Within the last year, the platform has witnessed two million new users, equating to one in two people currently having a Facebook account in the Kingdom.
The sheer size of the number of users that Facebook makes available to marketers, means Facebook is already popular among global advertisers, and Cambodia is no exception. With a diverse population available on the platform, Facebook’s advanced targeting system can increase reach and engagement for businesses. In a time when local e-commerce is up-and-coming, businesses can look to advertise their products with a multitude of options on Facebook, ensuring that the right people get the message.
In an increasingly connected world, Facebook is developing methods for us to connect better within our communities, and Cambodia is no exception. Local businesses, which make up the majority of the fast growing economy in the Kingdom, can enjoy redesigned business pages on mobile, where consumers can easily engage in services such as booking appointments or viewing events and offers. Facebook is also expanding their jobs tool to help more people find work and to help local businesses to find the right people.
A new section on Facebook called “Today In” features alerts about customised community news and information from users’ very own towns or cities. Available initially within the United States in November 2018, Facebook is looking for “Today In” to be made available for more countries around the world.
However, as more and more users join the social media landscape, it is giving rise to a multitude of concerns. Most notable of which are concerns over privacy. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed this at F8 2019. “Privacy gives us the freedom to be ourselves… This is the next chapter for our services,” he explained as he declared Facebook’s shift to becoming a privacy-focused social platform.
Facebook Transparency Reports are releasing a multitude of updates, including information about government requests for user data received in light of previous alleged transgressions regarding data sharing.
It’s no secret that Facebook is at the forefront of the global technology scene, they are investing plenty of funds into the world’s biggest digital trends such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Codec Avatars is making rapid progress and is challenging the limits of physical systems. Using 3D capture technology and AI systems, they are creating realistic virtual avatars that can allow us to connect through VR headsets or AR glasses in the near future.
For now, we have Social VR apps like Spaces, Venues, and Rooms, as avatars can interact with other users while being assured that safety precautions are in place.
Facebook AI Research, created four years ago, declared its expansion in July last year with new academic collaborations with communities, and plans to develop AI-specific labs. Panoptic FPN, changes object recognition as we know it, understanding backgrounds and classifying different contexts and objects accurately.
E-Commerce Social Selling
As part of this year’s analysis, Geeks in Cambodia would like to explore the mature social selling landscape, and the opportunities the current market situation creates for innovators.
A highly social population has given rise to the success of social selling in Cambodia, which has bypassed many of the e-commerce platforms that are popular in the region. With a large portion of the Cambodian population using Facebook, businesses can perceive the platform as a one-stop interface connecting them with a large consumer base, facilitating transactions through the platform which are notably still primarily cash-based.
However, as mentioned in the recent Startup Kingdom report, the largely unbanked Cambodian population may pose problems that are specific to the Kingdom. This is a great opportunity for local innovators looking to provide unique localised solutions. With a competitive edge over international entrants, who may not be as agile and able to iterate products that cater to local demands, it is easy to surpass these global solutions. Localised creative solutions may present opportunities for ‘leapfrogging’ the competition, and rapid adoption of technology amongst an incredibly tech-savvy population that would be interacting with financial services for the first time.
In an exciting development on June 18, Facebook’s coin cryptocurrency Libra was announced, potentially providing yet another payment option on Facebook. The currency, which will be made available to users next year, poses a huge opportunity for social selling on Facebook.
With Facebook’s streamlined functionality, business owners can enjoy a platform that offers both advertising and a place to facilitate transaction agreements and payments. There is no longer a need for business owners to look towards curating their own websites or applications that mirror conventional e-commerce brands.
And that was an overview of what the current digital landscape has in store for the Kingdom! Let’s explore the numbers and what some of our experts have to say about where Cambodia’s digital economy will be heading towards in time to come!