Do our Facebook likes reflect who we are?
Not always (to my horror, I found that I once ‘liked’ a Twilight fan page). Which is why the statistics for the Facebook pages most popular with Singaporeans — gathered from social media analytics company Socialbakers — have thrown up some unexpected surprises. Take a look at these pages that have an inexplicable horde of local fans, and if you haven’t ‘liked’ any of them yet, you’ll probably find some gems worth following.
Note: All stats are taken from Socialbaker and are accurate at the time of publishing.
1. Top Overall Page: McDonald’s
First, let’s take a look at the overall rankings for Facebook pages with the most Singaporean likes:
Alright, so let’s not pretend that we don’t all love fast food. But what might be surprising is just how popular it is: according to the above ranking of the pages most popular with Singaporeans overall, not one, but two McDonalds’ pages take top spots.
Similarly, two of KFC’s pages — one labelled ‘Company’, the other ‘Fast Food Restaurant’ — feature in the overall top ten. Admittedly, the duplicate pages have been somewhat discontinued in both cases, with traffic being redirected to the ‘Company’ pages instead.
Still, if you consider the fact that McDonald’s doesn’t even make the top 30 list of most-‘liked’ Facebook pages globally, you’ll start to wonder just how addicted we Singaporeans are to junk food. The big draw might be the fact that any giveaways and sales are usually announced on these pages — it’s a great way to keep up-to-date on our junk food fix.
2. Place Page: Visit Japan Now
The stats below feature the top ten Facebook pages, in the subcategory of ‘place’, that are most-‘liked’ by Singaporeans. We’re not sure why The Real Singapore is categorized here, since it’s a media platform, but other than that, a casual skim of the first five rankings reveals nothing unusual. Resorts World, Changi Airport… wait a moment, what’s Visit Japan Now?
It seems that the appeal of cherry blossoms and bento boxes far outweighs the Facebook pages of our local attractions such as the Singapore Flyer. Visit Japan Now is the official FB page of the Japan National Tourism Organization Singapore, which promotes travel and tourism to Japan.
Considering the gorgeous scenery and exquisitely-arranged food regularly featured on the page, it’s probably excusable that we’re so struck with wanderlust.
3. Media Page: Stomp
Guess which local news portal comes out tops in the list of most popular pages under the ‘media’ subcategory?
Yup, it’s everyone’s favourite sensational news site, STOMP. It might surprise some that it has more ‘likes’ than our traditional, more established news agencies such as The Straits Times and Channel NewsAsia Singapore.
Admittedly, their content can be complementary: while the latter two offer comprehensive, formal coverage of news, STOMP is interesting if you’re looking for thrill-heavy citizen journalism. And if you’re the kind of person who sits on reserved seats not meant for you in crowded MRTs, you might want to keep track of this page as well.
4. Society Page: Narendra Modi
In terms of the most popular Facebook pages under Socialbakers’ ‘society’ category, there seem to be largely few surprises. First on the list is, of course, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, whose down-to-earth approach to social media engagement has won him many fans (he even posted on the blue-black/white-gold dress craze last week). #10, though, might come as a surprise.
Known for his crowd-pulling speeches and savvy use of social media during his 2014 General Election, the social media outreach of India’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is clearly impressive, if somewhat odd in the local context.
While it’s definitely interesting to follow international politics, his Facebook posts usually centre on policies and developments related to India alone. It might be his much-discussed sense of fashion, or his reputation as a controversial figure — in any case, his page has thus far garnered more local ‘likes’ than both the Workers’ Party and the People’s Action Party, even if only by a slim margin.
5. Community Page: Pairs
Given that this list of top ‘community’ pages with the highest number of local likes is mostly made up of content platforms, a dating app page does stand out a bit:
If, like me, you haven’t heard of Pairs before, it’s a Facebook-based online dating app from Tokyo that has undergone a major expansion into Asia since last year. Given the popularity of its Facebook page right now, it’s practically the Tinder of Asia. Its success is all the more remarkable given the stigma attached to online dating in the more conservative Asian countries.
And so in spite of the fact that most posts on the page are in Traditional Chinese characters (meaning they’re only half-comprehensible for people like me), the app seems compelling enough for Singaporeans that it beats out the Lee Kuan Yew community page and another filled with adorable dog photos.