Myanmar people was exposed to the internet around 2001. At that time, I was just 1st year student at medical university. This fist website I browsed in my life is “yahoo.com” . There was 1st Information technology exhibition which was the fist time IT event under military government.
Then I didn’t have a chance to use internet till 2003 as private internet usage at that time was really expensive and a lot of restriction on access. We can only access to local websites. At that time, we called it “intranet”. And Myanmar has only one Internet service provider at that time.
But around 2003, co-operate plan of Internet package was introduced to the public. We can share one internet account amount 8 users. But most access to the intranet with a few access to IRC chat room. Youtube access was banned at that time.
If we didn’t want to use cooperate plan, we could purchase prepared card (which has single use user name and password). It was time based plan. We had to pay around 10 USD for 15 hrs internet usage time.
In 2006-7, PAC (public access centre) also known as internet cafes were becoming popular as government started issuing PAC license. At that time most of the users used internet for contacting to the person from other countries, chatting, blogging. At that time, Facebook was not popular in Myanmar. But we used friendster at that time.
But internet user population is gradually growing till 2011 when Mobile telecom started introducing 3G network. But at that time, one mobile sim card price is around 1500 USD, so there were not many mobile internet users.
But in 2015, mobile sim card price was reduced from 1500 USD to 1.5 USD. Internet service is already included in this sim card, so Myanmar people become more exposed to internet. Facebook is also becoming together with sim card, most of the mobile internet users regard Facebook as an internet.
Nowadays, we are facing a big technology gap in Myanmar. They was a big jump on internet usage pattern, Myanmar people are enjoying Facebook as an internet followed by some mobile games. Some people even don’t know what is google, what is browser.
If we ask them to search some information, they just search on Facebook browser.
Worse over worse, Internet usage cost for social media (especially Facebook) is cheaper than other internet things (like browsing). So users afraid to go beyond Facebook.
We don’t need to work on SEO as no one is googling in Myanmar. We just need to spend our resource on Facebook for our business profiles.
But 2018 will be turning point for Myanmar. Internet price is dropping, and also new ISPs are coming with much cheaper plan. So I am hoping that people will have more exposure to internet and they will go beyond Facebook. But let’s see.
How about your country?