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HOME // National News // More regulation on the way as ‘influencers’ rack up sales in Thailand

More regulation on the way as ‘influencers’ rack up sales in Thailand

Bought anything online recently? Did you watch a video with someone ‘influencing’ you to buy something off the internet? Welcome to the latest online trend of online marketing with ‘influencers’ convincing you to make a purchase.

The National Economic and Social Development Council is now calling on the Thai government to regulate and support the influencer industry, whilst recognising its significant economic potential. With the rapid growth of social media and e-commerce, influencers have become more prominent, whilst legal oversight and legislation controlling content has not been addressed as yet.

In 2023, the 10 south East Asian countries had a total of about 13.5 million influencers. Globally, influencer-driven advertising generated an estimated US$19 billion (around 693 billion baht) in revenue. in the next 6 years this figure is expected to balloon to US$140 billion.

Thailand ranks second in the ASEAN region with approximately 2 million influencers, just behind Indonesia, then again Indonesia’s population is 275 million vs Thailand’s 70 million.

The number of influencers in Thailand continues to blossom under a reasonably unregulated market, mostly due to lucrative revenues and benefits. And the consumers are correspondingly turning to social media for information from local influencers and are willing to buy online.

Now the NESDC is suggesting a registration system for Thai influencers, along with policies for skills training and career assistance. Regulations would also offer a safety net for influencers facing income or employment crises.

“These laws will help prevent influencers from spreading fake or unverified news that could cause public confusion.”

Countries like China, Norway, and the UAE have already implemented stringent regulations. For example, China restricts the display of excessive wealth online, Norway requires influencers to disclose any photo ‘enhancement’, and the UAE mandates influencer registration and permits.

Influencing, streaming, and YouTube content creation are now among the top ten dream careers for Thai adolescents in 2024, surpassing traditional professions like law and aviation. And why not? Thai influencers can earn between 800 and 700,000 baht per post, depending on their follower count and the product.

However, the rise of influencers has its downsides. The government’s Anti-Fake News Centre reported over 5,000 instances of fake news from more than 7,000 social media accounts, even including some of the country’s best known influencers, last year. Some influencers were also found promoting illegal activities like online gambling.

The NESDC proposed extending the Media Standard, Ethics, and Freedom Protection Act to cover online content creators.

The Thai government, and the NESDC, now find themselves in “catch up” mode whilst one thing is for sure… there will be more online sales and more influencers coming along soon. It’s not surprising that about 18% of internet users in Thailand now follow influencers and experts on social media.

Welcome to the future.

Here’s a list of who’s the most popular social media accounts in Thailand last year, as compiled by AJ Marketing

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