Social networks

Bangladesh is one of the countries where Internet is growing at a good pace. The number of Internet users has in fact shot up sharply in recent years due to powerful mobile technology.

According to the Bangladesh Telephone Regulatory Commission (BTRC), as of June 2017, over 80.82 million citizens have Internet access, two fold more than the number one decade ago, and a staggering 93 percent of them use Internet through their mobile network, while 6.17 percent through the Internet service providers and only 0.14 percent through WiMAX. Internet penetration data from BTRC, which regulates telephone and mobile networks, show more than half of the total Internet connections were activated in the last four years after the country entered into third generation (3G) mobile technology in 2014. Three years before the introduction of 3G, the number of Internet users was around 10 million. The rapid growth of Internet use is regarded as a technological revolution in Bangladesh, which is shaping the country's media landscape.

The Internet growth can also be assessed by the increased use of bandwidth. As of January 2018, the use of bandwidth was 557mpps, which was 380mpps a year ago. The use of bandwidth is taking off as more and more people are accessing to the gateways and websites, as per Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited.

The NMS (2016) shows 8 percent growth of Internet in the country and an astonishing 148 percent growth in rural areas over 2014.

A significant of those with active Internet connections have Facebook accounts. The latest data of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Division under the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology puts the number around 30 million. Facebook is the most used social network in Bangladesh and it will remain so for many years. Users frequently scroll pages and read and share newsfeeds. Interactions in this social platform have been increasing with the rise of Internet users among people of all ages. People with little education are willing to open their Facebook accounts to get into the information hub and be updated about what is going on around them. Other social networks are not even in the closer distance. Although not popular yet, Twitter is the second most used social network as growing numbers of different professional reads and share news, not regularly though. A small number of people also use Google+, Instagram and Linkedin. The country entered into the fourth generation (4G) era in February 2018 and this faster data service will further bolster the current trend, bringing more citizens in the digital space.

BTRC has the authority to block or shut down any apps and websites. On various grounds, it has previously blocked Viber, WhatsApp, Youtube and Facebook. Currently, it operates upon getting instructions by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Since the usage of digital platforms is increasing, their surveillance by various government agencies has also heightened, often with censoring or blocking of digital contents.

Like other countries, search engines and websites are the two main gateways that are used to access content.