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We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tune-Up #201

by Tan Xing Long in News

Garena’s Shopee: Potential challenger to Carousell?
Besides having its own secure payment system that would only release payment to buyers when delivery is completed, Singapore-based Shopee has a native social ecosystem within its app, allowing users to have a “Facebook-like” newsfeed, ability to “follow” their favourite sellers, get notifications on new products etc. With a popularity and usage rate similar to Carousell in parts of Asia already (according to App Annie), it seems like Shopee is on the ascendency and offers a serious alternative to Carousell.

Facebook, Whatsapp and Viber blocked ‘indefinitely’ in Bangladesh
The Bangladeshi government has banned six social media apps – Facebook, Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango. Similar to the 2010 incident where satirical images of Prophet Muhammad were uploaded and shared, the government cited security reasons for this ban following the death penalty of two opposition leaders.

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Digital in Southeast Asia in Q4 2015

by Simon Kemp in News

As part of my upcoming Ask Me Anything session with Tech In Asia on November 26th, I’m delighted to share the latest snapshot of Digital, Social and Mobile usage around Southeast Asia.

This new report – continuing We Are Social’s on-going series of reports into connected behaviour around the world – shows that digital adoption and usage continues to grow apace around Southeast Asian nations, with internet and social media usage increasing more than 15% year-on-year.


Just before we get into the regional data though, here are the latest global figures:

  • Global Internet Users: 3.249 billion
  • Global Social Media Users: 2.317 billion
  • Global Mobile Users: 3.761 billion
  • Global Mobile Social Media Users: 2.062 billion

Read on to get the specific details for Southeast Asia.

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Snapchat – impermanence is here to stay

by Dan Moseley in News

Can you remember what real life was like? Life without wondering how many ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ you’ll get on a daily basis? Many of us struggle to remember a world before social media – for the Gen Z-ers amongst us, it might as well not have existed.

Great thinkers can argue all they want, but we all know deep down if you experience something IRL and don’t share it for all to see in a triple filtered blaze of Insta-glory, it’s not real. If it’s not saved on a multinational corporation’s servers for future generations to see… frankly, who cares?

Roaming gangs of engagement feeders. Grey car – avg. 7.5 likes per minuteRoaming gangs of engagement feeders. Grey car – avg. 7.5 likes per minute

As the press reaction to Essena O’Neill gathered pace recently, I began to wonder if she was the modern oracle our times needed. “One of the truest and realest people ever”. In a world of creating a permanent, unrealistic picture of our lives for everyone we’ve ever met (and some we haven’t…) to take in, it looks like some of us have had enough.

Enter today’s saviour of social for the younger generation – Snapchat. Created in 2011 by three friends at Stanford University, Snapchat allows users to share photos and videos, which appear for a limited period on the recipient’s phone and then disappear forever. Welcome to social media 2.0. Impermanence made permanent.

Most importantly, Snapchat’s founders seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet as the Essenas of this world.

Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion – not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. […] We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap.

shock emoji

It’s a formula that’s working. In just over four years, Snapchat has experienced a meteoric rise in a packed social media market. Earlier this month, it announced that the number of videos viewed each day on Snapchat has tripled since May – it now gets 6bn video views every day. Not to mention the 8,796 disappearing photos sent by its 100 million users every second… not bad for a platform that started life as a controversial sexting app.

Currently valued at $10-20 billion depending on who’s buying (some guy called Mark Zuckerberg tried for $3bn and was rejected), it’s also one of social media’s more successful entities at monetising. One such route is the app’s long term publisher deals as part of the Discover tab, with the likes of Vice, Sky, Buzzfeed, MTV, and Mail Online signed up amid a growing roster. It’s barely an exaggeration to say that Snapchat controls the news consumption of a certain demographic of social media users.

If the heavyweight names on that list don’t impress you, consider this – Buzzfeed recently estimated that an incredible 21% of its site traffic now originates from Snapchat content views. And newcomer Mashable has seen astounding figures since joining Discover, with CEO Pete Cashmore reporting that Mashable’s total unique views grew by 24% in the month following its Snapchat launch. On a site that boasts 45 million uniques per month.

In the spirit of the creativity originally promised, Snapchat has opened a new lens store, offering free lenses and 99 cent lenses, as well as brand-Sponsored Lenses. 20th Century Fox has signed up to create animated branded selfie filters just weeks after the feature launched on app – worth a reported $750,000 daily for peak-usage. There’s also paid Geofilters (hungrily eaten up by pop-up restaurant newbies… well, McDonald’s).


For the more traditionally minded marketers, Snapchat launched a full in-app ad spot last year with Universal Pictures to promote the movie Ouija. If you’re wondering why kids aren’t watching your TV spot or YouTube pre-rolls, you now know where to get their attention.

It’s not just brands paying – the app’s users are increasingly getting involved too, led by US only offers Snapcash and Replay. Snapcash allows users to register with Square and make in app payments to friends by ‘making it rain’.

Replay offers three replays of expired content for $0.99. Yep, expired content. But all within the framework of rapid server deletion as Snapchat’s updated support post rapidly fought to prove. The wider point is this: an app that has users hooked on the excitement of fleeting creative moments can now charge its audience nearly a dollar for replays that could be over in a matter of seconds. That’s not a decision made lightly. It’s proof Snapchat content excites people enough to want to pay for more.

So – I think it’s safe to say that Snapchat’s here to stay. It’s maturing as a business, it’s offering a wide range of paid and unpaid tools for brands to express themselves creatively and it’s proving success with publishers and brands alike. You’re not going to get a 72 page report on performance afterwards, but your message will reach a youth audience more receptive than anywhere else in social if you speak to them on their terms.

In a world of airbrushing, perfection and Essena O’Neills complaining about how ‘fake’ life in social media can be, Snapchat is a refreshing opportunity to be different. You might not reach Burberry’s heights of Mario Testino dropping his Leica for an iPhone, but before you jump in it’s worth thinking back to that heady world of Snapchat’s first blog post and working out what you can add.

We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap.

If you have a message that manages to live up to that, Gen Z might just listen.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tune-Up #200

by Kristie Neo in News

Huawei launches an interactive “finger race” campaign on Snapchat
An interesting approach by Chinese company telecoms giant, Huawei.

To promote their new Talkband B2 connected gear in France, Huawei launched a campaign called #SnapchatRun. It’s an “interactive finger race” where users get a first person perspective through photographs. Players are led to ‘run’ through the streets of Paris using their two fingers as legs. Each tap on a photo reveals the next snap and then the next, creating an illusion that you’re running on screen. The “fastest” runners to tweet a code at the end of their journey stand to win the Talkband B2 device.

Cool? We think so too.

Shia Labeouf wants you to watch him in the name of art
Mr “Shia Labeouf” Transformers is the latest celeb to jump on the live-streaming wagon. He basically sits in a spot in New York City watching all the movies he’s ever starred in back-to-back for three days (indulgent, yes) with a camera capturing every iota of his unshaven face while it beams live across the globe. In other words, it’s you watching Shia watching himself on screen.

The #AllMyMovies “art” project wrapped up just about a day ago. Shia says he’s loving himself much more now. Some of us are cringing, the rest of us are still trying to figure out what sort of performance it was supposed to be. It is art perhaps, so maybe we’re not supposed to understand it.

Whether or not its about (as some articles say), our desire for intimacy by portraying Shia in a vulnerable light, “humanising” him so to speak, this bizarre trend isn’t the first of its kind around. You remember this Korean kid don’t you?

So clearly, this is a thing.

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Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year is an emoji
So begins the demise of the English language as we know it. Let us not speak to each other in words and sentences and phrases and metaphors because just one yellow, little, round face is enough to capture all the information and emotion we can ever muster. Oxford Dictionary says so. The word of the year for 2015 is not “sharknado”, “robo-sapiens” or “Vladimir Putin”. It is a pictograph yellow face laughing tears of joy. No kidding!

Word of the Year 2015 2-970-80

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What exactly is Community Management?

by Dinnie Lim in News

“So, what do you do for a living?”

The perfectly innocuous question that follows almost every social interaction once you’re above the age of 23.

“I’m a Community Manager.”

I would often reply, prefacing it with a hesitant smile, as I brace myself for the barrage of questions that would follow in this next moment.

“So, what do you do, exactly?”

“Are you actually paid to surf Facebook? Wow.”

Responses like the latter are always partnered with an expression that is a mix between awe and envy.

And given the added pain of a recent LinkedIn Survey suggesting Community Manager is one of the most misunderstood jobs, perhaps it is finally time to clarify what exactly it is that we do, once and for all?

Let’s begin with the start of the day, shall we? It begins with my usual cup of iced Americano from the neighbourhood cafe. With the bittersweet aroma of caffeine, I get into the thick of things right away. First up would be a glance at the pages I manage on the various social platforms. It helps me plan my day to see the amount of time I would have to allocate to responding the fan comments and questions for these pages. Whenever there is a campaign or new product launch, the volume of interactions would be significantly increased.

Community Management We Are Social Brands

I then go through the responses to any posts published over the previous day on all the social channels — Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram, among others — and start replying to them.

This usually takes up the bulk of my mornings and afternoons. Be it answering questions about the client’s products/services or handling feedback, my fellow community managers and I make sure that the community is heard and taken care of. Our main focus, aside from reactive responses, is to extend the conversation with the fans.

While the fans on our pages get the latest information from us and the brand, we also acquire valuable insights from the communities we serve, whether it is about the communications they would like to receive or the value they get from the content we post. For example, we have found that our fans love content that allows them to showcase their creativity – be it sharing with us favourite photos of their pets, or ideas of their own about possible content in future. It is truly a two-way interaction.

At the same time, within the agency, as a Community Manager, I am expected to play a collaborative role with the creative and accounts teams, providing insight on what is observed across the specific social channels and the types of content that the communities respond best to. For example, the fans on Twitter tend to react the best to the latest news or references as it is a platform that is focused on the nowness of events.

What a brand hears from their community matters just as much if not more than what they say themselves in social media. By listening, a brand is able to understand what matters most to the people who share on social media. We can then use this knowledge to build content that adds value to the lives of the brand’s audience. That is the ultimate difference between making people want things and making things that people want.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we do as community managers.

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