Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.

We Are Building the Future

by Don Anderson in News
we are social team pic

We Are Social, Singapore senior management team (left to right): Don Anderson, Sophina Smith, Shih Hoon Yong, Tuck Wai Yue, Nicole Ong, Sharim Gubbels and Simon Kemp.

Today marks a rather significant point in our (almost) four-year history in Singapore.

We are pleased to announce a number of key appointments among our senior leadership team, that signal our continued growth and maturity as a team in Singapore. As the media coverage suggests, we’re confident that we have assembled a leadership team with great breadth and depth of experience and a truly unparalleled understanding of how social thinking drives value for brands.

A core part of our foundation is Tuck Wai Yue, who joined us in January 2014 as business director. We are very fortunate to have Tuck as he keeps us grounded, stable and moving forward. Tuck assumes the role of  country head for our local office and will be overseeing ongoing operations, new business opportunities and driving growth.

Then there’s Sophina Smith, who herself is a pillar of strength and continues to demonstrate that no matter how much you throw her way, she somehow maintains a sense of calmness that you can’t help but admire. Sophina, or ‘Soph’ as we fondly call her, joined the Singapore office in early 2013 as business director and is moving into the role of client solutions director with a focus on delivering the level of business value clients now expect with their marketing and communications programs. As Soph will attest, this value starts with social.

At the heart of everything we do and believe in is the power of listening, which is essentially the essense of social thinking. Regional managing partner Simon Kemp continually reminds us how important it is for brands to listen first and look for those invaluable insights. We have new another ally in that quest – Shih Hoon Yong joins us as our new research & insight director. Shih Hoon, an adept qualitative research and analyst with over nine years’ experience, recently served as business intelligence director at migme, and will oversee our R&I team. We’re very pleased to welcome Shih Hoon, her quirky sense of humor and seemingly unboundless energy, to the team.

Then there is Nicole Ong, one of our longest serving members of the Singapore team. Having recently celebrated her third anniversary with the agency, Nic is being promoted to senior account director in an expanded role that will see her continue to work closely with our Lenovo and 20th Century Fox clients. Another force to be reckoned with, Nic gets it done. That is just what she does. Simon told me this on day one and, as usual, he was right.

Rounding out the squad is, of course, Simon Kemp, who will remain as regional managing partner and continue to guide the overall strategic direction for the business in the region, and Sharim Gubbels, our brilliantly verbose creative director.

Concurrently, I am taking the role as a regional managing director focusing on leading our regional offering and partnerships with clients and solutions providers, its overall strategic growth of the agency and ongoing marketing communications.

So, here we are – a solid team of senior leaders who will take the agency further as a team and business, and ensure that our clients continue to receive best in class social insights and solutions.

Let us know what you think, and how we may be able to help: gs.laicoseraewnull@ollehyas

Digital, Social & Mobile in India in 2015

by Simon Kemp in News

It’s been another year of bumper growth for all things digital in India, with the latest in We Are Social’s series of studies into Digital, Social & Mobile usage around the world revealing that over a quarter of the world’s second largest nation now uses the internet on a regular basis:

Digital In India, Aug 2015

Here are the key data headlines:

  • Internet Users: 350 million, up 44% since our last report in July 2014
  • Social Media Users: 134 million, up 26% in the past year
  • Unique Mobile Users: 590 million – a penetration rate of 46%
  • Mobile Internet Users: 159 million – 45% of all internet users
  • Mobile Social Media Users: 97 million, up 5% since July 2014

You can read the full report in the SlideShare embed above (and download it here), but India’s internet story isn’t just about the data, so read on for our analysis of what these numbers mean in context.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #188

by Dinnie Lim in News

YouTube Launches Creator Space in Mumbai, India
With creator studios in Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Berlin, YouTube has chosen Mumbai for its next Creator Space. This comes as no surprise as web video has been rising rapidly in popularity in India, with major creators All India Bakhod, and The Viral Fever at 1.3million and 1.1million subscribers respectively.

Naver, parent-company of LINE, launches Periscope-styled real-time live-streaming app, V, for celebrities
There is an increasing popularity of mobile live-streaming like Twitter-owned Periscope, with ten years of content watched on a daily basis. Popular messaging app LINE‘s parent company Naver has launched a social celebrity live-streaming app V.

V allows you to watch the comings and goings of your favourite celebrities, leaving comments on their past streams as well as “heart” them to let fellow fans know how you feel. A Chemi-beat (short for Chemistry Beat) also allows you to track the level of interaction you have with your favourite celebrity, this will be influenced by the time spent watching videos and live-streams. The app has been downloaded 160,000 times 24 hours after release.

The V app is available on iOS and Android.

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1 Billion Insights: What People #Love

by Simon Kemp in News

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 3.28.48 PM

Every day, somewhere between 300,000 and half a million photos are uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #love.

A few moments ago, those photos passed a particularly special milestone as the one-billionth photo tagged with #love was added to the photo sharing network.

Based on a wholly human (i.e. subjective) analysis of many thousands of posts tagged with #love over the past 12 months, the most common themes amongst Instagram posts tagged with #love are (in no particular order):

  • Selfies
  • Friendships & Couples
  • Requests for Followers
  • Illustrated Quotes
  • Pets & Animals
  • Fashion & Accessories
  • Beauty (Make-Up & Nail Art)
  • Food, Cafés & Restaurants
  • Travel Photos
  • Celebrities

The themes alone don’t explain the full picture, though; for that, we need to dig a little deeper, and interpret what we see.

#Love, Love Me Do

The most startling finding was the one that was  most obvious when we started exploring the hashtag stream.

The majority of photos tagged with #love seem to be people searching for ‘love’ – or at least people hoping to attract other people’s attention, admiration, recognition, or lust.

Our interpretation of this behaviour is that people don’t go to Instagram (or social media more generally, for that matter) to discover new products; they go there in the hope of being discovered themselves.

Because of this, most people are behaving in the same way that brands behave in social media: they’re posting content about themselves – notably selfies – in hope that other people will ‘like’ them (and comment, and share, and follow…).

What we found most interesting is that many of these #love posts appear to be attempts to deal with individual insecurities. They appear to address needs that sit squarely in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy (Esteem Needs and Love & Belonging Needs):


The key observation: people are using the #love hashtag to address their need for personal affirmation.

When you think about that, it’s not really very surprising; everybody wants to be loved.

However, we were surprised by the way that this need has translated into the use of a hashtag that we’d expected to be more about the expression of a present emotion (e.g. “I love…”) than the desire to fulfil an absent emotion (e.g. “I want to be loved”).

There are, of course, numerous examples of things people do ‘love’ – their partners, their friends and families, pets and animals, and celebrities – but the overwhelming majority of posts seem to fall into the category of fulfilling absent emotion than expressing present emotion.

The Naked Truth

What’s more, many people using the #love hashtag seem willing to go to extreme lengths to attract other people’s attention.

Roughly 3-5% of all posts tagged with #love are selfies involving nudity – male and female. If you want to verify this for yourself, do note that some of the pictures are particularly sexually explicit. They’re not for the faint-hearted, and they’re definitely NSFW.

Shock-value aside, it’s worth making an important distinction here between ‘nude selfies’ – which appear to be individuals’ attempts to get other people’s attention – and outright porn, which usually includes links to third-party websites. Our analysis suggests that individuals posting selfies in various states of undress outweigh ‘porn’ by a significant margin.

As a platform, Instgram doesn’t permit images containing nudity, but as you might expect given this volume of uploads, it can take some time before offending pictures are removed.

Tell Me I’m Beautiful…

People often use the #love hashtag together with photographs of make-up and nail-art too. What’s most interesting about these photos is that there are considerably fewer mentions of brands than I’d expect.

There appear to be two key motivations behind beauty-oriented posts. The first is closed related to the theme we saw above, where people are looking for the affirmation of other through their activities – the posts almost seem to ask ‘what do you think of me in this make-up’, without necessarily asking the question directly.

The second motivation is more marketing-related, but it’s generally about selling a make-up or nail artist, rather than the products they sell. This may be determined as much by the sheer volume of posts shared by individuals versus brands, of course, but the findings are nonetheless interesting and valuable to marketers hoping to understand their audiences.

…Tell Me I’ve Got Style

One of the most frequent hashtag correlations we identified was between #love and #ootd (i.e. outfit of the day). Fashion more generally seems to overlap neatly with the #love hashtag, but as with the Beauty theme above it appears that the person posting the photo is more interested in demonstrating their own sense of style than necessarily calling out specific brands.

On a related note, it’s worth highlighting a significant number of posts of people in revealing outfits or underwear. There’s a fine line here that merits some further exploration though, namely the balance between the opportunity for self-expression and the potential for people to make decisions they’ll later regret, or even the risk of exploitation.

(Don’t You) Wish You Were Here?

Even when it comes to product- and brand-related posts, there’s still a tendency to use the #love hashtag to call out things that the ‘poster’ expects other people to love, as much as what they themselves love.

For example, when it comes to travel, there’s a strong tendency towards envy-inducing shots: beaches at sunset, amazing hotel rooms, spectacular landscapes.

The same is true of most photos tagged with #food: there’s a tendency to post impressive meals that the individuals have prepared themselves (the desire for acknowledgment), or that they’re enjoying in special locations or restaurants (a trigger for envy).

Whilst these posts are perhaps less narcissistic than selfies, they still seem to demonstrate that constant need for the recognition and envy of others.

So What?

So what can marketers do with this information?

The answer lies in understanding the motivations that drive this behaviour, not simply in being able to track the behaviour itself.

That many people have a constant need for a self-esteem boost shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us, but it’s interesting how so few brands are fulfilling that need. Indeed, with their own constant attempts to get noticed and attract ‘likes’, most brands in social media are demonstrating the same insecurities themselves.

The big opportunity for brands in all of this is to understand how they can provide what these people need.

Brands could interpret that in two ways, though. One route would be to adopt the Dove approach, addressing the insecurities that drive the behavior in the first place.

The alternative would be to offer the recognition and affirmation the people using the hashtag seem to crave.

Either way, with half a million new #love posts a day, there’s plenty more left for marketers to learn from this incredibly popular hashtag.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #187

by Aubrey Teng in News

WeChat valued at $83.6 billion
WeChat, China’s messaging app giant, is valued at $83.6 billion. That makes up almost half of parent company TenCent’s value. On top of messaging, it also serves as a platform for ecommerce, mobile payments, social gaming, media and more with a user base of 600 million. With such impressive statistics, it is not hard to see why WeChat and other similar messaging chat apps are attracting many investors.

MSTY, a new music messaging app, launches globally
A new music messaging app MSTY (My Song to You) has recently launched worldwide. It gives users a new way to communicate with friends by combining music with text and photos. Users can pick a song from MSTY’s curated song-clips. They can then attach a photo by taking one in the app, importing a picture from their camera roll or using one of the template images from the app’s library. Users can also type a short message on the image.

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