Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Blackberry’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #150

by Melissa Law in News

Renren announces grim Q3 financial results
China’s leading real name social network, Renren, saw a 47% decrease in total net revenues, a 77% fall in gross profit and an increase in losses, compared to the same period last year. The company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Chen commented that the company is undergoing “a challenging transition” but will continue focusing on its core business and core user base.

Amid the worrying results, there might be a single silver lining that remains for the company. The social network’s monthly active user count has remained steady at 44 million, in contrast to the huge fall seen between Q1 and Q2 this year, indicating that the company’s strategy may be working for its regular user base.

#DearNeighbour initiative unites Indians, Pakistanis
A social media movement ‘Dear Neighbour‘, which aims to improve relations between Indians and Pakistanis by focusing on their similarities, has launched with a video titled ‘Pause’. The film urges people from both sides of the border to talk to one another by posting peace velfies (video selfies) with the hashtag #DearNeighbour. The movement has amassed more than 11,000 likes since its launch less than 2 weeks ago.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #71

by Karen Wee in News

Thailand’s Chang  takes water orders through WeChat
Chang, Thailand’s largest beverage producer that’s best known for its beer, started an official account on WeChat last week. Calling themselves “WeChang”, followers are greeted with a welcome message that provides instructions on how to use the chat app to order drinking water for home delivery. In addition to offering a quick access to customer service representatives via WeChat, WeChang also allows customers to download a set of cute Chang stickers like the ones below. The chat app is currently also used to provide China Merchant Bank’s followers access to their bank balances in China. This might herald the future for consumer conveniences such as ordering home deliveries for food or groceries.

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WeChat’s BlackBerry app gets ‘look around’ feature
Months after the launch of its BlackBerry app, WeChat has released an update that allows users to ‘look around‘ for people to chat or flirt with. The update also includes other popular features such as allowing users to add friends by scanning QR codes and downloading animated sticker packs. The recent rollout brings the BlackBerry version pretty close to the chat app’s current form on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone platforms with the notable exclusion of video or voice calling. Tencent has indicated that the latter features will be made available in the WeChat for BB10 app, that is currently under development. In the meantime, Indonesian users seeking a specialized location-based flirting app can try Qute, a Tencent app that’s created just for the Indonesian market.

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6 Chinese social networks observe Earth Hour
Last Saturday, people around the world switched their lights off for an hour from 8.30pm local time to observe “Earth Hour”, a movement to remind the world not to waste vital resources. 6 Chinese social media sites, Renren, Youku, QQ, Ushi, 139 and Kaixin, pledged to turn the lights off on their sites. Users were able to view their pages via a virtual light that followed their cursor. Although technically, most gadgets will not consume less power with darkened pages, the move was intended to raise awareness of the difference that the world can make with changes to their energy consumption habits.

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Tencent lays out monetization plans for WeChat
Tencent, the maker of popular chat app, WeChat, will be rolling out a suite of services intended to build revenue streams that will help them monetize the app. The app will offer online-to-offline e-commerce capabilities, value-added services and games. WeChat member card holders can enjoy discounts for following specific merchants and daily deals on the official WeiTuanGou account. WeChat users will soon be able to buy special stickers and emoticons which may be sold as bundles through subscription. Gamers will also be able to play social games via WeChat in the near future.

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Tribehired, Malaysian social recruitment site gets seed investment
Malaysian startup social networking-based jobs site, Tribehired, has secured a US$ 560K (about S$ 696K) seed investment from Singapore’s TNF Ventures. The funds will be applied towards expanding the team and expanding its job seeker and employer base as the company moves towards launching its services globally. The premise is simple: Using Facebook as a working platform, people are incentivized to recommend vacancies to friends while virtual resumes can be created for users of the service. The service has already attracted quite a few companies including Rocket Internet-funded e-commerce firms such as Lazada and Zalora.

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YouTube hit the 1 billion a month unique users mark
Online video giant YouTube put their success into context for us last Wednesday, announcing their achievement of 1 billion unique users per month. This means “almost half of the people on the Internet visit the online site each month”. Looking specifically at Generation C (18-34 year olds), YouTube stated  that this “demographic spend 74% more time watching YouTube on their smartphones now than they were last year”. 

Facebook cover photo policy has been changed
The rule against page cover photos featuring a call to action, contact information, references to price or purchase information has been updated. Page owners now have more flexibility in terms of what they can include in their cover photo, however the no more than 20% text overlay rule still applies. The rule for cover photos and ad images are now consistent, “this is important as cover photos are beginning to be included in both organic and sponsored page-Like stories in News Feeds”.

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Facebook to roll out its new commenting system
Facebook have been testing its new commenting system since November 2012, it “includes threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first”. The new updates will be available on an opt-in basis for all pages with more than 10,000 fans. Some of the key features of the new comments are the “option to reply to a specific comment and a ranking system that takes into account positive and negative signals, and connections”. Facebook are hoping the update will improve conversation management, enhancing the fans experience and public figure profiles.

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Facebook to introduce Lookalike Audiences globally
Last week Facebook rolled out Lookalike Audiences to Power Editor accounts, this is a tool which helps advertisers target similar users “to those in their Custom Audience database”. Facebook reported that Lookalike Audiences have decreased cost per action and an online retailer experienced “lower costs per checkout when the Lookalike Audience feature was in limited beta”. To create Lookalike Audiences a list of first-party data must be uploaded, such as, email, phone number or user ID to create a Custom Audience. Facebook then uses algorithms to analyse the Custom Audience and produces a Lookalike Audience based on demographics, interests and what people are talking about.

iPhone users make calls using Facebook Messenger for free
Following on from its successful launch in the US and Canada, it is now possible for iPhone users in the UK to make calls to other Facebook Messenger users for free. You simply open the Facebook Messenger app, select the person you want to call and hit the ‘I’ button.

Happy 7th Birthday Twitter
Last week Twitter celebrated its 7th birthday - In the last seven years the social network has gained more than 200 million active users who create over 400 million Tweets each day. Twitter is now considered by most to be the go platform for the “lastest news, to exchange ideas and connect with people all in real time”. To celebrate this milestone, Twitter have made a video celebrating some of the many moments on Twitter so far, and a few of the UK’s best known Twitter personalities have been shouting about why they love Twitter so much.

Britney Spears is first to reach 6 million followers on Google+ 
Britney Spears has had the highest number of followers on Google+ since November 2011, and is now the first person to reach 6 million followers. According to Starcount, Lady Gaga is hot on her heels with a mere 100,000 followers seperating them.

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Puma are paying for UGC 
German sports giant, Puma, announced they’re trialing iPhone app, Foap. The new app allows users to upload photos to the platform and sell them to brands. Puma has asked Foap users to take photos in response to ‘Missions’ for its ‘Nature of Performance’ global campaign, the UGC purchased will promote the campaign across all social media channels. The ability to “create a library of content and achieve further engagement by getting users to rate the images” in Foap is one of the reasons Puma decided to use this platform.

Friendly Twitter war between Kit Kat and Oreo
A friendly Twitter war can be fun and exciting for the brand and their followers, and this is no exception:

A Twitter user tweets her two favourite chocolate brands…

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@KITKAT respond with a game of noughts and crosses…

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To which @oreo responded very cleverly…

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Oreo triumphed over KitKat on this occasion, we’re look forward to the next round!

Capital One get savvy about social for March Madness
Financial giant, Capital One, have recruited retired ball player Charles Barkley as a spokesperson during March Madness 2013 and they’re hoping he’s going to jump on the Twitter bandwagon very soon, and understandably so as tweeting has become an important part of spokesperson deals. In the meantime they have a social media plan to see them through March Madness, cashing in on real time marketing opportunities with a newsroom-styled social media team responding to tweets whilst watching the games. Capital One understand that being part of the conversation is integral to online success, but have also invested in promoted Tweets, Facebook ads, YouTube promos, and general displays across the Internet to ensure all bases are covered during March Madness.

Press regulation to affect  all forms of media
Bloggers could be facing libel fines under the new UK Leveson deal with exemplary damages imposed if they don’t sign up to the new regulator. The updated definition of a ‘relevant’ blogger or website under Clause 29 “includes any that generate news material where there is an editorial structure giving someone control over publication”. Many see this is a negative move for a country that has had a “free press for the last 300 years”, it could impact online news sites as well as small publications and local newspapers. It has been said that the new rules are there to protect small-scale bloggers and publications and to ensure publications like Hello! magazine would be subject to regulation but a small voluntary blog would be exempt.

The UK’s 2013 Budget in terms of social 
We Are Social’s London analyst Ed Kitchingman gave us the low down on social figures during the UK 2013 budget announcements last week, and what a difference twelve months made. The 2012 budget received 138,500 tweets total, whereas the 2013 budget received 258,000, tweets in the first day. The sentiment of tweets however was overwhelmingly negative, but mainly in relation to the Chancellor himself and not the policies. #budget2013 was the top hashtag used on the day, it was tweeted 125,102 times. Here’s a look at the top 10 hashtags used throughout the budget announcement and immediately after in order of popularity:

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The tweet that cost £14,268
UK parliament member Fiona MacTaggart underestimated the power of social media when she vowed to donate £1 for every retweet she received. Within the 35 minute timeframe Fiona set she received 14,268 retweets on Red Nose Day 2013. Fiona certainly wasn’t expecting the reaction she received but will live up to her word and intends to donate the full £14,268 to Comic Relief.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #69

by Karen Wee in News

WeChat & Taobao testing in-app e-commerce search feature
Tencent’s WeChat is working with China’s largest e-commerce site, Taobao, to test an in-app e-commerce search engine. WeChat users will be able to message Taobao from within the chat app by typing the keywords for the products that they are seeking, and the app will respond with a link to the items. This extension of WeChat’s existing brands platform, which is used for social marketing, makes it easier for users to search Taobao without having to launch the web browser or native app. The search reach will include products listed on Taobao’s sister site, Tmall, also run by Alibaba Group. WeChat’s pending new feature heralds the start of social e-commerce search wave that is expected to boost mobile commerce.

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Sina Weibo tests WeChat-like brand platform
WeChat’s rising popularity has reduced the amount of time spent by Sina Weibo’s users on the microblog. Sina is attempting to put up a fight with a new ‘Public Platform’ feature designed to rival WeChat’s brands platform. The feature is still under testing but when launched, it will offer brands, media and advertisers a dedicated channel to reach Sina Weibo’s 500 million registered accounts. This largely mirrors WeChat’s offering with two key differences: (1) WeChat has a smaller userbase of 300 million and (2) Sina’s current system doesn’t support outbound links to drive traffic to brand sites. Nonetheless, the feature is still in beta thus much remains to be seen whether the final launch product will support outbound links that allow advertisers to drive traffic to their own sites. Sina Weibo’s new feature will offer brands a more targeted approach (as users can opt in to receive updates), in addition to the existing promoted messages service which disseminates information to the entire userbase.

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WeChat plans to monetize official accounts platform
Monetization has always been tricky even for hot apps like WeChat. Tencent WeChat is looking to monetize the official accounts platform as its users are willing to pay for services. An attractive medium for brands, some of WeChat’s official accounts have started to display ads within articles sent to readers daily. Merchants have also reported seeing traffic from WeChat converting into transactions. In spite of the early commercial success of these services, WeChat maintains that their future monetization efforts will not conflict with user experience. WeChat is always looking to enhance the user experience and its latest version includes a “shake-to-search-for-a-song” feature that makes Shazam-esque song recognition available simply by shaking the phone. Previously, WeChat’s “Shake” feature was used to enable users to meet other users or to transfer web pages. The enhanced feature will soon enable users to launch the official WeChat account for a TV program by shaking the phone while watching the program.

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WeChat’s at the top of the Indonesian app chart
China’s WeChat topped Indonesia’s iOS and Android app charts following a TV advertising campaign that started a few weeks ago. The chat app also reached second  position on the app chart for Blackberry, Indonesia’s top smartphone platform. WeChat’s dominance on the Android app chart has displaced Japanese app, Line, putting it in second place. It is estimated that there are currently at least a million WeChat users in Indonesia. This development seems to be testimony to WeChat’s partnership with MNC Media, which seems to be paying off in Indonesia, especially for the TV ads. The newly incorporated joint-venture company, MNC Tencent, looks set to overwhelm Line in terms of TV ads and public visibility in the longer term.

Skype powers court proceedings in Indonesia
The Indonesian legal system is harnessing the power of the internet to facilitate court proceedings in a cost-effective manner. For the first time, Skype was used for teleconferencing, allowing a rape victim to deliver her sworn testimony without having to be physically present in court. Though there were hiccups such as the conference call getting disconnected twice, the court process was not disrupted significantly. A far more cost effective substitute to expensive landline-based  teleconference calls, the overall success of this hearing could herald the future for legal proceedings.

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1/3 of your Facebook friends see your posts
Research by Stanford University’s Michael S. Bernstein has shown that each Facebook update is seen by on average 1/3 of the poster’s friends. The study, which took into account the profiles of 220,000 Facebook users last June, also found that posts across the course of the month reached on average 61% of their friends. This high reach is something most users are unaware of, with most found to “consistently underestimate” the size of their audience.

Facebook’s News feed changes
As we reported last Friday, Facebook have announced a host of changes to their News feed. In the below video, we hear the Facebook team discussing the various differences users will see.

In essence, they have made two major changes. The first of these looks to provide a more visually immersive experience, with large images replacing what the network refer to as ‘clutter’ for everything from photo uploads to article previews and checkins. In fact, the inflated pictures and sleeker left side bar have led many to draw comparisons between the new format and the layout of Google+, a set of similarities highlighted in the following comparison:

Facebook Google+ similarities

It is in the second change that Facebook moves one step beyond its network rival. Rather than just one News feed, users will now have access to a number of different versions, allowing greater control over the stories they see. For example, you can switch from looking at a feed containing purely photos to the activity of all your friends, or the feed containing posts from the celebrities and news sources you ‘follow’.

The changes will post interesting challenges for marketers. First of all, the number and type of feeds will affect the way in which users receive branded content. Whilst the regular News feed will see brands compete with the same stories as they have do currently, the ‘Following’ feed will mean marketers are pitted directly against publishers, as well as celebrities with whom Facebook users have high affinity, increasing ever further the necessity of high-quality content. Moreover, there was no mention in the initial announcement of how adverts will appear in the new feeds. Whilst it is the norm for Facebook’s launches to focus on user experience over advertising and there is no initial change expected, brands will be looking to monitor any expected long term changes and how these may affect social strategy.

Tumblr to introduce mobile advertising
In an attempt at monetisation, Tumblr is set to introduce advertising on its mobile app, much like it already has on desktop. In the first half of this year, companies will be able to promote posts via mobile as well as web. This comes at the same time as research from Gartner on the increasing power of mobile advertising. This year expects to see $11.4 billion in worldwide mobile advertising revenue, up from $9.8 billion in 2012. By 2016, this could increase to $24.6 billion.

Red Bull introduce ‘Flow’
Red Bull are expanding both their social portfolio and association with the world of extreme sports by introducing Flow, a trick-sharing app designed for skateboarders and BMXers. Available for iPhone and Android, Flow allows users to either record in-app or upload pre-recorded content, which it then converts from individual clips to a seamless ‘flow’ of content.

Red Bull Flow

Mothercare producing film for Mother’s Day
We hope any mums reading had a great Mother’s Day yesterday! To celebrate the event, Mothercare are producing a user-generated film about a day in the life of a mother, due to be posted on their Facebook page today. The video, directed by Susie Donaldson of ‘Child of our Time’, is a collation of various photo and video content sent to the brand’s social platforms with the hashtag #MothersDayMoments.

Hospitals’ Facebook likes increase with quality
There is a link between a hospital’s quality and the number of Facebook likes it has, according to research by the American Journal of Medical Quality. Whilst social networks are not prevalent in the US healthcare sector – note that below 50% of the 82 New York-based locations tested even had a Facebook page – those that existed in the social sphere gained on average 93 likes with every percentage-point drop in the mortality rate. Furthermore, there is a positive correlation between a hospital’s fan numbers and the positive reviews it receives, depicting the ever-growing nature of social recommendations in non-commercial spheres.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #68

by Karen Wee in News

WeChat app to be available on Blackberry 10 soon
China’s WeChat has made a pledge on its Malaysian Facebook page to launch a Blackberry 10 version soon.

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This move to support Blackberry’s latest model, a few months after WeChat launched its Blackberry app, will help WeChat’s expansion plans in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. WeChat’s 300 million strong userbase is largely from China but the company is setting its sights on the international arena. The heatmap below shows WeChat’s global penetration as of January 2013.

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Tencent WeChat to open office in America
China’s Tencent has confirmed that it will be opening an office in America in 2013 as part of its move to take its successful chat app, WeChat, global.

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Originally launched as Weixin in China, the chat app has seen exponential growth following the creation of its English brand, WeChat in April 2012. Though a precise date or location for WeChat’s US office hasn’t been revealed, the company says that the office serve as a customer relations department. WeChat will face fierce competition from other Asian rivals such as Line while working to convert entrenched WhatsApp users. Tencent already has offices in San Francisco for its online gaming operations and has seen a growing ratio of overseas WeChat users though the company declined to reveal numbers.

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Google+ woos Indian users with government linked initiatives
With more than 60 million Facebook users, India is the third largest country market after US and Brazil for the social network. This makes it a natural target for Google which is seeking to get a foot in the door through the use of Google+ Hangouts to get the nation talking about the 2013 Budget. On February 28, Google streamed a live feed of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s presentation on YouTube’s IN conversation channel. To make the conversation more interactive, a Google+ hangout was held yesterday. A panel of economists joined the Finance Minister in fielding questions from Indian citizens who were selected after submitting questions using the #askthefm hashtag on Google+. Users were also encouraged to upload video questions using the same hashtag via the IN Conversation YouTube channel or via the google.com/+GoogleIndia page. Hangouts enable ordinary citizens to get closer to key events thus demonstrating the power of social media in helping the man in the street get involved in events that matter. What’s the upside for Google? Any new users who sign up or  existing users who rediscover Google+ through these initiatives may help to contribute to the network’s daily active userbase.

Automobile companies engage Indian social media influencers
Social media influencers are being pursued by automobile companies to test drive their vehicles for a day or two and to talk about it via social media channels. India is no exception with automobile companies such as Ford, Mercedes and Tata engaging with influential social media users, running contests and offering free cars at their disposal for a few days. The intent is to allow the influencers the opportunity to enjoy the comfort and luxury of the cars and to share their experience on their social media channels.  The payoff? The influencers posted pictures and wrote about their experience on their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds creating buzz and reach as their fans jumped into the conversation.

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Twitter partners with Japan’s DoCoMo to launch a Yellow Pages-like index 
DoCoMo and Twitter’s partnership has seen the launch of the Twitter Yellow Pages Japan site. Created for mobile users though accessible via PCs, the site contains lists of recommended Twitter accounts based on categories such as food, shopping, sightseeing, local news, celebrities and sport teams.

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In addition to Twitter’s list of recommended accounts, users can filter each category by location to discover other accounts that may be relevant to them. This tie-up is a win-win solution for both companies as Twitter garners more users making it more attractive to advertisers and DoCoMo chalks up increased mobile data usage with the potential to sell more smartphones.

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Viber has 3.5 million users in Vietnam
The mobile messaging app battle in Vietnam seems to have a clear winner with Viber registering a userbase of 3.5 million. Competitors, Line and KakaoTalk, have a million users each while WhatsApp has not confirmed any user numbers. This growth is impressive considering Viber has not been actively promoting the app in Vietnam or anywhere else in the world. With a userbase of 175 million worldwide, of which a third are from Asia, Viber is a source of concern for rival apps such as Line, KakaoTalk and Zalo.

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Marketers set to more than double social media spend
Over the next five years, CMOs will more than double the percentage of their marketing budget that is spent on social media, according to 500 surveyed. Currently, social media makes up 8.4% of that total; this is set to increase to 11.5% in 2013 and reach 21.6% in the next five years. Consumer goods companies are set to lead the way, seeing an increase from 9.6% to 24.6% in the same period.

How Twitter affects UK mobile and tech shoppers
A study of 6,000 UK Twitter users has looked to establish the network’s effect on mobile and tech shoppers. From the  graph below, it can be seen that exposure to a brand’s tweet increases the percentage of users visiting a brand’s website, up to 62.7% in comparison with 45.6% of Internet users or 50.5% of those on Twitter not exposed to the tweet.
Tweets drive in-market shopper traffic
A key point to be taken from the research is that the likelihood of a user visiting a brand’s website increases with higher frequency of exposure to branded tweets.

How to gain Twitter followers?
The Georgia Institute of Technology have had their two cents on how to gain Twitter followers, analysing a selection of 500,000 tweets based on a number of factors including sentiment, engagement and readability. They concluded that those who posted shorter, happier tweets & engaged with their followers using RTs and mentions exhibited a higher rate of follower growth. Also effective was retweeting interesting pieces of news; those who did so gained more followers than those posting about themselves.

Facebook’s Insights fix will definitely affect reach
After the fixes to Facebook bugs affecting reach that we reported last week, tests by Edgerank Checker on 1,000 pages have shown an increase of over 30% across different types of Facebook reach:

ERC Facebook reach

It is worth reading the full post for its detailed analysis, including a breakdown of the effects by page size.

Facebook acquires Microsoft’s Atlas
The result of a long-mooted deal, Facebook has announced its acquisition of Microsoft’s ad-serving platform Atlas at a price thought to be under $100m, based on former bids in the $30-50m region. Facebook have claimed that their intention is not the construction of an external advertising network based on their social data, but instead that their interest lies in improving measurement tools, citing Atlas’s new tool for richer measurement of ad impressions. In light of the deal, Adweek conducted an interview with Facebook’s director of product marketing, Brian Boland and Dave O’Hara, CFO of Microsoft’s online services division, in which they discussed their plans to build a stronger relationship between the two companies. Boland said:

When we look at Atlas, it is a full acquisition where we are acquiring the technology, the people, the expertise and the client relationships. So this is a great accelerator for our aspirations around measurement.

Facebook working on redesigning Newsfeed
Last week, the Verge, amongst others, announced that Facebook had invited press to ‘come see a new look for News Feed’. The event will be held at its Menlo Park, CA headquarters this Thursday, 7th March at 10am PST. As for the expected changes,Business Insider claim to have a source close to Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP of products, with whom Mark Zuckerberg has entrusted the product. From this source, they have ascertained two important differences: firstly, News feed will know more information about you and use this to tailor what content you receive based on your likes, what you’ve viewed and even items you’ve bought. Secondly, News feed will look to pull content from a wider range of sources, as Facebook hopes to integrate sharing tools directly into company websites, allowing them to work more like pages. Rumour also has it that a radical redesign is coming to the mobile News feed, with a more vivid text-overlay and full width images taking over from the current format. A (sort of) artist’s impression below gives the gist of how the layout will work.

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Facebook testing new actions in Open Graph apps
Facebook are testing a new set of actions in Open Graph apps, including ‘rate’ and ‘quote’ for books, as well as ‘want to read’ or ‘want to watch’. The below example displays how the ‘Goodreads’ app is already using the ‘rate’ system, though it is worth noting that no announcement has been forthcoming from Facebook.

Facebook rate

Had good news? Facebook will suggest your friends send you gifts
For a while now, Facebook have been suggesting gifts for occasions like birthdays or engagements. However, they have now decided to add the ‘Give A Gift’ button to posts containing good news. Interestingly, it seems the feature is now using natural language processing, rather than just specific events, in order to make suggestions.

Facebook gifts

Instagram now has 100m active monthly users
The image-sharing platform Instagram has announced that it now has 100m active monthly users, up from 90m just a month ago. This displays incredibly fast growth; it took Facebook four-and-a-half years to reach such a level. According to AppData, Instagram is now the third-highest rank Android app and the 17th top free iOS app.

Google+ launches ‘Sign In’ and ventures into e-commerce
Google have launched an attempt to rival Facebook ‘Connect’, with their own ‘Sign In’ feature, along with an impressive list of partners that includes Banjo, Fancy, Fitbit, OpenTable, and Shazam. The below video explains the feature, along with some of its key elements, including the importance of privacy, control over sharing and easy mobile integration. In many ways, it mirrors and attempts to improve on Facebook’s concept of frictionless sharing from open graph actions.

It is then left up to the various partners to decide how they use the feature. From the Shazam example, you can see full extent of interactive sharing available:

Shazam G+ example

The Fancy have chosen to integrate a buy button into shared content, providing another example of how brands can use ‘Sign In’. The following example displays how such posts will look.

Google+ Fancy

Foursquare partners with Mastercard and Visa
In a bid at further monetisation, Foursquare have partnered with card giants Mastercard and Visa for providing discounts. Having enjoyed success from a similar deal with American Express, the social network has launched a new deal for all three cards, offering a saving of $1 for every ten spent with a check in at Burger King.

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Vimeo ‘Looks’ to add Instagram-style filters to video
Video-sharing network Vimeo has further expanded its appeal to filmmakers by offering filters, known as ‘looks’, through a partnership with GenArts and use of their ‘Vivoom’ app. Each filter, or ‘look’, applies a different effect to video content, offering a straightforward method to alter a film’s appearance.

Vimeo looks

The feature, which marks Vimeo’s first external partnership, is set to be free for users for the first 90 days, after which a charge will be applied. Pricing structure is as yet undecided.

Pheed becomes number one social app for iOS
Last week, Pheed overtook the likes of Facebook and Twitter as the top social app for iOS. The network, which allows sharing of all sorts of content from text, photos, video and audio to voice or live broadcast, is believed to owe its expansion to positive reviews by high-profile teens on Twitter and Instagram. It also includes a number of interesting features, including the ability to watermark images, or put certain content behind a paywall. With such impressive growth, Pheed is definitely one to watch in the coming months.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #48

by Karen Wee in News

WeChat launches in Indonesia
China-built cross platform messaging application, WeChat (known as Weixin in China) has launched in Indonesia. The potential is immense as Indonesia’s the world’s 4th most populous country with a population of 237 million people, slightly larger than WeChat’s worldwide user base of 200 million. The latest development is expected to put pressure on competitors such as WhatsApp and Line to make similar moves in addition to threatening Blackberry’s BBM’s dominance in Indonesia. WeChat’s popular integrated social networking features such as hold-to-talk voice messaging, ‘Moments’ status update and photo sharing features are expected to give the hybrid chat app a leg up with Indonesian users. Likewise, the features can prove attractive to advertisers seeking to leverage on the reach offered by the product.

Twitter vs Weibo
Last week we mentioned that Chinese Twitter users are the most active despite being blocked in China. Whilst Twitter is the dominant microblog service in the US, China has 2 homegrown microblog platforms, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, that are very popular within the mainland and increasingly beyond its shores. Given China’s massive population size and an increasingly affluent society that is wired and crazy about social networking, the twin threats that Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo pose to Twitter’s microblog-dom’s dominance should not be ignored even if they currently do not have a stronghold on English-speakers. Check out the infographic comparing the 3 platforms here.

Indonesian Instagram users can now print photos with Instalogi
Prinstagram-clone Instalogi allows Indonesian Instagram users to print photos in addition to photobooks and stickers. Launched on September 1st, users can sign into their Instagram accounts on the Instalogi site, pick the photos they want printed, check them out, pay, send a confirmation and wait for the prints to be delivered. The startup’s founder Kemas Dimas revealed that plans are underway to develop a mobile web version of the product and that they’ll be holding an event with iPhonesia, the largest iPhone-based photography community in Indonesia.

WhatsApp offers unlimited messaging service for Indian college students
Making a play for the world’s 2nd most populous country, WhatsApp  has partnered with Reliance to offer unlimited usage of its messaging service to college students. Reliance’s College Package is a prepaid plan offering students unlimited access to WhatsApp and Facebook for INR 16 (S$ 0.37) a month. The plan excludes calls and SMSes.

The deal will provide WhatsApp with an advantage as it competes with Indian-developed Nimbuzz which hit the 100 million users milestone recently with most of its users residing on the Indian subcontinent. WhatsApp has also struck deals with operators in Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Notably, Indonesian top operator, Telkomsel has added WhatsApp along with Line and KakaoTalk to its US$3 (S$3.69) unlimited monthly plan. India is on the radar too for Blackberry which doubled its sales presence and launched budget devices. It faces stiff competition though from Samsung which is the leading brand for Android devices in the country.

LinkedIn opens regional office in Dubai
US-based LinkedIn has opened a new regional office in Dubai, its first in the Middle Eastern region with more than a million members signing up within the United Arab Emirates alone. In February 2012, LinkedIn reported more than 44 million members in Europe, Middle East and Africia out of 175 million members worldwide. The company’s influence is reportedly growing at a strong pace with 2 new members signing up every second. Having recently hit 10 million members in the UK and 62% of its users residing outside of its homebase in the US, LinkedIn could be the next social networking behemoth to watch.

Facebook cracks down on fake accounts
Some page admins are reporting that they are losing tens of thousands of fans as Facebook deletes fake and spam accounts. Facebook estimates that on average, pages shouldn’t lose more than 1% of its fan base, though we hope marketers aren’t too worried by these fans who didn’t contribute to engagement anyway.

Facebook adds gift giving for big occasions
You really have no excuse for forgetting to buy a birthday present — now when Facebook reminds you of a friend’s birthday, you’ll also get the option to give a gift in the real world (at least if you live in the US). Browse the selection of $5 Starbucks gift cards, $35 cupcakes and more, enter your bank card details and voila, no birthday will be left behind. Facebook will be celebrating with presents for itself as well, as it takes a slice of each of the transactions and gets valuable data about its users, like their street addresses and bank account information.

Dropbox links up with Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups just got more useful with the announcement of Dropbox support, and users can now share files after linking their Facebook account with Dropbox. Other group members can like and comment  on the update, just like a regular post, and the group will automatically be notified if the file has been updated.

Instagram shoots past Twitter in daily mobile users
Maybe pictures are worth more than words now: For the first time ever, American smartphone owners spent more time browsing Instagram than Twitter and visited the Instagram app more frequently. Even though Twitter had more unique US smartphone visitors (29 million for Twitter and 22 million for Instagram), Instagram’s users are more engaged. In August, Instagram had an average of 7.3 million daily active users, compared to Twitter’s 6.9 million. And Instagrammers spent 257 minutes on the app on average, as opposed to 170 minutes on Twitter. How soon until Facebook figures out how to monetize these numbers?

Twitter beefs up ‘Discover’
Twitter continues to improve its Discover tab, a personalized finger-in-the-wind where the site tries to pick up what it thinks you’ll like reading about. Twitter has changed up the design, which now features a continuous stream of tweets that automatically expand to show photos.

LinkedIn adds ‘kudos’ for skills
In one click, your LinkedIn connections will now be able to give you endorsements for your skills and expertise, as well as make recommendations for ones you should add, in something much akin to a Facebook ‘Like’ or a +1. Skills are now vertically ranked based on the number of endorsements received from your colleagues, and you’ll be notified via e-mail and on the site when you’ve been given some LinkedIn love.  This is available in the US, India, New Zealand and Australia, but LinkedIn promises it will be coming to more countries soon.

Myspace is bringing sexy back
We were sure that Myspace had been forever banished to the Internet graveyard, but then Justin Timberlake jumped on board and brought it back from the dead. Justin, along with Chris and Tim Vanderhook who bought the site in June 2011, have completely revamped it and hope to make it a social destination for artists looking to connect to their fans. If nothing else, the tech press is going gaga, and for good reason: The site is just downright pretty. The design looks like it has been heavily influenced by Tumblr and Pinterest, and keeping with the Pinterest vibe, the new Myspace invite-only for the moment. Myspace looks like it wants to play nice with Twitter and Facebook to populate your profile with photos and data so that new users aren’t starting from scratch. Get the grand tour of the new Myspace (as much as we can see now anyway) here.

Foursquare introduces personalized maps
Fed up with Apple’s maps on iOS 6? Foursquare has released its new update just in time. The Explore is getting better and better, and the latest update has a much more efficient search system, which gives a higher ranking to what’s popular in the area and what your friends like. And just like the website, the mobile app can now show a personalized map highlighting places you have or haven’t been before and where your friends have been.

StumbleUpon unveils redesign
Not to be outdone by Pinterest and other social networks, StumbleUpon has gotten a makeover that makes the random-internet-discovery-engine more personal and social. Users can now see what’s trending, find out what’s highly recommended by StumbleUpon “experts” and curate lists of their favorite content. Sounds pretty Pinterest-y. But StumbleUpon does seem to be going its own direction by incorporating personal profile analytics, such as your Stumble DNA, which shows the types of content you like best.

What can you buy for a tweet?
Kellogg’s has opened a pop-up shop in London where the cost of a bag of crisps is just one tweet. The experiment ended on Friday, but seems to have gone well, with hundreds of tweets and even spambots picking up the #tweetshop hashtag.

Paddy Power takes Twitter to the skies
To cheer on Europe during the Ryder Cup, Paddy Power bought the hashtag #GoEurope, but then took its tweets even further by putting them up in the clouds with a team of skywriters, which made the tweets visible up to 20 miles away. And all of Paddy Power’s support seems to have paid off, with Europe taking home the top slot and tweets using the hashtag from big names in golf.

KFC targets women in its first UK social media campaign
KFC has made a viral video featuring comedian Jenny Bede asking women to share their “it doesn’t count if…” stories about unhealthy eating on social media. While we’ve all been there (daily … it’s Monday, okay?!), it’s hard to imagine many women changing their perceptions of KFC from this video (especially nutrition-wise), one of the supposed goals of the campaign.

55DSL paints the town with ideas
What would you do if you had 55 seconds to live? Inspired by the brand’s recent launch in India, Diesel’s 55DSL has asked this question, and followers can see their best ideas “graffitied” on buildings on the brand’s site. The more tweets that are sent in with the #55secondstolive hashtag, the quicker the next level will be unlocked, which promises prizes to the top tweeters at each interval.

David Cameron says he’ll join Twitter
The UK’s Prime Minister himself has promised to join Twitter in hopes to communicate more directly with people, despite his past reservations about the social network. His office already uses the @Number10Gov handle, but having his own account will allow him to talk politics more personally. No word on what that handle will be, though@PrimeMinister looks suspiciously suitable.

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