Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Foursquare’.
Alibaba invests $294M in China’s top online mapping company AutoNavi
Two weeks after taking an 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo, China’s biggest e-commerce company has announced another investment of $294 million in AutoNavi. This investment will take up 28 percent shares of the company. AutoNavi is China’s top online mapping company, beating search giant Baidu and even Google Maps in terms of mobile maps market share in China. As an industry leader, AutoNavi seems to be a perfect partner for Alibaba in seeking opportunities to explore and develop new location-based e-commerce services. It is also clear that this deal will give Alibaba access to a huge pool of consumer behavior data based on location. With Alibaba’s acquisition of the social music service Xiami last year and their more recent stake in Sina Weibo and AutoNavi, Alibaba has quickly become equipped with big social data and strategic alliances to explore a new kind of e-commerce service—one that will integrate three big things: social, mobile and location. It will be interesting to see what kind of revolutionized services Alibaba will bring out to the market in the future.
In Japan, politicians leverage Line to deepen ties with supporters
The importance of mobile messaging apps is growing. Many brands already know it and try to leverage the increasing impact of mobile messaging app to engage with their consumers. Politicians in Japan are no exception to this recent trend. According to Japan-based mobile messaging app Line, ten political parties in Japan have opened official accounts on the app. This was after the ban on the use of internet-based mediums for election campaigns (including social networks and blogs) was lifted. Line provides politicians an opportunity to engage with their supporters more directly and actively, by allowing users to opt-in to receive message from political parties, as well as leave feedback and comments on their accounts. Will this impact on the way politicians in Japan communicate with public?
IGAWorks joins KakaoTalk to increase game releases and app traffic
Korea-based mobile messaging app Kakaotalk has announced a partnership with IGAWorks, the local in-Game advertisement provider. The partnership will involve integrating IGAWorks’ adPOPcorn into Kakaotalk that will provide “in-game and in-app incentivized offers, as well as pop-up adverts that link through to social and mobile media channels.” This collaboration is intended to strengthen Kakaotalk’s video game offerings—features that have contributed to distinguishing Kakaotalk from other mobile chat apps. By allowing all game developers on Kakaotalk to access adPOPcorn, Kakaotalk is looking to create a new channel of income for video game developers and publishers. The goal is to encourage more game releases which will drive more user traffic to the app. This also reflects KakaoTalk’s desire to attract more brands as well, to tap into Kakaotalk as a mobile advertising platform.
QQ gets makeover to look like WeChat; new look upsets users
Tencent’s drastic revamp on QQ has led the chat service to resemble China’s most popular mobile chat app, WeChat. This makeover has brought out a large number of angry users. According to Techinasia, nearly 95% of people who left reviews on the newly updated QQ app have given it the lowest star rating. By contrast, the previous version of the app mostly received five-star feedback. The new look of QQ app, ungracefully called “second hand WeChat” by disgruntled users, has taken on less of a traditional IM user interface, and this is the root of most of the discontent. An indicator light that used to appear beside user contacts’ names allowing users to indicate the online or offline status of users has been taken out of the app, despite the fact that most of users found the function to be useful. In addition, the new style of chat window inspired by WeChat seems a waste of space for those who prefer QQ app as a “fast-paced conversation in one window.” Users have already expressed their stance against the new look of QQ, requiring Tencent to bring previous IM-like features back. We will wait to see how Tencent will react.
Japan’s Quan-inc partner with AIS to roll out sticker maker app “AIS myStickerShop”
Japan based mobile application maker Quan-inc has partnered with AIS, Thailand’s top mobile network operator. Quan-inc is well known for developing Lounge - a mobile messaging app with unique features of collaborative drawing and message decoration. The partnership is intended to release an app called “AIS myStickerShop”. The app allows users to create their own stickers for their mobile messaging apps. Currently, only Android users can enjoy the service. iOS users will have to wait a while for an iOS version to come out later this month. Quan Inc’s partnership with AIS could be indicative of a desire to expand their presence in Southeast Asia, as the deal with AIS may open up an opportunity to launch future apps for Singtel, Singapore’s top mobile network operator and a stakeholder in AIS.
Research by Socialbakers has revealed that 50% of the reach of a Facebook page’s posts occurs in the first half hour, and 80% in the first 3 hours. The below chart, based on a sample of 1,000 posts, displays the real-time minute-by-minute increase in reach.
Time spent on Google+ far behind Facebook
Google+ users spent an average of 6 minutes 47 seconds on the network during March, a far cry from the 6 hour 44 minute average on rival platform Facebook. Whilst this does represent growth from the 3.3 minutes spent in February 2012, in contrast to Facebook’s dip from 7 hours 9 minutes in March 2012, the rate at which G+ is catching up can be, by these figures at least, dismissed as negligible. Figures reported by Nielsen also revealed 20 million unique US users of the G+ Android and iPhone apps, a 238% increase from March 2012 and 28 million desktop users, up 63% in the same period. However, there is likely to be some crossover between the two groups. In fact, accusations have come in that Google+ is essentially a ‘desolate wasteland’, based on the activity of the top 100 global brands. According to research by Millward Brown, 40% of these posted to Google+ either infrequently or not at all, with 17 (including Nike and Pepsi) not having posted anything for over a week. McDonald’s, as shown below, have never had a single post.
How many Vines are shared
Research has been produced into how many branded Vines are shared to celebrate the app turning 100 days old. They discovered that branded Vines are shared 4x as often as branded online videos and, of the top 100 most shared, 4% of Vines were branded, compared to 1% of online videos. In total, 5 Vines are shared per second; more of these come during the weekend than the rest of the week combined. Time-wise, Vine frequency peaks from 10am-11am Eastern Time.
75% of top US retailers and restaurants are on Foursquare
Three quarters of the US top 100 retailers and top 100 restaurants are now on Foursquare, of which a full list can be found here. As for smaller businesses, over 1 million businesses have been claimed, but this includes some chain stores; only 17% have ever tried a promotion with the network. Larger businesses are seeing a positive effect from their campaigns; Bloomin’ Brands had 678 users redeem an offer for Outback stores in Richmond, VA, which gave a free appetiser for every second check in. Karen Soots, VP of media services at Bloomin’ Brands, praised the campaign’s effect, saying that if they were to do that nationwide at many restaurants over three weeks, it’s “millions of dollars in incremental revenue”.
Littlewoods collection to be sold in Facebook Newsfeed
Fashion retailer Littlewoods will be selling their latest collection within the Facebook Newsfeed. Using a system called SeeitShopit, which allows full collections to appear within a single post, it will enable fans to browse, share and purchase items from Myleene Klass’s new swimwear collection. They have since posted further ‘SeeitShopits’ about their summer collection, as shown below:
Target launch deals with Facebook
Retailer Target has produced a set of offers, which will automatically generate Facebook posts when claimed, unless the user turns this feature off. Starting with around 700 discount offers and expected to grow to 1,000, the campaign is set to be hosted on a Target website called ‘Cartwheel’. Users can claim a deal at any point, producing a unique barcode that tracks every offer they claim. This barcode is then scanned at checkout. Cartwheel works seamlessly with mobile, meaning that a discount can be claimed at any point in the process, even as you’re walking towards the checkout.
AA’s first class lounge open to those with high Klout scores
American Airlines have decided to open their ‘Admirals Club’ lounges free of charge to those with high Klout scores, regardless of whether they’re due to fly with AA. Anyone with a score of over 55 will qualify for a free one-day pass in any one of 40 airports and can take advantage of the benefits including free WiFi and beer. The campaign hopes that these people will then tweet or post to Facebook expressing their gratitude, though this is not a requirement of claiming the offer.
This week, in weird app news… introducing ‘TweetPee’, a nappy sensor plus Twitter alert that tells parents when their baby needs changing. The campaign from Brazil also allows parents to keep track of the number of Huggies they’ve used and even order online when they’re running low. The campaign is certainly a fun and innovative one – we wonder how many parents will be hooking their children’s nappies up to Twitter.
Coke zero’s #motherpiece campaign for forgetful children
Yesterday marked Mother’s Day in many countries across the world, the day of the year that celebrates children forgetting to get their mums anything. Coke Zero to the rescue! They targeted absent-minded children (particularly boys, for some reason) and asked them to tweet their best excuses with the hashtag #motherpieces, pushing the campaign through a set of promoted tweets. The best entries were then selected to send in a personal photo, with 10 classically-trained painters on hand to create a ‘motherpiece’ of the winner. If they sent in their home address, they’d also receive a framed copy. Mother’s Day salvaged.
WhatsApp’s rumoured to launch a games platform
The sleeping giant stirs, if the buzz is anything to go by. Rumour has it that WhatsApp, one of the most popular chat apps worldwide, is in talks with WeMade, a US/Korean games maker for a possible tie-up. If this move materializes, WhatsApp would have effectively diversified its monetization approach while reaping increased revenues and possibly strengthen its dominance in the messaging market. Rival apps such as Japan’s Line and Korea’s KakaoTalk have been very successful with their gaming ventures, clocking in impressive download numbers and revenue. Line reported that its game platform has seen more than 100 million cumulative app downloads within 7 months, a significant number considering that there are 120 million registered users. Line Pop, one of the most popular games out of the 17 titles, had 1 million downloads on the first day and amassed US$1 million (about S$1.25 million) in revenue within the first 12 days of its launch. KakaoTalk’s less forthcoming with figures but data from the 3-month testing period showed that there were 82 million downloads from 23 million unique users out of its 80 million userbase. WhatsApp’s tie-up with WeMade will be a good arrangement as the games maker is strong in both western and Asian markets. In addition, this would give the company another source of revenue. Incidentally, WhatsApp has declared its disdain for advertising and felt that content was the most logical basis for a new revenue stream.
Fuubo, a new Android Sina Weibo app, is a breath of fresh air
Sina Weibo users on Android have had to contend with clunky apps but that might be changing with a new app in town, Fuubo. Fuubo offers users an aesthetically pleasing interface and intuitive features such as slide panels as well as commenting, reposting and notifications functions. The app’s drawback at the current moment is the lack of direct messaging features and an English interface. Perhaps these will be rolled out in the coming months.
Touchtalent offers creative people an interest-based social network
What ignites your passion? If you’re an artist, then check out Touchtalent, a social network for the creative community. The brainchild of Ankit Prasad, a student at IIT Delhi, the platform has been online since July 2012 and houses works from artists living in 152 countries. Segregating works into 19 categories that cover calligraphy, sculpting, comics, music and literature in addition to other art genres, the site is integrated with Facebook and has registered more than 8.6 million users. In addition to showcasing works from artists, the site incorporates features that allow artists to sell their work and/or get hired for creative projects. The site also invites users to express their opinion via emoticons and share their work on various social media networks.
IdBlogNetwork, a new social media advertising platform in Indonesia
New Indonesian blog advertising service, IdBlogNetwork, seeks to give Google Adsense a run for its money. They’ve joined forces with The Affiliate Gateway (TAG) Asia to offer Indonesian bloggers a wider range of affiliate marketing alternatives. The company also plans to launch a social media advertising platform named IdBuzzNetwork in April this year. The results aren’t great at the moment as affiliate marketing programs are still in its infancy in Indonesia. However this is expected to improve, as internet penetration and online shopping become more widely accepted within the country coupled with positive word of mouth by bloggers.
Singapore Telco tests real-time social media marketing
In a refreshing departure from its usual stoic image, Singapore Telecom (SingTel) handed the keys to its Twitter account for a day to local comedian, Hossan Leong.
Known for his flamboyance and witty sense of humour, followers were asked to tweet situations in which they would need fast 4G internet speeds with the campaign hashtag, #Need4GSpeed. Hossan would then provide sidesplitting responses in the form of tweet replies, pictures and short YouTube videos such as the one below.
Facebook ads on par with TV for FMCG
According to those FMCG brands using Facebook, advertising on the network is as effective as its TV equivalent and offers a better return on investment. Nestle and General Mills both claimed they could trace a high percentage of sales to Facebook advertising after recent cross-platform campaigns; the former attributed 11% of Kit Kat sales to the platform, the latter 27% of Old El Paso.
Gartner’s Digital Marketing Survey
Gartner has published its 2013 Digital Marketing Survey, showing that the top two digital marketing investments for the coming year will be in e-commerce and social media. Indeed, over 40% of the 200 US marketers surveyed stated that social networking, in combination with their corporate website and digital advertising, is key to marketing success.
Twitter’s popularity across EMEA areas
Twitter’s popularity varies across EMEA areas, according to a survey by GlobalWebIndex of over 152,000 internet users in 31 markets. It found that 51% of Saudi Arabian internet users are active Twitter users, where ‘active’ is defined as those who have used the service in the past month, followed by 39% in Turkey and 34% in the UAE. Meanwhile, the same study found that the number of global Twitter users has grown from 206 million in Q3 2012 to 288 million in Q4, an increase of 39.8%.
How people use Twitter
A report by Brandwatch has produced some interesting findings into how people are currently using Twitter. After compiling data from over 10,000 random tweets, they noted that 62% of these were engagement of some sort, compared to 38% broadcast, while brands were highly prevalent in discussions. 3.6% of all tweets mention brands, amounting to 12,600 tweets per minute. In terms of gender analysis, men were more likely to discuss sport, games and news or politics, while women on average spend more time discussing music, work and education. Women were also more likely to tweet about personal matters, or enter online competitions.
Twitter users forming ‘tribes’
Analysis of millions of tweets has concluded that Twitter users are forming ‘tribes’ online, each with their own unique vocabulary. The theory contradicts the idea that networks like Twitter facilitate global sharing, with the most insular groups sending up to 90% of tweets internally.
Social media subject to the same disclosure regulations as traditional media
The Federal Trade Commission has decided that adverts on social platforms must follow the same rules of disclosure as their offline counterparts. This means that, even in a 140-character tweet, space must be devoted to either “promoted” or “ad”. In an update to their 13-year-old “Dot Com Disclosures”, the FTC has argued that consumer protection laws should apply equally regardless of the medium and, as such, the format does not exempt marketers from providing clear and effective disclosure. Also provided is information on how to make effective disclosure, which involves the avoidance of hyperlinks for disclosure about cost and certain health & safety issues, plus the clear and accurate labelling of hyperlinks and consideration of how these will be affected on various platforms and devices. The full guidance can be found here – subtitled “How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising”.
Over 400 billion actions have been shared on Open Graph
Open Graph activity covers a lot of what we do on Facebook: following, liking, listening to music and so on. Ahead of last week’s SXSW, Facebook revealed that such actions have been shared over 400 billion times. Certain actions have seen a lot of activity: 110 million songs, albums and radio stations have been played 40 billion times and 1.47 million books have been shared.
Facebook updates Timeline
Hot on the heels of the previous week’s News feed changes, Facebook has announced a set of updates to Timeline. There is now a separate space for “things you care about”, which ranges from movies or books to apps like Instagram, depending on the user. The “movies” section, for example, looks like this:
Moreover, the profile is now more strictly delineated into two columns; applications like the above will appear on the left, whilst the right is occupied by a user’s posts. This leads to what Facebook hopes will be a clearer layout, as follows:
Simultaneous with these changes, the social network has written a blog post detailing the development of the updated News feed, in which a user experience researcher discusses the development from receiving complaints about “clutter” to identifying what was meant by the term and instigating change intended to combat the issue.
More ways to feature apps in new Facebook Timeline
One key difference in Facebook’s updated Timeline is the increased ability to feature apps. As users can now choose which apps to feature on their profiles, developers are able to create “collections” that showcase how their apps are being used. Foursquare, for example, can display the numerous places people have checked in.
Facebook to incorporate hashtags?
Long since a mainstay of communication via Twitter, now Facebook are looking into incorporating the hashtag. Whilst it is unclear how far along development is, rumour has it that the feature would be used to group conversations on the network. #intriguing.
More prompts from Facebook to ‘like’ pages, fewer to ‘unlike’
In a move seemingly aimed at encouraging users to interact further with brands, Facebook have introduced a couple of changes to the visibility of ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ options. The first of these two comes as a twofold alteration to ‘liking’ a page. Now, when users like one page via mobile, they will be confronted with the option of liking other, ‘similar’ pages. Moreover, when content from a news website is shared, a button appears below it, offering the option to ‘like’ the page for related stories. In terms of ‘unlikes’, the updated News feed has been designed for lower visbility. When previously choosing to hide a story from the News feed, users were given two options: hide all stories from the page, or unlike it. Now, the latter has been removed, leaving only the option to hide all stories from the same source.
Sir Martin Sorrell’s views on Twitter
Head of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell has claimed that Twitter is more of a PR medium than an advertising one. Considering as an example the London Olympics, he discussed how it acted as a hugely effective word of mouth platform, more so than the likes of Facebook. However, a number of industry professionals have come out to disagree with Sorrell, including We Are Social’s own media director, David Gilbert:
Advertising success on Twitter can be achieved with a carefully thought-out strategy and tight targeting. As marketers, it is our responsibility to adapt our strategies according to the platforms and technologies available.
Twitter to launch iOS music app
Twitter are poised to launch a music app before the end of the month, according to CNET. The app will make music suggestions based on both what you are currently listening to and the music accounts you follow on Twitter.
Twitter for Windows 8
Twitter have launched an app for Windows 8, including unique features intended at optimising the experience for specific devices. These include ‘Snap View’, which allows Twitter to be moved to one side of the screen and viewed simultaneously with other apps, as well as ‘search’ and ‘share’ charms to allow ease of access to the platform at any time. The launch video below provides further detail.
Twitter improves Analytics
Twitter stepped up their Analytics last week. On Wednesday, Twitter announced an improved ad insights platform, which will allow marketers to further track the effect of promoted tweets beyond their initial audience, allowing a fuller picture of how campaigns extend across the network.
Early stats on Vine usage
Early statistics on use of Twitter’s ‘Vine’ app have shown that it has gained traction already. By the end of February, it was used by 2.66% of all iOS devices, up 50% month-by-month. Notably, the figures for similar apps, including Cinemagram, Viddy and Socialcam all show decline over the same period.
Pinterest’s Web Analytics
Pinterest has gone in a similar direction to Twitter in terms of analytics, launching ‘Pinterest Web Analytics’, which will allow brands to discover information such as how many repins their content received, as well as who saw it as a result. This is now available for free to those with a verified website and will look as follows:
Pinterest have themselves released some information about what’s available and how to gain access.
New Pinterest layout
As well as its Analytics tool, Pinterest used last week to launch a redesign of its network. The ‘repin’ button has been replaced by a large, red ‘Pin it’ equivalent, price now comes as a bubble in the top right corner of a pin and there is an enhanced view surrounding each pin, allowing you to more easily view other pins from the same board & site. Finally, there is a new ‘people who pinned this also pinned’ feature. All in all, shown below. All in all, the changes seem set to make the network even more visually immersive.
LinkedIn to purchase Newsreader app Pulse
LinkedIn are in talks to purchase Alphonso Labs, makers of Newsreader app Pulse for a deal said to be worth between $50 million and $100 million. The app currently has around 20 million users, reading about 10 million stories per day.
LinkedIn produce B2B advertising banner
LinkedIn have announced SlideShare Content Ads, display units that will appear across the platform, designed at business-to-business advertising. Once a user scrolls over one of these, they will be faced with a presentation that they can scroll through either without leaving the page or in full-screen mode.
Foursquare in new round of funding
Foursquare is rumoured to be in the process of securing a new round of funding, amidst talk that the platform is running out of money. It is as of yet unclear how the network will fare, especially in comparison to the $600 million pre-money valuation received when they raised $50 million in June 2011. As other networks, including Facebook, have looked to eat into the locations market, Foursquare are seeking to fight their corner, with partnerships including e-commerce with Mastercard & Visa and a deal to come pre-installed on the Blackberry 10 device.
Netflix getting social
In what seems like a story that should have come about long ago, Netflix are finally launching social options for US users. Their previous Facebook offering in Canada, Latin America and the UK, which did not allow users to choose what they shared, has been replaced by a system whereby users who opt in will have rows added to their Netflix home page, detailing both “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by Your Friends”. Inside Facebook has highlighted this as an important move in Facebook’s growing video strategy, which includes increased integration on the new Timeline and structured status updates that include verbs like “watching”. The features are discussed in the below video.
Doritos’ SXSW vending machine stage powered by tweets
Yes, that reads ‘Doritos’ SXSW vending machine stage’. The snack brand hosted aninteractive concert at SXSW, in which tweets from the audience would affect in concert events from lighting and cues to the encore song. For more information, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of rapper LL Cool J.
Meet WolfDog, Old Spice’s ‘Executive Director of Marketing’
In a development of their wildly successful brand TOV, Old Spice have introduced a new ‘Executive Director of Marketing’ across a number of social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Google+. General public, meet WolfDog.
Ford reach out to automotive bloggers
To market the new 2013 Ford Fusion, the car giant behind the vehicle has reached out to bloggers discussing it on Jalopnik. Flying them to Los Angeles under the pretence of answering market research questions for Jalopnik, they put the influencers in the car alongside professional racer Tanner Foust and created four pieces of video content, the first of which is shown here:
Jaguar promote F-type launch with Facebook competition
We Are Social have produced a Facebook competition to celebrate the UK launch of the new Jaguar F-type. Incentivised by prizes chosen by Jaguar’s communities and a selection of bloggers, fans must post an update relevant to the prize, alongside a link to the ‘Desire’ app. The campaign, which runs across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, forms part of an overall ‘Desire’ campaign that also includes a branded film, featuring Homeland star Damian Lewis.
French Connection sourcing user-generated films
Fashion brand French connection is encouraging its consumers to create their own video content from a selection of clips on the company’s website. Starting with video snippets that depict models wearing French Connection clothing, users are asked to ‘make a scene’ by cutting them together and adding a soundtrack and special effects. There are prizes available for the most-shared videos.
Ted Baker’s social finishing school
Ted Baker is promoting its new Spring Summer collection with an online ‘finishing school’, asking users to ‘write lines’, in a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the schoolday punishment. Each day, users are shown a ‘line’; the first 500 to ‘write’ it via Twitter, Instagram or the Facebook app will receive a limited-edition tote bag featuring their quotation. The most creative students will be rewarded with exclusive Ted Baker leather satchels, too: sure to make even the biggest kid into the talk of the playground.
Nike celebrates 1 million Instagram followers
Nike have reached 1 million Instagram followers and amassed 6 million photos tagged #Nike. To celebrate, the sportswear brand hosted a 24-hour celebration of their followers, championing user-generated content and accompanying each update with an inspirational quotation.
Puma promote individuality with ‘Worn My Way’ campaign
Puma has produced a lifestyle campaign with the tagline ‘Worn My Way’, aimed at celebrating individuality. Using a new microsite as well as the hashtag #WornMyWay, consumers will be encouraged to answer the question ‘What does it mean to be yourself?’ The best answers will win prizes including limited edition Puma t-shirts. The campaign, which boasts involvement from musicians such as Professor Green and Mischa B, will also include experiential marketing throughout its course.
Sky Sports offers F1 tickets in Twitter quiz
In line with their Formula One coverage, Sky Sports have produced a competition to win tickets to next year’s Australian Grand Prix. In order to win the ‘virtual grand prix’, contestants must post a tweet containing a campaign hashtag, then answer a set of questions in a limited time.
Sharp’s real time marketing
Sharp has managed to pull off a real-time marketing stunt, poking its way successfully into a conversation between Kanye West and MTV host Sway. When the former reminded the latter of a small, remote-less Sharp TV he had purchased as a gift many years ago, the electronics brand decided to intervene, sending over their latest widescreen model, complete with remote control. Sway, who has almost 300,000 followers, then sent out the below tweet, easily repaying the investment made by Sharp.
— Sway Calloway (@RealSway) March 14, 2013
The Papal succession and social
With thousands waiting outside the Vatican, white smoke eventually signalled the announcement of a new Pope. While scenes like this are to be expected with any such event, the Twitter storm that accompanied was undoubtedly a new twist. Once the @Pontifex account announced: “HABEMUS PAPEM FRANCISCUM”, 7 million other tweets followed. The tweet has now been deleted, giving Francis I the chance to blaze his own social media trail. In fact, the Papal succession highlighted a great deal about the changing nature of human communications as parallels were drawn between 2013 and 2005, shown perhaps most aptly in this Instagram post by NBC news.
The event also showed the power of Twitter to amuse and confuse. As his succession became clear, a Spanish Twitter account was discovered, claiming to represent Jorge Bergoglio, aka the new Pope Francis I. However, a bit of research (or access to a Spanish dictionary) might have made it clear that this wasn’t the case, with tweets including: “If I’m the new pope, children will love me more than the Santa Claus”. Even after it’s doubtful origin was revealed, the account’s popularity continued to grow and extended from 3,000 to 150,000 followers within the hour, likely due to a combination of the naive and the amused.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tencent’s WeChat shakes Sina Weibo’s tree
WeChat’s growth has rattled Sina Weibo’s dominance within China and beyond. Tencent’s hybrid social networking and chat app has amassed 300 million users in 2 years and rolled out new features designed to garner more. Not just your plain vanilla chat app like WhatsApp, WeChat’s features include audio, video and group messaging; photo-sharing on your “Moments” page and “Look Around” location-based befriending. WeChat’s phenomenal rise has been attributed in large part to its linkage to its contact list link-up with Tencent’s QQ instant-messaging platform’s 700 million strong userbase. In addition to offering more personal connections between brands and fans, WeChat also offers users the ability to send messages to random users in the vicinity. Several large brands such as Starbucks, Nike, Intel and Durex, have been quick to hop onto the WeChat marketing bandwagon. The company qualifies that WeChat marketing is only offered to clients that are committed to doing social CRM.
Sina Weibo admits WeChat affected their usage
WeChat’s rising popularity has made an impact on Sina Weibo. Sina admitted that its’ users are spending less time on the service though Sina’s Chairman and CEO Charles Chao was quick to qualify that its microblogging service has reached critical mass with more than 400 million users. Embracing the competition, Weibo rolled out a feature allowing users to share content to WeChat on its Android app with further plans to extend it to the iOS app. The company cited providing the best user experience as their main objective and their belief that the service should be an open platform. On the monetization front, Sina has grown its Weibo enterprise customer base from 230,000 to 300,000 within a quarter and will be pushing out Twitter-esque promoted trends for larger clients.
Line adds social networking on its chat app
China’s WeChat isn’t the only messaging app with an aggressive expansion strategy, Japan’s Line has launched a new mini social networking feature for its 100 million users.
Line Band is a standalone social app that allows friends to form groups called Bands, allowing them to schedule meetups, share photo albums, post status messages and help them remember each other’s birthdays. Looking somewhat like WeChat and Path, Line Band’s snazzier interface may force rivals to revamp their apps.
YouTube launches Asia Pop channel and G+ Hangouts for fans
As PSY’s Gangnam Style has shown, Asian pop is hot! YouTube launched a Asia Pop channel devoted to Korean, Japanese and Chinese pop music that comes with the added bonus of Google+ Hangouts giving fans a virtual alternative to screaming at concerts. The channel will include livestreams of special events. The first Hangout scheduled for 8 March with Korean pop sensation, SHINee. Only 5 fans will be allowed into each Hangout so be sure to prep a really good question for your chance to be selected.
Maybelline India’s Twitter campaign
A cheeky social media campaign to launch Maybelline’s 14-hour-wear lipstick in India trended for 14 hours and generated more than 4,000 tweets before its unveiling on 8 February. Women were asked “what doesn’t last long” in a teaser tweet with a cheeky #doesntlastlongenough hashtag. The response far exceeded the 1,400 tweets the agency, Foxymoron, set out to generate as women shared their views about vacations, weekends and sex that didn’t last long enough. Tweets were filtered to select women-specific tweets that were collated to create a visualization of a lipstick. The tweets generated during the product launch will not be lost to the “all-buzz-and-no-buy” graveyard as the agency’s next step is to get back to purchase intent queries with more information on the product. Was the campaign too risque? The brand’s bold and cheeky persona has been getting lots of social media loving from its open-minded 1.7 million fan base.
The internet’s importance in product purchase decisions
Consumers are more likely to purchase a new product after reading about it on the Internet, according to Nielsen’s research into those with online access. The extent to which this is the case varies by product category; electronics are the highest, with 81% of those surveyed answering that the internet affects their purchasing decisions. Social media plays a large role in this, as 30% stated social channels would influence their decision and 27% took into account content posted on video-sharing channels.
The UK spends more time online than the rest of Europe
The amount of time spent online has increased by 5% throughout Europe to an average of 26.9 hours per person over the month. The UK had the highest overall figure of 37.3 hours but the most growth was shown by Belgium, whose 22.4 hours showed an increase of 2 hours since this time last year.
Mobile and social leading shift to digital marketing
A shift is being shown from traditional to digital media, with mobile and social leading the way. At the same time as 1 in 3 marketers intend to decrease budgets in print media, 76% are looking to increase their social budgets.
Facebook integrates free calls to iOS app in US & Canada
Whilst users in North America have for some time been able to make free calls over the Internet through Facebook’s messenger app, the network has last week updated its main iOS app to integrate the service. The new app also boasts other changes, including more visible buttons for liking, commenting on or sharing content.
Bugs have been misrepresenting Facebook reach for months
Facebook admitted on Friday that bugs have been leading to erroneously low figures for page reach over the past few months. When updating their mobile apps in August and December, Facebook tried to increase speed by reducing the necessary amount of information sent when displaying news feed stories. However, one thing that was removed ended up being the marker used by Page Insights to measure reach, resulting in reach figures coming out lower than they should have. The bug has been fixed and figures should be back to normal from today. It remains to be seen if this explains the full extent of the decrease in reach we exposed in November.
Facebook update Offers product
Facebook have made a couple of important changes to their ‘Offers’ product. Previously, the only option for users was to click the ‘Get Offer’ button to instantly redeem it, which would in turn automatically generate a story on friends’ news feeds. The first change means that there are now two different options: it is possible either to ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Remind Me’, increasing the flexibility of Facebook offers. Beyond this, users can now choose whether or not to share the story with friends. Combined, these look set to increase the usability of ‘Offers’ and potentially increase the number of users taking advantage of the feature.
Facebook looking to match in-store purchases to advertising
Facebook are to partner with data companies such as Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix to match in-store loyalty card purchases with individual Facebook profiles through their email addresses or phone numbers. The move would, in theory, allow marketers to target Facebook ads to those that have purchased relevant products in the recent past.
Facebook events get cover photos
In place of the thumbnails they had before, cover photos are now available for Facebook events. Unlike pages and profiles, though, this is the only image they will be allowed; events will simply have the large banner at the top, but no profile picture.
Brands increasingly taking to Instagram
Last week, we mentioned that top brands have been gaining visibility on Instagram. Sports giant adidas (a We Are Social client) has been highlighted as one of the most successful brands on the network, having managed to double its follower numbers to almost 150,000 under 3 months, averaging over 5,000 comments across 49 quarterly updates.
Twitter launches new ads API
Twitter have officially launched their new ads API, which allows marketers to purchase adverts from within the dashboards they use to manage their social platforms. This will allow brands to run adverts on the network more easily and it will be interesting to see how this affects the number and nature of Twitter ads. One fear is that the number will rapidly increase, a concern that Twitter have quickly looked to waylay, arguing that the changes will simply affect ease for advertisers, not volume. One thing that will be affected, though, is the extent to which ads can be targeted; marketers will now be able to create their own custom audiences.
Twitter testing new way to generate leads
Twitter are testing a new addition to their ‘cards’ functionality; a way for brands to create leads. It will work as shown below in a tweet from Twitter themselves about their small business guide; when clicking on the link, a button appears below saying “get it now” . It will be interesting to see if the system, which is currently still being tested, is rolled out further.
Twitter to add language and importance information to API metadata
Twitter is set to introduce two new features to its existing API metadata. The first allows identification of the language a tweet was sent in, which will be important for translation and filtering. The second allows yet further filtering, this time by importance – or what Twitter considers ‘high value’ tweets. Of the two features, this is set to be the most exciting, especially for brands, who can use the tool to better assess their own performance on the network.
Burger King & Jeep’s Twitter accounts hacked, MTV fake their own hack
This week has been a big one for social media disasters, most notably after the hacking of Burger King and Jeep’s Twitter feeds, as well as MTV ‘fake hacking’ themselves. Obviously, hacks can have hugely negative consequences if left unresolved, but We Are Social’s own Jim Coleman has pointed out some of the positives; notably, they attract a lot of attention. Moreover, they need not be too damaging if dealt with promptly and humorously. Burger King at least did the latter of these fairly well. Although their response could perhaps have been speedier, the lighthearted response, when it did arrive, was amusing and appropriate.
Interesting day here at BURGER KING®, but we’re back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!
— BurgerKing (@BurgerKing) February 19, 2013
The incidents have sparked debate about Twitter’s treatment of brands, with only one type of account for brands with thousands of followers and individuals with very few. In particular, there have been calls for increased security and the introduction of two-factor authentication.
Pinterest valued at $2.5 billion after $200 million funding round
As its latest round of funding brought in $200 million, Pinterest has attained a valuation of $2.5 billion. The image-sharing platform has claimed that the money will be invested in product development, international expansion and acquisitions, with CEO Ben Silbermann stating:
Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life. This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.
Social media at the Oscars
The Oscars last night were a hotbed for real-time marketing, following on from a similar showing at the Superbowl a few weeks ago. As stars walked down the red carpet, one actress was particularly popular on Twitter; for a time, #JessicaChastain was the second highest trending topic after #Oscars2013. Marketers took advantage of this, with Samsung, American Express, Royal Carribbean, Michaels Stores, Dell and Sprint amongst the many brands who purchased promoted tweets for the topics surrounding said actress. However, it is likely that, rather than being true examples of real-time purchasing, these tweets were purchased beforehand, based on forethought into the types of topics likely to trend. Oreo, heroes of RTM at the Superbowl, attempted a similar tactic again, this time posting four tweets related to relevant films, including one about the night’s fashion with a reference to zombie show ‘The Walking Dead’:
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 25, 2013
They also used the motion capabilities of twitpics, as can be seen in their James Bond tweet. Interestingly, none of these tweets received quite the same about of interaction as their Superbowl tweet, displaying how real-time marketing depends in large part on being truly reactive, as the blackout tweet was to a greater extent than last night’s.Another brand experimenting during the event was Smart Car, who posted a number of miniature takes on various award winners through Twitter’s Vine app, including the follow for ‘best actor’:
They have since made it clear that they had pre-recorded videos for every possible winner and have been posting the runners up throughout the day.
Dulux’s real-time(ish) marketing at the Brit Awards
With so much focus on real-time marketing at various big American events, UK brands are looking to get in on the act, too. A lot has been made of the below Dulux tweet, in relation to the Damien Hirst designed award statuette. However, whilst it may be an interesting way of producing topical content around paint, not normally known as the most exciting of products, the real-time element has been largely overblown. In fact, the nature of the statue had been known for months before the awards, meaning that this wasn’t really ‘real-time’ at all. A nice update, yes, but not in fact what has been described as an ‘Oreo moment’.
— Dulux (@duluxuk) February 20, 2013
Ford give away 100 cars to bloggers and influencers
In a ‘social remix’ of their famous 2009 ‘Fiesta Movement’ campaign, Ford are giving away 100 of the vehicles to bloggers and online influencers, including celebrities, in exchange for their documenting the experience. The cars will be entirely free for six months, including petrol, parking and insurance in exchange for using content, which will be used by Ford across their social channels, as well as in traditional media, such as print and television.
YSL launch new ‘Radiance’ range with Facebook app
Yves Saint Laurent are celebrating the launch of their new ‘Radiance’ range with a Facebook app, which allows users to manipulate photos as if by using the new products. Users can upload a photo, which they can then alter by ‘glow’ and ‘vitality’, then share. Users can also download a voucher for a two-week free trial of any two products from the range.
Bulmers and We Are Social launch new flavours through social
Here at We Are Social, we’ve recently produced a campaign to launch two new flavours of Bulmers cider: Bold Black Cherry and Pressed Red Grape. The ‘try it first’ Facebook app will allow fans to enter for the chance to be one of the lucky few who get to try the flavour before everyone else. Key Twitter influencers have also been approached to be amongst the initial group.
Fulham Football Club launch on Foursquare
English Premier League club Fulham has launched on Foursquare, providing special offers, as well as a badge, to fans who like the club and check in at matches. Integration with apparel is significant, with discounts available at the store for those who check in, as well as a t-shirt on sale including the club’s Foursquare badge, which in turn makes wearers eligible for further discounts. The app also includes game-day specials at local pubs and recommendations for spots near stadia based on Foursquare Explore.
Sina Weibo logs 731,102 posts during the first minute of Lunar New Year
TheNextWeb recently reported that Sina Weibo announced a staggering milestone: There was an astounding 731,102 posts in the first minute of Lunar New Year, where users on the Chinese microblogging channel gathered to celebrate the year of the snake. TechInAsia also highlights that this number included an impressive 34,997 posts from the first second alone. The number also illustrates the magnitude of Sina Weibo’s growth in the past year. As TechinAsia reports, this first-minute record is particularly striking given the 481,207 posts that were logged during the last New Year, with the peak clocking in at 32,312 posts per second.
59% of top 100 brands are on Instagram, reaching 5.8M followers
According to a recent study by SimplyMeasured, 59% of the top brands have created accounts on Instagram. The social media analytics company conducted their quarterly study for the third time in February 2013. They found that this comprised an increase from 54% in November 2012, or a QoQ increase of 9%. The study breaks down the platform adoption further, to show that 55% of the top brands have active accounts–meaning they have posted photos via the photo-sharing platform. This also compares favorably, to the 49% of top brands with active Instagram accounts.
But are the top brands on Instagram being noticed? The answer seems to be a resounding “yes”, as their Instagram followers have collectively increased by 41% and engagement by 35% since November 2012. The total number of top-brand followers has increased to 5.8 million users, with 10 of the brands logging over 100,000 followers.
Sina Weibo grew 73%, passed 500 million registered users in 2012
In another report on Sina Weibo, TheNextWeb reported that China’s popular microblogging platform had accumulated over 503 million accounts by the end of last year. Sina CEO Charles Chao also revealed that daily users on the site came to a whopping 46.2 million users as of December 2012. This number expresses an 82% increase year-on-year. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Sina Weibo had only recently reached 400 million registered users late in the year, during the third quarter of 2012. TechInAsia notes, however, that growth has recently slowed down to 9% in the latest quarter. Chao similarly expressed some concern regarding decreases in usage following competitor Tencent WeChat’s growth to 300 million users in the past year. Chao stated that his concerns were ultimately mitigated by the notion that Weibo had reached a size that would inevitably keep itself going and growing–particularly given the increasing adoption of mobile web and “the formation of [an] ecosystem” around the popular platform.
68% of marketers to increase data spend, focus on social media in 2013
eMarketer reports that a majority of marketers are planning to increase spending on data, with the objective of understanding the “surge of data produced by digital interactions with customers.” As the study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive indicates, 68% of marketers are planning to increase spending. By contrast, 23% had planned to spend the same amount, and only 3% of the respondents planned to decrease spending on data in 2013.
The increasing interest in social media data comes from the findings that followed. When asked about the prospect of using social media data to drive campaigns, a significant portion (78%) of the respondents indicated positive interest. While 42% of respondents reported plans to integrate social media data further, 36% indicated plans to start during 2013.
200,000 users check-in through Jiepang every day
Jiepang currently has 4 million users. While this number pales in comparison to the number of users on social giants like Sina Weibo and Tencent, China’s location-based check-in app is consistently abuzz with activity. As PandoChina notes, Jiepang’s CEO David Liu stated that over 200,000 users checked-in to locations on a daily basis. The Foursquare analogue has been around since 2010 and cultivated a relatively small but strong niche following in the past two years. As of now, the highest number of check-ins stands at 150,631 for a single location–again, somewhat paltry compared to the 1 million check-ins logged by its Western counterpart, Foursquare earlier this month. TechInAsia notes that the road ahead may indeed become difficult for Jiepang, especially given the rapid growth of other social channels in China. It is noted, however, that Jiepang plans to adapt and innovate around potential obstacles by loosening the emphasis on check-ins and increasing focus on social sharing and user content. According to Liu, their revamped app will ultimately take on a Facebook-like appearance as a social network. Ultimately opening up new ways to use the app for its current and prospective users in the upcoming year.
In China, e-commerce driven by prospect of anytime shopping, low prices
Last month, We Are Social’s report on Social, Digital and Mobile in China detailed the rise of e-commerce in the burgeoning market. The report noted that there are over 240 million online shoppers in China, collectively spending at a staggering rate of $40,000 per second. TheNextWeb cites another insightful report in this regard, that casts further light on the state of e-commerce in the Chinese market. An infographic published by Go-Globe indicates that B2C e-commerce sales have nearly doubled in the last year, increasing by 94% or roughly 132.8 billion SGD in 2012. The infographic further suggests that e-commerce in China is mostly driven by the prospect of anytime shopping, low prices, and convenience. 28% of Chinese respondents cited the ability to shop anytime as the reason for making purchases online, whilst 25% of them cited low prices. Convenience was the main reason for 18% of participants, while 7% indicated the ease of making price comparisons online.
US airport becomes first location with one million check-ins on Foursquare
Earlier this week, Foursquare reported that it had logged its first single location with one million check-ins. As TheNextWeb reports, this milestone check-in took place at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, the state-capital of Georgia, USA. As recently as November 2012, the mobile location-based social network had announced an impressive number of 3 billion check-ins worldwide. As TheNextWeb notes, this means that airport’s check-ins account for 0.03% of total check-ins, which is “still quite sizeable if you remember it’s just one place.” To commemorate the 3 billion check-ins, Foursuqare launched a site that details the most popular locations to check-in across the United States.
In China, online ad revenue increased by 46.8% in 2012
A recent report by iResearch indicated that revenue from online ad spending had increased by 46.8% in China. The revenue was up to roughly 75.3 billion Yuan, or 14.9 billion SGD in 2012, from ad spend of 10.2 billion SGD in 2011. While the revenue was considerably higher in the past year, it is interesting to note that the year-over-year growth rate itself had declined somewhat, down from 57.6% in 2011.
iResearch notes that this growth can also be understood further based on a breakdown of the online platforms involved. Revenue from search engines only increased sightly, from 33.5% to 40%. By contrast, ad revenue from e-commerce and online video sites grew at a rapid rate. E-commerce share of online ad spend was at 23.3 in 2012, up from 17.5% in 2011. Video sites took 7.7% of the segment share, up from 7.1% in 2011.
iResearch suggests that this corresponds with the increasing popularity of e-commerce in China, as well as the growing interest in online video amongst Chinese internet users. Indeed, as Chinese internet users increased rapidly in the past year, online video also became more popular than search engines as an internet service in May 2012.
In UK, 98% of growing tech companies on LinkedIn–not so much on FB
According to a recent report by eMarkerter, LinkedIn was the most popular social network used by fast-growing tech companies in the UK. Based on a study by PR firm EML Wildfire, the study confirmed that 98% of the companies listed in this segment were using LinkedIn to engage with their audience.
Twitter came in second, with a strong 82% of companies reportedly using the microblogging platform. While Facebook came in at 68%, perhaps the most striking aspect of this share is the fact that it represents a decline in usage for B2C companies in 2012. B2B companies had increased their presence on Facebook to 65%, up from 32% in 2011. However, while all of the B2C companies cited in the report used Facebook in 2011, the numbers had dropped to only 83% of those companies in 2012.
While many of the growing tech companies in the UK seem to have a presence on Twitter, eMarketer notes that its use for customer engagement has sharply declined amongst the companies as well. As the graph indicates, many of the companies that have established a Twitter presence have decided not to start or continue engaging their customers online.
53% of Indian smartphone users prefer game, chat apps over call/text
Nielsenwire recently reported on the increasing penetration of smartphones in India. Of the 900 million mobile subscribers in India there may be about 40 million smartphone users amongst them early on in 2013. Nielsenwire’s smartphone user survey demonstrated that those users who switched to smartphones had also changed the way they used their mobile phones as well. In particular, Indian smartphone users were showing an increasing preference for using apps on their mobile devices.
The most popular kind of apps were games, taking up 58% of the poll; however, chat and instant messaging apps came close behind, with 53% of respondents indicating that these were their preferred smartphone applications. By contrast, voice calls and text messaging had declined to consist of 25% of smartphone usage. Nielsenwire notes further that almost half of polled smartphone users do not have access to active data, and 48% of whose who were data users were also under the age of 25.
HootSuite social media dashboard goes Korean
Social media dashboard HootSuite is now fully localized for Korean users. Though a Korean User Interface is not available on the mobile app yet, it’s in the works. Considering how often the Vancouver-based company has been rolling out updates to support Asian users, we reckon the months ahead will be interesting for users seeking a social media dashboard that supports a wide range of platforms in Asian languages. Just last week, we mentioned that HootSuite introduced new features for Sina Weibo and Renren, China’s version of Twitter and Facebook respectively. We’re waiting to see the new updates that the Hootsuite owl has under his wings.
Meet Zalo, Vietnam’s contender in the mobile messaging app battle
Mobile messaging apps have been making huge waves the past few months. Asian-born apps such as Line, WeChat and KakaoTalk have been making a play for the international market while battling for dominance within the region. Mobile messaging is much loved in Asia so it barely comes as surprise that Vietnam has jumped into fray with homegrown app Zalo. In a recent update, bugs in the app were patched, a VIP microblogging feature was added along with a Retina app icon. In spite of the newly added features, the app is still not on par with its stronger Asian competitors. Zalo in its current incarnation is not as slick or sophisticated as the other apps but it is learning from its competitors. Big changes could be underway as the app maker, VNG, has hired a large team to bring the app up to speed and to bring to life new features that will help reel in more users. Considering that it was only fully launched in November 2012 and has amassed over 500,000 users by late January, the app isn’t doing too badly in relation to VNG’s social media platform Zing Me’s 8 million users. In addition, due to VNG’s gaming background, industry observers expect gaming features to be rolled out on Zalo soon. 2013 could be the year of mobile messaging, do you think so too?
KakaoTalk releases K-pop emoticons for Indonesian users
Speaking of chat app and features, Korean-born KakaoTalk has released Korean pop star emoticons that have been localized for Indonesian users. Featuring animated text in English and Indonesian, the 5 sets of K-pop emoticons for acts such as Girls Generation, KARA, SHINee, Rainbow and Yoo Seung Ho are available as in-app purchases in the Android app. Costing IDR 3,300 (S$0.42) each, they’re currently not available within the iOS app although users can still receive and use them via the gifting feature. Till 8 February, Indonesian users stand a chance to get free K-pop emoticons by liking or following KakaoTalk’s social platforms and helping to spread the word.
KakaoTalk launches games on iOS in Japan
More on Korean KakaoTalk, in its latest move to challenge rivals like Line, the messenger app has unleashed its mobile gaming feature on iOS and Japan. The expansion of the app’s gaming service into Japan is supported by Yahoo Japan which owns half of Kakao Japan, the app’s local subsidiary. There are currently six third-party iOS game apps on KakaoTalk’s social gaming network: Tap Tap Blitz, Puzzle Zoo Zoo, Sushi Panic (shown in picture below), Zoo Zoo Bubble and Pocket Colony. The company hopes to offer 100 games by year end to its users.
Social becoming increasingly global
Earlier this week, we reported on GlobalWebIndex’s latest data, which displays a shift towards the use of global social platforms. This has meant an increase in user numbers for the ‘big three’ of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, which have increased their active user counts by 33.4%, 27.7% and 40.1% respectively.
Facebook’s 2012 growth
Facebook has, in the last week, shared their latest ‘active user’ figures for the end of 2012. The network now counts 1.056 billion monthly active users, a 24.97% increase since the same time in 2011.
In terms of daily active users, the platform has now reached 618 million, up 34 million from the previous quarter. Interestingly, mobile daily active users surpassed their desktop counterparts for the first time, showing that those who access Facebook regularly are increasingly doing so via mobile.
The number of pages has increased to 50 million and apps to 10 million, in comparison with 42 million and 9 million in April, whilst there are now 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day. All this has contributed to a strong financial quarter for the network, with $1.59 billion in revenue up from $1.13 billion in Q4 2011. In terms of profit, however, the story is mixed: $64 million profit in Q4 2012 was a huge improvement on the $59 million loss in Q3, but down from $302 million at this point last year.
Marketers to spend more on social in 2013
The number of marketers either purchasing media or sponsored content in social is set to grow in 2013, with 64% of those surveyed by Nielsen claiming they intend to increase their social budget in the future. This is likely to start as a small increase (between 1 and 10%) but nevertheless displays a shifting attitude towards more robust use of social media as a marketing tool.
Facebook testing verbs for status updates
Facebook has begun trialling a new system that provides a more structured method for users to share what they’re doing, such as watching or reading. As well as posting a normal update, there would be an option when writing a post to select from a drop down menu of feelings, films, books etc. or choose to write your own.
The example below shows how this would work for someone watching the film ‘There Will Be Blood’.
Facebook introduces Gift Cards
Facebook last week released a universal gift card, an extension of their ‘Gifts’ system, through which you can purchase presents for a friend via the platform. The card, available from now in the US, will hold on it the relevant amount of money a user has to spend in various participating retailers, as shown by the example below:
The initiative does have issues. Firstly, it may have been more useful to provide one unified currency to spend across Facebook, instead of breaking it up by retailer; however, it is of greater benefit to those retailers that the revenue be locked into their stores. Also, there is as yet no integration with the likes of Apple’s Passbook.
Facebook increasing transparency of targeted ads
Facebook has decided to make it more transparent when ads have been targeted, choosing to display the blue ‘AdChoices’ icon to a user when an advert that has been targeted for them, subsequently allowing users to opt out. However, the changes do not display wholesale transparency. Firstly, this only applies to display ads served through the FBX ad exchange. Secondly, the icon appears only when someone scrolls over the grey x in the corner of the advert, which itself only appears when the advert itself is scrolled over.
Facebook set to grow headcount in 2013, looking at increasing revenue
Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that 2013 will see Facebook grow in staff numbers, looking at further development of money-making streams such as Graph Search and Gifts. The platform, which grew by 44% to 4,619 employees in 2012, will increase its headcount even further, in order to invest on research and development for products that can increase Facebook’s long-term revenue. The statement also acts as a warning to investors that Facebook intends to focus on long-term over short-term profits, as the rise in staff will increase the platform’s expenditure by 50%.
Facebook’s image-based commerce
A tech company called Stipple, which provides the ability to add certain functionalities to images, has now extended the service to the Facebook stream. This allows brands who use Stipple to display pricing information on images and looks towards an eventual move to provide real-time purchasing in users’ news feeds.
Foursquare’s improvements for businesses
Foursquare has enabled a number of improvements for businesses. Firstly, they have released an app that allows business managers to more easily share updates, specials and discover information about their customers. The app, for iPhone and Android, is aimed at local managers who can switch between a few locations; an entire chain must still be managed via desktop. Furthermore, businesses can now choose to have their Twitter handles shown any time someone shares a check-in on Twitter, facilitating organic cross-platform growth.
UK Foursquare users can sync their accounts with American Express Cards
This February, AmEx is providing exclusive discounts to UK users who sync their cards with their Foursquare accounts. Spending at certain retailers will result in cash back on users’ next bills, with the stores involved including Harrods, Shell, Gap, Pizza Hut and Starbucks.
The Super Bowl on Twitter
Last night marked the Super Bowl, probably the biggest fixture in American sport. Unsurprisingly, Twitter was on excellent form and the network has published some statistics on the evening’s activity. The highest peak (in tweets per minute) during the game came when a power cut stopped play, with an activity rate of 231,500 TPM. The end of the game produced 183,000, whilst one particularly impressive touchdown gathered 185,000. However, the true star of the night, at least on Twitter, was Beyonce, who generated 5.5 million tweets during her half-time performance. The conclusion of her show was subject to 268,000 tweets per minute.
Twitter wins over Facebook in Super Bowl TV ads
Famous as the Super Bowl is for sporting action and overeating, the TV adverts have also become a celebrated part of the event. Yesterday showed the extent to which television and social marketing has become integrated by the number of mentions different networks received across the 52 national adverts, with Twitter receiving 26 to Facebook’s paltry 4 and a no show for Google+, in comparison with 8 mentions each for Facebook and Twitter out of 59 adverts in 2012.
Marketers take advantage of Super Bowl blackout
As huge numbers of Twitter users took to the social network to talk about the Super Bowl, marketers were on hand to take advantage of the blackout that stopped play. Brands such as Bud Light and Speed Stick purchased promoted tweets so as to be seen in conversations around the power cut. Many other brands, such as Audi, Tide and Volkswagen all produced relevant content.
Sending some LEDs to the @mbusa Superdome right now…
— Audi (@Audi) February 4, 2013
— Tide (@tide) February 4, 2013
— Volkswagen USA (@VW) February 4, 2013
Calvin Klein used the opportunity to experiment with Vine, Twitter’s new video-sharing app.
— Calvin Klein (@CalvinKlein) February 4, 2013
The absolute winner has to be Oreo, who had an entire team on hand to sign off creative in real-time, producing the below Twitter update that was retweeted over 14,000 times. On Facebook, the same photo received over 19,000 likes and 6,500 shares:
Power out? No problem. twitter.com/Oreo/status/29…
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Duracell also reacted well, producing the below for Facebook:
Taylor Swift set to help Diet Coke in social Diet Coke have announced a partnership with Taylor Swift across all their marketing channels, from TV to print and digital. Interestingly, the deal’s launch depicts a distinctly social aspect to the campaign, with the singer announcing it in a 45-second YouTube video. Moreover, she encouraged her 39 million Facebook fans to ‘like’ the Diet Coke page as a resource for exclusive information about her upcoming tour, suggesting that one key aspect to using the brand advocate is to grow the brand’s online communities. It is worth noting that Taylor Swift has a huge online presence, particularly on Twitter, where her 23.5 million followers puts her only a few million behind US president Barack Obama.
Expedia app helps fans organise their holiday photos Expedia has released a ‘Find Your Story’ app that allows fans to choose photos from across Instagram and Facebook to produce a video collage of their trip, which can then be shared on Facebook. The idea is a clever one, in that it taps into the insight that many of us take hundreds of holiday snaps and fail to organise them correctly. The below video shows how it works:
IBM launch on Tumblr
IBM has released a Tumblr called IBMblr, aimed at ‘celebrating innovation’. Whilst the brands that tend to find the most success on the platform are ones with a strong visual element, such as design or fashion companies, IBM have a wealth of content to draw upon, having filed the most US patents for 20 consecutive years. As such, IBMblr will feature images of products from the past, as well as ideas about the future of technology. Whilst this is a bold step for a B2B brand, it will be worth following whether or not they manage to locate an audience on the platform. O2 predict the future on Facebook As part of their promotion for their new ‘Pay & Go Go Go’ service, which rewards customers the longer they stay with the network, O2 have released a ‘Future Timeline’ campaign, which creates an idealised version of the upcoming year based on fans’ Facebook data. For example, you may end up on a date with a celebrity crush, or your favourite football team might end up winning the league. In addition to this, content hosted on O2′s ‘Future News’ YouTube channel will feature ex-Arsenal striker, Ian Wright, presenting sporting news that is yet to happen. Fired HMV employee posts from company’s Twitter account A lesson to all companies intending to mass-fire their employees: make sure they don’t have access to your Twitter account. Last week, tweets appeared on HMV’s own Twitter feed that detailed how 60 employees were being let go in what was referred to as a ‘mass execution’. The company then followed up, explaining what had happened via the same channel, tweeting:
One of our departing colleagues was understandably upset. We’re still here thou, thx for supporting hmv thro these challenging times
— hmv (@hmvtweets) January 31, 2013
Obviously, when your business is being liquidated, spelling goes out the window. The disgruntled employee has since been revealed as former intern Poppy Rose Cleere, who claimed her actions were based on a sense of injustice that those responsible for HMV’s downfall were safe, whilst those lower down the chain lost out the most. Apparently, she has since been inundated with job offers.
Tesco troll Arsenal on Transfer Deadline Day
Transfer deadline day can be a tough time for fans of English Premier League football club Arsenal (I speak from experience). One account, poking fun at manager Arsene Wenger’s love for a bargain, attempted to make light of the situation, tweeting about negotiations with the supermarket chain. Tesco picked up on this and responded, pointing out that the manager has not always proved financially astute:
@wengerknowsbest We ain’t budging on this.If you can pay €7million for Andre Santos, you can pay our prices!
— Tesco Customer Care (@UKTesco) January 31, 2013
This refers to Arsenal’s Brazilian left back, who has been largely criticised for lacklustre performances since arriving at the Emirates. Later that day, Arsenal purchased a replacement. Perhaps the Gunners have Tesco to thank.
Sina Weibo launches promoted feed ads
Still trying to find ways to monetize its popular Twitter-esque microblogging site, Sina Weibo has rolled out promoted feed advertisements to its 400 million users. Known as Weibo Tuiguang, the ads will appear in user feeds and be differentiated from user posts by a grey line and a notice indicating that it’s a sponsored post. Yet to be implemented on the mobile platform, the decision to roll out on the web platform first is an interesting deviation from the company’s declared intention to focus on its mobile platform as it seeks to monetize. In addition to promoted feed ads, the company is exploring a diverse range of options such as e-payments and fan headline advertising to start the revenue stream flowing. It better move quickly as its rival, Tencent’s killer chat app, WeChat is fast gaining ground having registered its 300 millionth user less than a week ago and drawing Weibo users’ attention away from the microblogging service.
WeChat’s new features to include song recognition & voice chatrooms
Speaking of WeChat, the app has unleashed a beta version 4.5 update that features multi-user voice chatrooms, Siri-like voice reminders and even a song database search feature along the lines of Shazam or SoundHound. The update will allow users to set verbal reminders for themselves and to search for an unknown piece of music by shaking the smartphone. The app will stream the song along with its lyrics but is expected to be made available only to Chinese users due to copyright issues. Word has it that the update will be made available to iPhone users first before Android users. It will be interesting to see how many users the group chatroom can host.
Japanese chat app, Line, reaches 100 million users
Fast becoming a worthy rival to WeChat, Line has just passed the 100 million users milestone. The photo below shows the user counter that was set up at Line HQ in anticipation of breaching the 100 million users mark. Though a much smaller player than 300 million strong WeChat, Line is ahead of Korean Kakao Talk’s 72 million users, in the battle for dominance in the Asian mobile messaging market. Industry watchers expect these Asian players to expand into English speaking markets this year. This would be interesting as they face off with old players such as WhatsApp and new entrants such as Facebook Messenger in the international arena.
Snoop Dogg pimps Line on Twitter
Line has tied up with popular US rapper, Snoop Dogg to help its expansion into the North American market. Boasting a range of Snoop Dogg virtual stickers that are available for free downloads, Line has been getting lots of attention through the rapper’s shout-outs on Twitter.
Line’s aggressive foray into overseas markets such as Southeast Asia and the US has been credited with helping it to hit the 100 million user mark. Interestingly, the app’s maker, NHN Japan revealed some months back that half of its then 70 million users were not from Japan. The app is expected to gain more traction in English speaking markets in 2013 while simultaneously looking to expand in China with a Chinese version, called ‘Lianwo‘.
China’s MiTalk to give WeChat a run for its money
China-born Android-based smartphone maker, Xiaomi, has struck a partnership with Taiwanese startup, Mface, to market it’s messaging app known as Miliao in Chinese (aka MiTalk in English) across Southeast Asia. The collaboration is expected to help MiTalk expand its reach to Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. MiTalk aims to register 5 million overseas users by year end. The chat app currently has 23 million registered users, a large proportion of which are presumably from mainland China. The company will be marketing its smartphones in Hong Kong and Taiwan soon and may expand into North America in the next few years.
Worldwide smartphone penetration on the up
An article by eMarketer has examined the growing smartphone market around the world. It predicts that by 2016, roughly 75% of certain markets including the US and UK, will own one of the devices. The mobile phone market is incredibly saturated, with 130% combined market penetration of smartphones and non-smartphones. As such, they argue that the coming years will see an increase in the former and a decrease in the latter, resulting in the following figures:
Facebook release Graph Search
Facebook have announced Graph Search, a new social search engine that will allow users to search for results based on what their friends like. For example, instead of just looking for a dentist, you can look for “dentists in my area that my friends like”, or even the likes of “singles in my area who like Star Wars”. We have produced a comprehensive post detailing everything you need to know about the feature here.
Facebook bring free voice calls to the US
As we’ve previously discussed, Facebook operated a trial in Canada for free voice calling over the Internet with its iOS Messenger app. Now, they’ve extended this to the US with the latest version of Messenger for iOS. Provided that both users have downloaded the app, they are able to call one another for free, either over WiFi or by using up some of their data allowance.
Instagram releases monthly active user data
After the speculation about Instagram losing users, which we mentioned in last week’s mashup, the network has decided to release data about its monthly active users for the first time. They have stated that, contrary to the rumour, they have actually seen 10% growth in the period from December to January and that the last count showed over 90 million people using Instagram monthly.
EyeEm overtakes Instagram in app downloads
Whilst this was going on, Instagram was actually overtaken by a rival photo-sharing app called EyeEm in terms of downloads, which was at one point the second most downloaded photo/video app behind YouTube. Instagram has since regained its position ahead of EyeEm, but this shows the potentially precarious position Instagram holds in the photo-sharing market.
Favouriting becoming more popular on Twitter
Over the past year, the option to ‘favourite’ a tweet has become much more popular, as the following graph shows:
This comes as a result of changes made to favouriting by Twitter in December 2011, placing the option in a much more noticeable position and making it easier to access favourited tweets. Interestingly, users are more likely to favourite an @-reply than a regular tweet, potentially showing how users are employing the function as a way of exhibiting a positive response, similar to a Facebook ‘like’.
Twitter and television
Twitter have released some intriguing statistics into the way in which people interact with television on the network. They claim that 60% of Twitter users access the site while watching TV and around 40% of prime time Twitter activity is about television. Using specific programmes as case studies, they showed how big TV events can attract an impressively high amount of online activity, such as an episode of Made In Chelsea that procured 215,220 tweets from 110,162 users, reaching a potential 124.2m users.
Twitter headers make it possible to fake verified accounts
The introduction of Twitter header images has led to an unwanted side effect for Twitter, as it is now possible for someone to fake a verified account. As you can see from the image below, it seems as though there is a verified account for a fictional creation, the children’s book character Percy Jackson. However, the blue tick that announces verification has simply been added to the background. Fortunately, there is still a way to tell the difference between verified and unverified accounts, as the word “verified” will appear when you hover the cursor over a true account.
New Myspace now publicly available
The new version of Myspace, which launched in July, is now open to the public after a period of invitation-only signups. The emphasis remains strongly on music and in particular discovering new usic, with an audio deck on each page and a variety of music-related trending stories. The main page also promotes investor Justin Timberlake’s new single. There is yet to be a formal announcement for the new launch.
Foursquare’s maps show the growth of the network
Foursquare have released a detailed map that shows the various places where people have checked in over the last three months.
As can be seen above, this shows various world hubs, but can also be used to show in more detail the areas where people like to check in within a city, such as a clear layout of the runways in Atlanta Airport. In an interview with TechCrunch, Foursquare’s data scientist, Blake Shaw discussed how having access to all this information is important for the future of the company. He stated how they are experiencing a stage of growth similar to Twitter in 2008, from a place to share information to a location for consumption of that information; that is, Foursquare intends to grow further towards being a tool for discovering new places.
Twitter tracking the Oscars
Twitter have released a tool for tracking the positive conversation around Oscar nominees in the six largest categories: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Director. They have produced a real time graph that displays positive sentiment around any of the nominees, measured as a percentage score against the average sentiment level of all tweets on the network. This is similar to a project pitting Romney against Obama during the US Presidential Election and is of interest for examining how particular events or news stories have an effect on public opinion.
Smoothie King helping with New Year’s Resolutions
It’s a sad fact that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t last a very long time. So drinks company Smoothie King have released a Facebook app called Lean Into Life, aimed at salvaging the spirit of New Year in mid-January, by encouraging users to take photographs of themselves whilst completing certain resolution-related challenges for the chance to win $100 gift cards, free smoothies or a bicycle. Fans are asked to take a photograph via Instagram and use the hasthags #SmoothieKing and #LeanIntoLife to take part in the contest.
Panera Bread Company promote ‘hidden menu’ via Social
Panera Bread Company last week sent out a tweet that announced their new ‘hidden menu’ and was met with a range of reactions from excitement to confusion. The idea is that the menu is not mentioned in store, but simply via social, meaning that in-the-know Twitter followers have to go in store and specifically request one of the protein-rich range. This exclusively-social promotion is an interesting idea and could be a very effective example for restaurant or FMCG brands.
Indy 500 campaign set to use people’s Instagram photos
An Indy 500 campaign is set to use Instagram images tagged with the hasthag #Indy500orBust. These will be placed on an interactive map, whilst users are also given the opportunity to win a VIP race experience by uploading photographs. After the controversy surrounding potential changes to Instagram’s terms of service, it will be interesting to see how many campaigns like this come about.
Bentley releasing cars with hashtag license plates
For the launch of three new models, Bentley showcased each with a license plate that displayed a hashtag of the car’s name.
The move is very similar to We Are Social’s campaign for Jaguar, where we emblazoned the model specific @sportbrake handle on the side of a prototype car. As such, it seems that we are seeing a growing trend in the automotive industry to attempt to support the launch of new vehicles with online conversation, specifically on Twitter.
The NHL’s Foursquare comeback
With the launch of a new NHL season, the league has released a Foursquare badge that can be unlocked by checking in at two games this season. Anyone who unlocks it is eligible for a 15% discount at the NHL online shop. Five separate teams have also released their own badge, which can be obtained by checking in at either a home or away game at any point in the season. Each of these qualifies fans for a separate benefit, including the change to win tickets or discounts at team stores.
Esurance Facebook campaign offers SXSW dream package
Online insurance company Esurance have released a campaign that offers fans the chance to win an all-access pass to SXSW, a $2000 hotel stay, iPad and the opportunity to create a set of videos that details the excitement behind the campaign. To win, fans must create content that displays why they are the right person to be behind the videos. The campaign taps into the technological nature of SXSW and produces a prize that is truly fit for the audience.
Volvic and We Are Social search for brand advocates on Facebook
We Are Social have produced a campaign for Volvic that asks fans to submit photographs that they feel best reflects the ‘Volcanicity’ brand. As an incentive, fans can win ‘once in a lifetime experiences’ around the theme of volcanoes, along with a camera to document them. The campaign is aimed at driving brand advocacy – Deola Laniyan, Account Director at We Are Social, said fans will:
become our community managers meaning the content that’s posted is much more likely to resonate with their peers and drive engagement.
English and Welsh High Court ruling on Facebook privacy
The England and Wales High Court has made a ruling on Facebook privacy, stating that pictures on Facebook cannot be published in a newspaper without permission, even if they are set to ‘public’. The ruling is of interest to all those on Facebook and could display a pro-user attitude to privacy by UK authorities.
Tesco’s horse play on Twitter
You’d think the last week couldn’t have got much worse for Tesco, what with their value-range beef burgers being found to contain horse meat. However, it looks as though it has, after accidentally tweeting what looked like a joke about horses. It goes to show the danger of scheduling tweets and making sure you keep a close eye on all social media channels, especially at sensitive times.