Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Foursquare’.
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.