Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Google+’.
WeChat now has 190M monthly active users
WeChat is a giant amongst chat apps. It has a user base of over 300 million users with projections that it will surpass 400 million in a few weeks. So it comes as no surprise that WeChat has reached 190 million monthly active users. As noted by TechInAsia, this number suggests that WeChat is closing in on Whatsapp territory, which has 200 million monthly active users according to the most recent data. On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of WeChat users are based in China, whereas Whatsapp–and even other Asian chat apps like Line–enjoy greater success on an international level. Nonetheless, WeChat has experienced growth at breakneck speeds in the last two years, an incredible accomplishment as illustrated in the graph below.
70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is user-generated
Mashable cited a recent study by Digitas and Curalate and found that 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users as opposed to brands. The disparity between brand- and user-generated content is much larger for some industry categories. With brands in the fashion industry, for example, only 18% of content engagement comes from the brands, while 82% comes from the community. Similarly, 75% of content engagement for the automotive industry came directly from the users. By contrast, the study found that brands in the electronics industry were split more evenly, between user-driven and brand-driven engagement; while 47% of content engagement came from brands, 53% came from the community. Ultimately, these findings indicate that there is massive potential for brands to join the conversations and direct engagement on the platform.
In India, PC users watch 3.7 billion online videos per month
According to TheNextWeb, 54 million PC-based internet users in India watched videos online in March 2013. This number has increased from 32 million in March 2011, indicating a rise of 69% over the last two years. Equally significant is the growth in the total number of videos watched each month; the figures have risen from 1.8 billion in 2011 to 3.7 billion last month. It is interesting to note that the top two platforms for video consumption are social to some degree; Youtube and Google sites ranked first with 31.5 million video viewers, while Facebook came in second with 18.6 million. When it comes to the average time spent on video consumption, DailyMotion outranks Facebook’s 21.9 minutes by a significant margin, with 59.6 minutes spent on average.
Google+ has 359M users, ousts Twitter as second largest social network
A recent report by Business Insider details the recent growth of Google+. Citing new data released by GlobalWebIndex, the findings suggest that Google+ is growing at a rate that may ultimately oust Twitter as the runner-up for largest social network (with Facebook and its 1.1 billion users remaining at the helm). Google+ currently has a staggering 359 million active users. This is up by 33 percent from June 2012, when they had 269 million active users. Twitter is growing at a faster rate, however, as it experienced a 44 percent increase during same timeframe, from 206 million users to 297 million users today.
Chat app Zalo has 2M users, plans for 5M soon
While well-known Asian chat apps like WeChat have continued to gather a massive following, this trend has also been demonstrated as strong in other Asian markets. According to TechInAsia, Vietnamese chat app has passed 2 million users, and has stated plans to reach 5 million in the near future. With 10 million smartphone users in the market, 5 million seems like a lofty goal at first glance. Vietnam is currently at the threshold of rapid mobile growth, however, and given Zalo’s recent uptake in growth, 5 million may not be such a stretch after all.
[Bonus Fact] Chat app to cash cow: Line revenue is up by 92% this year
The Japanese chat app Line has recently revealed that its first quarter revenue for 2013 was 5.82 billion yen (71.1 million SGD), The company’s revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 stood at 3.03 billion yen (37 million SGD), indicating a staggering 92% increase on Q4 2012. The results were retrieved by TheNextWeb, as shown in the graph below:
Roughly half of these earnings come from in-app payments and social gaming features–components of the chat app that have been heavily developed in recent months. In particular, Line’s gaming feature reached the milestone of 100 million downloads earlier this year. Stickers raked in 1.7 billion yen (20.8 million SGD), or about 30% of the revenue for Q1 2013. Ultimately, these numbers suggest that there is serious potential when it comes to the monetization of chat apps.
Alibaba buys US$586 million stake in Sina Weibo
As part of its push into social media, Alibaba (China’s top e-commerce company) has purchased an 18% stake in Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-esque service with a userbase in excess of 500 million. The deal gives Alibaba the option to increase its stake in Sina Weibo to 30% and is expected to rake in revenue of about US$380 million within the next 3 years. Sina Weibo users can expect more e-commerce offerings in the coming months
Line to launch toy smartphone for kids
Japanese chat app, Line, clearly believes in starting young. Shortly after launching its own cartoon series, Line is expected to launch a toy smartphone priced at US$70 on August 8. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, children will be able to send stamps and messages when two toy Line phones are in contact.
Top brands on social media in ASEAN
Thailand-based social analytics firm, Zocialinc, has released an infographic ranking best-performing brands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram in Southeast Asia. The coverage is largely focused on Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and seems to penalize brands that may not have an active presence on all four networks even though they may be doing very well on their network of choice. The full infographic includes interesting insights into user behaviour on the different social networks.
(click through for the full infographic)
Swedish food supplier uses Instagram as Asian food education tool
Want to learn about Asian food? Upload a picture of the dish to Instagram and hashtag #askctfood or tag @AskCTFood and receive details on how to prepare them. The catch? This service is only available in Swedish, as this app was built by Swedish food supplier CT Food.
UK photo sharing users to lose rights to uploaded photos
Changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act has resulted in an overnight loss of rights by amateur and professional illustrators and photographers to work that they’ve uploaded to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. The Act contains changes UK copyright law which allow commercial use of images deemed “orphan works”, ie. where information identifying the owner is missing. The far-reaching consequences is that millions of photos are at risk since metadata is often stripped from the photos when they’re uploaded. As if that isn’t bad enough, the Act allows for sub-licensing, which allows wholesale of work by someone who has it, without paying the originator a single penny. Penny for your thoughts!
New layout for pages on Facebook mobile
Facebook has updated the way pages appear on mobile, citing a number of benefits for users and page owners. For the former, they note a ‘cleaner, simpler look’, with relevant information such as photos and location positioned alongside interaction buttons at the top of the page. These seem to constitute benefits for page owners too, who will look to benefit from higher engagement as a result of the changes. They’re also set to be provided with the ability to pin important posts and a streamlined management tool. To see how the changes will appear for different users, see the image below:
Twitter testing two-factor authentication
Twitter has begun testing two-factor authentication, in a move that looks to prevent a continuation of the high-profile hackings that have happened recently. From the Associated Press to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, a number of large, verified accounts have been taken over, posting strange and often embarrassing content. Whilst two-factor authentication would be unlikely to be rolled out universally for the sake of avoiding hassle on smaller, personal accounts, it would likely be a welcome move for brands and public figures. Both Google and Facebook already offer a similar system.
LinkedIn launch ‘Contacts’
LinkedIn have introduced a new service called ‘Contacts’. Essentially, it takes details of contacts from various areas of your phone or computer, including email accounts, calendars and address books and compiles them in one place, allowing you to interact with people more easily and maintain important relationships. The service will be launched both on the LinkedIn platform and as a standalone mobile app. The full details are contained in the following slides:
Tumblr introduce in-stream mobile ads
For the first time, Tumblr will include ads on mobile that look like normal posts. Previously, adverts only appeared in “Radar”, where now mobile users will see up to 4 ads per day in the home stream. With collaborators including GE, Warner Bros and ABC, Tumblr are really set to bulk up their advertising revenue, but claim to be devoted to maintaining the current Tumblr experience. Head of sales Lee Brown has stated that:
This mobile advertising opportunity is native to how our consumers experience content on our apps; as a continuous stream.
Advertised posts will be differentiated from others with a $ symbol. Tumblr have stated that, the move will ultimately expand to desktop, but there is no timeframe given as yet.
Budweiser’s ‘buddy cup’ app
Budweiser’s new campaign looks to play on the emotional connection created by touching cups during a shared beer. Their new ‘buddy cups’ link to Facebook, so that you can become friends with someone on the network by tapping cups with one another. Now when you drunkenly agree to add someone on Facebook, you won’t have until the morning to change your mind.
Nike PHOTOiD and Instagram
For the past few years, Nike iD has allowed create their own, customised clothing from a range of colours. Now, the sportswear brand is taking it one step further, linking with Instagram to launch ‘PHOTOiD’, a tool that designs clothing based on the colours of your favourite Instagram photos. It’s certainly a novel idea and it will be interesting to see the extent to which people are willing to use a system like this. Here are some examples that have already been made:
Photograph an advert for free Weetabix biscuits
Weetabix are looking to take advantage of ‘dual screening’ behaviours with their new #takethebiscuit campaign, which asks for fans to take a photograph of their latest TV advert. Fans can then show their picture at a branch of Boots to pick up a free breakfast biscuit. Whilst the idea is an interesting one, it did have a couple of problems. The barrier to entry is quite high and, according to reports, some Boots stores were unaware the campaign was happening. You can see the advert below in all its glory, complete with #takethebiscuit hashtag to encourage Twitter conversation.
We Are Social’s design campaign for Kleenex
We Are Social have launched a competition to design the new Kleenex Box, partnering with internationally-renowned designer Kelly Hoppen to create a brief asking young creative talent to decorate the box in their own style. Using Talenthouse to collect entries, the final decision will then be made by Kleenex’s Facebook community, who will vote on which design gets made into the next tissue box.
Urban Outfitters and Converse’s joint Vine competition
Fashion retailer UO and trainer brand Converse have partnered to produce a competition on Vine, which asks fans to post a video of ‘A day in the life of your Converse’ for the opportunity to win $1500 in UO gift cards, 10 pairs of trainers and 2 different music related trips, in San Francisco and Brooklyn respectively. Whilst a number of brands have started using Vine to produce content, this is one of the first examples of a more in-depth campaign usage.
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 17, 2013
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 17, 2013
Guided Twitter tour by the Tate Modern
To highlight a new Roy Lichtenstein exhibition, the Tate Modern produced a guided tour on Twitter. A museum curator spent half an hour tweeting images and information about the artist’s work, allowing those who would be otherwise unable to attend the museum to interact with the content in a meaningful way.
Evans support ‘golden bikes’ activity on Twitter
UK bike shop Evans Cycles have partnered with record-holding British Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy for a campaign called ‘Hoy’s Golden Bikes’, for which the Olympian has hidden 3 gold coloured bicycles around the country. Whoever finds them can trade one in for a brand new bike of their own, worth £1000. They’re supporting the activity on Twitter, with clues coming both from the official @chrishoy account and via the hashtag #hoyshiddenbikes.
On YouTube, PSY’s ‘Gentleman’ hits record 38M views in 24 hours
Following the mind-blowing popularity of his hit single, ‘Gangnam Style’, PSY dropped another new single earlier this month. As TheNextWeb reports, ‘Gentleman’ has already filled the proverbial big shoes of its predecessor on YouTube. An earlier account of the video’s performance clocked the video views at over 22 million in less than a day. While this rate is a record-breaking achievement in itself, Google has recently confirmed that this number actually stands at a whopping 38 million views. This figure indicates that ‘Gentleman’ has surpassed some other YouTube record holders by a long shot; for instance, Google notes that KONY had previously held the most views in a single day, with 30 million hits. The video has even surpassed ‘Gangnam Style’ in its rapid rate of growth: while ‘Gangnam Style’ took over 7 weeks to hit 100 million views, Gentleman reached the nine-digit milestone in under four days. ‘Gentleman’ currently has over 228 million views–still a far cry from the all-time record held by ‘Gangnam Style’ (1.55 billion and counting)– but a sure sign that PSY has continued to dominate on YouTube.
Chat app gains lead to 11% decline in SMS in China
As we reported earlier this year, mobile chat apps continue to be on the rise in 2013. In particular, they have uprooted dominant social channels in some Asian markets to become the most popular platforms amongst social media users. In Japan, for instance, chat app Line surpassed Twitter as the top platform in the country. According to TheNextWeb, this increasing preference for chat apps has had a considerable effect on traditional text messaging in China as well. Based on a report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the findings suggested that SMS usage had increased by 0.5% on a yearly basis. However, when this figure is recalculated to exclude mass texts, the results indicate that peer-to-peer messaging has actually decreased by a significant 11%. This downturn may be particularly alarming given the recent tension between China’s state-owned telcom providers and locally established chat app, WeChat. The study illustrates that peer-to-peer messaging was down to 120 billion, marking a 10.9% decrease from last year. The findings also demonstrated that the average user sent 52.6 peer-to-peer messages in the first quarter of this year, down by 11.2% from Q1 2012. By contrast, chat app usage remained on the rise: 22 bilion mobile messages were sent through chat apps in Q1 2013, indicating a 37.6% increase since last year. Peer-to-peer messages stood at 1.3 billion, also up by 15.6% during the period. In effect, the results may illustrate a strong correlation between the adoption of mobile chat apps and the decline in peer-to-peer SMS messaging in the Chinese market. While the encroachment of chat is far from strong, China’s telcoms have taken to a potential countermeasure–of reviving its own messaging app, Fetion, in the near future–to better compete with chat apps in the market.
Google and Facebook face off on social sign-in share
eMarketer recently reported that Facebook remained at the top spot amongst social networks that gave users an option to use social logins across platforms. Based on a report by user management platform provider Janrain, the findings concurrently indicated that Google’s popularity was increasing as well. While Facebook held the lead with a 46% share in Q1 2013, that proportion actually signals an 8% decrease since Q3 2012. Meanwhile, Google’s share rose by 9% in the same period, from 25% in Q3 2012 to 34% in the first quarter of this year.
Google similarly experienced the most growth on consumer brand sites. As indicated in the graph below, Google ID sign-ins increased from 23% in Q4 2012 to 28% in Q1 2013. By contrast, Facebook sign-ins decreased from 58% to 55% in the same period.
Although Twitter claims the smallest portion of the pie, eMarketer notes that the microblogging platform has been carving out a niche amongst social logins in other areas. On music sites, for instance, Twitter logins increased from 12% to 19% in Q1 2013. While it’s still a far cry from Facebook’s 51% share, the platform’s percentage actually demonstrates a substantial decrease, from 60% in Q4 2012.
In China, social network Renren launches its own chat app
The rise of chat apps, coupled with the dominance of microblogging platforms like Sina Weibo, has made it difficult for China’s social network Renren to grow its user base. In the past few years, it has seen new messaging apps like WeChat soar to over 300 million users, making Renren’s 170 million pale in comparison. Perhaps with this in mind, Renren has decided to jump on the chat app bandwagon, as TechInAsia reports that Renren has launched a new messaging app called TongXueShuo (the literal translation: “classmates say”). This chat app additionally consists of an eclectic mix of social features; TechInAsia notes that there are “elements of Path, Google+, regular social messaging apps, plus the find-and-flirt capabilities of apps like Momo”. While these features are apparently meant to attract a wide range of early adopters, TongXueShuo last month has yet to gather momentum since its launch last month. Despite Renren’s sizable number of users, the battle nonetheless appears invariably uphill given the existing social giants that constitute its competition amongst chat apps in the market.
In India, digital ad spend up 30%; shift to social and mobile
A recent report by eMarketer suggests that digital ad spend has increased significantly over the past few years. Based on a study by The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indian Market Research Bureau International, the findings indicated that there was a 29% increase in digital ad spend over the course of fiscal year 2012. While spending has increased to 22.6 billion Indian rupees (SGD 517 million), it is also estimated to rise by another 30%, to 29.4 billion rupees (SGD 673.4 million) in fiscal year 2013.
Digital ad spending has also moved away from traditional formats such as display and search, and started leaning toward mobile and social. While Display and Search constituted 92% of digital ad spend in 2010, they collectively took only 67% in 2012. By contrast, social media and video increased by over 71% each in 2011, and claimed 13% and 7% of digital ad spend respectively in 2012. The increasing adoption of mobile web has also shifted spending to mobile, as the format increased to 10% of digital ad spend during 2012.
China’s Ya’an earthquake: How social media helped
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that jolted southwest China’s Sichuan Province Saturday morning shook the nation, reminding many of the Wenchuan disaster that happened in the same province in 2008. While social media was not widely used during the 2008 earthquake, this time, Chinese social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Baidu, SoSo and 360 have responded with a homepage search function for people who are looking for their lost family and friends.
For example, Sina Weibo created a hashtag “#ya’an person finder#” for the earthquake. Anyone affected by the earthquake can post their information in the format “#ya’an person finder# + victim’s information + family’s contact details”. The post below shows a Tencent Weibo post by an earthquake victim to let his concerned family know that he is safe:
Last year, we observed Sina Weibo playing its role as a crucial lifeline in the Beijing floods. Increasingly, social media becomes the go-to channel for people to communicate with family and friends in times of disaster. Celebrities, media, and telecom companies are also helping with rescue efforts by pushing out information on social media channels. To pay tribute, Sina Weibo mourned along with the sufferers by changing the whole page black and white.
Sina Weibo launches new layout for traditional media
As Wechat continues its rise in the social media scene, competitor platforms such as Sina Weibo are quick to respond with new functions. It has launched a special layout for traditional media pages, such as the one for People’s Daily as shown below:
In the media edition, posts will now feature a news thumbnail, headline and a summary. Moreover, it is reported that the posts can be targeted based on different audience segments. Similar to Wechat, news updates on Sina Weibo will be based on users’ stated preferences then delivered to them via private messages (私信). Will this be enough to compete with Wechat?
Indonesian President joins Twitter with over 700,000 followers
As reported by Tech in Asia, yet another world leader has joined social media. Last week, Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (also known as SBY) opened a Twitter account. Since his first presidential tweet, his handle, @SBYudhoyono, has gained over 700,000 followers.
Indonesia has one of the largest Twitter user populations in the world, so it is great to see that it is being used as a platform for the president to better interact with the Indonesian people in real-time. Among his 27 tweets so far, the Indonesian president also responded to a few Indonesian citizens asking about plans to develop Indonesia’s poorest region, Papua. With several global leaders also engaging their citizens on Twitter, will Yudhoyono eventually be one of the most active world leaders on social media?
The value of a Facebook fan
The average value of a Facebook fan has risen by 28% to $174 since 2010, according to a study by Syncapse of 2,000 US residents in January and February 2013. The research compared fans and non-fans in a number of topics, including product spending, brand loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value, cost of acquisition and brand affinity, in order to come up with a monetary value of the average fan. It’s worth noting that there are huge behavioural differences between fans and non-fans in terms of social media, with 2/3 of the former group also fans of more than 10 brand pages. 3/4 are likely to share a good brand experience with Facebook friends and 2/3 a bad one.
Questions on Facebook brand pages increase by 30%
From Q4 2012 to Q1 2013, the number of questions asked on Facebook brand pages has increased by 30%, from 953,000 to 1.2 million. This is accompanied by a 49% increase in answers, from 499,000 to 744,000, suggesting that brands are catching up with the necessity of responding via social media. In fact, the percentage of queries that receive a response is up in every sector; Finance are leading the way with 80%, followed by airlines with just below 80%, whilst alcohol brands prop up the other end of the table with under 40%. Despite this, the time it takes for brands to respond has spiked in the last quarter, bucking a decreasing trend. Down from 20.9 hours in Q2 2012 to 19.5 in Q3 and 13.7 in Q4, the waiting time shot back up to 22.6 hours in Q1.
New Facebook app for iPhone and iPad
Facebook has launched a new Facebook app for iPhone and iPad. Major new features include stickers, chat heads, an updated news feed and some changes to photos. Stickers are basically large emoticons; these may present a revenue stream in future with an announced ‘sticker store’, but are currently free. Chat heads, previously announced in ‘Facebook Home’ for Android, will allow users to keep on top of chats wherever they are in the app. The updated News Feed and filters, allowing users to organise what they see depending on whether it was posted by certain friends or people they follow, have been integrated, whilst a couple of photo filters have been added, along with a ‘shared photos’ album containing any images you have sent to particular friends.
Facebook’s Ads API allows cost-per-action pricing
Facebook has announced a new method of pricing available through its Ads API, which allows advertisers to choose their favoured action and set a maximum price per action of that type. This means that, rather than limiting budget to ‘price per click’ or similar, brands can choose the action that they value the most and allot spending accordingly. The system is currently available for page likes, link clicks and offer claims, but is likely to expand further in future.
Facebook set to price video ads at $1 million
Despite being yet to finalise the format for its upcoming video ads, Facebook are reportedly asking for $1 million per day from advertisers to use the system. The adverts, set to be introduced in June or July, will play automatically within the desktop version of Facebook. Four broad demographics have been identified: under-30s and over-30s, divided in turn by gender, with each of these intended to see no more than 3 adverts per day. If Facebook can achieve their asking price, this could serve to be lucrative business for them; however, it’s far from a forgone conclusion that they will succeed in doing so.
Facebook experimenting with ‘Tap to Call’ functionality?
Facebook has reportedly been in talks with ‘tap to call’ vendors RingRevenue, Freespree and Synclio, with a view to integrating the functionality to ‘Home’ and its mobile app. ‘Tap to Call’ functionality would allow a button within adverts that users could click to instantly call the brand advertised. If done right, this could see a world of advertising opportunities on Facebook, with the idea already working wonders for Google. However, there are a couple of counterpoints; critics have wondered about how the service may be impacted by the fact that Facebook ads are currently targeted by interests, rather than intent, and how cautious the network is likely to be with the service, potentially more useful for interacting with friends than advertising.
Facebook’s TV ad for ‘Home’
Hot on the heels of their first TV advert, Facebook have produced another, this time starring Mark Zuckerberg himself. The video, below, shows Facebook’s CEO giving a speech to the engineers who built ‘Home’, until one of them drifts off into the imaginary world of the service itself.
Positive tweets directly linked to sales
A study presented by Deloitte at last week’s Twitter4Brands event in London found that not only does Twitter produce valuable word of mouth advertising, but that positive tweets directly drive sales. One case study was particularly illuminating: that of EA Games and their world-famous title ‘FIFA 13′, which concluded that a 30% increase in positive tweets was more effective in driving sales than a 30% increase in above-the-line advertising. By tweeting about major events they were able to get people talking about the game at the same time as football in general. For example, they launched a giveaway under #86messi when the Argentinian star’s 86th goal broke the record for most times scored in a year, and saw the hashtag mentioned over 50,000 times.
Twitter launch #Music app
Last week, Twitter launched their new #Music app, a platform for fans to locate new music through the social network. Available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, it is divided into four sections: ‘suggested’, ‘popular’, ‘now playing’ and ‘emerging’. The first three are fairly self explanatory: ‘suggested’ and ‘popular’ suggest artists and tracks based in turn on what you follow and what’s trending, whilst ‘now playing’ allows your friends to see what you’re listening to. ‘Emerging’ is particularly interesting, allowing users to find new music through an algorithm that locates music that might not be too well known. Currently, the system seems designed at increasing conversation around music, but there may be opportunity for advertising from record labels and sponsorship.
Twitter introduce keyword targeting to Ads API
Twitter has bulked up its Ads API with the introduction of ‘keyword targeting’, allowing advertisers to target users based on specific words in their Tweets. The key benefit is that this will allow the targeting of intent; Twitter themselves have given an example based on a touring band, whereby the band’s management can target tweets at those who have mentioned them, letting them know that the band are playing in their area. This is a signifcant contribution to Twitter’s increasingly profitable advertising base: eMarketer have predicted that they will make $582.8 million in 2013 and nearly $1 billion in 2014, on the back of $288.3 million in 2012.
Twitter partner with BBC America for branded video
Twitter has launched a partnership with BBC America, looking to expand its branded video output. Video clips will appear in-stream when users click on a Tweet. Having already done so with sports for NCAA’s ‘March Madness’ basketball event (shown below), this represents the first time that such a link has existed for entertainment television.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 29, 2013
WhatsApp is bigger than Twitter
According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the service now has more than 200-million users, making it a larger overall network than Twitter. Moreover, it is being employed heavily by those users, with 8 billion inbound and 12 billion outbound messages every day and no reported drop off since its decision to charge $0.99 a year. With competition growing from Chinese rival WeChat and its 300 million users, of whom 40 million live outside of China, it will be interesting to see how WhatsApp’s growth continues going forward.
New LinkedIn app for iPhone and Android
LinkedIn has majorly updated its iPhone and Android apps for the first time in nearly two years, with a vast overhaul of the activity stream and navigation systems, as well as the introduction of ads. The personalised activity stream is now sleeker, with more visual content, much like the updates that have been made to recent Facebook mobile apps. From here, users can simply swipe the left side of the screen to navigate around the app, creating a more well-rounded overall experience. Adverts will see the network attempt to monetise its success on mobile, in the form of sponsored content within the stream. More detail on the app can be found in the below video:
Google+ comments now visible on Blogger
Those using ‘Blogger’ to update their blog can now integrate Google+ Comments with other responses to their posts. Google have cited the benefits to this, including more straightforward comment management, as well as the ability for readers to filter blog comments, leading to more meaningful engagement and potentially higher traffic as a result. Bloggers can turn on the system, shown below, by selecting ‘Use Google+ Comments’ in the Google+ tab of the Blogger dashboard.
Twitter donates trending spot to #OneBoston
In the wake of the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon, Twitter donated the top promoted spot, free of charge, to the hashtag #OneBoston. As people used the hashtag to send messages of respect and condolence, or even in some cases to encourage charitable donations, the social network released the below tweet:
We’ve provided the City of Boston the Promoted Trend today free of charge through Twitter Ads for Good. Learn more: bit.ly/171q0O9
— Twitter Good (@TwitterGood) April 16, 2013
We Are Social win The Outnet account for social media
The Outnet, discount fashion website owned by Net-A-Porter, has appointed We Are Social as its worldwide social media agency. The company, which previously managed its social media in-house, has 411,000 likes on Facebook and 103,000 followers on Twitter, communities which will be key to We Are Social’s initial focus on “social listening and reporting”, followed by strategic recommendations, content production, audience engagement and creative campaigns. We Are Social US’s managing director Leila Thabet said:
The Outnet is well placed to innovate in social media due to its unique position in the discount luxury market. We’ll leverage our fashion experience to develop a social strategy together, and constantly look to The Outnet fans and shoppers to shape how we create content, position the brand and devise campaigns.
Samsung end Anonymous reviews under Taiwan Fair Trade investigation
Samsung has brought an end to its anonymous online reviews due to an investigation by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission into whether it was paying for fake positive reviews of its own devices and negative of its competitors. The charges, if found to be in breach of fair trade regulations, could see penalties of up to $837,000 per incident. If found to be guilty of criminal charges of defamation, each charge could lead to a 2 year jail sentence. Samsung has stated its commitment to transparent and honest communication, stating that the situation “occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles”.
Epicurious posts insensitive Boston tweets
As many took to Twitter to discuss the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, Epicurious posted tweets suggesting whole-grain cranberry scones “in honor” of the city. The two tweets shown below received a huge backlash from offended Twitter users, eventually prompting the following apology: “Our food tweets this morning were, frankly, insensitive. Our deepest, sincere apologies.” Epicurious is another in a line of brands coming across as “insensitive” at the very least when posting about tragedies. This should act a lesson for brands about keeping your mouth shut when you have no right to enter a conversation.
Chinese Government wants WeChat to pay fees
Chat apps such as WeChat have been making such an impact on the usage of traditional telecommunications services that Chinese telcos have been asking for subsidies as compensation for lost revenue. According to a source at the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, WeChat may have to pay fees in the future though the mechanics are still being looking into. WeChat risks losing users if the company chooses to share the costs with users. Industry watchers are of the opinion that Tencent may choose to absorb the fees and fund it using other revenue streams such as gaming, online-to-offline e-commerce and other value-added services.
Tencent’s president commits to keeping WeChat free for users
In response to complaints from netizens about the prospect of having to pay to use WeChat, Tencent’s president has committed to keeping the app free for users. Tencent is the maker of popular chat app, WeChat, which has experienced phenomenal growth on the back of its value-added free voice messaging and photo sharing features.
WeChat starts real-name verification for Open Platform users
Tencent has started a real-name verification exercise for users of its Open Platform service, which allows them to create special accounts to facilitate product promotions. Tencent has shut down accounts of users who are unable to provide their real identities in a move that brings relief to many companies. By keeping the userbase authentic, WeChat reduces the possibility of malicious usage of the platform to discredit other users.
China’s Social Media Landscape
CIC has released their latest infographic depicting the social media landscape in China. The diagram classifies Chinese social media platforms into four categories, based on maturity of the networks and functional usage. The definition of the four categories are as follows:
Functional Networks – Provide basic support for or have been integrated into other platforms.
Core Networks – Covers microblogs, Social Network Services (SNS), Instant Messenger (IM), Mobile Social, Bulletin Board Service (BBS) and e-Commerce.
Value-Added Networks – Add-on services for core networks and other platforms such as Social Commerce and Social Gaming.
Emerging/Niche Networks – Platforms serving niche groups or that function an a relatively independent level such as Photo Sharing and Social TV.
Softbank-funded Chinese startup to build Facebook-esque app for kids
Backed by funds from Japanese mobile phone giant Softbank, Chinese startup SmarTots is building a social networking app that allows children in China to share art projects online and on mobile devices. Parents and other relatives will be able to comment or express approval via the app, in Facebook-ish style. This development comes at an opportune time as smartphone growth is expected to more than double to 460 million by 2017. Education is big business in China as parents are willing to pay top dollar to give their children an edge in an increasingly competitive world. On the government spending front, education accounted for 4 percent of its GDP in 2012 while the government’s investment in education grew at an annual rate of 22 percent.
Google to buy WhatsApp?
The latest from the rumour mill is that Google is in talks to buy WhatsApp for US$1 billion. WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app and is said to pose a real threat to companies like Facebook and Google. Having been downloaded over a 100 million times on Google Play, the app occupies top position in Apple’s App Store in various countries. If this deal goes through, it would put the deal size in the same tier as Facebook’s purchase of Instagram in 2012.
New mothers radically increase online usage
BabyCentre have produced research on the huge increase in internet usage amongst new mothers. This demographic group, who spends 35% more time online than the average person, up their internet usage by 45% and mobile by 28% after becoming a mother. Factors like feeling more guilty, rushed and stressed all contribute to the change in behaviour, which also sees 68% change in their purchase criteria for everything. Mobile becomes an increasingly important device for the time-poor group, of whom 59% refer to their smartphone as a “do-everything device”.
US teens go mobile first
A report from the Pew Research Centre has shown how mobile internet usage is becoming ever more popular amongst American teenagers aged 12-17. Of those, 47% now own smart phones, while 74% use mobile devices to access the internet at least occasionally. Perhaps most interestingly, many of these are using the device as their primary mode of internet access: 50% of teen smart phone users, or 25% of all teens, mostly access the internet via their phone rather than PCs.
Social while multitasking
A March 2013 survey of US internet users has displayed how popular social networks are while multitasking. The graph below shows the frequency of access during different activities, noticeably slightly higher for Facebook than Twitter. A gender divide is shown depending on activity: women were more likely to access social media while watching TV, travelling or shopping, whereas men did so more at work, on the toilet or when drunk.
Social media gets the SEC’s blessing
The Securities and Exchange Commission last week blessed the use of social media for sharing market-moving corporate news, provided companies have disclosed to shareholders the channels they intend to use. Previously, there had been concerns that sharing news on social networks would violate rules on selective disclosure around financially pertinent information. However, an investigation into Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, ruled that his use of Twitter to announce 1 billion hours of views that month was acceptable, even after it resulted in an increase in share price. The ruling means that CEOs can now feel free to use Facebook or Twitter to broadcast news, even if it has potential to affect share price.
Mobile ad revenue at $4.11 billion for 2012
Mobile advertising revenue grew nearly five times to $4.11 billion from 2011 to 2012 and is expected to increase again by 77.3% to $7.29 billion in 2013. Google has historically earned the most from mobile display ads, but the entrance of Facebook and Twitter over the past year has seen the two networks earn hefty shares, with Facebook predicted to take the largest single share of mobile display this year at 29%. A 3-year forecast expects Facebook to remain ahead of Google for the next 2, before dipping behind again in 2015.
Facebook introduces Home
Last week saw a lot of speculation that Facebook were set to release a mobile phone. Ultimately, they announced “Facebook Home”, a piece of software for Android that, once installed, turns its host into an “always-on” Facebook device.
The system is much more visual than the current Facebook app, with the user’s home screen populated by photos and status updates, built around Zuckerberg’s vision of a “social phone” based on people and not apps. The system sees a number of benefits for the social network; not only can it look to further integrate with people’s lives, but the new, engaging format provides as way for mobile advertising beyond any other providers. Facebook have been quick to combat privacy fears, looking to make it clear that Home will not do anything that the current Facebook app doesn’t, particularly in relation to location services and other app data. You can read the full FAQ in their online Newsroom.
Facebook’s first TV ad
To launch ‘Home’, Facebook have splashed out on their first ever TV advert. It looks to depict the excitement ‘Home’ can bring to a boring business trip, as each swipe of the protagonist’s screen sees a new friend appear alongside him on the plane. Others might see the sunbathers imprisoned in overhead lockers and hipster disco in the aisle as a dystopian future vision of air travel. We’ll let you decide:
Facebook charging users to contact celebrities
Facebook has rolled out a set of charges for users to contact celebrities, ranging from 71p for lesser-known figures, including comedienne Miranda Hart, up to £10.68 for those with legions of fans, such as Olympic diver Tom Daley. This marks an expansion of paid messaging, which Facebook have previously experimented with when asking for payment in order to contact Mark Zuckerberg directly.
Twitter card updates
Twitter have announced a few updates for their “Twitter cards”, which can now display the likes of apps, products and photo galleries directly embedded in Tweets, as shown in the below screenshot. This displays an increased interest in immersive add-ons to Tweets, after the introduction of video-sharing app Vine earlier this year. Companies such as Amazon, Fandango, CNN and Soundcloud have already partnered with the system.
LinkedIn pushing ‘conversations’ by allowing ‘mentions’
Social platform LinkedIn is planning to increase levels of conversation within the network by allowing users to ‘mention’ one another, much like they can on Facebook. By starting to type a contact’s name, they will appear in a drop-down menu, from which you can select to ‘mention’ them; they will then receive a notification. The below slideshare includes more information on the changes.
Brand adverts on Instagram
Since their purchase of Instagram, Facebook have neglected to input paid advertising on the platform. In the meantime, a phenomenon has developed of celebrities and brands producing their own advertisements, from which Facebook gain no revenue (case in point, the below from pop artist Beyonce). It will be interesting to see if there follows an attempt to monetize such content.
We Are Social launch new adidas Energy Boost running shoes
We Are Social Italy ran a launch party to promote the new adidas Energy Boost running shoes. Beginning with an online content-production competition, Facebook users were asked to create a ‘card’ around the theme of ‘energy’ – 10 winners were then selected to join the exclusive BOOST™ launch party, attended by a number of celebrities. Further promotion came from outreach to key influencers, including footballers Riccardo Montolivo and Antonio Nocerino, rugby star Martin Castrogiovanni and basketballer Danilo Gallinari. The event saw a mammoth feat of vertical running by world champion Thomas Dold projected on to the side of the Grattacielo Pirelli, a Milanese skyscraper.
The American Heart Foundation’s ‘My Moves’ campaign
The AHA has produced a social campaign aimed at getting people to exercise more, asking fans to submit photos of their favourite activity via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Despite a lack of prize incentive, the activity has been successful so far, with thousands of photos submitted and the use of #MyMoves prevalent beyond the aforementioned networks.
VNG launches microblogging platform in Vietnam
The creators of Vietnamese chat app, Zalo, have recently launched microblogging platform Zing.vn. This news comes shortly after the company announced reaching 1 million users on their chat app last month. VNG also created the local social network Zing Me, which is reported to have about 12 million users. Zing.vn puts a heavy emphasis on hashtags, mirroring the traits of other well-known microblogging platforms such as Twitter and Sina Weibo. With a chat app, a social network and the launch of Zing.vn, VNG seems to complete a social trifecta of sorts in the Vietnamese market.
Finland-based chat app Jongla expands in Asia
Asian chat apps have continued to dominate in mobile apps this year, particularly in the APAC region. Foreign chat apps have also come into the chat app scene in Asia, and are seeing significant levels of success in the local markets. TechInAsia reports that Finland-based chat app, Jongla, has recently moved into Asian markets with an eye to increase their reach across the region. Although Jongla’s users are marginal compared to reigning giants such as WeChat, it is noted that they have seen increasing user bases in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia.
China’s QQ launches as a Facebook app
QQ messenger is the top social network in China. With almost 800 million users, it seems likely to reach a billion-user milestone–an achievement that Facebook reached only late last year. TechInAsia reports that, to this end, QQ has launched as a Facebook app with an eye to increase their user base further across the globe.
Smartphone users check Facebook 14 times a day
Are you a Facebook addict? Unless you check it more than 14 times a day on your smartphone, you actually fall below the daily average – no wonder Facebook is the third most popular app on smartphones! Channels of communication are now a constant in our lives which explains the fact that 79 per cent of smartphone users check their devices within 15 minutes of waking up – 62 per cent don’t even wait 15 minutes in the morning, and grab their phones immediately. The world’s addiction to Facebook is growing with almost half of Facebook users checking on updates while out and about – we’re even checking in at the gym, whilst cooking and at the cinema…
Facebook is still the dominant social media network in the UK
The latest Ipsos Mori quarterly tech tracker report showed that “50% of British adults access social networks”, with over half of them using smartphones to do so. Nearly 50% have used Facebook in the last three months, compared to 16% using Twitter, and perhaps surprisingly, 17% using Google+.
Online video accounts for 5% of all UK Internet usage
The UK population “made over a billion visits to video sites last month”, accounting for 5% of the UK’s internet usage. In February 2013 the UK spent 323 million hours watching online video content, that’s 100 million more hours than in February 2012. This makes it one of the few sectors that people are increasingly spending time on per visit. The average visit time online has decreased by 20% year-on-year, yet online video average visit time has increased by just over 3 minutes.
Hashtags have changed the way people communicate
“Hashtags have become one of the most ubiquitous symbols used in social sharing” by brands and consumers. Research conducted by RadiumOne into mobile hashtag usage revealed a large number of consumers now utilise hashtags via mobile devices. In fact “58% of respondents from the survey utilize hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices.”
Twitter’s ad revenue to near $1 billion in 2014
It has been forecast by eMarketer that Twitter will earn $582.8 million in global ad revenue in 2013, with roughly 53% of that projected to come from mobile advertising. Over the next 24 months Twitter should expect to see advertising on mobile devices grow a great deal more, increasing Twitter’s ad revenue to $1 billion in 2014. This “comes as advertisers have shown more interest in spending money on mobile advertisements on Twitter.”
Details about Facebook Home for Android leaked
Facebook are due to make announcements this Thursday about their new offering for Android, however aspects of this have been leaked ahead of time. It is believed that Facebook will release a modified version of the Android operating system, a new product called ‘Facebook Home’, “software that any Android device can run to give users a more socially integrated homescreen experience.” The updated version is thought to include features from News Feed and Messenger and will be running on “a new device by Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC”.
Advertisers can now create ‘unpublished posts’ on Facebook
Facebook has now given advertisers the option to create unpublished posts which can then be supported with specifically targeted ads and will not appear in fans News Feeds organically. Due to the nature of the News Feed this has not been possible until now as previously a page was required to create posts that would be visible to fans. “Unpublished posts that run as page post ads in News Feed will now enable advertisers to show users more relevant content[...] taking a message that matters to the people it’s relevant to in the most engaging place on Facebook.” In tests, AdParlor found that unpublished post ads had initial success, with 0.87% clickthrough rate compared to “organic post ads with a CTR of 0.30 percent.”
Facebook Exchange ads in desktop News Feed
Facebook have made changes to the way their Facebook Exchange partners can advertise on the site, “by letting advertisers serve ads directly in users’ main News Feed.” The ads will look like normal sponsored newsfeed stories rather than display ads, allowing “users to Like, Share or Comment on an ad, whereas previously users could only click on the ad and be taken to a third-party site.” The placement of Facebook Exchange ads in the News Feed will allow advertisers to behaviourally target huge numbers of users using a ‘native’ format.
Embed your Vine posts on the web
It is now possible to embed Vine posts on the web through a post’s page on vine.co, or using the mobile app. You’ll not only be able to share your own posts but others as well, as long as its already been shared outside of Vine.co.
Tumblr hits the 100 million blogs mark
Tumblr, last week crossed over the 100 million blogs threshold, with 44.6 billion individual posts! The online platform has grown significantly in the last year, with roughly 50 million blogs being created since last April, and 6 million of those being created in the last month.
LinkedIn search is getting smarter
Gone are the days of searching for people, groups, companies and jobs separately, now “all you need to do is type what you’re looking for into the search box and you’ll see a comprehensive page of results that pulls content from all across LinkedIn.” All searches will be customised to your personal profile, so no two searches will produce the same results. The smarter search will be available to members today and to global members in the coming weeks.
Google+ gets a refresh for Android and iPhone
Google+ functionalities that have been available on desktop have now been rolled out for mobile. The Google+ app has been updated to include basic image editing tools using Snapseed’s technology, e.g. crop, rotate, change contrast, saturation, brightness and filters. The view of posts has been updated to include more text as well as single tap links to photos and videos, enabling users to read more content in a shorted period of time. A really nice addition is the ability to swipe through an entire photo album inline, without having to head over to a separate album page. Additionally, the +1, share and comment buttons are more prominent.
Amazon has acquired Goodreads in a bid to further socialise itself
Between the two platforms, Amazon and Goodreads have changed the way authors reach their audiences and readers choose books. It is thought that through last week’s acquisition of Goodreads, the world’s largest community for book recommendations, Amazon will develop its ability” to share users lists, e.g. “want to read”, improving book recommendation sharing and other such areas.
AT&T owned March Madness Twitter activity
It could be said that AT&T are this year owning March Madness, the US college basketball frenzy, as part of a sponsorship deal with the NCAA and Turner Broadcasting. AT&T have “continuously bought ads for tweets going out from @MarchMadness, NCAA’s handle.” The social media team worked towards providing “behind-the-scenes content so people from their living rooms on their couches can be a part of the on-site game experience.” A Twitter based programme was implemented incorporating key moment tweets from the @MarchMadness handle which were then pushed out at Promoted Tweets by AT&T and AT&T’s Promoted Trend ads which linked to television viewing. The Promoted Trend rather than just Promoted Tweets really helped AT&T rise above the other noise.
Buick uses Pinterest to design its 2013 Encore luxury car
Buick have designed its 2013 Encore luxury car based on a Pinterest board chosen from its ‘Pinterest to Dashboard’ campaign entries. The winner, Michael Wurm Jr., was picked as the inspiration for new color palates, textures and design features for the car. Using the boards, three designers “pulled key elements from his boards that they thought were interesting[...] and came up with their own interpretations of the boards, and expanded on it based on mood, a theme and an environment. Buick wanted to “connect with a younger audience and show a different, more playful side of the brand.”
We Are Social launches adidas: Join Team Messi
The We Are Social London office worked alongside adidas and Media Monks to launch a new personalised social experience, Join Team Messi last week, giving Messi fans the chance to join his team.
The online experience use Facebook data to place fans in a personalised short film alongside the Argentine icon, with the user controlling how play evolves, and at the end are given a trailer of their experience, personalised to the user to share with friends.
BrewDog to launch its first Twitter beer
In a bid to slake the thirst of tweeters, BrewDog will be designing the ‘first democratically designed beer‘ and all major decisions will be handed over to social media users. Votes determining all elements of #Mashtag brew will be cast via Twitter, Facebook and the BrewDog blog, with BrewDog “giving up the important brewing decisions to fans, customers and any who wants to learn more about the craft beer process.”
Red Bull Editions launched by We Are Social
Last week We Are Social launched a campaign around Red Bull’s three new flavours, creating a collaborative art project to bring to life the colours of the three Editions through the lens of Instagram. Red Bull fans are encouraged to share photos on Instagram with the hashtags #rededitionplease, #silvereditionplease and #blueeditionplease, and include @redbulluk to enter. If the users Instagram makes it into the Red Bull gallery they could, qualify for a can of Red Bull Editions, or even have their Instagram showcased in cities across the UK. The campaign is going swimmingly so far, but don’t miss out on the chance to be part of it.
Doritos use Vine to get creative
Doritos used vine to share clips of the Mariachi band from their current campaign asking their community to guess the name of the song to win Easter prizes. It was a really innovative way of using the platform. Bravo Doritos!
— Doritos (@doritosuk) March 26, 2013
The first film to be previewed on Vine
Six days before the official trailer was released, a ‘tweaser’ of the new Wolverine movie was shared on Vine by the film’s director, James Mangold. This is a huge win for the app in terms of placing itself as a player in the social media ring.
The tweaser. vine.co/v/bDExaiMjJ1F
— James Mangold (@mang0ld) March 25, 2013
Thailand’s Chang takes water orders through WeChat
Chang, Thailand’s largest beverage producer that’s best known for its beer, started an official account on WeChat last week. Calling themselves “WeChang”, followers are greeted with a welcome message that provides instructions on how to use the chat app to order drinking water for home delivery. In addition to offering a quick access to customer service representatives via WeChat, WeChang also allows customers to download a set of cute Chang stickers like the ones below. The chat app is currently also used to provide China Merchant Bank’s followers access to their bank balances in China. This might herald the future for consumer conveniences such as ordering home deliveries for food or groceries.
WeChat’s BlackBerry app gets ‘look around’ feature
Months after the launch of its BlackBerry app, WeChat has released an update that allows users to ‘look around‘ for people to chat or flirt with. The update also includes other popular features such as allowing users to add friends by scanning QR codes and downloading animated sticker packs. The recent rollout brings the BlackBerry version pretty close to the chat app’s current form on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone platforms with the notable exclusion of video or voice calling. Tencent has indicated that the latter features will be made available in the WeChat for BB10 app, that is currently under development. In the meantime, Indonesian users seeking a specialized location-based flirting app can try Qute, a Tencent app that’s created just for the Indonesian market.
6 Chinese social networks observe Earth Hour
Last Saturday, people around the world switched their lights off for an hour from 8.30pm local time to observe “Earth Hour”, a movement to remind the world not to waste vital resources. 6 Chinese social media sites, Renren, Youku, QQ, Ushi, 139 and Kaixin, pledged to turn the lights off on their sites. Users were able to view their pages via a virtual light that followed their cursor. Although technically, most gadgets will not consume less power with darkened pages, the move was intended to raise awareness of the difference that the world can make with changes to their energy consumption habits.
Tencent lays out monetization plans for WeChat
Tencent, the maker of popular chat app, WeChat, will be rolling out a suite of services intended to build revenue streams that will help them monetize the app. The app will offer online-to-offline e-commerce capabilities, value-added services and games. WeChat member card holders can enjoy discounts for following specific merchants and daily deals on the official WeiTuanGou account. WeChat users will soon be able to buy special stickers and emoticons which may be sold as bundles through subscription. Gamers will also be able to play social games via WeChat in the near future.
Tribehired, Malaysian social recruitment site gets seed investment
Malaysian startup social networking-based jobs site, Tribehired, has secured a US$ 560K (about S$ 696K) seed investment from Singapore’s TNF Ventures. The funds will be applied towards expanding the team and expanding its job seeker and employer base as the company moves towards launching its services globally. The premise is simple: Using Facebook as a working platform, people are incentivized to recommend vacancies to friends while virtual resumes can be created for users of the service. The service has already attracted quite a few companies including Rocket Internet-funded e-commerce firms such as Lazada and Zalora.
YouTube hit the 1 billion a month unique users mark
Online video giant YouTube put their success into context for us last Wednesday, announcing their achievement of 1 billion unique users per month. This means “almost half of the people on the Internet visit the online site each month”. Looking specifically at Generation C (18-34 year olds), YouTube stated that this “demographic spend 74% more time watching YouTube on their smartphones now than they were last year”.
Facebook cover photo policy has been changed
The rule against page cover photos featuring a call to action, contact information, references to price or purchase information has been updated. Page owners now have more flexibility in terms of what they can include in their cover photo, however the no more than 20% text overlay rule still applies. The rule for cover photos and ad images are now consistent, “this is important as cover photos are beginning to be included in both organic and sponsored page-Like stories in News Feeds”.
Facebook to roll out its new commenting system
Facebook have been testing its new commenting system since November 2012, it “includes threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first”. The new updates will be available on an opt-in basis for all pages with more than 10,000 fans. Some of the key features of the new comments are the “option to reply to a specific comment and a ranking system that takes into account positive and negative signals, and connections”. Facebook are hoping the update will improve conversation management, enhancing the fans experience and public figure profiles.
Facebook to introduce Lookalike Audiences globally
Last week Facebook rolled out Lookalike Audiences to Power Editor accounts, this is a tool which helps advertisers target similar users “to those in their Custom Audience database”. Facebook reported that Lookalike Audiences have decreased cost per action and an online retailer experienced “lower costs per checkout when the Lookalike Audience feature was in limited beta”. To create Lookalike Audiences a list of first-party data must be uploaded, such as, email, phone number or user ID to create a Custom Audience. Facebook then uses algorithms to analyse the Custom Audience and produces a Lookalike Audience based on demographics, interests and what people are talking about.
iPhone users make calls using Facebook Messenger for free
Following on from its successful launch in the US and Canada, it is now possible for iPhone users in the UK to make calls to other Facebook Messenger users for free. You simply open the Facebook Messenger app, select the person you want to call and hit the ‘I’ button.
Happy 7th Birthday Twitter
Last week Twitter celebrated its 7th birthday - In the last seven years the social network has gained more than 200 million active users who create over 400 million Tweets each day. Twitter is now considered by most to be the go platform for the “lastest news, to exchange ideas and connect with people all in real time”. To celebrate this milestone, Twitter have made a video celebrating some of the many moments on Twitter so far, and a few of the UK’s best known Twitter personalities have been shouting about why they love Twitter so much.
Britney Spears is first to reach 6 million followers on Google+
Britney Spears has had the highest number of followers on Google+ since November 2011, and is now the first person to reach 6 million followers. According to Starcount, Lady Gaga is hot on her heels with a mere 100,000 followers seperating them.
Puma are paying for UGC
German sports giant, Puma, announced they’re trialing iPhone app, Foap. The new app allows users to upload photos to the platform and sell them to brands. Puma has asked Foap users to take photos in response to ‘Missions’ for its ‘Nature of Performance’ global campaign, the UGC purchased will promote the campaign across all social media channels. The ability to “create a library of content and achieve further engagement by getting users to rate the images” in Foap is one of the reasons Puma decided to use this platform.
Friendly Twitter war between Kit Kat and Oreo
A friendly Twitter war can be fun and exciting for the brand and their followers, and this is no exception:
A Twitter user tweets her two favourite chocolate brands…
@KITKAT respond with a game of noughts and crosses…
To which @oreo responded very cleverly…
Oreo triumphed over KitKat on this occasion, we’re look forward to the next round!
Capital One get savvy about social for March Madness
Financial giant, Capital One, have recruited retired ball player Charles Barkley as a spokesperson during March Madness 2013 and they’re hoping he’s going to jump on the Twitter bandwagon very soon, and understandably so as tweeting has become an important part of spokesperson deals. In the meantime they have a social media plan to see them through March Madness, cashing in on real time marketing opportunities with a newsroom-styled social media team responding to tweets whilst watching the games. Capital One understand that being part of the conversation is integral to online success, but have also invested in promoted Tweets, Facebook ads, YouTube promos, and general displays across the Internet to ensure all bases are covered during March Madness.
Press regulation to affect all forms of media
Bloggers could be facing libel fines under the new UK Leveson deal with exemplary damages imposed if they don’t sign up to the new regulator. The updated definition of a ‘relevant’ blogger or website under Clause 29 “includes any that generate news material where there is an editorial structure giving someone control over publication”. Many see this is a negative move for a country that has had a “free press for the last 300 years”, it could impact online news sites as well as small publications and local newspapers. It has been said that the new rules are there to protect small-scale bloggers and publications and to ensure publications like Hello! magazine would be subject to regulation but a small voluntary blog would be exempt.
The UK’s 2013 Budget in terms of social
We Are Social’s London analyst Ed Kitchingman gave us the low down on social figures during the UK 2013 budget announcements last week, and what a difference twelve months made. The 2012 budget received 138,500 tweets total, whereas the 2013 budget received 258,000, tweets in the first day. The sentiment of tweets however was overwhelmingly negative, but mainly in relation to the Chancellor himself and not the policies. #budget2013 was the top hashtag used on the day, it was tweeted 125,102 times. Here’s a look at the top 10 hashtags used throughout the budget announcement and immediately after in order of popularity:
The tweet that cost £14,268
UK parliament member Fiona MacTaggart underestimated the power of social media when she vowed to donate £1 for every retweet she received. Within the 35 minute timeframe Fiona set she received 14,268 retweets on Red Nose Day 2013. Fiona certainly wasn’t expecting the reaction she received but will live up to her word and intends to donate the full £14,268 to Comic Relief.
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.