Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Google+’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #120

by Melissa Law in News

Weibo chooses NASDAQ, sets price range for IPO
Chinese microblogging platform Weibo has chosen to go public on NASDAQ with the ticker symbol NASDAQ:WB. The social network has also set its IPO price range between US$17 and US$19 per share, which will raise up to US$437 million for the company.

HootSuite adds features for Chinese microblogging apps
Since adding Weibo and Tencent Weibo to its list of apps in 2012 and 2013, social media management platform HootSuite has now relaunched these apps with added functions and features. These updated apps now allows users to schedule posts and are available in simplified and traditional Chinese. Other added features include managing scheduled posts, news ways to organise users they follow, emoticons and hashtags, as well as the ability to share content from the two microblogging sites onto other social networks.

China’s top 10 social sharing platforms in 2013
According to iiMedia Research, WeChat friends, WeChat Moment and Weibo were China’s top 3 mobile sharing platforms in 2013. The proportion of these top 3 platforms added to a total of 60%, while Facebook only took up 1%. The top social sharing app types in the nation included book & reading apps, news apps, mobile social and e-commerce.

Employees in Asia are strong social media activists
A study conducted by Weber Shandwick across 8 markets in Asia Pacific reveals that employees are becoming increasingly important advocates for companies. The study found that 45% of the 1,075 employees surveyed have shared praise or positive comments online about their employers on social media, while 54% have also defended their employer from criticism.

Employee activism

Facebook dominating social on mobile
The average US smartphone user spends 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their mobile device. Of that time, 28% is taken up by social apps, up from 24% in the previous year. Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns) accounted for most of that – 17% of all smartphone hours went to one of the two social networks.

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Social and email are equal for conversation volume
The latest IPA TouchPoints5 data has been released, concluding that we now have as many conversations through social media as via email; 12% of all daily conversations occur through each medium. The research also found that 49% of all adults use mobile phones for activities other than texting or talking, doing so on average for 1 hour 30 minutes per day. Unsurprisingly, younger users were more mobile: 78% of 18-24s use their phone for activities other than texting/talking; they do so for an average of 1 hour 52 minutes a day.

YouTube drives the best quality web traffic
YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn drive the richest traffic on the web, with Reddit and Stumbleupon at the other end of the spectrum. YouTube, in first place, produced an average of 227.82 seconds spent on the site, 2.99 pages per visit and a relatively low bounce rate of 43.19%.

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Twitter looks to expand TV links through acquisitions
Twitter has made two acquisitions that should help expand its relationship with television in Europe: France’s Mesagraph and the UK’s SecondSync. The former works with the likes of Canal+, France Télévisions, M6 and TF1, some of France’s biggest TV channels, while the latter has used its social analytics tools to show the value of Twitter for clients in broadcasting and advertising.

Vine adds private messaging capability
Vine has introduced private messaging, allowing users to share videos and text with one another, away from the view of the public eye.


The cost of Instagram ads
Instagram ads are being touted at a premium price tag, according to an article in AdAge last week. Discussions with several ad execs found that a month’s worth of advertising on the network could cost anywhere between $350k and $1m.

Time to look again at Google+
There have been a couple of pieces in the last week that suggest marketers should look again at Google+. First of all, a Forrester blog post revealed that, in a survey of 60,000 US adults, 22% claimed to use G+ at least once per month, the same percentage as Twitter. Also, in terms of engagement per follower, Google+ far outdoes Twitter, and is closer to Facebook, as you can see here:

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We Are Social’s Cristina Forlani also argued in favour of the network. She pointed out its value as an analytics tool and looked to rebut unhelpful comparisons with Facebook. She also mentioned the huge SEO benefits of a platform linked to the world’s most popular search engine.

YouTube pushing stars with TV adverts
YouTube is planning a TV ad campaign to promote some of its biggest stars, after agencies requested a further push to merit their clients’ ad spend. The adverts will feature three YouTube celebrities with over one million subscribers each: make-up artist Michelle Phan, beauty/fashion vlogger Bethany Mota and baker Rosanna Pansino. The below ads will be seen on New York Subway trains.


Line surpasses 400 million users
Line, the Japanese messaging app, has surpassed 400 million users, meaning that it’s added 100 million in roughly five months, as shown in the graph below. Not only that, but these new users seem to really be taking to the service; on 21st March, over 10bn messages were sent in a single day.

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WhatsApp processes 64bn messages in one day
If you thought Line’s 10bn messages were impressive, WhatsApp can do even better, processing 64bn messages in one day. The figure accounts for 20bn messages sent and 44bn received; the disparity in the figures occurring as a result of group messaging.

Skype growing among millennials
Skype now has 300 million users and is experiencing strong growth among younger demographics, according to the company’s advertising General Manager Lovina McMurchy, who claimed that the platform now reaches 24% of 18-24 year olds worldwide. She said:

While other companies have seen interactions with younger users decline, Skype has seen positive growth numbers in recent years.

Imgur receives $40m in funding
Tech venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested $40m in Imgur. The image sharing platform has traditionally rejected all outside funding while waiting for the ‘right fit’, as CEO and founder Alan Schaaf discussed.

We got along right off the bat. We were actually bouncing off interesting ideas in where to take the product. They actually made sense, which was out of left field.

adidas promotes World Cup with brazuca
adidas is promoting its World Cup sponsorship by creating online content from the point of view of the official competition ball, named brazuca. The product has its own blog and Twitter pages, while a set of video clips will look to produce a ‘ball’s eye view’ of the competition and involve some of football’s biggest names, including Xavi, Manuel Neuer and Dani Alves.

adidas offers free cleats to one US football team
Another adidas promotion in the last week will offer free American football cleats to one US high school team. The sportswear brand hopes that the teams will naturally spread the word about the competition by asking friends to vote, as it’s only other high school footballers who can do so. To ensure that this remains the case, the brand is using Chirpify, which will automatically respond to anybody using the hashtags #adizero and #vote, asking them to provide information that can prove their identity.

Zappos offers style advice through Instagram
Zappos, an online fashion retailer, is offering free style advice through Instagram. When someone posts a selfie with the hashtag #NextOOTD, a ‘professional image specialist’ will analyse their posting history and suggest a Zappos product that might suit.

Marc by Marc Jacobs seeks ad stars in social
Marc by Marc Jacobs is searching for the star of its latest advert on Twitter and Instagram. You can enter simply by posting a picture alongside the hashtag #CastMeMarc, as in the below examples.

The ‘Breakfast Wars’ go viral
If you’ve been reading the last few mashups, you’ll remember that Taco Bell has been promoting its breakfast menu pretty fervently. The latest addition to the campaign is a set of ads that poke fun at McDonald’s, in which real life Ronald McDonalds give rave reviews of the Taco Bell product. The main video has received over two million views on YouTube.

McDonald’s were quick to respond, though. The below Facebook post, at time of writing, has received over 8,000 likes and almost 2,000 shares.

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KFC uses social celebrity endorsement in China
Fast food chain KFC is struggling in China, with sales falling 13% from 2012 to 2013. To address this, the brand has recruited five major celebrities, each of whom will represent a new menu offering in social and compete with one another for likes. Celebrity endorsement has long since been a staple of Chinese marketing – it will be interesting to see how this social version works out.

Presidential selfie was a publicity stunt by Samsung
A recent selfie with Barack Obama, posted by David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, was a planned publicity stunt by Samsung. The brand equipped its brand ambassador, known as Big Papi, with a Samsung phone, hoping that the opportunity might present itself, as it did.

However, the White House was unhappy with the above tweet, stating that it objected to the president’s image being used for commercial gain. Ortiz has since denied that he was paid for the photograph.

Cole Haan gets in trouble with the FTC
Footwear brand Cole Haan, has got itself in trouble with the FTC after a Pinterest competition that asked users to post pictures of their favourite shoes with the hashtag #WanderingSole. According to the FTC, the competition hashtag was not sufficient disclosure, though it’s worth noting that the brand received a letter and not an enforcement action.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #113

by Melissa Law in News

LinkedIn launches Chinese-language site
LinkedIn pursues Chinese users more aggressively through a localised version of its site and a joint venture with Sequoia China and CBC Capital. The Chinese version of the professional networking site, branded “领英”, also includes integration with popular local social networking sites, Sina Weibo and Tencent WeChat.


Indonesian Idol rakes in money through Twitter votes
Indonesian Idol, the Indonesian version of popular singing talent show American Idol, has implemented a voting system called Twitter Vote which charges users money for each vote they cast. Fans are charged IDR 2,000 (S$0.22) for every vote cast through the hashtag #Vote(idolname) while mentioning @IndonesianIdol. Fans can also use #Supervote(idolname) to give 20 votes to their favourite idol in a single tweet and can pay using credit card, bank transfer, Doku Wallet or from convenience store chain Alfamart.


Sina Weibo reportedly planning an IPO
According to a report by the Financial Times, Chinese microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, is looking to raise approximately $500 million through a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has also reportedly hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs for the IPO, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of the year. The site may be valued up to $7-$8 billion and is set to be one of the biggest deals from China this year.

KakaoTalk to launch cash gifting feature
Sirgoo Lee, the co-CEO of KakaoTalk announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that his company is working on allowing “modest amounts” of money to be sent through its messaging service, although it is unclear if this feature will be available outside of South Korea. Japan’s Line and China’s WeChat have recently integrated similar financial services into their messaging apps, with five million users participating in WeChat’s Chinese New Year money gifting scheme.

Facebook’s ROI has been underestimated
A study by seven large packaged-goods companies, in partnership with Facebook, Google and Nielsen, has found that marketing-mix models tend to underestimate Facebook ads’ return on investment by up to 48%. By measuring impressions instead of clicks, the ROI of Facebook ads increased by up to 75%.

Facebook buys WhatsApp
Facebook last week announced its acquisition of messenger service WhatsApp for $16bn, or $36 per monthly active user. The Guardian produced a profile of the deal, including the history of WhatsApp, which examines the pros and cons for Facebook. Benefits include the potential for reaching younger users and those in emerging markets. The move comes after rapid growth on WhatsApp; here’s how its user base compares with other big names within the same time period:

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Buzzfeed shares on WhatsApp
Last week, Quartz reported that Buzzfeed articles were being shared more frequently on WhatsApp than on Twitter by iOS users, leading to the consideration that publishers may need a WhatsApp strategy. A riposte by Nieman Journalism Lab claimed the figures were skewed; they showed the number of times a user clicked on the ‘share’ button for each platform at the bottom of a Buzzfeed article, not the actual number of impressions. Digiday discussed whether or not publishers should devise a WhatsApp strategy; the piece argues that, while the platform is undoubtedly huge in terms of its user base, it may be a while until it is considered a place to share news.

Changes to Facebook ad targeting
Facebook has updated the way in which advertisers can target different audiences on the platform. First of all, it’s good news for business-to-business marketers (but bad for LinkedIn) as users can now be targeted based on job title. That isn’t all, though; other options include location, demographic, interest and offsite behaviour.

Facebook ad spend focussed on Europe and North America
Facebook’s ad spend is primarily concentrated in North America and Western Europe, despite huge user bases across the world. North America accounts for 52% of global ad spend for just 15% of users, while Western Europe gets 35% for a 14% share of users. The map below shows the potential for growth in other markets, though it’s worth remembering that the average value of each consumer will vary by region.

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Twitter’s Marketing Platform Program
Twitter has expanded its Ads API and is now calling it the Marketing Platform Program. The set of partners is intended to increase ROI on Twitter ads and, according to the network, includes all “Ads API partners as well as those in measurement and targeting”.

LinkedIn publishing platform for all
LinkedIn has for some time allowed a network of certain ‘influencers’ to post long-form blogs on the site. It is now opening the publishing platform to all users in a staged move over the next couple of months.


Tide’s Winter Olympic Vines
After the success of using Vine in a Halloween campaign last year, Tide has produced ten more Vine videos around the Winter Olympics. Two examples, with different levels of success, can be seen below.

Coke’s World Cup Moments of Happiness
Coca-Cola has launched a ‘Moments of Happiness’ campaign for the upcoming World Cup, in which it asks filmmakers to submit video clips around happiness, for the chance to appear in the video for their World Cup ‘anthem’, entitled ‘The World is Ours’. At least 20 winners will appear in the video, while three will be selected to receive $1,000 each.

The Brit Awards and social media
Despite their lowest TV ratings for 15 years, the Brit Awards were a huge success on Twitter, with over 4.17 million tweets. Roughly 2 million of these were votes for the ‘best video’ award, won (shock horror!) by One Direction and their Twitter army. Naturally, brands wanted to get a slice of the action, and it was the first time that British brands made use of Twitter’s Amplify platform.

Twitter users could get exclusive video content through Amplify, with pre-roll ads for Brits sponsor, the haircare brand, VO5. Another sponsor of the event, Mastercard, was not so successful in its social media offering, when news that it had requested specific tweets from journalists in exchange for accreditation went viral. Bookmakers Paddy Power were quick to react on Twitter.

Pepsi Max using Vines for billboard ads
Pepsi Max is putting Vines on UK billboards, under the hasthtag #LiveForNow. The billboards, which have already been taken over, currently ask people to submit their ‘unbelievable Vines’, which will then be filtered and shown on screen.

KLM partners with Facebook and Twitter for social commerce
The Dutch airline, KLM, announced a partnership with Facebook and Twitter that will allow customers to purchase tickets through the networks. As well as the obvious ease for consumers, this blog post highlights the principal benefits for the brand.

Burberry partners with WeChat
Burberry is looking to grow its Chinese consumer base by partnering with Chinese messenger app, WeChat. Burberry followers will be able to view the brand’s Fashion Week AW14 Womenswear show and personalise digital versions of the collection, in order to unlock exclusive audio content from a senior member of the Burberry design team.

Create your own Instagram adventure
Macmillan Publishers is using Instagram to promote a new book for teenagers. Making use of the ‘tagging’ feature, users can follow a ‘Create Your Own’ adventure, with each click directing the participant to a different account to continue the story. An example is seen below – do you fight back or keep still?


Creme Egg’s Google+ bake off
Cadbury’s Creme Egg is using Google+ to discover new recipes. Hosted by Eric Lanlard, the mastermind behind Creme Egg brownies, the #CremeEggBake asks users to submit their own crazy ideas, with Lanlard set to bake his favourites in a live hangout on the network.

Google and Saatchi Gallery’s Motion Photography Prize
Google+ has partnered with the Saatchi Gallery to produce a gif-making competition, dubbed the ‘Motion Photography Prize’. Users can submit their creations to a panel including director Baz Luhrmann and artist Tracey Emin, with the winner’s work set to appear in the gallery.

#UseMeLeaveMe at SXSW
Those attending this year’s SXSW in Texas may be able to make use of free transport and accomodation. Adobe’s #UseMeLeaveMe campaign includes a free biking programme, in which the vehicles have their own personalities and are capable of posting to Twitter while you use them. There is also a ‘Buds for Beds’ competition, which encourages attendees to explain why they are the ‘deservingest of the deserving’ (sic), for the chance of winning free accomodation at the event.


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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #103

by Farah Sidek in News

Social media aiding in Typhoon Haiyan aftermath

In the wake of the disastrous Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, social media and online mapping tools have been useful in disaster response efforts. For example, the Standby Task Force, a volunteer organisation, has tapped more than one million tweets, text messages and other social media objects to track the unfolding disaster, and to map damage, infrastructure and user needs. Apps are available to enable volunteers to tag tweets or photos to indicate infrastructure damage or population displacements. Filipinos in Manila have also been using social media to rally relief efforts. These social media efforts are in some ways emblematic of the country’s population, just over half of whom are under 25.


WeChat the fasting growing app among teens

We may have read how Facebook is losing out on the teenage audience as baby boomers (their parents) join the platform. A study by Global Web Index suggests that teens are going to other platforms – revealing that Chinese messaging app WeChat is the fastest growing social app used by youths worldwide, followed by Vine and Flickr.


India’s answer to Snapchat: Candidly

Amidst the massively growing popularity of instant messaging apps, an Indian start-up has created an app Candidly, with similar features to Snapchat. Candidly lets users share photos, doodle on them, and send voice messages or brief video clips. There are options allowing the shared content to self-destruct after 10 seconds. Aside from Snapchat, Candidly is up against more conventional messaging apps that are popular in India, such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Line, Nimbuzz, and Viber.


Worldwide social users reach 1.61 billion
According to eMarketer, there are now 1.61 billion monthly users of social networks worldwide – up 14.2% from 2012. This is set to increase to 2.33 billion by 2017, though growth will gradually slow to 7.6%. The highest penetration still exists in the West, with 63.5% in the Netherlands, but the highest growth is in India, with 37.4%.

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Facebook trials autoplay videos
Facebook has been trialling new ways to display video in the newsfeed, with ‘autoplay’ features limited to native Facebook videos – other clips, from the likes of YouTube and Vimeo, will still appear as a thumbnail with a play button. Those selected for autoplay will do so when a user scrolls over them – if clicked, they will then expand and unmute.

Facebook simplifies scheduling, allows drag and drop photos for pages
Facebook has introduced two features to make life easier for page admins. First of all, post scheduling has been simplified, with a calendar appearing when the user needs to select a date, along with easier time selection. Additionally, admins can now add photos using the ‘drag and drop’ system already available to other Facebook users.

Instagram launches for Windows Phone, experiments with messaging
Instagram has launched a beta version of its app for Windows Phone – which can take photos, contrary to certain reports. You’ll need to use your native camera app, rather than the Instagram app itself, but it can be done. The app is still lacking video, however. This comes amidst news that the network is planning to expand its offering by introducing private messaging and even experimenting with group messages.

Five countries account for half Twitter’s MAUs
Half of Twitter’s monthly active users come from just five countries – the USA, Japan, Indonesia, UK and Brazil. 24.3% come from the USA, followed by 9.3% in Japan and 6.5% in Indonesia. The UK and Brazil follow with 5.6% and 4.3% respectively.

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Twitter introduces TV conversation targeting
Twitter has introduced a new form of ad targeting, which allows brands to show ads to people tweeting about a particular programme. The system is available through Twitter’s self-serve ad tool, meaning it’s not limited to just big brands. The move seems to make sense, and the network produced two pieces of research last week to support it. One study showed that the cost per incremental acquisition is 36% lower for TV and Twitter advertising than in TV alone.

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Moreover, TV ads and Twitter paid media produce 8-16% more sales than TV advertising alone, according to analysis of 30 US Consumer Package Good brands.

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Vine adds 19 new languages
Vine is looking to expand into new markets with 19 additional languages. There’s Filipino and Polish for Android, while both Android and iOS receive (deep breath): Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai and Turkish. And exhale.

LinkedIn has two new features
LinkedIn has introduced two new features: Showcase Pages and Talent Updates. The former essentially allows brands to segment and display content for specific audiences in addition to their main brand pages. The latter is a recruitment tool; when brands share talent updates to their followers, these will appear in users’ feeds – those who engage can then be contacted by the company with a view to being hired.

Pinterest create ‘Place pins’
Pinterest has released a new feature: Place pins. These allow users to add a location to every item pinned, which allows for the production of maps that function as guides to cities or other locations. People have already started doing some interesting stuff with the feature, such as Time Out’s guide to Christmas in London or the below map of Hong Kong.


All go in the world of Snapchat
Snapchat is reportedly seeing more images uploaded each day than Facebook. The disposable photo-sharing app now sees 400 million ‘snaps’ a day, according to CEO Evan Spiegel, up from 350 million in September and 200 million in June – that in comparison to Facebook’s 350 million photos uploaded globally each day. Spiegel also revealed some demographic information on the network: 70% of its users are women. All this information could come in useful to those looking to invest, with chinese web giant Tencent rumoured to be interested; in fact, it has emerged in the last week that it has already got in there, as an unnamed minority participant in Snapchat’s last $60 million round of funding.

Foursquare opens ad space for brands without a location
Foursquare is welcoming advertising from brands without a location, with Mastercard set to become the first. The move sees the network look to expand its ad revenue and could well be successful, given the whole new realm of brands opened up to advertising on the platform.


Google updates Hangouts and iOS7 G+ app
Google has made some alterations to Hangouts, rendering them more suitable for the workplace. The feature now supports a global address list, as well as settings that allow privacy to be limited by country. Finally, there is 24/7 support available, just as with Google’s Talk product. Meanwhile, the new Google+ app for iOS7 has an interesting new feautre: the ability to upload Camera Roll photos and videos to the cloud, allowing the app to function as a cloud storage device.
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KLM’s socially-inspired in-flight gift service
Dutch airline KLM has created a gift service named Wannagives, which allows people to select and purchase in flight gifts online. Nick Botter, KLM social technology manager, has stated that the system was inspired by a huge number of requests via social media for something of its ilk.

Birds Eye allow consumers to trace their food’s origin
Food manufacturer Birds Eye has created a Facebook app that allows users to trace the origin of their frozen peas. Traceable packs will include a unique code that allows users to see where their peas came from, along with video content about the process from farm to freezer.
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Jaguar and We Are Social launch F-TYPE Coupé with #FromTheShadows
The new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé was unveiled last week in Los Angeles, with We Are Social providing a social media campaign to celebrate. In the build up to the event, a hidden code could be entered into the website to display exclusive content around the car; since its release, a Tumblr has been created to exploit the hashtag #FromTheShadows.

Lexus reveals two cars on Vine
Lexus has revealed two of its latest cars on Vine: the Lexus RC sports coupé and Lexus LF-NX turbo compact crossover SUV concept. After asking followers to tweet with the hashtag #LexusInTokyo, they chose two tweets to respond to with the images, becoming the first automotive brand to launch a model via Vine.

Pepsi Sweden get burnt by voodoo
Uh oh, Pepsi. When Sweden played Portugal last week for a place in the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo was highlighted as the latter’s danger man. As such, Pepsi Sweden created some posts showing a Ronaldo voodoo doll, which then had its head crushed by a can, amongst other things. There was an online backlash, particularly in (you guessed it) Portugal, with a Facebook page called Nunca mais vou beber Pepsi (never drink Pepsi again) receiving almost 200,000 likes. That’s all for this week, so I’ll leave you with one of the images that caused so much anger.


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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #101

by Ji Eun Kim in News

Line’s $194 million revenue, twice that of the previous quarter
According to report from TechInAsia, one of fastest growing messaging app Line recorded $194 million revenue for Q3 2013. This is a 48 percent increase from the previous quarter. The significant growth in revenue seems largely attributed by gaming which accounts for 60 percent of its’ revenue, followed by stickers which saw a 20 percent sales. Its’ gaming driven revenue model follows through its’ counterpart KakaoTalk which dominates the top 10 of Google Play’s chart in South Korea. With 280 million registered users worldwide, Line is expanding its ground beyond Japan and Taiwan and seeing growth in India, targeting to reach 20 million users by the end of the year. In addition, Turkey, Italy, and Latin America are becoming its’ new markets for expansion. In the competitive world of messaging apps, will Line continue to grow and maintain high profitability or will other chat apps come up with compelling offerings and convert Line’s users?


WhatsApp leads the chat app competition in India with 25 million MAU
According to report from Medianama, one of leading messaging apps WhatsApp reached 25 million monthly active users in India. This marks 25 percent increase as compared to three months ago. Although many other chat apps like Line try to garner share in the market with heavy advertising push, their number of registered users are not even close with WhatsApp’s number of monthly active users. It proves not only that WhatsApp is far ahead in the competition but the first-to-market advantage is not easy to break. However, it’s too early to conclude that WhatsApp will be the dominant force for chat apps given that smartphone adoption rates is still growing in the market.


Twitter, a critical communication tool for the devastating Typhoon Yolanda
Since Typhoon Yolanda hit Philippines on Friday, November 8, thousands of people have lost contact with their family. In a situation where communication lines are broke down, internet is playing a significant role in helping people connect, share information and collect aid. Google provides a crisis response map for people to find information on evacuation centers and hospitals nearby affected areas as well as a person finder to locate lost ones. As it did for other disasters, Twitter is also playing a part for  individual and organization to share information and call for helps. For example, Philippines government’s Twitter account @GovPH, has been actively tweeting to recruit volunteers. Moreover, #YolandaPH hashtag has been widely used to share information. People are also using #RescuePH to call for helps for themselves and their family.

YouTube outdoes Facebook as favourite site for teens
It’s not just messenger apps that are eating into the social habits of teens. A survey of over 4,000 teenagers aged 12-15 found that 50% of them called YouTube their favourite site, followed by 45.2% for Facebook. The story is different for those in their twenties, though: Facebook came top with 55%, followed by Amazon with 37.5%.

More Facebook likes may not increase fan sentiment
A fictional brand called Ashwood Furnishings may have provided some insight into consumer behaviour. A Facebook page was set up for the brand for the purpose of a study, which examined how viewers of the page felt about the brand, based solely on the number of likes. As fan figures increased from zero (low) to 2,000 (medium), page viewers felt more positive about the brand; however, this trailed off as the page approached a high figure (10,000+).

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New Facebook ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons
Facebook has updated its ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons. Look, look at them:

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Good, now you’ve seen them. You’ll see them even more over the coming weeks, as they start getting rolled out gradually.

Facebook testing star ratings for pages
Facebook is testing a star rating (out of five) for pages, which will allow users to rate their favourite (or least favourite) businesses and thus produce a more accurate rating system than the number of likes. Naturally, this has consequences for both users and brands – for whom it isn’t yet clear if the system will be optional or mandatory.

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Instagram is the fastest growing social network among marketers
Instagram’s uptake among marketers of the world’s 100 largest brands has rendered it the fastest growing social network amongst said group. Accounts are now held by 71% and active accounts by 65%, compared with 42% in the same quarter in 2012. Growth is also shown in the number of pages posting 1+ photo per week and those reaching the milestones of 10,000, 20,000 and 100,000 fans.

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Instagram CEO says 5% of ad views lead to likes
Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, has claimed that over 5% of ad views on the network lead to likes:

Over 5 per cent of the impression led to likes on these ads that we’ve run. That’s pretty tremendous considering most of the ads we see on the internet we ignore.

If the figures are true, his opinion is probably correct. However, figures from a Michael Kors post, the first ever advertised on Instagram, suggest that he may not be: according to analytics company Nitrogram, the update reached 6.15 million people and received over 218,000 likes – a like percentage of 3.57%.

Twitter’s redesign may have increased engagement
Twitter’s more visual redesign looks to have increased engagement across the network, according to some key sources. Klout’s head of marketing, Jon Dick, has said that:

Looking at some of our high-level volume numbers, we’ve seen as much as a 10% increase in engagement among Twitter users.

This is backed up by the founder of Twitter tracking service, Tim Haines, who says:

It looks like favs and RTs have jumped 10–15%-ish amongst my users.

It’s worth noting that these are, of course, very early figures and not necessarily illustrative of long-term change.

Google link YouTube comments to G+
Google has linked YouTube comments to Google+, in a move that has caused controversy among users of the network. The new comments allow certain social aspects, such as mentioning your G+ contacts in a YouTube comment and are explained further in the following video.

However, many people were hugely unhappy with the changes – not least YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, who posted the below, his first update for eight years. Eek.

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Google+ introduces ‘restricted communities’
Google+ has announced the launch of ‘restricted communities’, a feature that prevents users who are not members of a given organisation from joining. The system is aimed at allowing businesses to create private or invite-only communities, as an extra layer of security.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #94

by Haiyi Tang in News

Facebook as an important platform for Chinese business overseas
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently met with Cai Mingzhao, the director of China’s State Council and Internet Information Office (SCIO), on her Beijing visit. Access to the social networking platform has been blocked in China since July 2009, leading to speculation on how Facebook will position themselves in the market with the world’s largest population. Tech in Asia cites that a short missive from SCIO indicates that Sandberg was there to discuss the importance of Facebook as a platform for Chinese businesses to expand overseas.

Sina and Tencent are dominating the bigger picture of Chinese social media. Sina Weibo as the equivalent of Facebook in China has 5 million registered users, and 1.5 million Singapore users in August this year, as the result of their expansion in Asia. It seems to be a critical opportunity for Chinese companies to optimise both Facebook and Sina Weibo, in order to increase brand awareness and garner greater reach globally.

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Weishi – new Vine clone to integrate with WeChat
Tencent already launched its eight-second video-sharing platform to integrate with both Tencent weibo and Wechat. Many people questioned if Weishi (微视) will be the equivalent of Twitter’s Vine in China. The Youtube founders have already made a vine clone in China earlier this year, called Wanpai (玩拍), which can be used on Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Renren.

Tencent released the app in 2011, however, it mainly focused on video calls across platforms, which is supported in Tencent QQ applications. Tencent also indicated that Weishi will definitely be different from the previous version. As Wechat tends to lean towards social networking than being just a chat app, Weishi will probably introduce a new content-sharing function on Wechat Moments (which has a similar format as Facebook Timeline).

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Line competes with Wechat with new stickers offering
In a move to catch up with chat app giant Wechat’s popular stickers, Line launched their new fun Wandoujia’s stickers on Wandoujia app store to boost their user numbers and visibility. Wandoujia is an alternative app store in China to the Google Play store. As one of China’s top app stores, Wandoujia has hundreds of millions of Android phone users in China, adding 500,000 new users per day. Nevertheless, compared to Wechat’s 130 million downloads on Wandoujia, Line has only been downloaded 3 million times.

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Facebook tests autoplay videos
Facbeook has begun testing videos that play automatically in the newsfeed when a user scrolls past them. The system, which will be available to a small number of US Android users, does not include automatic audio; sound is enabled by clicking on the clip. It’s believed that the update is in preparation for the network’s new video ads, whose launch has recently been delayed from October, as we reported last week. However, according to AdAge, the ads will not follow the same format – they’ll still implement a click-to-play mechanism.


Facebook increases size of desktop and mobile ads
Facebook has increased the size of its page post link ads and page like ads in the newsfeed for both desktop and mobile. The changes, which look to make ads more visually engaging to users, and thus better for advertisers, can be seen below:


Twitter’s confidential IPO and overall changes
Twitter last week announced on their own network that they would be following in Facebook’s footsteps from 2012 and undergoing an IPO.


Interestingly, the offering will be confidential, unlike Facebook’s in May 2012, which has led to questions and comparisons between the two. Despite the initial dip in share prices when Facebook launched on the public market, it last week hit its highest ever share price of $45, with suggestions that Twitter has chosen this time to follow suit as a point for buyer confidence. There are, nonetheless, huge differences between the networks in size and scope and it will be interesting to see how the move pans out.

Meanwhile, there have been discussions about the potential future of Twitter as a platform going through changes as radical as those in its financial makeup. According to an article in the New Yorker, the microblogging network plans to further its transformation from a text-based service to a graphically intense one, with more immersive experiences based on individual platforms, particularly after the launch of Apple’s iOS7. Changes discussed include the removal of the ‘discover’ tab, with its format being applied more and more to the regular timeline, rendering it more similar to Facebook’s newsfeed. If these changes go ahead, it will mean that, in the coming years, Twitter will be a far cry from the network we know at the moment.

Google+ launches embeddable posts
Google+ has launched the ability for certain media outlets to embed posts, two months after Facebook did the same. The posts are available to the likes of Business Insider, Financial Times, TechCrunch and Elle and will be fully interactive, allowing users to +1, comment and follow a page from within the article. If they continue to follow Facebook’s lead, expect the functionality to be rolled out to all websites soon.

350 million Snapchat messages sent a day
Image-sharing network Snapchat now sees 350 million messages sent every day, up from 200 million in June. The network are also reportedly looking at how to monetise, with initial plans including in-app purchases, according to chief executive and founder Evan Spiegel. Spiegel has also admitted to speaking with Mark Zuckerberg, though the reasons behind their conversation are as yet unknown. Watch this space.

Social media and London/New York fashion weeks
As with any major event, London Fashion Week saw a great number of social media campaigns. Mulberry won the race to dominate online conversations, as their innovative teacup invitations helped them become the most talked-about #LFW brand, followed by Topshop Unique in second; the high street brand discussed backstreet preparations on Twitter and offered style appointments at its flagship Oxford Circus store. As for topics, 11% of posts talked about innovative invites and desire for a ticket to to shows, while 8% talked about competitions by designers.

Real-time social media campaigns were a feature of the week, as started by Tommy Hilfiger during its New York Fashion Week offering; the clothing brand received 200 million impressions on Twitter and Instagram after installing a 90 foot digital board behind the catwalk, featuring real-time social reaction to the collection. Topshop hadsomething similar for its #LFW show, a live Twitter gallery that displayed the various outfits before and during the event. Moreover, fans could ‘Customise the catwalk’ through an app that allowed them to change the colours of various clothes as they appeared.

It was not just clothes brands that got involved, though. Nivea asked fans to share their ‘Outfit of the Day’ using the hashtags #OOTD and #NIVEASOFT on Twitter or Instagram. They then shortlisted 15 finalists, who were subject to a public vote; the winner received a beauty consultation with expert Giles Deacon. With all this buzz, it’s little wonder that Pinterest created a social hub for the event, especially considering its highly visual nature. A number of key influencers, including Burberry, British Fashion Council, Mulberry, Selfridges and Ted Baker all created content specifically-designed for the application.

Specsavers and Penguin produce crowdsourced crime thriller
Eyewear brand Specsavers and publishers Penguin have teamed up to produce a crowdsourced crime thriller, by asking fans to submit a framework using the hashtag #youdunnit. Three stories will then be written up by novelists Alistair Gunn, Nicci French and Tim Weaver and released for free on ebook.

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Australians asked to post about citizenship on Instagram
The Australian government is asking its populace to celebrate Australian Citizenship Day by posting affirmations of citizenship on Instagram. A statement attributed to a government official said:

The citizenship affirmation is a way for Australians to publicly affirm their commitment and loyalty to this wonderful country. What we’re asking Aussies to do this Australian Citizenship Day is to create their own affirmation, starting with the words ‘As an Australian citizen, I affirm …’ and then explain a way they demonstrate what it means to be an Australian.

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