Here are all of the posts tagged ‘India’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #121

by Jolene Siow in News

CABCY video gets shorter as it’s shared
Singapore’s ‘Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth’ has created a social video with a real sharing incentive. The video, originally 100 seconds long, shows a child in distress. It gets shorter and shorter each time it is shared on Facebook, and is accompanied by the tagline ‘Share it to End it’.

Facebook passes 100m users in India
India is now Facebook’s second largest national market (after the US), as the network passed 100 million users there. It expects further rapid growth as it increases its mobile focus in a country where eight in 10 users are mobile.

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Yelp launches in Japan, its second market in Asia
Community-sourced restaurant review site Yelp has formally launched in Japan. This is its second entry into Asia, after Singapore in 2012, and the 26th country to receive Yelp. Opening in Japan comes with its own unique set of hurdles, such as the handling of the character set, as well as competing against popular review site Tabelog.

Yelp JapanJust 5% of users contribute to 90% of all Weibo posts
According to a study, Chinese microblogging platform Weibo was found to have a sizeable content gap between its users. Only 10 million users post original content, while the other two hundred million other users are made up of spam or empty accounts, or users who just repost others’ content. Reasons for the small percentage could be due to the large amount of spam accounts, or competitors such as WeChat  gaining popularity in China.

Xiaomi’s social media strategy drives fan loyalty
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has a fiercely loyal fanbase, and a lot of this lies in the way it engages its fans and customers with social media. Xiaomi uses social media in several ways – to drum up excitement about its flash sales, as well as engaging fans and customers in an informal and playful manner, much like how friends speak to each other. Its recent Mi Fan Festival saw 1.3 million handsets sold across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, raking in CNY1.5 billion (SGD302 million).

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Facebook and YouTube launch unique add-ons for India Elections 2014
For the 16th Lok Sabha Elections, Facebook has launched a ‘I’m a Voter’ button for its users in India, which allows users to post their voting stories on their timeline, sharing with friends that they are voting in this election. YouTube has also launched a India Elections 2014 page, which has garnered over a thousand subscribers. The page features a curated list of videos, aimed at providing a one-stop source of news on the elections.

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Most social networks are predominantly mobile
The 2014 US Digital Future in Focus Report has been released, with interesting figures about the growth of mobile and social. Of major social networks, only two (Tumblr and LinkedIn) are predominantly desktop (among US users aged 18 and up).

Snapchat, Vine and Instagram are, as expected, the most ‘mobile-first’ social networks, each seeing almost all of their traffic from non-desktop devices. The three sites have grown their unique visitors figures significantly between February and December 2013 – Instagram by 43%, Vine by 515% and Snapchat by 234%.

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Most social content is shared from mobile
It’s not just user growth where mobile is steaming ahead, but also the volume of shared content. Of everything shared to social networks in Q1 2014, 52% came from a mobile device, compared with 48% from desktop. This resulted from much stronger volume growth on mobile: 28% against desktop’s 11%.

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Photos are most popular Facebook content for brands
Despite Facebook pushing brands to use links, it’s clear that photo posts remain the most popular content type for brands on the network. Analysis of over 30,000 brand posts found that 75% were photo posts, followed by just 10% including a link.

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This is perhaps no wonder, when we look at the most engaging content types: photo posts make up 87% of the top 10% of branded content.

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Facebook to remove messenger from mobile app
In an attempt to keep up with standalone messaging apps, Facebook is planning toremove the ‘Messenger’ function in its main mobile app, forcing users to either download the standalone app or lose the service entirely.

Facebook launches new ads as prices increase
As brand pages’ organic reach has dropped throughout Q1, Facebook ad prices have increased by 10%. This news comes as Facebook has announced a new format for ads in the right hand bar; the network has claimed that these will increase engagement and allow brands to use the same image for News Feed and right-hand bar ads.

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Facebook looks to reduce News Feed spam
Facebook is making some changes to its News Feed algorithm that will decrease the reach of certain types of content, each of which is considered ‘spammy’. The initial targets of these changes are:

1. Pages that repeatedly post images asking for likes, comments and shares
2. Frequently-circulated content that users have already seen
3. Spammy links that bring users to pages full of ads

Facebook has looked to reassure pages that this is unlikely to negatively affect their reach; it states that most publishers are not posting ‘spam’ and should instead expect to see their reach increase slightly.

Facebook is updating privacy settings
Facebook is attempting to make its privacy options clearer to users with a series of tests. As can be seen below, the iOS app will include details of who can see any post above the publishing box (left), while desktop users will notice a change to the drop down menu (right).

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There will also be pop-up messages for users who haven’t updated their preferences in a while, straight from the mouth of the privacy dinosaur.

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Twitter renovates profiles
It’s all change in the world of Twitter this week, as the platform announced a complete overhaul of users’ profiles on desktop. Changes include a larger profile picture, customisable header, and the ability to pin a particular tweet to the top of your profile (though it’s worth noting that this will only be available for free to certain high-profile users or paying accounts). A user’s more engaging tweets will now appear larger on their profile, too. The new style, which is in the process of being rolled out, can be seen here:

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Some brands have already begun using the new design. The below, for example, displays Skype’s videos – users can now filter tweets to see just photos or videos.

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The move is being seen as part of a larger attempt to make the network more accessible for the less tech-savvy among us; technical ‘jargon’ like RT and @replies may be at threat, while the network looks to concentrate more on video/images and add emoji functionality. Users are beginning to get notifications on Twitter.com, too, which are fully customisable; anyone can choose what actions they get notified about. All of this, along with the design of the above profiles, has led to a number of comparisons with Facebook and rumours of a ‘land grab’. Watch this space.

Twitter adds 15 new ad types
Twitter will also be ramping up their ad offering, with news that they’re planning 15 new types of ad, such an ‘app-install unit’. This news comes at a similar time to figures that suggest Twitter’s ads receive a higher click-through rate than Facebook’s. Advertisers still spend a lot more on Facebook advertising, as we can see here:

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Moreover, Facebook ads reach much further than their Twitter equivalents. Twitter may get higher click-through rates, but Facebook still earns a much higher volume of clicks and impressions.

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LinkedIn removes ‘Products & Services’ tab
LinkedIn has today removed the ‘Products & Services’ tab from company pages. The network has proposed two different ways around this for brands: they can discuss their offerings in either company updates or the ‘showcase’ pages that LinkedIn has designed for this purpose.

Disqus introduces ‘Sponsored Comments’
Disqus, the commenting platform used by many popular blogs (including this one), has this week launched a native ad product, known as ‘Sponsored Comments’. It launched the new unit in a blog post, in which it looked to reassure users that it would maintain the quality of their experience. The adverts will appear as follows:

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Unilever’s multi-brand YouTube channel
Unilever is launching a multi-brand YouTube channel, named ‘All Things Hair’. Brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5 will all host content on the channel, which is taking much of its content from famous video bloggers.

Oreo brings Snack Hacks to online video
Oreo has launched a series of web videos dubbed ‘Snack Hacks’, which showcase unusual ways of eating the snack. After asking Twitter followers to discuss their favourite #OreoSnackHacks, the brand has since taken the campaign to the next level and produced content of its own. One example, featuring celebrity chef Roy Choi, is presented in this video.

Peter Griffin is now on Instagram
American cartoon, ‘Family Guy’, has created an Instagram account for its protagonist, Peter Griffin, to drive downloads of a new mobile game based on the series.

WWF creates Snapchat campaign
The World Wildlife Fund is using a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about endangered species. Dubbed #LastSelfie, the campaign plays on the trend for a constant stream of self-taken photographs on the platform.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #115

by Mira Abdul in News

Indonesian startup brings back nostalgia of developing photos
Claiming it’s not a competitor of
Printerous, this Indonesian startup called Pictalogi serves to bring back the novelty of printing photographs chosen across three photo sources. The site allows users to select their images from Facebook and Instagram and collect it into a pre-set photo album and print it.

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An interesting and refreshing deviation from how we use real-time methods of sharing our photographs today, as opposed to how photography initially started out to be.

Facebook election tracker for upcoming Indian elections? Sounds social.
Facebook wants to be at the heart of the debate – a debate that involves 814 million eligible Indian citizens surrounding talks of the election candidates for the upcoming Indian national elections. Facebook rolled out its Indian election tracker along with a trend tracker that counts mentions on Facebook for each of the leading politicians and election candidates.

Definitely a good way to hear the voices of the people in light of a large national event.

Let’s quit all the social media rumor-mongering and just #prayforMH370
In light of the recent disappearance of a Malaysian airlines flight MH370 that was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Saturday, it is evident that social media has taken over newsfeeds by storm with a mix of both inappropriate and inaccurate reports of the incident. We all know how our friends on Facebook have turned into ‘investigators’, culling information that only to add on to the drama of the investigations. It’s time we stopped, took a step back and remember to socially mention with ethics. Tech in Asia said it well when they wrote on how the usage of social media has spread news of this incident in a way we hope to improve.

Facebook Page organic reach keeps falling
Further evidence has arrived of a decrease in the organic reach of posts from brand pages on Facebook. An analysis of 106 country-level brand pages found that average organic reach dipped from 12.05% in October 2013 to 6.15% in February this year; for the 23 pages analysed with 500,000 fans or more, the equivalent decrease was from 4.04% to 2.11%. If you’re concerned about this change, then read our recommended approach to dealing with the issue.

Facebook redesigns desktop News Feed
Facebook has made a number of changes to its desktop News Feed. After an unpopular dramatic overhaul around a year ago, the social network has played it fairly safe, with a new design that includes different iconography, larger photos, fresh fonts and the presence of story cards, along with a large search bar at the top of the page. The redesign is being pushed out gradually – if you haven’t got it yet, here’s what it looks like:

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Facebook Messenger launches on Windows phone
Facebook has launched a version of its Messenger app for Windows phone. The service, which has been available on iPhone and Android for some time, has a 4.5 star rating from users.

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Twitter ad revenue increases
Twitter’s ad revenue increased by 110% to $664.9m in 2013. The growth came as a result of a higher number of ads, although the cost of these ads actually fell throughout that time – by 18% in Q4 2013, or 67% for the whole of the year.

Foursquare location data being used to target ads
Foursquare is bulking up its ad offering by partnering with Turn, an ad targeting firm. This will allow the use of Foursquare’s location data in the serving of ads on mobile and desktop, by anonymously matching user email addresses with web cookies.

Getty allows images to be embedded for free
Stock image site, Getty, has added an embed feature, which renders around 35 million images free for non-commercial use. The move, which could radically alter the way in which stock images are used, looks to tackle illegal image use. When an image is embedded, it will automatically appear with full accreditation.

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Mondelez partners with Facebook
Confectionery giant Mondelez has announed a ‘global strategic partnership’ with Facebook, amounting to a 52-country ad deal that includes the USA, UK, France, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Gulf States. Mondelez’s VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Bonin Bough, commented:

For the first time, we’ll be able to incorporate Facebook at the core of our media investment plans. This isn’t just about having a social-media strategy; it’s about digitizing our entire approach to communications.

Airbnb comes to the help of SXSW
Airbnb got in on the action at SXSW by trawling Twitter for those in need of help at the festival and coming to their rescue with more than 100 ‘rewards’, ranging from providing a pair of cowboy boots to furnishing a whole apartment within two hours. This isn’t a new idea for Airbnb, which says it conducts this kind of social media listening and responding all year, usually dishing out five to 10 rewards a week. But it’s certainly put the company in the good books of SXSW attendees over the last few days.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #109

by Suhaina Adam in News

Singaporeans are not interested in paid content
Outbrain, a content discovery platform, has recently released its inaugural Asia Pacific Content Consumption Trends report based on data pulled from 100,000 sites. The study revealed Singaporeans to have the highest bounce rates across six markets, with Australia being the most engaged with paid content. This means that visitors “bounce” or leave the site rather than viewing for much longer. Interestingly, these APAC consumers prefer to consume content on their mobile phones and tablets at night as per shown below:

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LinkedIn appoints President for China region
Derek Shen, founder and former CEO of Nuomi (a Chinese site similar to Groupon) is now the president of LinkedIn China. This appointment marks an official move into the Chinese market, which to date has over four million members. Could a localized language site soon be in the works?

WhatsApp has 35M users from India
Last December, WhatsApp shared its India numbers to be 30 million monthly active users. Yesterday, it revealed its latest growing numbers to be over 35 million active users, with a consistent increase of approximately 5 million active users every month in the country. This can be due to its second operator tie-up with Tata Docomo that offers Unlimited Whatsapp data packages for Rs.15 and Rs.30. With its current global count of 430 million active users, we reckon it wouldn’t be long before they cross the 500 million mark.

Facebook ads influence car shoppers mid-funnel
Facebook have shared a study that found automotive ads on the social network cause a 50% increase in visits to car-model pages, 46% increase to all product pages, and a 10% increase in internet-wide searches, indicating paid promotion heightens the average time spent looking at specific vehicles. It also suggests auto brand rivals suffer when Facebook advertisements are implemented, seeing competitor brand searches across the internet drop by 3%.

Facebook ‘Trending’ has arrived
Facebook has announced the imminent roll-out of its new Trending feature on its web version to users across the USA, UK, Canada, India and Australia. The trending topics will be identified by an algorithm, “highlighting topics that have had a sharp increase in popularity, as opposed to overall volume”. Descriptions accompanying each trend will add to the more personal touch Facebook has aimed to achieve. As it standsno plans have yet been announced to sell sponsored trends, however this could be a source of revenue for Facebook further down the line.

Facebook could be set to launch news reading app this month
Re/code is reporting that Facebook is planning a news reading mobile app, Paper. The new offering is likened to Flipboard and is said to include rich media content alongside status updates from Facebook users, and is reportedly set to launch later this month.

Twitter develops tailored audience offering for ads
Twitter has released three new ways for advertisers to create tailored audiences to target its ad products against, enabling them to define groups of existing and potential customers.

The CRM approach creates tailored audiences from an internal CRM database or an ad partners database, with “unreadable scrambles (called hashes) of email addresses” matched to Twitter accounts.

The Twitter ID approach uses usernames or user IDs to create a tailored audience. This approach could be used to target influencers with a large following, and build relationships with them, in the hope they’ll spread the brands message.

The third, exclusion targeting, will enable advertisers to exclude CRM and Twitter ID audiences from the set of Twitter users reached. Using Twitter targeting options (interests, keywords and TV) users already following or engaging with a brand, or users who won’t be interested can be excluded from a campaign.

@ mentions have arrived on Tumblr
Tumblr has graduated from blog network to social network in recent times. With theaddition of the long-awaited user mentions feature, it is now possible to tag friends in Tumblr’s compose screen using an @ symbol.

BBC News launches Instafax
The BBC is currently trialing a short-form video news service delivered to Instagram users, named Instafax. December saw mobile and tablet viewing figures overtake desktop use for the first time, and Instafax is the BBC’s response to this news.

Acura uses Twitter preview, to preview stop-motion project
Honda brand, Acura, took to Twitter to promote Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which the Acura NSX prototype featured. They tweeted single frames from a stop-motion gif, each displaying in Twitter’s timeline image preview with the result of a visual flip book as you scroll down the page. Twitter users got involved during the show using #NSXCoffeeRun, and 150 fans were rewarded with a @tweetacoffee Starbucks gift card.

Subway go mad for gifs this January
Sandwich brand Subway are tempting those dieting this January by launching 73, soon to be 100 animated gifs with the hashtag #januANY for a mini-campaign across Facebook and Twitter, using both paid and organic messages. The idea is that consumers will rapidly share these unusual animations with their friends and family via social media channels.

You could #BeeFamous with Applebee’s
American food chain Applebee’s has two TV spots to fill to promote their more diet-friendly ‘Under 550 Calories’ menu, and for your shot at six seconds of fame you simply have to capture your ‘unbelievable’ reaction to the special menu items with a vine and share it on Twitter using #BeeFamous. If you’re successful you’ll be sent to bee-famous.com to await further instruction. This method has been tried and tested previously , most notably by Dunkin Donuts during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show featuring animated content posted to Vine from the brand. Submissions will be accepted until January 26th.

Real fans could be #FlyingToMadrid
Emirates and Real Madrid launched their ‘Fans For Real’ campaign on Google+, giving their biggest fans the chance to win flights to Madrid and watch the team in action. To get involved users must +1 Emirates and Real Madrid’s Google+ pages, upload and share content using #FansForReal and #FlyToMadrid. The campaign launched with the below video depicting what the winners experience could be.

The Mindy Project is matching on Tinder
American TV series, The Mindy Project has broken new territory with Tinder. The show announced in November that there would be a Tinder-themed episode in the new year, and to co-inside with this the show has been advertising on the app, matching users with fake character profiles.

Vlogger takes over brand Snapchat account
WetSeal, a teen retailer is one of the latest brands to turn its hand to Snapchat marketing. They partnered with influencer and vlogger Meghan Hughes who manned their account for two days in the lead up to Christmas, creating a Snapchat story. Meghans story was “stitched together from multiple snaps and broadcasted to a larger audience”, and remained visible for 24hrs, making it possible to replay it as often as someone liked. The results speak for themselves, WetSeal gained 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of the story for WetSeal, and vlogger Meghan was able to interact with her fans and followers in a whole new way.

Brands are joining Jelly
The new and much talked about social query app, Jelly from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has been live for two weeks and already brands are trying their hand at it. In the UK Carphone Warehouse, Nandos and Asda have begun to experiment with the app, with varying levels of success. And in the US Whole Foods, Lowes, Shutterstock and Ben & Jerry’s are also dabbling in asking fun, interesting and thought provoking questions. For some though, brands’ use of the app is ruining the user experience.

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Social, Digital & Mobile in APAC in 2014

by Simon Kemp in News

Following on from We Are Social’s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.

It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.

These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.

These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.

The Global Picture

Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:

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Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.

We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data in the report – here’s the APAC picture:

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In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.

The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:

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Asia-Pacific In Context

APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:

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apac global share

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Internet

Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:

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However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:

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It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:

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It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:

  • The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
  • However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
  • There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.

Social Media

2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.

We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.

User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):

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It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:

  • Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
  • Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
  • On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.

We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.

Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).

China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.

We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:

  • The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
  • The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.

However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:

  • WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
  • WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
  • LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
  • Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide

We’re  pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.

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As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.

Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.

It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.

However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:

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Mobile

The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.

Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.

While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:

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It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.

You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.

The Individual Country Story

We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.

Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.

In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:

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Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.

Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.

However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.

The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:

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It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.

However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.

We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.

East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:

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As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.

Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.

Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.

Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.

Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:

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Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.

We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:

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As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.

The India Changes

Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:

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India Contract Type

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So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.

Be sure to check back  to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!

Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank GlobalWebIndex and GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.

UPDATE: We’ve amended this post, and some slides in the original report, due to a request from one of our data partners.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #105

by Cyra Caparros in News

New Twitter stats to help you improve your reach
Social Media statistics and trends change so quickly that affect how we keep up in using it. If you’re managing social media for business, it’s good to note that some of the latest social media statistics published mentioned that the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket. So if your focused is on a younger demographic, you could be missing this chunk.

TheNextWeb published recently a list of surprising new statistics for Twitter to help you reach more followers. Knowing the latest stats is more valuable especially in outlining the new social media strategy for your business. Here’s the list:

1. Twitter engagement for brands is 17 percent higher on weekends according to Buffer.

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2. Tweets with image links get 2x the engagement rate of those without
3. Tweets with less than 100 characters get 17 percent more engagement (Dan Zarrella’s research shows that more effective tweets have 120–130 characters)

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4. Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is 55–64 year-olds
5. Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement

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6. 66 percent of user-generated tweets that mention brands come from mobile users
7. Twitter users who mostly use a mobile device are 181 percent more likely to be on Twitter during their commute

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8. Amplifiers are 122 percent more likely to send direct messages
9. Your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet”
10. Tweets that include links are 86 percent more likely to be retweeted

What lies ahead for Twitter’s future? Let’s see. But the latest changes to its statistics suggest a clear change.

WhatsApp has now 30 million active users in India
WhatsApp is growing faster in India. According to the article in TechInAsia, from 25 million active monthly users last month, it has grown to 30 million users. To help the messaging app grow even more in India, WhatsApp partnered with telco Tata Docmomo to offer unlimited usage to its subscribers. It’s WhatsApp’s second such deal in India, coming a year after a similar package was offered by rival network Reliance. Like in other Asian markets, WhatsApp has strong competition in India from both WeChat and Line. Both have been actively picking up new users by rolling out TV commercials and social media marketing.

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WeChat is used to spot tornado by US College students
As reported by TechInAsia, WeChat is used by MSU to warn overseas Chinese students about the possibility of tornadoes and severe winds near Michigan University’s campus in East Lansing. Earlier this year, the same WeChat account MSU伴侣 (literally “MSU Companion”), used the messaging app to calm students’ nerves about a reported shooter on university grounds. While there were fortunately neither tornadoes nor gunmen, WeChat was able to facilitate timely Chinese-language emergency communications in a Midwestern American college town. Besides urgent notifications, students subscribe to this particular account for more information on cultural events, group outings, parties, and the occasional post about local car insurance rates.

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Twitter’s user base skewing younger
Even though the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket, it has come out as skewing younger than both Facebook and LinkedIn, according to a new piece of research by comScore. Globally, 32.3% of Twitter’s desktop users are aged 15-24, compared with 28.9% on Facebook and 21.4% on LinkedIn.

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The difference on mobile is even bigger; US data shows that 24.8% of Twitter’s mobile users are in the youngest 18-24 age group, compared with 19.4% on Facebook and 14.7% on LinkedIn.

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Facebook decreases organic reach
After months of speculation, Facebook has finally admitted to decreasing organic reach for page posts. The network explained the move as follows:

We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.

However, it’s also likely to have been fuelled by a desire for brands to spend more on paid media. Our blog post on the subject highlights the changes and discusses how best for brands to proceed – from investing in promotion to ensuring the presence of strong, creative content.

Facebook updates News Feed to highlight articles
Facebook has announced updates to the way articles are treated in the News Feed, all of which aim to increase the importance of news articles on the network. Firstly, there has been an edit to Facebook’s algorithm to allow for what they call “high quality” articles to appear higher than, say, the latest meme. Then, once a link to an article has been clicked, similar related news will appear at the bottom, as shown below. Finally, articles on which your friends comment will now occasionally be selected for ‘bumping’ back up the News Feed.

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The value of a Facebook log-in
Facebook has published a blog post this week, looking at the value of a ‘Facebook log-in’, rather than any other way of accessing an app. The piece looks at four different apps, with results including: Facebook log-in users are 27% more likely to be repeat ticket buyers with Applauze, have a 30% higher average lifetime value for Threadflip and listen 8% longer to Swell Radio. These are nice examples, but it’s worth noting that this correlation doesn’t necessarily mean that this effect has been brought about by the Facebook log-in system.

Twitter reveals ‘tailored audiences’
Twitter has announced the launch of ‘tailored audiences’, an ad product that will allow retargeting of mobile users. It will allow advertisers to serve promoted tweets on Twitter’s mobile apps to those who have visited a website elsewhere on the internet. The network explained in a blog post how it works:
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Twitter was also keen to point out the importance of privacy: users can simply uncheck ‘promoted content’ in their privacy setting to prevent their data being used for retargeting purposes.

Tumblr introduces sponsored trending blogs
Tumblr is testing ‘sponsored trending blogs’ for mobile, allowing advertisers to pay for a blog to appear alongside other trending blogs on the network’s mobile apps, differentiated only by a dollar sign. The product is being soft launched at the moment and will go fully live in January.

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Foursquare for iPhone
Foursquare has launched its new iPhone app, with a few interesting new features. First of all, it’s had a fairly vast design overhaul, aimed at making a ‘sleeker’ experience. To support this, the app will also ‘shuffle’ content each time you open it, allowing you to get a greater idea of what’s going on where you are. Finally, push notifications will tell you what is happening when you arrive in a new place, without the app even being open. You can see a couple of examples of this below.

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Pinterest’s increased traffic on Black Friday/Cyber Monday
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days known for hugely increased volumes of shopping in the US, Pinterest greatly increased the revenue sent to retailers. Doubling on Black Friday and up 3.6 times on Cyber Monday, the increase is being used as evidence for Pinterest’s monetary value in the retail market.

Asos is top UK retailer on Pinterest for Christmas
Asos is proving the top UK retailer on Pinterest for Christmas shopping, according to research by Searchmetrics. With a total of 160,958 pins related to Asos content at the time of the survey, the online fashion retailer averaged 1,728 pins per week, easily beating its nearest rivals Amazon (1,233) and John Lewis (791).

Star Wars launches on Instagram
With its next instalment in the pipeline, if still two years away, Star Wars has begun a promotion drive on Instagram, starting with the below Darth Vader selfie.

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Sprint’s ad launched on individual’s Twitter feed
Sprint has launched its latest video ad, starring James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell, on a single individual’s Twitter profile. The surreal series of adverts sees the two actors read out everyday text messages and conversations, so the latest iteration is a logical move in the comedic saga.

Eurostar creates video from blogger trips to Paris
Eurostar has sent a group of London-based bloggers to Paris, creating video content from their photos and stories, along with the images of competition winners. The resulting video has received around 300,000 views on YouTube.

Insurance company uses tragedies to promote its product
After the news of Nelson Mandela’s death last week, Twitter was largely populated by individuals wishing to express sadness, or condolences to his family. However, one American insurance brand decided to try to use is as an opportunity to promote their product:

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It turns out this isn’t the only time they’ve done this, either. When Hollywood actor Paul Walker died, they tweeted the following:

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It’s no surprise to see brands hijacking certain Twitter trends; however, this is a particularly unpleasant example, which naturally saw a fair deal of backlash from the general public.

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