Here are all of the posts tagged ‘India’.
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:
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.
— Colt Paulsen (@ColtPaulsen) January 19, 2014
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.
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%:
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:
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:
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:
click to enlarge
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:
However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:
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:
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.
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):
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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)
4. Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is 55–64 year-olds
5. Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
It turns out this isn’t the only time they’ve done this, either. When Hollywood actor Paul Walker died, they tweeted the following:
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.
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.
— Official Gazette PH (@govph) November 11, 2013
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+).
New Facebook ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons
Facebook has updated its ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons. Look, look at them:
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.
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.
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 Favstar.fm, 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.
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.
Twitter expands its reach in India by partnering with Airtel
With no extra charge, subscribers of Airtel Digital TV in India can soon start tweeting whilst enjoying their favorite TV show or viewing tweets related to it. The tie-ins of Twitter and TV providers around the world has been making headlines for quite some time, which is often referred to as an indication of the emerging second-screen phenomenon. With an user base of 15 Million people, the invasion of Twitter into the digital TV platform in India seems inevitable. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for both parties as Twitter can enrich its revenue stream through TV ad placement whilst Airtel can benefit from the promotion of its additional internet services. How are the Airtel subscribers taking this? Well, we would be keen to hear your thoughts on this.
2 in 3 e-shoppers in India are influenced by social media
In a consumer survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan recently, it’s revealed that over 67% of Indian online shoppers refer to social media before making their purchase. Moreover, 40% of web users aged 18 -35 who took part in the study admitted that they once acquired items after seeing them in a social networking site. In essence, the widespread adoption of smartphone and feature phones has significantly transformed the decision path of Indian consumers by allowing them to get online and stay connected more easily. Companies who embark on this journey and make social media work to their advantage are definitely reaping the benefits.
Line’s stickers turned into dramatic mini-soap operas in Taiwan
Last month, we wrote about how Line tried to compete with WeChat by offering the fun series of Wandoujia stickers in China. Perhaps it is hard to beat the giant that WeChat has grown to become, but the Japanese chat app’s popularity is hinted everywhere in Taiwan: on billboards, in subways, at night markets. Interestingly, Taiwanese fans have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their addiction to the cute stickers by creating funny mini-soap operas out of them. If you’re a huge fan of these animated characters who can read Chinese, check them out!
91 Million social media users in India by end of 2013
It’s estimated by IAMAI, the Internet & Mobile Association of India that the number of social media users in the country will touch the 91M hallmark by the end of this year, reflecting a growth rate of 17% from June. Facebook which enables users to stay in touch with friends, publish content, as well as search for contacts would remain as the most popular platform with a penetration rate of 96%. The promising outlook for social media can be attributed to the influx of affordable smartphones as well as mobile data plans in India. Interestingly, “non-working women” is predicted to be the next segment to be swept along by the social media stomp.
Berocca to make cool easy in Singapore
Berocca is looking to make it easier to be cool for teenagers in Singapore, by creating a desktop widget that compiles interesting content from around the web. Users can then be the first to share this on their own social presences, hopefully upping their own status.
The growth of mobile use for UK internet and shopping
The UK is becoming increasingly mobile as a market, after a study last week predicted that 57% of the country’s internet users will get online via a mobile in 2013, compared with 40% in 2012 and 20% in 2011.
Once online, m-commerce is key for segments of the UK mobile community. 10% of UK consumers use a smartphone as their main shopping method, while 22% make purchases on their phone. This makes Britain the European market leader, with 15% of Germans making mobile purchases, followed by 8% in the Netherlands and 4% in France.
Social referrals growing across the board
Shareaholic released its social media traffic report last week, with positive news for many social networks. Pinterest remains a surprisingly important source of traffic, second only to Facebook. The top three networks, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, increased their referrals by 55.81%, 66.52% and 54.12% respectively and now together account for 15.22% of all traffic to Shareaholic’s publishers. YouTube and LinkedIn also increased their share (by 52.86% and 34.51%), while Google+ remains a relatively unimportant source with a cumulative 0.04% figure.
47% of US advertisers to up social spend
A spring survey of US advertisers found that there are set to be increases in a large number of social budgets.
Facebook ads performing well
Facebook ads are up on all key performance indicators, according to global analysis of 85bn ad impressions. From Q2 to Q3 2013, click volume increased by 14.4%, conversion rate went up 2.36 times, revenue up 2.16 times and return on investment up 3.04 times.
Facebook allows retargeting through newsfeed ads
Facebook has released a new method of ad targeting, which allows advertisers to directly retarget people who have visited their site or app through native ad formats in the newsfeed. This means that retargeting can now take place not just on desktop but also mobile, where ads appear only in the newsfeed and not via the page sidebar – it’s the first time that such a system has been in place for mobile devices.
FBX adds Google, offers very cheap impressions
Facebook has added Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager to its ad exchange, FBX, which allows real time bidding and traditional display ad retargeting. This could well be big news, considering the huge number of advertisers using the system.
In other news, it has become apparent that ads can bought very cheaply through FBX. In fact, 50% of impressions cost less than or equal to US $0.50, as shown in the below graph.
Twitter ups US revenue, but slows on growth and may close #Music
Twitter has announced an increase in its US revenue, leaving it likely to hit $500mn for the year. The first nine months have seen revenue of $422.2mn, up 106% year on year – suggesting strong figures ahead of the platform’s mooted IPO. However, it’s not all good news for the platform, as its growth has slowed to 6.13% in Q3 2013, down from 10.6% for the same period in 2012, as shown in the below graph. It’s also planning to close its mobile #Music app after just six months, with its market share dropping month on month.
Twitter introduces scheduled tweets
Twitter is looking to emulate Facebook by introducing the ability to schedule updates. Previously, Twitter users could schedule tweets by using a client such as Hootsuite or Buddy Media, but the ability is now on offer to users of Twitter’s Ad products directly through the native platform, and applies to both promoted and organic tweets. For more details, see our blog post on the subject.
Receive Twitter DMs from any user
Another Twitter update, this time to its direct messages. Previously, you could only receive DMs from users you follow, but this has all changed with the ability to receive them from any user. The system could well be useful for brands, who can now receive such messages without having to follow each individual consumer.
Twitter’s new Android app and sketching
Twitter has also released a new app this week, its first for Android tablets. The most interesting development allows users to ‘sketch’ a tweet using their device, then upload it to the network. Announced, naturally, in a tweet, a particularly pleasant response came from Samsung.
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) October 10, 2013
It’s not yet clear whether this is to be rolled out across Twitter for other devices, but if so, it would be considered a major change in the platform’s functionality.
The social features of Microsoft’s XBOX One
One of the major releases planned for the next generation of consoles, Microsoft’sXBOX One is set to have a decent number of social features, including community achievements, a Twitter-esque ‘feed’ and the ability to follow professional gamers. More details are included in this video:
Vine-based TV ads by Mountain Dew
Drinks brand Mountain Dew is launching a set of Vine-based TV ads. These will show on NBC Sports and ESPN during Nascar, and can hardly be less interesting than watching cars go round in circles for hours on end.
Tide using Vine for Halloween
Detergent brand Tide has been using Vine this week, too. It is planning seven separate short videos for Halloween, each around a different spooky theme.
— Tide (@tide) October 18, 2013
Jose Cuervo’s #PartyAnimals ‘Howl’ app
Jose Cuervo has launched a ‘Howl’ app under its #PartyAnimals theme, which uses SMS technology to allow users to create a ‘pack’ of friends. When on a night out, users can then ‘howl’ to their entire ‘pack’, or ‘text’ all their ‘mates’. It sounds good to say ‘howl’ and ‘pack’ though, so go Jose Cuervo.
We Are Social create #MoetMoment
We Are Social has created a global social campaign for Moët & Chandon, under the hashtag #MoetMoment. Users upload images or memories of moments that they deem worthy of a bottle of the champagne to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr using the hashtag, with the best each week receiving a golden Magnum of Moët Impérial.
ASOS send discount codes on Snapchat
Online fashion retailer ASOS used Snapchat to send customers 10 different discount codes, each of which disappeared after 10 seconds, requiring users to either screengrab or write them down quickly. They also tweeted the following to push people to the promotion:
Er, hello @Snapchat! Yeah, we’re totally on there… and we have some secrets to spill. Get following ‘ASOSFashion’
— ASOS (@ASOS) July 3, 2013
C&A Brazil promote partnership with Instagram campaign
C&A Brazil is launching an Instagram campaign to celebrate its partnership with Roberto Cavalli. Based on the idea of ‘Cavalli rules’, fans are asked to post a photo to the C&A account with the hashtag #loucasporcavalli (#prayforcavalli) explaining how they interpret said rules. The best will be selected to win an invitation for the Cavalli collection’s pre-sale event, a book about Cavalli and a C&A gift card.
Carphone Warehouse’s #OnceInABlueMoon
UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse is promoting the launch of the new HTC One Vivid Blue with a Twitter campaign called #OnceInABlueMoon. Users are asked to tweet moments in their own lives that fit the hashtag, for the opportunity to win one of the new phones.
Unicef’s #emptyplate campaign for World Food Day
Global charity Unicef created a campaign for World Food Day that aimed to highlight hunger by playing on the tendency for people to post images of their food online. It asked Instagram and Twitter users to instead post an image of an empty plate, hoping that this will raise awareness of those going hungry across the world.
British Gas and the art of the social fail
UK energy company British Gas hiked their prices by 9% last week. Now, this is something that Twitter might just have had something to say about, but the company meant and made it a whole lot worse by offering them a hashtag to use. Offering people the opportunity to #AskBG, they received a number of hugely negative comments, as discussed in our blog post from last week. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they then chose to promote Facebook updates just as the conversation was dying down, highlighting themselves to a whole new audience and bringing on fresh criticism. Like many of their customers may be driven to this winter, all they ended up doing was feeding a dying fire.