Here are all of the posts tagged ‘India’.

Social, Digital and Mobile in India 2014

by Simon Kemp in News

Continuing our series of reports into the Social, Digital and Mobile landscapes of countries around the world, today we’re pleased to share the latest numbers for India.

You may find it useful to put these numbers into context by comparing them to those for other Asian countries in our APAC report, where you’ll also be able to compare today’s stats to India’s January 2014 data.

Executive Overview

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India’s digital landscape is evolving fast, but overall penetration remains low in the world’s second most populous country, with fewer than 1 in 5 Indians using the Internet in July 2014.

Internet use appears to be accelerating though, with the latest figures indicating 30 million new users since January alone – an increase of 14% in just 6 months.

Social media use is also growing, with Facebook alone adding 16 million new users since January – that’s roughly one new user every second.

The picture for mobile is a little more complex though, with the latest data suggesting a drop in the total number of active subscriptions.

However, this is likely due to SIM consolidation; the average Indian mobile user currently manages 2.5 active connections (SIMs), but as people increasingly switch to smartphones with data plans that enable more cost-effective communication between different mobile networks, it’s likely that people will ‘drop’ some of these secondary (and tertiary) subscriptions.

Mobile Internet

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The top story in this report is the dominance of mobile connectivity in India.

70% of internet page views in India originate from mobile devices, while 87% of all Facebook users access the platform through mobile:

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Crucially, it’s this mobile connectivity that’s driving India’s digital growth, and the majority of new internet users access exclusively through mobile.

However, connection speeds remain disappointingly slow in India, with Akamai stating that the country has the slowest internet in Asia. Average connection speeds in India are a paltry 1.7Mbps. Broadband connections (i.e. connections of 4 Mbps or higher) are still relatively scarce, and account for less than 5% of all internet connections. Connections of 10Mbps or more are limited to just 0.7% of all users.

Despite these slow speeds, however, Internet users in India spend almost 5 hours on the net every day, with 40% of that time spent on social media:

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Social Media

Despite being Facebook’s second largest market worldwide, social media penetration in India remains at just 8%.

As with overall internet use, mobile drives social media usage, with almost 9 in 10 Facebook users accessing the platform via mobile:

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It’s worth noting that 30 million people in India access Facebook through a feature phone (i.e. non-’smartphone’ devices).

66 million people access Facebook via smartphones, with 60 million of these – 91% – accessing via Android handsets. 4.6 million access via iOS (i.e. Apple devices), while Windows OS accounts for 3.6 million users:

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These numbers suggest that at least 1.5 million Indian user accounts access Facebook via multiple mobile operating systems, indicating that multiple SIM usage occurs even amongst smartphone owners. Meanwhile, around 4 million users access Facebook across both feature phones and smartphone devices.

Samsung claims the lion’s share of Facebook mobile users, with 32 million users accessing the platform via one of the Korean manufacturer’s devices. Nearly 18 million Indian users access Facebook via Nokia devices.

Critically, our research suggests that much of this mobile social activity takes place in browsers rather than via native apps – an important point to note for marketers when planning their social content strategies.

Google+ appears to be India’s second most popular social platform, with 35% of internet users claiming to have signed in at least once in the past 30 days.

Twitter and LinkedIn follow, while Orkut still appears in India’s top 5 platforms (this will change by September, however, when Google shutters its original social network):

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Mobile

There are just short of 350 million unique mobile users in India, with each user maintaining an average of 2.54 active connections:

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Smartphones are driving the new handset market, although feature phones still dominate everyday usage.

Moreover, almost all mobile contracts in India are ‘pay-as-you-go’ (i.e. pre-paid), and fewer than 10% of users have access to 3G networks:

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Despite this, 95% of smartphone users are searching for local information via their portable devices, and 54% claim to have made a purchase via mobile:

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Entertainment and social media lead activities on smartphones, with video particularly popular. However, it’s worth noting that most video viewing on mobile devices in India is driven by memory card transfer, rather than via internet streaming:

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You can read the full report on SlideShare, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our Social, Digital and Mobile reports.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #128

by Suhaina Adam in News

World Cup hits Weibo
Weibo‘s recently launched World Cup page is live and a huge success so far – over 22 million Chinese users followed the news on Weibo on the first day of FIFA World Cup 2014! In fact, in the first two hours of the event, there were already 83 million published posts, with 3 million Weibo posts coming out of China. With the topic #world cup# exceeding a billion post views in just a day, this could potentially set a whole new Weibo record by the end of the tournament.

Hike crosses the 20 million user mark
In just 18 months since its launch, Indian messenger app Hike announced yesterday that it now has over 20 million registered users. To commemorate the special occasion, it introduced a few new features such as ‘hidden mode’ and ‘big file transfer’. The former protects private chats with a password, while the latter enables a transfer of up to 100 MB in any file format. This is a likely attempt to take on Whatsapp, which currently dominates the market with 50 million monthly active users.

Line to provide targeted ads
Japanese-based messenger app Line recently announced its partnership with US company Salesforce to offer a new service for companies to push targeted ads to the platform’s 450 million global users. In Japan alone, there are currently over a hundred companies with official Line accounts. Similar to Facebook, companies will now be able to filter Line users by age, gender and geographical location. Aside from that, users’ past purchases and browsing history can also be tracked to improve product recommendations.

Social ads are preferred by marketers
A survey of marketers by Millward Brown has found that most prefer social media ads to native and email ads. When asked which ad types met their company’s digital branding objectives, the top answer, given by 51% of respondents, was ‘social ads’, followed by native (46%) and e-mail (36%). Social ads are also more common – 77% responded that they had used them, compared to 73% for email and 68% native.

Facebook accidentally launches Slingshot
Facebook has had Slingshot, its second attempt at a Snapchat rival, in the pipeline for a little while now. Last week, it accidentally launched the app, before pulling it from the app store and admitting its mistake.

Facebook adds tap and hold video sharing to Messenger
So we have to wait for Slingshot. In the meantime, Facebook Messenger has added another Snapchat feature – tap and hold video sharing. The update is already here for iPhone and is incoming for Android.

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Facebook to target ads based on browsing history
Facebook has announced that it will use web browsing history for targeting ads on the platform. The platform will capture passive browsing information from various sites across the web, including, in future, those where its ‘like’ button is installed and, perhaps controversially, will not pay attention to the ‘do not track’ function in browsers. The network has also announced new privacy options, whereby users can click on an ad to see why it has been served to them.

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A new method for sharing video ads on Twitter
Twitter is experimenting with a new way of sharing video ads, starting with Visa and adidas. When a user types in a particular hashtag (#visa for Visa, #allin for adidas) followed by a space, they will see a paper clip prompt. Clicking on it allows the user to easily share the ad with their followers.

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Twitter to start showing weather-related adverts
Twitter has partnered with The Weather Company, so that advertisers can serve weather-specific ads on the platform. While this function has been available on The Weather Company’s website for a while, the move will now tie in with real-time social marketing, as Curt Hecht, The Weather Company’s chief global revenue officer, explained:

People experience the weather that don’t use our properties, so this enables us to connect with them elsewhere. Our clients keep asking us to go off-property.

Twitter launches website remarketing tag
Twitter has launched a tag for website remarketing, allowing advertisers to target Promoted Tweets or Promoted Accounts to internet users who have already visited their website. Any advertiser who already has a tag for conversion tracking can use the new system, while new users can create one using the Twitter ads UI.

Facebook and Twitter add World Cup features
Facebook and Twitter have added specific features for the World Cup. The former has created a World Cup hub, featuring live scores, highlights and real-time posts from friends as well as relevant players and teams. There’s also an interactive map showing the locations of top players’ fans, while users can use the ‘watching’ feature to share specific matches.

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Twitter is targeting users as soon as they sign up. New users will be able to choose which nation they’re supporting and select from a set of pre-made supporter profile pictures and cover photos. Its answer to the Facebook ‘World Cup hub’ is the #WorldCup timeline, which similarly shows relevant posts from your network alongside others deemed relevant. Hashflags are back, too: typing a specific country’s hashtag will bring up the national flag. Lovely stuff.

FIFA uses voting Twitter card
FIFA is using a Twitter card to display the results of its ‘Man of the Match’ votes after each game. It’s a pretty nifty little card, which you can click here to see, though for some reason the winner is always Qatar. How odd.

Visa looks to social for World Cup campaigns
Visa is looking to get the most out of its World Cup sponsorship with a variety of campaigns across social. It has created the ‘Teletransporter’, in which fans can add a picture of themselves to football characters to create a sharable video, as well as a number of videos, one of which is included below. The brand has also employed ambassadors to create social content on its behalf, and will be ensuring that it supports all this with strong targeting and mobile optimisation.

Coca Cola creates World Cup selfie montage
Coca Cola created a photomosaic flag for last week’s World Cup opening, made up of233,206 socially-sourced selfies from across the world, all draped across the field. Here’s James Sommerville, VP-global design at Coca-Cola, talking about the campaign.

Hyundai develops World Cup microsite
Another World Cup sponsor, Hyundai, has created a Tumblr-powered microsite dubbed #BecauseFutbol. The page is set to contain 120 pieces of original art, which site visitors can remix or use to create new artwork and share on social media. Hyundai is supporting the activity with the below Times Square billboard.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #125

by Mira Abdul in News

Thailand YouTube launch attracts major brands
Thailand is making its move into an exploding video market, with what is believed to be a timely decision. The Thai YouTube launch sets forth to attract major brands such as Ford, Samsung, Air Asia X, True and Unilever for the official introduction of YouTube.co.th, a dedicated site for Thai video content. This serves to fulfill the appetite of Thai internet users as they spend twice as much time online as they do watching television.

India’s opposition leader Narendra Modi breaks India’s tweet record
There’s just something about celebrities taking centre stage and breaking records when it comes to tweeting. First was when Ellen DeGeneres momentarily crashed the platform in March when she tweeted a selfie of herself and her band of glittery Hollywood stars. Now, Narendra Modi, India’s soon-to-be Prime Minister makes headlines by accumulating the highest number of retweets in India – 40,000 retweets and 24,500 favourites – when he took to Twitter after the general election victory.

Your pet can be social media savvy too
In China, 33 million households have either a dog or a cat caused by the growing number of middle class citizens looking to splurge and pamper more pets. It is no surprise that SmellMe came into existence, a social media platform dedicated to these furry creatures. SmellMe aims to connect pets within cities and offer Q&A forums, location-based directory of pet-related stores and businesses and great content which are pet-relevant. A great hub for pet owners to know about other pets within the vicinity and to have access to useful information related to their pets.

Messaging apps are getting more popular
All of the messenger apps tracked by GlobalWebIndex in Q2 2014 have risen in popularity. Snapchat has seen the biggest increase (67%), followed by Kik (32%) and WhatsApp (30%). For more detailed analysis of the report, along with a discussion of what it means for other social networks, take a look at GWI’s guest post on our blog.

Facebook developing rival to Snapchat
Facebook is reportedly working on an ‘ephemeral messaging’ app, referred to internally as ‘Slingshot’, in an attempt to rival Snapchat. This comes at the same time as news that it has removed ill-fated video sharing app, Poke, from the iOS app store. As Poke was originally touted as a response to Snapchat, the timing may be considered slightly odd. Facebook’s standalone Camera app has also been removed.

Twitter introduces ‘mute’ function
You can now ‘mute’ Twitter users you don’t like, meaning you won’t see their tweets in your timeline or receive notifications from them. Unlike ‘unfollowing’ someone, they won’t know that you’ve done it, and you can switch the feature on and off as you please.

Giphy allows you to link with a GIF on Twitter
Giphy has created embeddable, linkable GIFs for Twitter for the first time. There is only one link, which brings users straight back to a the linked URL page; previously, this would have required two separate links.

Pinterest adds new features and funding
It’s been a big week at Pinterest HQ. First of all, it’s lined up a set of more than a dozen brands, each ready to run ad campaigns on the platform with a commitment of three to six months. It isn’t resting on its laurels, though; it’s looking to add a new Q&A feature. A spokesperson said of the move:

We’re always gathering feedback from Pinners to make Pins more useful. We’re currently testing the ability to ask and answer questions in a more structured way on Pins, with a small group of Pinners. We don’t have any additional details to share at this time, but we’ll keep you posted.

Finally, the network has raised a further $200m in its latest funding round. Not only that, it’s at a valuation of $5bn, a healthy increase from $3.8bn at the last round.

Foursquare launches Swarm
A couple of weeks ago, the mashup’s little brother announced that Foursquare was planning to release a new app for all its ‘social’ elements. Well, now it’s here. Foursquare launched the app in the App Store and Google Play last week. It’ll be heading to Windows phone later in the summer, too.

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TaylorMade looking to ‘socialise’ product demonstrations
Golf brand, TaylorMade, is looking to make its latest product demonstration more social, by taking questions live on air via a microsite. A video that displays how new clubs work is commonplace in golf marketing, but this social element is pretty new. The brand will field questions via a set of experts and are hoping for an appearance from one of their PGA assets.

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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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