Here are all of the posts tagged ‘India’.
Line announces slew of new services
After news last week that Line will offer a personal finance app by Spring 2015, the company’s COO has announced at the Line Conference Tokyo 2014 that it is offering even more services. Driven by the company’s vision to become “the smartphone gateway for your life”, Line is offering a new payment application (Line Pay), a taxi-booking service (Line Taxi) and a delivery service (Line Wow).
Line Pay will allow users to purchase items on their mobile devices or PCs, but also includes the ability to transfer cash to each other without providing their bank account information. Line Pay, Line Taxi and Line Wow will be rolled out in Japan first, with global rollout expected as early as next year.
In addition, the company also revealed that it currently has 170 million monthly active users, out of 560 million registered users. Based on the number of registered users, its top 5 regions are Japan (54M), Thailand (33M), Indonesia (30M), Spain (18M) and Taiwan (17M).
Luxury brands using WhatsApp to reach consumers in India
Cartier, Armani, Diesel and other luxury brands are now using WhatsApp to promote, sell and offer aftersales services to its consumers in India. The instant messaging app allows these brands to offer personalised services by sending pictures, videos and other promotional materials, resulting in conversion rates that reach as high as 80%. In August 2014, WhatsApp was reported to have 60 million monthly active users in India.
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LINE’s user-generated stickers received US$12 million in sales
Earlier this year, LINE allowed users to create and register their own stickers. Since going live in mid-April, over 1.7 million sticker sets have been created and within three and a half months, have generated almost US$12 million (SGD$1.5 million) in sales revenue.
WeChat driving change in China’s app ecosystem
China’s app ecosystem is fast expanding, as consumers increasingly spend on apps. Notably, China was ranked the third largest contributor to iOS revenue. Junde Yu, Asia-Pacific Vice-President of app-ranking firm App Annie, noted that the key driver of this change is WeChat. With 438 million users actively using the platform to interact with other users and even play games, WeChat has been responsible for this behavioural change in Chinese mobile users.
‘Twitter for voice’ app Bubbly sold to Indian mobile services firm
Amidst the speculation of the future of Bubbly, the company has announced that it has been acquired by an India-based mobile company, Altruist Technologies. Bubbly is intended to be used alongside Altruist’s one-to-one messaging platforms and will be cross-promoted and its resources shared. However, even with the deal, Bubbly will remain an independent business.
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Weibo adds new feature for video records and uploads
Weibo app added a new feature that allows video recording, uploading and playing directly in Weibo. Although embedded videos have been there for a while, it’s meaningful that this is the first time Weibo ever built video function directly without involving third party sites. However, the new function doesn’t seem to be a threat to existing local video sharing apps like Tencent’s Weishi and Sina’s Miaopai at the moment as it doesn’t have video editing ability. But the new feature might add more burdens on Sina for the responsibility to censor inappropriate video content.
WhatsApp might no longer be free in India
Free messaging or call apps like WhatsApp and Skype might not be free anymore in India. The issue all comes down to the conflict between Telecom companies and OTT (over-the-top) service providers. (OTT refers to text, audio or video sent over the internet.) With rising smartphone usage and data access in India, increasingly fewer people are using SMS or phone calls, which are more profitable than data plans for Telecom companies. In order for revenue to bounce back, Telecom companies have requested the Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI) to approve a so-called ‘connectivity charge’ for free messaging and calls. But it is not clear whether this ‘connectivity charge’ will be applied to consumers in addition to data usage. However, the Internet and Mobile Association of India argues that TRAI should not be involved in this matter. It remains to be seen how the issue will pan out.
All chat apps in China to verify users with real identities
In an effort to “clean up” all instant messaging services, the Chinese government has ruled that all public account owners on any chat apps in China have to register with their true identities and get permission to publish. Although some chat apps like Weixin already has started real-name verification processes last year, this is the first time that the government has issued a formal regulation on this matter.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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):
There are just short of 350 million unique mobile users in India, with each user maintaining an average of 2.54 active connections:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.