Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Instagram’.

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).

Xiaomi Fans

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.

Facebook voter button

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 #120

by Melissa Law in News

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

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

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

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

Employee activism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #118

by Ji Eun Kim in News

Sina Weibo to be officially called Weibo
China’s number one social network, Sina Weibo will officially be called Weibo with the drop of ‘Sina’ from its name to be listed on US IPO. The logo on the site has also been modified accordingly. In Chinese, Weibo translate to “microblog”. By taking over the name that refers to the platform itself, Sina Weibo expect to get further leverage in the competition with other services including Tencent Weibo and Netease Weibo. The reason for this act (in spite of Sina Weibo leading the market share anyway) seems to be in the attempt to set potential investors at ease from the worry that the number of microblogging users are in the trend of decline and users are less engaging on the platform. This is seen as a response to China’s efforts to minimize the influence as a free thought platform. Furthermore, time spent on Weibo is decreasing as Tencent’s messaging service WeChat takes away the time users spend on mobile. Even so, will Sina Weibo’s new name actually make a way to lift the value of Weibo in US IPO?

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Line recorded 70% growth with 390 million registered users worldwide
According to the latest update from NHN corp, messaging app, Line has recorded 390 million registered users worldwide, which is almost 70 percent growth from 7 months ago. Japan has the largest number of registered users with 50 million, followed by Thailand with 24 million users. The success in Thailand can be explained by its’ endeavor to the complete localization and meeting local needs. To do this, Line set up a local office with Thai employees and partnered with local companies, providing users with local content. However, Line still has a long way to go to beat its counterparts like WeChat and WhatsApp and strengthen its presence globally. WeChat has 355 million active users and WhatsApp has 465 million active users.

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In Malaysia, 5.4 million tweets are posted per day
Zocial Inc., a leading social media agency in Thailand and Malaysia published an info graphic that looks at Twitter landscape in Malaysia. Based on the data analyzed from February 2014, 3.5 million twitter users are from Malaysia and 21.8% of them are active users. A total of 162.4 million tweets were posted in the examined period, which suggests approximately 5.4 million tweets were made per day. Brands, celebrities and politicians are also on Twitter in Malaysia. The most popular twitter handle is the current Malaysia Prime Minister and three out of five top brands with most followers are airlines. Check out the full info graphic here:

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Twitter is struggling to keep users tweeting
Twopcharts, a site that measures account activity on Twitter, has produced reports that display the platform’s retention issue. Almost 40% of the 20m accounts registered every month send at least one tweet in the first month, but this is likely to decrease to one quarter after a year. It may be the case that Twitter users are logging in but not tweeting. The table below shows the extent of the issue.

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Instagram hits 200 million users
Instagram produced a blog post last week to celebrate passing the 200 million user milestone. The network, which has added 50 million users in the last six months, has now seen over 20bn photos shared. Its growth in the US is particularly impressive, where there are now 50.6 million users in total, of whom 35 million access Instagram at least once a month. These figures mean Instagram and Twitter are now very similar in size – the former has more mobile users, but the latter’s desktop usage leaves it slightly larger overall.

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Twitter and TV
There were two pieces of research released by Twitter today about Twitter’s relationship with TV. The first discussed the importance of hashtags: 75% of those surveyed believed hashtags were used because they were seen on TV, while 76% thought other users made sure tweets about TV were funny in order to get retweets. Finally, 69% liked seeing celebrities talk about TV on Twitter. The second looked at the way in which people discuss TV on the network, making a distinction between ‘relaxed’ and ‘engaged’ types of behaviour. Analysis of two BBC programmes, Line of Duty and The Voice UK, display the difference between drama and live events. For drama, conversation peaks before and after the show, while talent shows tend to produce sustained chat throughout.

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How marketers use Twitter
Twitter’s use for marketers is primarily in increasing brand awareness, as 72% of respondents made clear in a recent survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals.

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Perhaps oddly, considering the above goal, Socialbakers found that only 23% of marketers are using Twitter advertising at the moment. This falls in fourth place among social networks, after Facebook (92%), YouTube (35%) and LinkedIn (24%).

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Wisemetrics produce research on Facebook reach
Wisemetrics has produced an article about the extent of the decrease in post reach on Facebook. They display that it has been a two-step process, with dips in both August and November, followed by a plateau since roughly January. The larger the page, the bigger the decrease: pages with over one million fans have suffered a 40% decrease, compared with 20% for pages with one thousand.

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Facebook is number one for social commerce
Facebook drives by far the most online commerce of all social sites, according to online store operator, Shopify, and accounts for almost two-thirds of referrals to sites operated by the company. In total, 85% of all social orders were driven by Facebook, which amounts to a 129% year-on-year increase. It wasn’t the highest in terms of order value, though, coming in fourth behind Polyvore, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Facebook purchases Oculus-VR
Facebook has announced its intention to purchase Oculus VR, known best for the ‘Oculus Rift’, a 3d virtual reality headset. The move is worth $2bn in cash and stocks and is described by Mark Zuckerberg as a “long-term bet on the future of computing.” Nick Hearne, senior creative at We Are Social, spoke to the Drum about constrasting senses of “admiration and trepidation” about the move:

I’d certainly question whether this is even the right move for Facebook right now. For me, Google’s move into robotics with the purchase of Boston Dynamics has more credibility than Facebook moving into virtual reality. We’ll have to wait and see whether this acquisition is an admirable ‘moonshot’, or a case of joining the scramble to snap up any hot new tech companies for Zuckerberg and co.

Other online users were even more sceptical, to the extent that Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, had to take to Reddit to quell fears about the future of his company. He assured users that a Facebook account wouldn’t be needed to use Rift, but didn’t rule out either Facebook branding or in-game advertising.

Facebook expands Lookalike Audiences
Facebook has extended the capability of Lookalike Audiences. Now, advertisers can create audiences based on people who visit their website, use their mobile apps or are connected to their Facebook pages, where previously only information like email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs could be used.

Twitter makes photos ‘more social’
Twitter introduced two major changes to photographs last week: users can now tag up to ten others in a photo and post four separate photos in one tweet. Naturally, certain brands were quick to react, as shown in the below examples.

 

 

 

 

Twitter partners with Billboard and ITV
Twitter announced two partnerships this week. First of all, the network will be working with Billboard to create social music charts, based on online chatter, which will include a section for ‘new and upcoming’ artists. Secondly, the UK’s ITV has announced that it will start using Twitter’s Amplify service, which will allow brands to purchase pre or post-roll adverts on ITV content across the network.

LinkedIn introduces Insights for published content
LinkedIn has announced a free set of Insights, aimed at showing brands how effectively their content is performing on the site. Not only can companies see which stories are trending on the platform, but each will be assigned a performance score based on the effectiveness of their posts, as well as those of related influencers and employees.

It is this last group that could be key to brands’ success on the platform. Last week, Adweek published a piece on the importance of employees on LinkedIn, discussing how their cumulative reach can be higher than that of the brand itself.

Pinterest is preparing to launch ad business
Pinterest is getting ready to roll out the ad business it has been testing since last September, with a soft launch planned for April. Digiday showed some examples of how the ads will look, which reportedly came from a pitch deck sent by Pinterest to an unnamed agency. Other takeouts from the deck include the main target audience (women on mobile), the cost ($30 per 1,000 impressions) and the plans for targeting, which will occur on both a national and regional basis.

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Foursquare launches ‘Tap to Tweet’ ad product
Foursquare has added a new element to its ad offering. Entitled ‘Tap to Tweet’, the system encourages users to tweet pre-written marketing messages on checking into certain locations.

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BlackBerry looking to monetise BBM
BlackBerry has updated its BBM instant messenger with two new features, each aimed at raising revenue. The platform will now feature sponsored content, alongside a virtual goods store that allows users to purchase stickers.

The Sun adds hashtags to print stories
British newspaper The Sun has become the first of its national rivals to include hashtags in print stories. A postscript titled “What Do You Think?” appears at the bottom of certain articles, encouraging readers to take to Twitter to discuss the paper’s content.

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Nike hosts ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout
Sportswear giant Nike hosted the first ever ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout last week, in partnership with Asos, to celebrate 27 years of the Air Max product. Hosted by MTV’s Rebecca Dudley, the stunt discussed the various different ways in which the trainers can be worn.

Taco Bell buys its first Instagram adverts
Fast food chain, Taco Bell, is promoting its new breakfast menu using the hashtag #WakeUpLiveMas, and will do so by purchasing Instagram ads for the first time. Other social marketing is being employed, too, including Vine videos, Snapchat messaging and the influencer activity we reported in last week’s Mashup.

Barack Obama joins Quora
Following in the footsteps of his Reddit AMA, Barack Obama is joining Quora to answer questions on the Affordable Healthcare Act, and will become the first verified account on the site. Unlike on Reddit, he will not be responding live; instead, the President will answer questions that people have already asked on Quora about the act. His answers will be aggregated on his profile and across the site under existing topics.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #117

by Haiyi Tang in News

WeChat now has 355 million active users 
According to Tencent, WeChat has now grown to 355 million monthly active users (MAUs), and up from 271.9 million monthly users in Q3, 2013. It is important to note that WeChat had 30.6% of growth on monthly active users from Q3 2o13 to Q4 2013 base on Tech in Asia’s calculation of MAUs. It looks like the intensive competition between the chat apps giants will be continuing in 2014. It is still hard to predict who will be championing this battle with WhatsApp being owned by Facebook, which has 465 million monthly active users and Japan’s leading Chat app – Line (who have not revealed their active user figures) with 350 million registered users.

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Facebook eventually opens office in Indonesia 
With Indonesia being one of Facebook’s largest user base in Asia, their newly opened office in Jakarta does not come as a surprise.  With 64 million monthly active users in Indonesia, Facebook also identified that Indonesia as one of the key countries to help Facebook reach the next billion in its user base. Dan Neary, Facebook Asia Pacific vice president points out the market potential:

We have 65 million users in Indonesia — that’s 90 percent of everybody that’s online. We’re also focusing on the 80 percent of Indonesians who are still not connected, and so there’s lot of opportunities for us to collaborate with the government and public sector.

Social numbers from Tencent
The leading Chinese social media giant, Tencent experienced a robust growth with $3.15 billion in profit in 2013. From Tencent’s Q4 and full year 2013 financial report, it clearly shows that Tencent intends to focus more on mobile and ecommerce. The company seems to be very keen on integrating both WeChat and ecommerce, in order to dominate the market share in China.

Here are the key platform statistics:

  •  Monthly active Instant Messaging (“IM”) user accounts were 808 million, a decrease of 1% QoQ or an increase of 1% YoY.
  • Peak simultaneous online IM user accounts were 180 million, an increase of 1% QoQ or an increase of 2% YoY.
  • Combined MAU of Weixin and WeChat were 355 million, an increase of 6% QoQ or an increase of 121% YoY.
  • Monthly active Qzone user accounts were 625 million, an increase of 0.3% QoQ or an increase of 4% YoY.
  • Peak simultaneous online QQ Game Platform user accounts were 8.5 million, an increase of 4% QoQ or a decrease of 3% YoY.

(Note: Please see the difference between WeChat and Weixin as defined by Tencent: “In view of the evolution of Weixin and WeChat from communications services to multi-functional platforms, we have revised the definition of combined MAU of Weixin and WeChat since the fourth quarter of 2013 to denote the total number of user accounts that sent out one or more messages via Weixin/WeChat or conducted other proactive operations on Weixin/WeChat, such as logging into Game Center or updating Moments, at least once during the last calendar month prior to the relevant date. Comparative figures have been restated to conform to the current period’s presentation.”)

Time spent on digital increasingly outdoing television
The time US adults spend using mobile phones has surpassed that spent watching TVfor the first time, with averages of 151 minutes and 147 minutes per day respectively, according to research by Millward Brown. In China, people spend an average of 170 minutes a day on their phones, more than double the TV time, and people in Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and Vietnam also spend more time on their phones than Americans. Interestingly, eMarketer sources show that mobile accounts for significantly less time than TV, though for the first time digital as a whole has overtaken TV. This study concludes that US adults spent five hours and nine minutes every day on digital media, compared with four hours and 31 minutes in the previous year:

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The UK’s figures are slightly behind: in 2013, TV accounted for more time than digital. However, this is set to change in 2014, when digital will account for three hours and 41 minutes of the average adult’s day, compared to three hours and 15 minutes of television. Of this digital time, non-voice usage of mobile phones will account for one hour and 49 minutes.

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Instagram photos with faces get more likes and comments
Research conducted at Georgia Tech has found that Instagram photos that contain faces are 38% more likely to get likes and 32% more likely to be commented on. Saeideh Bakhshi, a researcher on the study, attributed this to a human urge to see the faces of others, and found it interesting that this translated into an online context.

Google releases ‘Android Wear’ software
Google has made its ‘Android Wear’ software available to developers, in the hope to gain traction in the smartwatch market. The video below shows off some recent advances in the field.

Forrester argues that Facebook is failing marketers
A blog post from Forrester Research has argued that ‘Facebook Is Still Failing Marketers’. Having made a similar point last October, the piece’s author points to low organic reach, discontent amongst brands and fears over fake fans as reasons to concentrate social efforts on other platforms.

Facebook growing its share of mobile ad dollars
The mobile ad business is growing fast. Up by 105% in 2013, it is forecast to exceed a value of $31.5bn this year. Google remains the biggest player, though its market share is decreasing due to the rapid rise of Facebook as a mobile advertiser. With just 5.4% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, Facebook’s share increased to 17.5% in 2013 and is set to grow to 21.7% in 2014.

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Facebook games are hugely popular
According to new statistics, Facebook gaming is an incredibly popular part of the network. Roughly 375 million people (a quarter of the network) play Facebook games each month, and 735m referrals are sent every day. The most popular game? You guessed it. Candy Crush, of course.

Share Facebook albums with a limited selection of friends
Facebook launched v8.0 of its app for the iPhone and iPad recently, with an interesting new feature: users can now share photo albums with ‘only these friends’. Users can already do this for photos and status updates, despite it being reported that this feature, too, was brand new.

TED takes over category on Facebook Paper
TED took over the whole ‘Ideas’ category of Facebook’s standalone news feed app, Paper, last week. The move was in line with the TED 2014 conference and sees Facebook looking to source high quality content for Paper.

The difficulty of Twitter for brands
Last week, we marked Twitter’s 8th birthday with a piece by our very own Emily Hawes, who discussed the development of Twitter as a social network. She pointed out some of its difficulties, highlighting a slowing user growth and decrease in timeline refreshes. She attributed these in part to confusion felt by new users, as well as weaker relationships than on other social networks. This comes at the same time as research that suggests that 30.6% of brands are still unconvinced of Twitter’s value as a marketing resource: 45.1% of brands cited their greatest challenge as “measuring ROI and results”, followed by “building an audience” (42.1%) and “engagement” (36.8%).

Twitter trialling new features, may drop @replies
Twitter is testing a number of new features this week, including the potential ofdropping the well-recognised @reply. The change is included in the alpha version of Twitter’s new Android app and it’s believed that this may be part of a wider move across the network.

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Naturally, the move has led to debate about the effects across Twitter. We Are Social’sRobin Grant spoke to The Drum about the issue, saying:

Since inception Twitter’s been making changes to try and make the platform less confusing. Recently, these developments have picked up even more pace, perhaps as a result of its recent first earnings announcement, where attracting and holding on to new users was flagged as an issue for the platform.

Yesterday’s news that Twitter is experimenting with phasing out @ replies completely won’t be popular with loyal Twitter users – change never goes down well, especially to something as fundamental as the @ reply.

Many see this as one of Twitter’s key differentiators, and the new Twitter tests look more like what happens when you tag people in Facebook posts. But with Twitter’s current focus clearly tuned into keeping new users engaged, rather than placating its existing community, it’s unlikely the prospect of short-term protest will disrupt its long-term plans.

In addition, two more features are being tested. First of all, a new reach figure will allow you to ascertain how many people actually saw your tweets. This should prove useful for brands’ analytics, though Twitter may end up regretting the decision to show people how few followers are seeing each tweet. The second feature, ‘fave people’, allows users to siphon off a select set of contacts and view their tweets in a separate stream.

Twitter pulls #Music app
Twitter has pulled its #Music app from the app store. Existing users have until 18th April with the app, which hoped to make the most of the popular topic of conversation on the network. That one goes down as a failed experiment.

Pinterest looking to grow revenue and users
Pinterest is planning to introduce adverts, with a huge asking price of $1m to $2m per ad. Evidently, the network is aiming its offering at premium brands, though no date has been announced for their launch as yet. This isn’t the only recent move aimed at revenue driving, either; the network is launching ‘Gift boards’, curated entirely from buyable items, which it hopes will raise further money from e-commerce.

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The network is also looking to expand into new markets and is now available in four additional languages: HindiGreekHungarian and Romanian.

Vimeo buys Cameo
Video-sharing platform Vimeo has acquired Cameo, the mobile, cloud-based app that that aids in shooting, styling and sharing short films. Kerry Trainor, Vimeo’s CEO, said of the move:

Vimeo is committed to empowering all creators, and the ubiquity of HD camera phones is driving the largest wave of video creation ever seen. What we love about Cameo is that it gives even novice video-makers the power to create beautiful, well-crafted videos.

We Are Social launches evian on Snapchat
We Are Social has been working with evian to bring the water brand to Snapchat, in a campaign which shared exclusive content from evian’s latest ad ahead of its official release. You can see the trailer for the video below. It’s even got a baby Spiderman.

Carlsberg brings happy hour to Instagram
Danish beer brand Carlsberg is offering half price beer to Instagram users in exchange for Instagram photos. Dubbed ‘Happy Hour 2.0′, the campaign asks users to share an image with the name of the venue and #HappyBeerTime (whatever that may be), thus benefitting the drinker, the bar and the brand.

Not your average pitcher of Heineken
Heineken has asked Twitter followers to send in a tweet-sized film pitch using the hashtag #15secondpremiere, themed around “going beyond what you’re capable of”. The campaign received more than 1,800 tweets and a winner will be selected on a number of criteria including creativity, entertainment value and the pitch’s 15 second feasibility. The winner’s pitch will be brought to life and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here’s one of our favourites.

Taco Bell promotes its new breakfast menu
US fast food chain Taco Bell is launching a breakfast menu, and promoting it bysending pre-paid ‘burner’ phones to 1,000 influencers and dropping others in secret locations revealed to Twitter followers. These phones will be sent challenges by the restaurant, which can be completed by posting to Instagram or Twitter. They are also capable of phoning Taco Bell HQ. You know, just for a chat.

Nivea Men signs Jamie Redknapp up for Facebook campaign
Soccer pundit Jamie Redknapp stars in Nivea Men’s latest Facebook campaign, appearing in a fictional show named ‘Redknapp’s Grassroots Round Up’. The programme takes the form of humorous, scathing reviews of amateur soccer, into which Facebook users can insert pictures of their friends, while selecting particular insults.

‘No make up selfies’ create Cancer charity windfall
As you may well already know, a number of selfies appeared on Facebook this week, taken by women without makeup, in aid of Cancer Research. Two separate Guardian articles discussed the key issues that the meme highlighted: the first pointing out thehuge windfall that the campaign had produced for a worthwhile charity, the second arguing that this only came about after it was initially ousted as an empty gesture.

The effect of Turkey’s Twitter ban
The Turkish government banned citizens from using Twitter last week, in an attempt to prevent the spread of dissent. However, users initially found straightforward routes around the ban, including a quick and easy change to a device’s DNS. In fact, data that We Are Social released to the press has shown that the ban has pushed the number of Tweets in Turkey to record numbers, as Robin Grant discussed with CNET:

The main effect so far of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s Twitter ban seems to have actually been inspiring more people to tweet. Banning Twitter is clearly a counterproductive move that will ultimately have the opposite effect to that intended. The Internet was designed to route around obstacles like PM Erdogan, and its users will continue to find ways to do so.

It appears people in Turkey are enjoying the challenge, tweeting via text message, through an anonymous VPN, by changing their DNS — and it seems even those who may have had little interest in tweeting before are now getting involved. As numerous politicians all over the world have discovered to their detriment in the past, it’s not clever to pick a fight with social media. It’s not one they’re likely to win.

The Budget on Twitter
The launch of the 2014 budget by the UK government saw a typically high volume of traffic on Twitter, with 150,000 mentions of #Budget2014 and 40,000 of #ToryBingo. The latter came after the government reduced the tax on bingo, which received significant negative traction when Conservative Party chairman, Grant Shapps, tweeted the below.


We Are Social’s Ed Kitchingman discussed the tweet’s impact with Ad Age:

The Conservative Party [also known as the Tory Party] must be kicking themselves… Grant Shapp’s tweet was seized on as an example of a party out of touch. Some [Members of Parliament] or commentators might laugh this off as just a storm on social, but this just shows a lack of understanding about social’s influence. One ill-considered tweet has undermined the core message.

Global Marketer Week takes place in Sydney
The WFA’s Global Marketer Week has begun, with a number of events from the likes of Google, Unilever, Diageo and adidas. We Are Social is presenting its latest research on inspiring brand stories, with a panel including senior executives from the likes of Unilever, Fiat and Kimberly Clark.

 

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #116

by Cyra Caparros in News

Sina Weibo Is Going Public
In what could be the biggest social media IPO of 2014, Sina Weibo began the process of going public in the US on Friday. Sina Weibo is seeking to raise up to $500 million in its initial public offering and though not quite as big as Twitter, which has more global appeal, it looks like it’s trying to ride on Twitter’s strong performance following its IPO. Actually, its “selling points” are nearly identical to Twitter’s – which is interesting considering both platforms face stiff competition from messaging applications that are quickly becoming the go-to communications tools for younger smartphone owners, such as WeChat, WhatsApp and Line.

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Thailand now reaches 1.5 million users
Thailand is one of the most social countries in Asia with 24 million users on Facebook and an increasing user base on Twitter. It has just reached yet another milestone on Instagram with 1.5 million users. The number of Instagram users in Thailand increased from 240,000 in 2012 to 1,551,649 in 2013. An infographic from Zocial Inc. published by TechInAsia shows that celebrities with an average of 172, 013 followers make up 0.26 percent of the app’s user-base in Thailand.  

Sources of most Instagram selfies in Asia: Philippines and Malaysia
According to Time magazine’s The Selfiest Cities in the Word report (via TechInAsia), The Philippines emerged as the selfie leader in Asia followed by Malaysia. TIME counted the Instagram photos with #selfie hashtags and geographic locations for two five-day periods between January and March through the site’s API. The high selfie rate may be attributed to the growing smartphone adoption in the Philippines. In 2011, the Philippines was considered the “social capital of the world,” when Facebook became more popular than Google. Malaysia is the second country that has taken the most selfies in Asia led by its Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who was recently spotted taking a selfie with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Selfies are definitely a popular trend in Asia with Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia cities making it to the top 100 ‘selfiest’ cities list.

Twitter is testing ‘Fave People’ feature
Love Twitter but miss tweets from the people you care about the most? The “Fave People” feature that Twitter is testing now might be the answer. According to TechCrunch, the feature allows users to keep track of their favourite Twitter users in a separate timeline by tapping the star icon on their profiles. It is quite similar to “Lists” which lets you organise users into labelled groups. Looking at the initial reports, the feature seems to be useful but we have to wait and see if it will be rolled out to the wider public anytime soon. Last month, the site also started testing a major profile redesign that has a greater focus on content cards and images.

Image from TechCrunch 2

The State of Social Advertising in 2014
Socialbakers surveyed over 500 marketing professionals to better understand where social media is heading in 2014; analysing both the priorities and practices of marketers and the state of social media advertising. Remarkably, 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social advertising budget for 2014, despite the growing need to support organic reach with paid advertising.

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However, most companies surveyed did invest in social advertising, at varying levels. Interestingly, Twitter appears to struggle to attract advertisers; most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.

Facebook Reveals ‘Premium’ Autoplay Video Ads
Facebook has revealed Premium Video Ads, the long-awaited marketing tool that delivers video ads right into users’ News Feeds and starts playing 15-second clips automatically; similarly to videos on Instagram. The ads will play with no sound unless the user clicks on them, in order to avoid being too interruptive. The ads will start rolling out during late April and will include the ability to target by day-part, along with measurement features supported by Nielsen and Ace Metrix.

A Streamlined Look for Facebook Pages on the Desktop
After recently announcing a redesign of its desktop News Feed, Facebook has announced that there will be a new design for Facebook pages on desktop, to be rolled out over the coming weeks, as seen in the example below.

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Facebook has now notified some page admins that they can join a waitlist to have their page converted to the new design, for those extra eager to explore it. The right-side column of the timeline will show all the page’s posts, while the left will hold information about the page or business. There will also be a ‘Pages to Watch’ feature, allowing marketers to monitor pages similar to their own (i.e. competitors) and track those pages’ performances. It also appears that tabs, with images, have returned to Facebook’s new page design on the left sidebar.

Twitter’s Direct Response Pitch: A New ‘Click-to-call’ button
Brands are already using Twitter as a direct response channel, listening for and responding to tweets that mention certain keywords, hashtags or handles. This month alone, Microsoft and Airbnb launched clever real-time marketing campaigns at South by Southwest, responding directly to consumers. In an attempt to go one step further in developing its advertising capabilities, Twitter is currently beta-testing a “click-to-call” button for sponsored tweets, which would allow mobile users to engage with a Twitter ad by calling the advertiser directly. This feature could potentially help Twitter break into the local advertising market. Location-based apps like Foursquare and Google Maps already have click-to-call features in their apps.

H&R Block Taps YouTube Talent For New Social Media Record Label
According to H&R Block, a ‘tax preparation’ company, 56 million Americans will try to do their own taxes this year. The company claims that last year, taxpayers lost more than a billion dollars thanks to inaccuracies in their tax returns. H&R have decided to enlist ten up and coming YouTubers as brand ambassadors to release original songs and videos on a social record label called “Billion Back Records”, as well as using social media to build enthusiasm around getting a tax refund. H&R is also using its Twitter feed to issue challenges for the chance to win music-themed prizes like concert tickets and a guitar. YouTube, taxes, and rock n’ roll?

March Madness And Twitter Ads 
For anyone not still reeling from the real-time marketing overload around the Superbowl this year, American brands are now queuing up around college basketball’s March Madness period. As NCAA teams look to beat the buzzer on-court, brands are jumping in on highly relevant promoted hashtags with a mix of pre-planned and reactive content with varying degrees of success. There are no clear slam dunks on display which raises an important question: are marketers planning their real-time strategies to deliver value to their business and consumers, or falling into the trap of jumping into conversations without a clear goal? Judging by some of the brands’ efforts there’s still a lot to learn.

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David Cameron’s new Facebook likes
UK Prime Minister David Cameron found himself under scrutiny last week when it was reported that he’d invested an estimated £7,500 to increase his Facebook Like count from 60,000 to 130,000 in one month. He’s now one of the most popular UK politicians on social media (even if not in real life)…

‘Safe Badman’: Argos wins at Twitter
Argos indulged in some top Twitter bantz with a disgruntled customer. When Immy ‘BADMAN’ Bugti tweeted with a complaint about the lack of ‘da PS4 tings’ available at Argos’s Moss Side store, as well as member of staff who had ‘bare attitude’, Argos responded superbly. Its gangsta response has since been retweeted thousands of times, and left Immy satisfied. Respect, yo.

 

 

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