Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Instagram’.
LinkedIn passes 20M users in India, is second largest market behind US
TheNextWeb recently reported that LinkedIn users in India had soared to an impressive milestone of 20 million users. This makes India the second largest market on the platform, only behind the US in terms of registered users. What’s more impressive is the fact that user sign-ups on the professional networking platform has gone up by over 500 percent since November 2009, when the company opened its first office in the market. Currently, India represents half of the 40 million users in Asia Pacific, and 9 percent of its 225 million users worldwide. In other markets across the region, the user bases are comparatively small, but growing as well: there are 4 million users in Australia, 2 million in Indonesia, and 1 million in both Malaysia and the Philippines. Singapore also recently passed 1 million users as well.
There are 18M social media users in Thailand; Instagram users up 163%
According to a recent report by TechInAsia, Thailand’s social media landscape has seen rapid growth this year. Citing a new infographic by ZocialInc, the results indicated that Instagram users had increased by a staggering 163 percent in the last year, to over 600,000 users. While this figure still pales in comparison to Facebook’s 18 million, the social network’s growth also declined to a relatively sluggish rate of 28 percent in the same time period. Social media is growing healthily across other platforms as well: Line has 15 million users, while YouTube has over 5 million and Twitter has about 2 million in the market.
Emerging markets drive Facebook user growth
Facebook continues to gain users at a rapid pace, even after passing 1 billion users last year, and 1.1 billion users last month. eMarketer reports that the growth in user base is being strongly driven by emerging markets across the globe; India, Brazil, Russia, the Middle East and Africa are particularly strong markets in the recent gains for Facebook’s user base worldwide. eMarketer predicts that active users will continue to grow as well, to pass 1 billion active users at some point this year. In terms of regions, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America are set to contribute the most across the global user base, by growing at a rate of at least 30% during 2013. eMarketer estimates that Facebook will reach 1.26 billion global users in 2014.
WeChat now has 195M monthly active users
WeChat has continued seeing rapid growth this year. Last week, we reported that the chat app had grown to an impressive 190 million monthly active users. Without skipping a beat, it’s grown again to reach 195 million monthly active users. TechInAsia reports that the chat app has increased by about 23% since last quarter, and over 228% in a year. While WeChat’s 300 million registered accounts are predicted to breach 400 million during this month, the increase in WeChat’s monthly actives suggest that WeChat and Whatsapp are quickly becoming neck and neck for this figure (Whatsapp has 200 million monthly active users).
In the US, 90% of mom internet users are on social media
According to a recent report by eMarketer, over 90% of US moms who used the internet were also active social media users as well. Based on a comScore study from March 2013, the results suggested that moms who used social media in 2013 were up by 20% compared to those who did in 2010. The study also indicated that moms in the 18-34 age bracket were the most likely to use social media, but also the demographic that spent the most time on them. In fact, young mothers spent the most time on Facebook, even compared to the general population. While time spent on Facebook was 24 percent higher on desktop, the combined differece of desktop and mobile Facebook usage suggested that “young moms spent 260 perent more time than the average user.” US moms were also more likely to spend more time on other platforms across social media as well. 77 percent of US moms were on YouTube, compared to 61 percent of the total internet users in the country. 27 percent of US moms were on Instagram, while only 15 percent of the general internet population were using the platform.
As we approach our second birthday on 1 September, we’ve been taking stock of our achievements in the past year and a half. One of our proudest moments was when we successfully helped a client to turn around a Facebook page from a complaints board into a vibrant community.
On 25 July 2012, we took over community management for Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore’s (SCMS) Facebook Page. Singapore’s second largest race, the annual event is organized by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) with title sponsor, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). The sheer scale of the event (there were about 53,000 runners in 2012) made balancing runners’ expectations, satisfaction and logistics a delicate balancing act.
Due to resource limitations, the Facebook page had degenerated into a message board for complaints as runners vented their unhappiness about issues faced during previous races. Our challenge was to realign the conversation with that of the community’s love for running and to build a vibrant community of passionate runners.
We addressed grievances by acknowledging issues raised and providing feedback. We actively researched and posted useful information for runners of all fitness levels and competence. We engaged runners on emotive areas by sharing success stories and heartwarming tales of kindness shown by other runners and strangers.
As an endurance race is as much a battle within the mind as it is a physical challenge for the body, we introduced graphic posters bearing motivational quotes to boost runners’ spirits. The posters drove social shares, giving the SCMS Facebook Page more visibility even in the absence of paid media.
We sought input from runners about training tips, dietary ideas and music playlists. We acknowledged contributions, celebrated success stories with featured runners and created a supportive virtual network of runners by encouraging runners to cheer each other on as they strive to cross the next achievement off their checklist.
Immersing ourselves into daily online conversations about running, we developed friendships with some of the runners and ran with them “virtually” everyday on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.
We’re so chuffed by the supportive community that we built in under six months without any advertising spend on any social media platforms! It demonstrates that an engagement strategy will be successful if it is founded on genuine community-centric goals.
Alibaba buys US$586 million stake in Sina Weibo
As part of its push into social media, Alibaba (China’s top e-commerce company) has purchased an 18% stake in Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-esque service with a userbase in excess of 500 million. The deal gives Alibaba the option to increase its stake in Sina Weibo to 30% and is expected to rake in revenue of about US$380 million within the next 3 years. Sina Weibo users can expect more e-commerce offerings in the coming months
Line to launch toy smartphone for kids
Japanese chat app, Line, clearly believes in starting young. Shortly after launching its own cartoon series, Line is expected to launch a toy smartphone priced at US$70 on August 8. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, children will be able to send stamps and messages when two toy Line phones are in contact.
Top brands on social media in ASEAN
Thailand-based social analytics firm, Zocialinc, has released an infographic ranking best-performing brands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram in Southeast Asia. The coverage is largely focused on Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and seems to penalize brands that may not have an active presence on all four networks even though they may be doing very well on their network of choice. The full infographic includes interesting insights into user behaviour on the different social networks.
(click through for the full infographic)
Swedish food supplier uses Instagram as Asian food education tool
Want to learn about Asian food? Upload a picture of the dish to Instagram and hashtag #askctfood or tag @AskCTFood and receive details on how to prepare them. The catch? This service is only available in Swedish, as this app was built by Swedish food supplier CT Food.
UK photo sharing users to lose rights to uploaded photos
Changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act has resulted in an overnight loss of rights by amateur and professional illustrators and photographers to work that they’ve uploaded to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. The Act contains changes UK copyright law which allow commercial use of images deemed “orphan works”, ie. where information identifying the owner is missing. The far-reaching consequences is that millions of photos are at risk since metadata is often stripped from the photos when they’re uploaded. As if that isn’t bad enough, the Act allows for sub-licensing, which allows wholesale of work by someone who has it, without paying the originator a single penny. Penny for your thoughts!
New layout for pages on Facebook mobile
Facebook has updated the way pages appear on mobile, citing a number of benefits for users and page owners. For the former, they note a ‘cleaner, simpler look’, with relevant information such as photos and location positioned alongside interaction buttons at the top of the page. These seem to constitute benefits for page owners too, who will look to benefit from higher engagement as a result of the changes. They’re also set to be provided with the ability to pin important posts and a streamlined management tool. To see how the changes will appear for different users, see the image below:
Twitter testing two-factor authentication
Twitter has begun testing two-factor authentication, in a move that looks to prevent a continuation of the high-profile hackings that have happened recently. From the Associated Press to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, a number of large, verified accounts have been taken over, posting strange and often embarrassing content. Whilst two-factor authentication would be unlikely to be rolled out universally for the sake of avoiding hassle on smaller, personal accounts, it would likely be a welcome move for brands and public figures. Both Google and Facebook already offer a similar system.
LinkedIn launch ‘Contacts’
LinkedIn have introduced a new service called ‘Contacts’. Essentially, it takes details of contacts from various areas of your phone or computer, including email accounts, calendars and address books and compiles them in one place, allowing you to interact with people more easily and maintain important relationships. The service will be launched both on the LinkedIn platform and as a standalone mobile app. The full details are contained in the following slides:
Tumblr introduce in-stream mobile ads
For the first time, Tumblr will include ads on mobile that look like normal posts. Previously, adverts only appeared in “Radar”, where now mobile users will see up to 4 ads per day in the home stream. With collaborators including GE, Warner Bros and ABC, Tumblr are really set to bulk up their advertising revenue, but claim to be devoted to maintaining the current Tumblr experience. Head of sales Lee Brown has stated that:
This mobile advertising opportunity is native to how our consumers experience content on our apps; as a continuous stream.
Advertised posts will be differentiated from others with a $ symbol. Tumblr have stated that, the move will ultimately expand to desktop, but there is no timeframe given as yet.
Budweiser’s ‘buddy cup’ app
Budweiser’s new campaign looks to play on the emotional connection created by touching cups during a shared beer. Their new ‘buddy cups’ link to Facebook, so that you can become friends with someone on the network by tapping cups with one another. Now when you drunkenly agree to add someone on Facebook, you won’t have until the morning to change your mind.
Nike PHOTOiD and Instagram
For the past few years, Nike iD has allowed create their own, customised clothing from a range of colours. Now, the sportswear brand is taking it one step further, linking with Instagram to launch ‘PHOTOiD’, a tool that designs clothing based on the colours of your favourite Instagram photos. It’s certainly a novel idea and it will be interesting to see the extent to which people are willing to use a system like this. Here are some examples that have already been made:
Photograph an advert for free Weetabix biscuits
Weetabix are looking to take advantage of ‘dual screening’ behaviours with their new #takethebiscuit campaign, which asks for fans to take a photograph of their latest TV advert. Fans can then show their picture at a branch of Boots to pick up a free breakfast biscuit. Whilst the idea is an interesting one, it did have a couple of problems. The barrier to entry is quite high and, according to reports, some Boots stores were unaware the campaign was happening. You can see the advert below in all its glory, complete with #takethebiscuit hashtag to encourage Twitter conversation.
We Are Social’s design campaign for Kleenex
We Are Social have launched a competition to design the new Kleenex Box, partnering with internationally-renowned designer Kelly Hoppen to create a brief asking young creative talent to decorate the box in their own style. Using Talenthouse to collect entries, the final decision will then be made by Kleenex’s Facebook community, who will vote on which design gets made into the next tissue box.
Urban Outfitters and Converse’s joint Vine competition
Fashion retailer UO and trainer brand Converse have partnered to produce a competition on Vine, which asks fans to post a video of ‘A day in the life of your Converse’ for the opportunity to win $1500 in UO gift cards, 10 pairs of trainers and 2 different music related trips, in San Francisco and Brooklyn respectively. Whilst a number of brands have started using Vine to produce content, this is one of the first examples of a more in-depth campaign usage.
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 17, 2013
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 17, 2013
Guided Twitter tour by the Tate Modern
To highlight a new Roy Lichtenstein exhibition, the Tate Modern produced a guided tour on Twitter. A museum curator spent half an hour tweeting images and information about the artist’s work, allowing those who would be otherwise unable to attend the museum to interact with the content in a meaningful way.
Evans support ‘golden bikes’ activity on Twitter
UK bike shop Evans Cycles have partnered with record-holding British Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy for a campaign called ‘Hoy’s Golden Bikes’, for which the Olympian has hidden 3 gold coloured bicycles around the country. Whoever finds them can trade one in for a brand new bike of their own, worth £1000. They’re supporting the activity on Twitter, with clues coming both from the official @chrishoy account and via the hashtag #hoyshiddenbikes.
Chinese Government wants WeChat to pay fees
Chat apps such as WeChat have been making such an impact on the usage of traditional telecommunications services that Chinese telcos have been asking for subsidies as compensation for lost revenue. According to a source at the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, WeChat may have to pay fees in the future though the mechanics are still being looking into. WeChat risks losing users if the company chooses to share the costs with users. Industry watchers are of the opinion that Tencent may choose to absorb the fees and fund it using other revenue streams such as gaming, online-to-offline e-commerce and other value-added services.
Tencent’s president commits to keeping WeChat free for users
In response to complaints from netizens about the prospect of having to pay to use WeChat, Tencent’s president has committed to keeping the app free for users. Tencent is the maker of popular chat app, WeChat, which has experienced phenomenal growth on the back of its value-added free voice messaging and photo sharing features.
WeChat starts real-name verification for Open Platform users
Tencent has started a real-name verification exercise for users of its Open Platform service, which allows them to create special accounts to facilitate product promotions. Tencent has shut down accounts of users who are unable to provide their real identities in a move that brings relief to many companies. By keeping the userbase authentic, WeChat reduces the possibility of malicious usage of the platform to discredit other users.
China’s Social Media Landscape
CIC has released their latest infographic depicting the social media landscape in China. The diagram classifies Chinese social media platforms into four categories, based on maturity of the networks and functional usage. The definition of the four categories are as follows:
Functional Networks – Provide basic support for or have been integrated into other platforms.
Core Networks – Covers microblogs, Social Network Services (SNS), Instant Messenger (IM), Mobile Social, Bulletin Board Service (BBS) and e-Commerce.
Value-Added Networks – Add-on services for core networks and other platforms such as Social Commerce and Social Gaming.
Emerging/Niche Networks – Platforms serving niche groups or that function an a relatively independent level such as Photo Sharing and Social TV.
Softbank-funded Chinese startup to build Facebook-esque app for kids
Backed by funds from Japanese mobile phone giant Softbank, Chinese startup SmarTots is building a social networking app that allows children in China to share art projects online and on mobile devices. Parents and other relatives will be able to comment or express approval via the app, in Facebook-ish style. This development comes at an opportune time as smartphone growth is expected to more than double to 460 million by 2017. Education is big business in China as parents are willing to pay top dollar to give their children an edge in an increasingly competitive world. On the government spending front, education accounted for 4 percent of its GDP in 2012 while the government’s investment in education grew at an annual rate of 22 percent.
Google to buy WhatsApp?
The latest from the rumour mill is that Google is in talks to buy WhatsApp for US$1 billion. WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app and is said to pose a real threat to companies like Facebook and Google. Having been downloaded over a 100 million times on Google Play, the app occupies top position in Apple’s App Store in various countries. If this deal goes through, it would put the deal size in the same tier as Facebook’s purchase of Instagram in 2012.
New mothers radically increase online usage
BabyCentre have produced research on the huge increase in internet usage amongst new mothers. This demographic group, who spends 35% more time online than the average person, up their internet usage by 45% and mobile by 28% after becoming a mother. Factors like feeling more guilty, rushed and stressed all contribute to the change in behaviour, which also sees 68% change in their purchase criteria for everything. Mobile becomes an increasingly important device for the time-poor group, of whom 59% refer to their smartphone as a “do-everything device”.
US teens go mobile first
A report from the Pew Research Centre has shown how mobile internet usage is becoming ever more popular amongst American teenagers aged 12-17. Of those, 47% now own smart phones, while 74% use mobile devices to access the internet at least occasionally. Perhaps most interestingly, many of these are using the device as their primary mode of internet access: 50% of teen smart phone users, or 25% of all teens, mostly access the internet via their phone rather than PCs.
Social while multitasking
A March 2013 survey of US internet users has displayed how popular social networks are while multitasking. The graph below shows the frequency of access during different activities, noticeably slightly higher for Facebook than Twitter. A gender divide is shown depending on activity: women were more likely to access social media while watching TV, travelling or shopping, whereas men did so more at work, on the toilet or when drunk.
Social media gets the SEC’s blessing
The Securities and Exchange Commission last week blessed the use of social media for sharing market-moving corporate news, provided companies have disclosed to shareholders the channels they intend to use. Previously, there had been concerns that sharing news on social networks would violate rules on selective disclosure around financially pertinent information. However, an investigation into Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, ruled that his use of Twitter to announce 1 billion hours of views that month was acceptable, even after it resulted in an increase in share price. The ruling means that CEOs can now feel free to use Facebook or Twitter to broadcast news, even if it has potential to affect share price.
Mobile ad revenue at $4.11 billion for 2012
Mobile advertising revenue grew nearly five times to $4.11 billion from 2011 to 2012 and is expected to increase again by 77.3% to $7.29 billion in 2013. Google has historically earned the most from mobile display ads, but the entrance of Facebook and Twitter over the past year has seen the two networks earn hefty shares, with Facebook predicted to take the largest single share of mobile display this year at 29%. A 3-year forecast expects Facebook to remain ahead of Google for the next 2, before dipping behind again in 2015.
Facebook introduces Home
Last week saw a lot of speculation that Facebook were set to release a mobile phone. Ultimately, they announced “Facebook Home”, a piece of software for Android that, once installed, turns its host into an “always-on” Facebook device.
The system is much more visual than the current Facebook app, with the user’s home screen populated by photos and status updates, built around Zuckerberg’s vision of a “social phone” based on people and not apps. The system sees a number of benefits for the social network; not only can it look to further integrate with people’s lives, but the new, engaging format provides as way for mobile advertising beyond any other providers. Facebook have been quick to combat privacy fears, looking to make it clear that Home will not do anything that the current Facebook app doesn’t, particularly in relation to location services and other app data. You can read the full FAQ in their online Newsroom.
Facebook’s first TV ad
To launch ‘Home’, Facebook have splashed out on their first ever TV advert. It looks to depict the excitement ‘Home’ can bring to a boring business trip, as each swipe of the protagonist’s screen sees a new friend appear alongside him on the plane. Others might see the sunbathers imprisoned in overhead lockers and hipster disco in the aisle as a dystopian future vision of air travel. We’ll let you decide:
Facebook charging users to contact celebrities
Facebook has rolled out a set of charges for users to contact celebrities, ranging from 71p for lesser-known figures, including comedienne Miranda Hart, up to £10.68 for those with legions of fans, such as Olympic diver Tom Daley. This marks an expansion of paid messaging, which Facebook have previously experimented with when asking for payment in order to contact Mark Zuckerberg directly.
Twitter card updates
Twitter have announced a few updates for their “Twitter cards”, which can now display the likes of apps, products and photo galleries directly embedded in Tweets, as shown in the below screenshot. This displays an increased interest in immersive add-ons to Tweets, after the introduction of video-sharing app Vine earlier this year. Companies such as Amazon, Fandango, CNN and Soundcloud have already partnered with the system.
LinkedIn pushing ‘conversations’ by allowing ‘mentions’
Social platform LinkedIn is planning to increase levels of conversation within the network by allowing users to ‘mention’ one another, much like they can on Facebook. By starting to type a contact’s name, they will appear in a drop-down menu, from which you can select to ‘mention’ them; they will then receive a notification. The below slideshare includes more information on the changes.
Brand adverts on Instagram
Since their purchase of Instagram, Facebook have neglected to input paid advertising on the platform. In the meantime, a phenomenon has developed of celebrities and brands producing their own advertisements, from which Facebook gain no revenue (case in point, the below from pop artist Beyonce). It will be interesting to see if there follows an attempt to monetize such content.
We Are Social launch new adidas Energy Boost running shoes
We Are Social Italy ran a launch party to promote the new adidas Energy Boost running shoes. Beginning with an online content-production competition, Facebook users were asked to create a ‘card’ around the theme of ‘energy’ – 10 winners were then selected to join the exclusive BOOST™ launch party, attended by a number of celebrities. Further promotion came from outreach to key influencers, including footballers Riccardo Montolivo and Antonio Nocerino, rugby star Martin Castrogiovanni and basketballer Danilo Gallinari. The event saw a mammoth feat of vertical running by world champion Thomas Dold projected on to the side of the Grattacielo Pirelli, a Milanese skyscraper.
The American Heart Foundation’s ‘My Moves’ campaign
The AHA has produced a social campaign aimed at getting people to exercise more, asking fans to submit photos of their favourite activity via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Despite a lack of prize incentive, the activity has been successful so far, with thousands of photos submitted and the use of #MyMoves prevalent beyond the aforementioned networks.
KakaoTalk downloads hit 10 million in Japan
The competition amongst Asian chat apps in the APAC region has quickly turned fierce. We recently saw how many of the big names in the category have become the top social platforms in Asian markets–and many of them continue to invest heavily in penetrating foreign markets as well. For the most part, however, they have all successfully secured the leading position in their respective local markets. Japan-based Line, for example, is the leading chat app in Japan; out of its current user base of 120 million, roughly 60 million of them are in Japan. With this in mind, the news that KakaoTalk hit 10 million users in a competitor’s local market comes as a particularly impressive milestone–and a potential cause for concern for its competitors. This uptake also indicates that KakaoTalk has gained considerable momentum in the past few months; TheNextWeb notes that KakaoTalk users in Japan stood at 7.5 million as recently as December 2012. In other words, KakaoTalk has gained an additional 2.5 million users in Japan alone, and increased by 33% since the end of last year.
Tencent’s IM service, QQ has 798 million monthly active users
A recent report by China Internet Watch indicated that almost all of Tencent’s social networks grew extensively in 2012. The increase is particularly impressive given the fact that the reported figures characterise the Monthly Active Users (MAU) on each platform. Most notably, Tencent’s IM service, QQ’s MAU increased to 798 million by the end of 2012, entailing an 11% increase over the course of the year. Social network Qzone’s MAU also increased by 9 percent, and stood at 603 million in December last year. Weixin (WeChat in China) also experienced rapid growth and exceeded 300 million users worldwide by January 2013. Much of this growth is attributed to the increasing adoption of mobile web in the market. Tencent also noted that the development of social features in Weixin encouraged high rates of adoption. Ultimately, these points may collectively suggest the following: while mobile-based platforms and chat apps have continued to grow in size, they have started to evolve into full-fledged social networks in and of themselves.
100 million blogs with 44.6 billion posts on Tumblr
Tumblr recently announced that it had reached a milestone of 100 million blogs. Equally impressive is the fact that these blogs collectively contain a staggering 44.6 billion posts. The 100-million milestone also indicates that the blogging platform has doubled in size over the past year, as the platform first passed 50 million blogs in April 2012. TheNextWeb reports that this staggering growth rate is still on the rise, as 6 million of the Tumblr blogs were created during the last month alone. At this rate, the next 50 million may be close on the horizon.
In South Korea, Facebook is companies’ social network of choice
eMarketer recently reported that South Korean companies are mostly focusing their social media efforts on one platform: Facebook. Citing a February 2013 study by KPR Social Communication Research Lab, nearly 9 out of 10 of the surveyed participants reported being on Facebook. With over 87% of the respondents on the platform, Facebook claims the highest level of presence amongst Korean companies on social media. While blogs come in second with over 79%, companies on Twitter and YouTube constitute a considerably smaller portion of the results, at 66.1% and 42.6% respectively. eMarketer notes that this emphasis on Facebook is particularly striking given the platform’s relatively low user base in the local market. The platform has about 8 million users in South Korea, which translates into a 17% penetration rate amongst Internet users.
Nearly half of Instagram users are on Android
Instagram recently announced that nearly half of their users are active through Android phones. It’s been a year since Instagram was released for Android, so this news comes as a particularly fitting announcement for this anniversary. Instagram also reported that the long-awaited Android-compatible app was quickly taken by storm; the app was downloaded over 1 million times within a day of its release. As TechCrunch reports, iOS users stood at fraction of their current user base at the time, with roughly 30 million users when this rapidfire adoption took place. Not only has the user base soared to a total of 100 million monthly active users since then–it’s also continued to grow at an impressive rate.
WhatsApp’s rumoured to launch a games platform
The sleeping giant stirs, if the buzz is anything to go by. Rumour has it that WhatsApp, one of the most popular chat apps worldwide, is in talks with WeMade, a US/Korean games maker for a possible tie-up. If this move materializes, WhatsApp would have effectively diversified its monetization approach while reaping increased revenues and possibly strengthen its dominance in the messaging market. Rival apps such as Japan’s Line and Korea’s KakaoTalk have been very successful with their gaming ventures, clocking in impressive download numbers and revenue. Line reported that its game platform has seen more than 100 million cumulative app downloads within 7 months, a significant number considering that there are 120 million registered users. Line Pop, one of the most popular games out of the 17 titles, had 1 million downloads on the first day and amassed US$1 million (about S$1.25 million) in revenue within the first 12 days of its launch. KakaoTalk’s less forthcoming with figures but data from the 3-month testing period showed that there were 82 million downloads from 23 million unique users out of its 80 million userbase. WhatsApp’s tie-up with WeMade will be a good arrangement as the games maker is strong in both western and Asian markets. In addition, this would give the company another source of revenue. Incidentally, WhatsApp has declared its disdain for advertising and felt that content was the most logical basis for a new revenue stream.
Fuubo, a new Android Sina Weibo app, is a breath of fresh air
Sina Weibo users on Android have had to contend with clunky apps but that might be changing with a new app in town, Fuubo. Fuubo offers users an aesthetically pleasing interface and intuitive features such as slide panels as well as commenting, reposting and notifications functions. The app’s drawback at the current moment is the lack of direct messaging features and an English interface. Perhaps these will be rolled out in the coming months.
Touchtalent offers creative people an interest-based social network
What ignites your passion? If you’re an artist, then check out Touchtalent, a social network for the creative community. The brainchild of Ankit Prasad, a student at IIT Delhi, the platform has been online since July 2012 and houses works from artists living in 152 countries. Segregating works into 19 categories that cover calligraphy, sculpting, comics, music and literature in addition to other art genres, the site is integrated with Facebook and has registered more than 8.6 million users. In addition to showcasing works from artists, the site incorporates features that allow artists to sell their work and/or get hired for creative projects. The site also invites users to express their opinion via emoticons and share their work on various social media networks.
IdBlogNetwork, a new social media advertising platform in Indonesia
New Indonesian blog advertising service, IdBlogNetwork, seeks to give Google Adsense a run for its money. They’ve joined forces with The Affiliate Gateway (TAG) Asia to offer Indonesian bloggers a wider range of affiliate marketing alternatives. The company also plans to launch a social media advertising platform named IdBuzzNetwork in April this year. The results aren’t great at the moment as affiliate marketing programs are still in its infancy in Indonesia. However this is expected to improve, as internet penetration and online shopping become more widely accepted within the country coupled with positive word of mouth by bloggers.
Singapore Telco tests real-time social media marketing
In a refreshing departure from its usual stoic image, Singapore Telecom (SingTel) handed the keys to its Twitter account for a day to local comedian, Hossan Leong.
Known for his flamboyance and witty sense of humour, followers were asked to tweet situations in which they would need fast 4G internet speeds with the campaign hashtag, #Need4GSpeed. Hossan would then provide sidesplitting responses in the form of tweet replies, pictures and short YouTube videos such as the one below.
Facebook ads on par with TV for FMCG
According to those FMCG brands using Facebook, advertising on the network is as effective as its TV equivalent and offers a better return on investment. Nestle and General Mills both claimed they could trace a high percentage of sales to Facebook advertising after recent cross-platform campaigns; the former attributed 11% of Kit Kat sales to the platform, the latter 27% of Old El Paso.
Gartner’s Digital Marketing Survey
Gartner has published its 2013 Digital Marketing Survey, showing that the top two digital marketing investments for the coming year will be in e-commerce and social media. Indeed, over 40% of the 200 US marketers surveyed stated that social networking, in combination with their corporate website and digital advertising, is key to marketing success.
Twitter’s popularity across EMEA areas
Twitter’s popularity varies across EMEA areas, according to a survey by GlobalWebIndex of over 152,000 internet users in 31 markets. It found that 51% of Saudi Arabian internet users are active Twitter users, where ‘active’ is defined as those who have used the service in the past month, followed by 39% in Turkey and 34% in the UAE. Meanwhile, the same study found that the number of global Twitter users has grown from 206 million in Q3 2012 to 288 million in Q4, an increase of 39.8%.
How people use Twitter
A report by Brandwatch has produced some interesting findings into how people are currently using Twitter. After compiling data from over 10,000 random tweets, they noted that 62% of these were engagement of some sort, compared to 38% broadcast, while brands were highly prevalent in discussions. 3.6% of all tweets mention brands, amounting to 12,600 tweets per minute. In terms of gender analysis, men were more likely to discuss sport, games and news or politics, while women on average spend more time discussing music, work and education. Women were also more likely to tweet about personal matters, or enter online competitions.
Twitter users forming ‘tribes’
Analysis of millions of tweets has concluded that Twitter users are forming ‘tribes’ online, each with their own unique vocabulary. The theory contradicts the idea that networks like Twitter facilitate global sharing, with the most insular groups sending up to 90% of tweets internally.
Social media subject to the same disclosure regulations as traditional media
The Federal Trade Commission has decided that adverts on social platforms must follow the same rules of disclosure as their offline counterparts. This means that, even in a 140-character tweet, space must be devoted to either “promoted” or “ad”. In an update to their 13-year-old “Dot Com Disclosures”, the FTC has argued that consumer protection laws should apply equally regardless of the medium and, as such, the format does not exempt marketers from providing clear and effective disclosure. Also provided is information on how to make effective disclosure, which involves the avoidance of hyperlinks for disclosure about cost and certain health & safety issues, plus the clear and accurate labelling of hyperlinks and consideration of how these will be affected on various platforms and devices. The full guidance can be found here – subtitled “How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising”.
Over 400 billion actions have been shared on Open Graph
Open Graph activity covers a lot of what we do on Facebook: following, liking, listening to music and so on. Ahead of last week’s SXSW, Facebook revealed that such actions have been shared over 400 billion times. Certain actions have seen a lot of activity: 110 million songs, albums and radio stations have been played 40 billion times and 1.47 million books have been shared.
Facebook updates Timeline
Hot on the heels of the previous week’s News feed changes, Facebook has announced a set of updates to Timeline. There is now a separate space for “things you care about”, which ranges from movies or books to apps like Instagram, depending on the user. The “movies” section, for example, looks like this:
Moreover, the profile is now more strictly delineated into two columns; applications like the above will appear on the left, whilst the right is occupied by a user’s posts. This leads to what Facebook hopes will be a clearer layout, as follows:
Simultaneous with these changes, the social network has written a blog post detailing the development of the updated News feed, in which a user experience researcher discusses the development from receiving complaints about “clutter” to identifying what was meant by the term and instigating change intended to combat the issue.
More ways to feature apps in new Facebook Timeline
One key difference in Facebook’s updated Timeline is the increased ability to feature apps. As users can now choose which apps to feature on their profiles, developers are able to create “collections” that showcase how their apps are being used. Foursquare, for example, can display the numerous places people have checked in.
Facebook to incorporate hashtags?
Long since a mainstay of communication via Twitter, now Facebook are looking into incorporating the hashtag. Whilst it is unclear how far along development is, rumour has it that the feature would be used to group conversations on the network. #intriguing.
More prompts from Facebook to ‘like’ pages, fewer to ‘unlike’
In a move seemingly aimed at encouraging users to interact further with brands, Facebook have introduced a couple of changes to the visibility of ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ options. The first of these two comes as a twofold alteration to ‘liking’ a page. Now, when users like one page via mobile, they will be confronted with the option of liking other, ‘similar’ pages. Moreover, when content from a news website is shared, a button appears below it, offering the option to ‘like’ the page for related stories. In terms of ‘unlikes’, the updated News feed has been designed for lower visbility. When previously choosing to hide a story from the News feed, users were given two options: hide all stories from the page, or unlike it. Now, the latter has been removed, leaving only the option to hide all stories from the same source.
Sir Martin Sorrell’s views on Twitter
Head of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell has claimed that Twitter is more of a PR medium than an advertising one. Considering as an example the London Olympics, he discussed how it acted as a hugely effective word of mouth platform, more so than the likes of Facebook. However, a number of industry professionals have come out to disagree with Sorrell, including We Are Social’s own media director, David Gilbert:
Advertising success on Twitter can be achieved with a carefully thought-out strategy and tight targeting. As marketers, it is our responsibility to adapt our strategies according to the platforms and technologies available.
Twitter to launch iOS music app
Twitter are poised to launch a music app before the end of the month, according to CNET. The app will make music suggestions based on both what you are currently listening to and the music accounts you follow on Twitter.
Twitter for Windows 8
Twitter have launched an app for Windows 8, including unique features intended at optimising the experience for specific devices. These include ‘Snap View’, which allows Twitter to be moved to one side of the screen and viewed simultaneously with other apps, as well as ‘search’ and ‘share’ charms to allow ease of access to the platform at any time. The launch video below provides further detail.
Twitter improves Analytics
Twitter stepped up their Analytics last week. On Wednesday, Twitter announced an improved ad insights platform, which will allow marketers to further track the effect of promoted tweets beyond their initial audience, allowing a fuller picture of how campaigns extend across the network.
Early stats on Vine usage
Early statistics on use of Twitter’s ‘Vine’ app have shown that it has gained traction already. By the end of February, it was used by 2.66% of all iOS devices, up 50% month-by-month. Notably, the figures for similar apps, including Cinemagram, Viddy and Socialcam all show decline over the same period.
Pinterest’s Web Analytics
Pinterest has gone in a similar direction to Twitter in terms of analytics, launching ‘Pinterest Web Analytics’, which will allow brands to discover information such as how many repins their content received, as well as who saw it as a result. This is now available for free to those with a verified website and will look as follows:
Pinterest have themselves released some information about what’s available and how to gain access.
New Pinterest layout
As well as its Analytics tool, Pinterest used last week to launch a redesign of its network. The ‘repin’ button has been replaced by a large, red ‘Pin it’ equivalent, price now comes as a bubble in the top right corner of a pin and there is an enhanced view surrounding each pin, allowing you to more easily view other pins from the same board & site. Finally, there is a new ‘people who pinned this also pinned’ feature. All in all, shown below. All in all, the changes seem set to make the network even more visually immersive.
LinkedIn to purchase Newsreader app Pulse
LinkedIn are in talks to purchase Alphonso Labs, makers of Newsreader app Pulse for a deal said to be worth between $50 million and $100 million. The app currently has around 20 million users, reading about 10 million stories per day.
LinkedIn produce B2B advertising banner
LinkedIn have announced SlideShare Content Ads, display units that will appear across the platform, designed at business-to-business advertising. Once a user scrolls over one of these, they will be faced with a presentation that they can scroll through either without leaving the page or in full-screen mode.
Foursquare in new round of funding
Foursquare is rumoured to be in the process of securing a new round of funding, amidst talk that the platform is running out of money. It is as of yet unclear how the network will fare, especially in comparison to the $600 million pre-money valuation received when they raised $50 million in June 2011. As other networks, including Facebook, have looked to eat into the locations market, Foursquare are seeking to fight their corner, with partnerships including e-commerce with Mastercard & Visa and a deal to come pre-installed on the Blackberry 10 device.
Netflix getting social
In what seems like a story that should have come about long ago, Netflix are finally launching social options for US users. Their previous Facebook offering in Canada, Latin America and the UK, which did not allow users to choose what they shared, has been replaced by a system whereby users who opt in will have rows added to their Netflix home page, detailing both “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by Your Friends”. Inside Facebook has highlighted this as an important move in Facebook’s growing video strategy, which includes increased integration on the new Timeline and structured status updates that include verbs like “watching”. The features are discussed in the below video.
Doritos’ SXSW vending machine stage powered by tweets
Yes, that reads ‘Doritos’ SXSW vending machine stage’. The snack brand hosted aninteractive concert at SXSW, in which tweets from the audience would affect in concert events from lighting and cues to the encore song. For more information, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of rapper LL Cool J.
Meet WolfDog, Old Spice’s ‘Executive Director of Marketing’
In a development of their wildly successful brand TOV, Old Spice have introduced a new ‘Executive Director of Marketing’ across a number of social channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr and Google+. General public, meet WolfDog.
Ford reach out to automotive bloggers
To market the new 2013 Ford Fusion, the car giant behind the vehicle has reached out to bloggers discussing it on Jalopnik. Flying them to Los Angeles under the pretence of answering market research questions for Jalopnik, they put the influencers in the car alongside professional racer Tanner Foust and created four pieces of video content, the first of which is shown here:
Jaguar promote F-type launch with Facebook competition
We Are Social have produced a Facebook competition to celebrate the UK launch of the new Jaguar F-type. Incentivised by prizes chosen by Jaguar’s communities and a selection of bloggers, fans must post an update relevant to the prize, alongside a link to the ‘Desire’ app. The campaign, which runs across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, forms part of an overall ‘Desire’ campaign that also includes a branded film, featuring Homeland star Damian Lewis.
French Connection sourcing user-generated films
Fashion brand French connection is encouraging its consumers to create their own video content from a selection of clips on the company’s website. Starting with video snippets that depict models wearing French Connection clothing, users are asked to ‘make a scene’ by cutting them together and adding a soundtrack and special effects. There are prizes available for the most-shared videos.
Ted Baker’s social finishing school
Ted Baker is promoting its new Spring Summer collection with an online ‘finishing school’, asking users to ‘write lines’, in a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the schoolday punishment. Each day, users are shown a ‘line’; the first 500 to ‘write’ it via Twitter, Instagram or the Facebook app will receive a limited-edition tote bag featuring their quotation. The most creative students will be rewarded with exclusive Ted Baker leather satchels, too: sure to make even the biggest kid into the talk of the playground.
Nike celebrates 1 million Instagram followers
Nike have reached 1 million Instagram followers and amassed 6 million photos tagged #Nike. To celebrate, the sportswear brand hosted a 24-hour celebration of their followers, championing user-generated content and accompanying each update with an inspirational quotation.
Puma promote individuality with ‘Worn My Way’ campaign
Puma has produced a lifestyle campaign with the tagline ‘Worn My Way’, aimed at celebrating individuality. Using a new microsite as well as the hashtag #WornMyWay, consumers will be encouraged to answer the question ‘What does it mean to be yourself?’ The best answers will win prizes including limited edition Puma t-shirts. The campaign, which boasts involvement from musicians such as Professor Green and Mischa B, will also include experiential marketing throughout its course.
Sky Sports offers F1 tickets in Twitter quiz
In line with their Formula One coverage, Sky Sports have produced a competition to win tickets to next year’s Australian Grand Prix. In order to win the ‘virtual grand prix’, contestants must post a tweet containing a campaign hashtag, then answer a set of questions in a limited time.
Sharp’s real time marketing
Sharp has managed to pull off a real-time marketing stunt, poking its way successfully into a conversation between Kanye West and MTV host Sway. When the former reminded the latter of a small, remote-less Sharp TV he had purchased as a gift many years ago, the electronics brand decided to intervene, sending over their latest widescreen model, complete with remote control. Sway, who has almost 300,000 followers, then sent out the below tweet, easily repaying the investment made by Sharp.
— Sway Calloway (@RealSway) March 14, 2013
The Papal succession and social
With thousands waiting outside the Vatican, white smoke eventually signalled the announcement of a new Pope. While scenes like this are to be expected with any such event, the Twitter storm that accompanied was undoubtedly a new twist. Once the @Pontifex account announced: “HABEMUS PAPEM FRANCISCUM”, 7 million other tweets followed. The tweet has now been deleted, giving Francis I the chance to blaze his own social media trail. In fact, the Papal succession highlighted a great deal about the changing nature of human communications as parallels were drawn between 2013 and 2005, shown perhaps most aptly in this Instagram post by NBC news.
The event also showed the power of Twitter to amuse and confuse. As his succession became clear, a Spanish Twitter account was discovered, claiming to represent Jorge Bergoglio, aka the new Pope Francis I. However, a bit of research (or access to a Spanish dictionary) might have made it clear that this wasn’t the case, with tweets including: “If I’m the new pope, children will love me more than the Santa Claus”. Even after it’s doubtful origin was revealed, the account’s popularity continued to grow and extended from 3,000 to 150,000 followers within the hour, likely due to a combination of the naive and the amused.
WeChat app to be available on Blackberry 10 soon
China’s WeChat has made a pledge on its Malaysian Facebook page to launch a Blackberry 10 version soon.
This move to support Blackberry’s latest model, a few months after WeChat launched its Blackberry app, will help WeChat’s expansion plans in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. WeChat’s 300 million strong userbase is largely from China but the company is setting its sights on the international arena. The heatmap below shows WeChat’s global penetration as of January 2013.
Tencent WeChat to open office in America
China’s Tencent has confirmed that it will be opening an office in America in 2013 as part of its move to take its successful chat app, WeChat, global.
Originally launched as Weixin in China, the chat app has seen exponential growth following the creation of its English brand, WeChat in April 2012. Though a precise date or location for WeChat’s US office hasn’t been revealed, the company says that the office serve as a customer relations department. WeChat will face fierce competition from other Asian rivals such as Line while working to convert entrenched WhatsApp users. Tencent already has offices in San Francisco for its online gaming operations and has seen a growing ratio of overseas WeChat users though the company declined to reveal numbers.
Google+ woos Indian users with government linked initiatives
With more than 60 million Facebook users, India is the third largest country market after US and Brazil for the social network. This makes it a natural target for Google which is seeking to get a foot in the door through the use of Google+ Hangouts to get the nation talking about the 2013 Budget. On February 28, Google streamed a live feed of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s presentation on YouTube’s IN conversation channel. To make the conversation more interactive, a Google+ hangout was held yesterday. A panel of economists joined the Finance Minister in fielding questions from Indian citizens who were selected after submitting questions using the #askthefm hashtag on Google+. Users were also encouraged to upload video questions using the same hashtag via the IN Conversation YouTube channel or via the google.com/+GoogleIndia page. Hangouts enable ordinary citizens to get closer to key events thus demonstrating the power of social media in helping the man in the street get involved in events that matter. What’s the upside for Google? Any new users who sign up or existing users who rediscover Google+ through these initiatives may help to contribute to the network’s daily active userbase.
Automobile companies engage Indian social media influencers
Social media influencers are being pursued by automobile companies to test drive their vehicles for a day or two and to talk about it via social media channels. India is no exception with automobile companies such as Ford, Mercedes and Tata engaging with influential social media users, running contests and offering free cars at their disposal for a few days. The intent is to allow the influencers the opportunity to enjoy the comfort and luxury of the cars and to share their experience on their social media channels. The payoff? The influencers posted pictures and wrote about their experience on their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds creating buzz and reach as their fans jumped into the conversation.
Twitter partners with Japan’s DoCoMo to launch a Yellow Pages-like index
DoCoMo and Twitter’s partnership has seen the launch of the Twitter Yellow Pages Japan site. Created for mobile users though accessible via PCs, the site contains lists of recommended Twitter accounts based on categories such as food, shopping, sightseeing, local news, celebrities and sport teams.
In addition to Twitter’s list of recommended accounts, users can filter each category by location to discover other accounts that may be relevant to them. This tie-up is a win-win solution for both companies as Twitter garners more users making it more attractive to advertisers and DoCoMo chalks up increased mobile data usage with the potential to sell more smartphones.
Viber has 3.5 million users in Vietnam
The mobile messaging app battle in Vietnam seems to have a clear winner with Viber registering a userbase of 3.5 million. Competitors, Line and KakaoTalk, have a million users each while WhatsApp has not confirmed any user numbers. This growth is impressive considering Viber has not been actively promoting the app in Vietnam or anywhere else in the world. With a userbase of 175 million worldwide, of which a third are from Asia, Viber is a source of concern for rival apps such as Line, KakaoTalk and Zalo.
Marketers set to more than double social media spend
Over the next five years, CMOs will more than double the percentage of their marketing budget that is spent on social media, according to 500 surveyed. Currently, social media makes up 8.4% of that total; this is set to increase to 11.5% in 2013 and reach 21.6% in the next five years. Consumer goods companies are set to lead the way, seeing an increase from 9.6% to 24.6% in the same period.
How Twitter affects UK mobile and tech shoppers
A study of 6,000 UK Twitter users has looked to establish the network’s effect on mobile and tech shoppers. From the graph below, it can be seen that exposure to a brand’s tweet increases the percentage of users visiting a brand’s website, up to 62.7% in comparison with 45.6% of Internet users or 50.5% of those on Twitter not exposed to the tweet.
A key point to be taken from the research is that the likelihood of a user visiting a brand’s website increases with higher frequency of exposure to branded tweets.
How to gain Twitter followers?
The Georgia Institute of Technology have had their two cents on how to gain Twitter followers, analysing a selection of 500,000 tweets based on a number of factors including sentiment, engagement and readability. They concluded that those who posted shorter, happier tweets & engaged with their followers using RTs and mentions exhibited a higher rate of follower growth. Also effective was retweeting interesting pieces of news; those who did so gained more followers than those posting about themselves.
Facebook’s Insights fix will definitely affect reach
After the fixes to Facebook bugs affecting reach that we reported last week, tests by Edgerank Checker on 1,000 pages have shown an increase of over 30% across different types of Facebook reach:
It is worth reading the full post for its detailed analysis, including a breakdown of the effects by page size.
Facebook acquires Microsoft’s Atlas
The result of a long-mooted deal, Facebook has announced its acquisition of Microsoft’s ad-serving platform Atlas at a price thought to be under $100m, based on former bids in the $30-50m region. Facebook have claimed that their intention is not the construction of an external advertising network based on their social data, but instead that their interest lies in improving measurement tools, citing Atlas’s new tool for richer measurement of ad impressions. In light of the deal, Adweek conducted an interview with Facebook’s director of product marketing, Brian Boland and Dave O’Hara, CFO of Microsoft’s online services division, in which they discussed their plans to build a stronger relationship between the two companies. Boland said:
When we look at Atlas, it is a full acquisition where we are acquiring the technology, the people, the expertise and the client relationships. So this is a great accelerator for our aspirations around measurement.
Facebook working on redesigning Newsfeed
Last week, the Verge, amongst others, announced that Facebook had invited press to ‘come see a new look for News Feed’. The event will be held at its Menlo Park, CA headquarters this Thursday, 7th March at 10am PST. As for the expected changes,Business Insider claim to have a source close to Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP of products, with whom Mark Zuckerberg has entrusted the product. From this source, they have ascertained two important differences: firstly, News feed will know more information about you and use this to tailor what content you receive based on your likes, what you’ve viewed and even items you’ve bought. Secondly, News feed will look to pull content from a wider range of sources, as Facebook hopes to integrate sharing tools directly into company websites, allowing them to work more like pages. Rumour also has it that a radical redesign is coming to the mobile News feed, with a more vivid text-overlay and full width images taking over from the current format. A (sort of) artist’s impression below gives the gist of how the layout will work.
Facebook testing new actions in Open Graph apps
Facebook are testing a new set of actions in Open Graph apps, including ‘rate’ and ‘quote’ for books, as well as ‘want to read’ or ‘want to watch’. The below example displays how the ‘Goodreads’ app is already using the ‘rate’ system, though it is worth noting that no announcement has been forthcoming from Facebook.
Had good news? Facebook will suggest your friends send you gifts
For a while now, Facebook have been suggesting gifts for occasions like birthdays or engagements. However, they have now decided to add the ‘Give A Gift’ button to posts containing good news. Interestingly, it seems the feature is now using natural language processing, rather than just specific events, in order to make suggestions.
Instagram now has 100m active monthly users
The image-sharing platform Instagram has announced that it now has 100m active monthly users, up from 90m just a month ago. This displays incredibly fast growth; it took Facebook four-and-a-half years to reach such a level. According to AppData, Instagram is now the third-highest rank Android app and the 17th top free iOS app.
Google+ launches ‘Sign In’ and ventures into e-commerce
Google have launched an attempt to rival Facebook ‘Connect’, with their own ‘Sign In’ feature, along with an impressive list of partners that includes Banjo, Fancy, Fitbit, OpenTable, and Shazam. The below video explains the feature, along with some of its key elements, including the importance of privacy, control over sharing and easy mobile integration. In many ways, it mirrors and attempts to improve on Facebook’s concept of frictionless sharing from open graph actions.
It is then left up to the various partners to decide how they use the feature. From the Shazam example, you can see full extent of interactive sharing available:
The Fancy have chosen to integrate a buy button into shared content, providing another example of how brands can use ‘Sign In’. The following example displays how such posts will look.
Foursquare partners with Mastercard and Visa
In a bid at further monetisation, Foursquare have partnered with card giants Mastercard and Visa for providing discounts. Having enjoyed success from a similar deal with American Express, the social network has launched a new deal for all three cards, offering a saving of $1 for every ten spent with a check in at Burger King.
Vimeo ‘Looks’ to add Instagram-style filters to video
Video-sharing network Vimeo has further expanded its appeal to filmmakers by offering filters, known as ‘looks’, through a partnership with GenArts and use of their ‘Vivoom’ app. Each filter, or ‘look’, applies a different effect to video content, offering a straightforward method to alter a film’s appearance.
The feature, which marks Vimeo’s first external partnership, is set to be free for users for the first 90 days, after which a charge will be applied. Pricing structure is as yet undecided.
Pheed becomes number one social app for iOS
Last week, Pheed overtook the likes of Facebook and Twitter as the top social app for iOS. The network, which allows sharing of all sorts of content from text, photos, video and audio to voice or live broadcast, is believed to owe its expansion to positive reviews by high-profile teens on Twitter and Instagram. It also includes a number of interesting features, including the ability to watermark images, or put certain content behind a paywall. With such impressive growth, Pheed is definitely one to watch in the coming months.
420 million Chinese netizens access web via mobile phone
The number of internet users in China has soared in the past year. As Resonance China reports, the number of netizens reached 564 million in 2012, and promises to hit the 600 million mark soon. What’s particularly striking, though, is the fact that many of these internet users are using their mobile phones to go online. The number of people using mobile web hit 420 million in 2012, up by 64.4 million from 355.6 million users in 2011. This also means that almost 3 out of 4 netizens, or 74.5% are mobile web users in China. On the other hand, internet access via PC stands at 70.6% of netizens. Resonance China reports that this is the first time that mobile internet access has exceeded the number of people going online through PCs.
100 million monthly active users on Instagram
TechCrunch reports that popular photo-sharing app Instagram has reached 100 million monthly active users worldwide. This significant milestone came soon after the platform had announced 90 million MAU just last month. These numbers may seem small in comparison to the 1 billion users on Facebook, the social giant that acquired Instagram for 1 billion US dollars (S$1.24 billion) during 2012. Even Instagram’s competitor Twitter announced twice that number in users, reaching its 200 million milestone in December last year. What’s impressive about Instagram’s 100 million though, is the fact that it’s just over 2 years old. Ever since its launch in October 2010, Instagram users have posted a total of 4 billion photos; currently, it sees 40 million photos posted to Instagram each day. It seems like brands are jumping on the bandwagon, as many global companies are starting to adopt the platform, increasing their existing social media presence on Instagram as well.
In South Korea, smartphone penetration at 78.5%, up from 38% in 2011
A recent report by eMarketer indicates that the number of smartphone and tablet users soared in South Korea during 2012. Based on a survey by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), the findings suggest that the penetration rate for smartphones in particular skyrocketed from 38% in 2011 to 78.5% by December 2012. The highest percentage of users with 97.4% penetration are in the 20-29 age bracket.
eMarketer notes that the survey did exclude individuals who were over 60 years old, the least likely demographic to adopt smart devices. Given the aging population of Korea, this exclusion seemingly skews the numbers toward the perception of a higher adoption rate. Nonetheless, the huge jump amongst all of those surveyed still exceeds an average increase of 40% from 2011, proving to be a real eye-opener on its own. The penetration rate of tablets also indicated a considerable jump from 3.1% in 2011 to 7.5%, with the highest increase amongst 20-29 year olds (from 5.8% in 2011 to 13.5% in 2012).
Line hits 1 million user mark in Vietnam
According to a recent report by TechinAsia, popular chat app Line has passed 1 million users in Vietnam. The Japanese mobile messaging service had only recently surpassed 100 million users worldwide, with over half of the user base located in Japan. The chat app has weathered significant competition lately, from regional and global competitors such as Whatsapp, Tencent’s WeChat (called Weixin in China), and KakaoTalk out of Korea. While Line’s global user base is impressive in its own right, it faces tough competition from WeChat’s 300 million users, and KakaoTalk with over 70 million users worldwide. What makes Line’s milestone in Vietnam particularly impressive, then, is the fact that it is far exceeding the performance of these global competitors in this market. Granted, WeChat was reported to have a rough road ahead in the Vietnamese market, given the existing political tensions between China and Vietnam. KakaoTalk’s reach into Vietnam has also shown relatively slow growth, with reports of roughly 150,000 users on the Korean chat app (UPDATE: TechInAsia reports that KakaoTalk has just reached 1 million users in Vietnam as well). In Vietnam, the main global competitors for Line are Viber and Whatsapp. The Vietnamese messaging service Zalo also stands as a competitor, with over 700,000 users and predictions that it will hit 1 million users within a month.
98% of recruiters use social media to find talent in US, Canada
eMarketer reports that an increasing number of recruiters are using social media to find talent. In a recent survey of recruiters and executives conducted by recruitment software company Bullhorn, a whopping 98% of participants responded that they had used social media to find talent last year. As eMarketer notes, this is a slight but significant increase from the 94% reported in 2011. Most of the increase stems from LinkedIn, as 97.3% of recruiters reported using the professional networking platform in 2012.
The use of social media for recruitment is far from a fad, however, as many of the respondents predicted that social would become even more integrated with their jobs in 2013. While 82.6% of the participants indicated plans to increase LinkedIn usage, other platforms were also on the docket of social recruiting: 38.3% plan to increase their focus on Twitter while 37.4% intend to increase the time spent on Facebook in 2013.
The most effective platform was reported to be LinkedIn, as 93% of the respondents indicated that they had used LinkedIn to successfully place a candidate during 2012. While Facebook and Twitter came in second and third respectively, Facebook’s 17% candidate placement is a slight decrease from the 19% reported in 2011. Meanwhile, Twitter’s 13% in 2012 is a slight increase from the 11% recorded in the previous year.