Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Internet’.
Social media plays a spectrum of roles in daily life. But how is it different from sending an email, or dialing a phone? You could say that they all started by providing a common function: by allowing convenient and accessible communication. As platforms like Facebook gained momentum, however, the social comms component evolved to provide another value. What was formerly used as an alternative for face-to-face, just like emails or phone calls–evolved to become a canvas for establishing, reinforcing and redefining concepts of self-identity. Even amongst unfamiliar faces, it’s important that we represent some parts of who we are. Online, social media has evolved to require just that. No longer are these platforms solely about speaking with people you know, or perhaps even want to know on a personal level.
Social media has become a platform for the performance of personal identity–a value that is inscribed in its primary value as a means for conversation.
As such, it’s no surprise that TescoMobile’s recent Twitter conversation went viral. It’s crucial to recognise that this conversation started out as one that could have easily been as mundane and insignificant as overhearing a customer service call over the phone.
This conversation went viral precisely because that’s not what happened at all. While the customer’s (somewhat confusing) gripes were addressed early on, that only served as a springboard for TescoMobile to launch into a highly engaging conversation with the dissatisfied customer’s ‘whistle blower’, Riccardo Esposito.
Instead of merely thanking Esposito for ‘bringing this to our attention’ (yawn), TescoMobile framed their appreciation in the context of playful banter. The quirky and captivating tone of voice keeps Esposito engaged, and before long, multiple brands are involved in this strangely spectacular performance of delightful creativity and imagination.
While the conversation effectively steered the topic away from the initial complaint, the brand gained most from its ability to balance humour and humility with effortless finesse.
In the end, this humorous, tongue-in-cheek narrative was never about managing customer service, or even about improving upon common marketing metrics like response time, conversions or engagement rates.
This conversation is ultimately about the magic of social media. It exemplifies how the measurable qualities of clicks and impressions are always underwritten by an ineffable chemistry, the odd science that can make or break the relationship between an audience and a brand.
What this conversation suggests, is ultimately a case for the importance of identity in conversation. When brand messaging sounds more like a friendly chat; when tone of voice hints at totems of personal identity; when brands aren’t afraid to wear their hearts, hopes and humanity on their sleeves–perhaps that’s when a passive fan becomes a loyal friend.
If you need proof, take a look at Twitter reactions to TescoMobile below:
More companies are using social media for recruitment in 2013
How important is your social media presence on securing the job that you want? According to a survey that polled 592 human resource professionals worldwide, some 60% of companies were using or planned to use social media searches as a recruitment tool in 2013. Respondents revealed that they sought information related to candidates’ previous work history, education and recommendations when they reviewed them on social media sites. Yet, some business leaders remained sceptical about the reliability of online information on assessing the suitability of a candidate; only 30% of respondents believe that the data on social media is useful. You never know, what you share online may or may not come in useful for that next job opportunity!
Most free Internet landscapes in the world
Freedom House has published data on where the most free internet landscapes are across the world, based on criteria such as obstacles to internet access, limits on content, and violations of user rights.
According to a summary by Tech in Asia, Japan and the Philippines are the most free Internet landscapes, and Vietnam and China the least. Notably, India is experiencing the greatest decline in internet freedom. This is largely influenced by religious unrest and political conflict in 2012 which have also lead to censorship of content deemed offensive and potentially violent.
Two million microblog monitors in China
China state media revealed last week that the government employs more than two million people to monitor web activity. The monitors, described as internet opinion analysts, are on state and commercial payrolls to “gather and analyse public opinions on microblog sites and compile reports for decision-makers”, say state media. Monitors routinely scan through China’s overseas websites as well as microblogging sites such as Sina Weibo, which now has more than 500 million registered users with 100 million messages posted daily.
Social ad spending on the up
eMarketer has reported that marketers’ budgets for social are set to increase. In August 2013, social ad spending made up, on average, around 6.6% of marketers’ budgets – it’s set to increase to 9.1% in the next year, then zoom to 15.8% within five.
Play.com reaps the rewards from social discovery
Electronics website play.com has noticed a large increase in traffic from social sites in the last year. A study of 300 consumers noted that, year-on-year, the traffic driven from social discovery sites, such as Pinterest, was up 200%, while that from social networks such as Facebook was up 80%. Mobile had grown too, with 23% of sales taking place via a mobile device, up 53% in the same amount of time.
Companies respond faster in social media than offline
Two separate studies from last week, when taken together, show that companies respond faster to consumer queries in social media than they do offline. The first, a survey of Call Centre Association members (whatever they are), found that 59% of organisations take over eight hours to respond to email communication, with 26.5% extending that to 24 hours or more. Meanwhile, a study by Simply Measured concluded that the average response time on Twitter was 5.1 hours, while 10% of organisations got a reply out within an hour. So, if you want your question answered on line, Twitter is the place to be.
Spam on the increase in social media
Social media spam has grown by 355% in the first half of 2013, according to analysis of 60m pieces of content from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. The research has found that one in every 200 pieces of social content is now spam, which could start to become a real problem if it continues to grow at the same rate. For illustrative purposes, here is a picture of everyone’s favourite processed meat.
The rise and rise of tablet usage
This year, an estimated 20 million people in the UK will use a tablet, accounting for roughly 1/3 of the population. This is set to grow every year until at least 2017, when 34.8 million UK residents will make use of such a device. Over this period, though, the percentage growth is set to decrease, already down from 165.3% in 2012 to 41.5% this year, it will have fallen to 9.4% by 2017 as the market approaches saturation.
Facebook using free wifi to obtain location data
Facebook is set to offer the opportunity for business to attain free wifi for their customers through its partner, Cisco, in a bid to attain further location data. The system will be available to businesses of all sizes, as the network is using cloud-based wifi firm Meraki to connect with small and medium establishments. Facebook can then use the data to create more accurately targeted ads.
Facebook Home to add content from other social networks
Facebook Home, the homescreen created by the network for Android phones, will begin to pull in content from other social networks including Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram in its latest version. The move sees Facebook adapting to a lukewarm user reception; if it genuinely intends to create a socially-led option for phones, allowing greater access to all platforms may well prove a necessary addition.
Post search now available in Facebook’s Graph Search
Graph Search, Facebook’s social search tool, now includes the ability to search for specific posts by what content they contain, when they were posted, where and by whom. In a blog post on the subject, Facebook said:
Starting today, Graph Search will include posts and status updates. Now you will be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments to find things shared with you.
Search for the topics you’re interested in and see what your friends are saying, like “Dancing with the Stars” or “Posts about Dancing with the Stars by my friends.
Facebook introduces new mobile ad unit aimed at app engagement
Facebook has introduced a new ad unit for mobile, which aims ad increasing engagement with apps, once a user has already downloaded them. The ads will encourage people to head back to specific features of the app, which could well be very useful for marketers looking to maintain high levels of engagement with a particular part of an app. The video below gives more detail about the new feature.
Growth in users, ad revenue and losses at Twitter
Leading up to Twitter’s stock market IPO, there have been a fair few stories about it this week. The network has released figures on its huge international growth, as its US user growth begins to slow; in March 2010, US monthly active users amounted to 10 million, while their international equivalent were 20 million; these figures have grown at disparate rates to 49 million and 169 million respectively.
This international user base could prove important for Twitter’s advertising base, as they have seen an increase in both ad revenue and overall losses. In the first half of 2013, revenue was up 101% year-on-year to $253.6m, with 87% coming from adverts, but an increase in personnel had accounted for an increase in net losses by 41% to $69.3m in the same period. And after reports of up to 20% of the network’s users being fake, it has been forced to deny the claims, arguing that the figure is actually more like 5% and that there will be a purge of these before the IPO takes place. All hands on deck at Twitter HQ.
New Snapchat stories
Snapchat has introduced ‘stories’, their equivalent of the Facebook newsfeed. Taking a series of photos and videos, you add the various captions/graffiti and publish, at which point the ‘story’ appears to all your friends for 24 hours, before self-destructing in classic Snapchat style. You can get more information on the changes from the video below, or this in-depth analysis by We Are Social’s own Tom Ollerton.
Spotify introduces ‘follow’ button
Spotify, which has up until now been fairly self-contained as social networks go, has introduced a new ‘follow’ button that can appear on any desktop or mobile site, available in 39 countries. When users see the button, shown below, they can instantly follow them and receive updates in their Spotify activity stream, whether they be an artist, user, label, blog or magazine. The button aims to increase engagement on the network, as well as to introduce new people from external sources. Click below and you can even follow Avicii! (You can’t really, it’s a screenshot).
US government shutdown closes their social channels
It’s not just the national parks that have closed down because of the US government shutdown – their social channels have done so, too. Sign-off tweets, like the below, have been seen, but since then it’s been eerily quiet in some parts of social media.
Diane von Furstenberg’s shoppable Google+ hangout
Google+ had a first last week: designer Diane von Furstenberg hosted a shoppable hangout on the network. Those who took part watched the designer talk through various items from her catalogue, whilst simultaneously able to browse and shop the collection. The video below gives some more detail about what went on.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Features It’s Top Twitter Fans in New Ads
Dunkin’ Donuts has been on fire with social media recently, launching one of the first Vine-based TV spots in history last month. Now John Costello, the brand’s Marketing Chief, has given a sneak preview of two socially led video ads that will be released on 14th October at the Masters of Marketing Annual Conference. Two consumers were chosen to appear in each advert, based on their positive tweets about Dunkin’ Donuts. It is presumed that the adverts will run on ESPN, aligning with Dunkin’ Donuts sponsorship of the channel’s Monday Night Football pre-game show.
The 1.2 million faces of Facebook (including yours)
A new website designed by Natalia Rojas compiles the 1.2 billion profile pictures on Facebook, all in one place. ‘The Faces of Facebook’ depicts each user by a teeny tiny dot. Click anywhere amidst the multitude of dots, and the page filters down to reveal thumbnails of the faces of a handful of Facebook users. Click on any one, and their public profile pops up. Many people have privacy concerns surrounding Facebook, but Rojas claims that the site doesn’t store anyone’s private information, pictures, or names. The very first thumbnail? Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Line hits 200M users; adds 100M in 6 months
A new article by TechInAsia reports that Japan-based chat app Line has reached a milestone user base of 200 million. Line had just recently reached 100 million in January of this year, indicating that the chat app has doubled its user base in the last six months alone. Korean competitor KakaoTalk reached its first 100 million users earlier this month. China-based WeChat is closing in on 400 million users, most of whom are based in China. TechInAsia notes that Line is commemorating this milestone by giving out premium stickers until July 26.
Hashtags not doing much for brands on FB
A recent article by Inside Facebook revealed that hashtags have not led to higher engagement for brands on Facebook. The new Twitter-like feature launched in early June on the social network, and hashtag prominence grew steadily throughout the month. Based on a study by Simply Measured, the findings indicate that nearly 20 percent of all Interbrand 100 posts contained hashtags by the end of June–up from 3 percent on June 12. Hashtagged brand posts also saw two peaks during the month, with 26 percent of brand posts incorporating them on both July 20 and July 27. The study also found, however, that these hashtags were still not having much of an effect on engagement levels for brands. Nate Smith, a Marketing analyst for Simply Measured is noted as suggesting hashtags may become more effective if their presence is collaboratively reinforced and given cohesion across multiple platforms.
Simply Measured’s report further indicated that visual content receive the highest levels of engagement by a long shot, as photo and video posts received 98 percent of all engagement on brand posts. Simply Measured notes that brands are well-aware of the allure of imagery, as 80 percent of brand posts from the period featured photos or video. Meanwhile, questions received negligible engagement (thereby justifying the termination of Facebook questions, a product option previously available for brand pages).
Another interesting finding from the study revealed that posts between 50 and 99 characters received the highest levels of engagement. The success of brand posts declined as they got longer, with a sharp drop at posts over 250 characters in length.
In India, Line added 5M new users in 3 weeks
Line has been turning up the heat on its competitors, establishing aggressive expansion tactics worldwide. As TechInAsia reports, this strategy has reaped its rewards for the Japan-based chat app, particularly in its recent efforts and focus on the Indian market. A mere three weeks into launching a TV ad campaign in the market, Line reported adding 5 million new users in India. That’s almost 250,000 new users per day, in India alone. TechInAsia notes that, given a majority 70 percent of Line users are overseas users, odds are there were some Indian users prior to the official launch in the market. In any case, Line is clearly starting to tip the scales, by focusing on areas where WeChat’s dominance amongst Asian chat apps remains largely curtailed (virtually everywhere outside of China).
90% of Thai netizens use social media
Social media has continued to grow in popularity in Thailand this year. The country is the 16th biggest for Facebook, with 18 million users. Meanwhile, Bangkok remained the biggest city on Facebook, a title earned in 2012, and also continued to be one of the two most-Instagrammed places worldwide. So it comes as no surprise that Thais are even more engaged on social media this year. Based on a survey by Thailand’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), findings reported by TechInAsia illustrated how Thais spent a weekly average of 32 hours on the internet, with over 38 percent spending at least 20 hours on a weekly basis. The survey also found that more than 90 percent of Thai netizens were using social media. Facebook remained the most popular platform, claiming over 92 percent of responses. YouTube came in at 63.7 percent, while Line followed close behind with just over 61 percent. Desktop PCs were still the most popular choice for web access (45 percent), while notebooks claimed just over a quarter of responses. Smartphones followed with 22.7 percent, while Tablets came in with 6.8 percent.
Variety of options still key for social logins
eMarketer recently reported on the state of social logins in Q2 2013. Although Facebook has remained the most popular platform amongst consumers, its slight majority amongst other social login platforms–a 54 percent stake in Q3 2012–has declined as other social login platforms have maintained preference amongst “solid minorities”. The Janrain study indicates that Facebook’s share of 46.2 percent holds against Google’s 34 percent. Yahoo comes in third, but trails far behind with just 6.6 percent of respondents indicating preference. Twitter follows Yahoo with 5.7 percent. Twitter in particular has lost significant ground as a preferred platform for social logins, losing a considerable share since holding 10 percent Q3 2012.
eMarketer notes that the preference for social logins directly corresponds to the kind of site being accessed. Facebook logins were much more preferred for gaming and entertainment sites (64 percent). Facebook came out ahead with a majority on music and retail sites as well (61 percent and 59 percent respectively). Nonetheless, the breakdown shows a widened spread of preference for social logins, indicating that variety has remained crucial for the success of social logins throughout this year.
K-Pop YouTube views tripled thanks to ‘Gangnam Style’
According to a recent article by Mashable, K-Pop videos have become highly popular in the past year due to the staggering success of Psy’s video for “Gangnam Style”. YouTube announced that views of videos from Korean artists have tripled since last July, when Psy’s record-breaking video emerged on the video sharing platform. YouTube compiled data supporting this fact, as indicated by the sharp spike in K-pop video views indicated in the graph below. These views increase again, when Psy launched “Gentleman” a follow-up video earlier this year. “Gangnam Style” is the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, with over 1.7 billion views. “Gentleman” has seen incredible success as well, having accrued 483 million views in just over 3 months since its launch. YouTube notes that the year prior to ‘Gangnam Style’, K-pop videos had a viewership of 2.2 billion worldwide; in the year after the video’s launch, this number surged to 7 billion. The platform also notes that a majority of views prior to ‘Gangnam Style’ came from Asia Pacific. In the past year, however, 91% of the views came from outside of the region. Mashable notes that US views in particular had doubled in the year after “Gangnam Style” was released.
30M users, 300M subscriptions on KakaoTalk Games
Korean chat app KakaoTalk has seen considerable success on its gaming offshoot, KakaoTalk Games. The platform has grown to 30 million users and 300 million accumulated subscriptions in its first year since it launched. TechInAsia notes that this feat is particularly impressive given that it only offered ten games when it was introduced last year. The company reported that this increase in users is accompanied by a whopping increase of 194% in accumulated sales on the gaming platform.
6% of US netizens are on Reddit; mostly young males
TheNextWeb recently reported on the demographic breakdown of Reddit users in the US. Based on a study by the Pew Research Center, the findings indicated that 6 percent of the total internet population were active users on the social link sharing platform. TheNextWeb notes that the failure of its main competitor, Digg, is a factor that led to the rapid growth of Reddit. While the 6 percent is an overall internet user rate, it is interesting to note that 15 percent of male internet users in the 18-29 age bracket frequented the site. By contrast, female users in the same age bracket only came to 5 percent, and men aged 30-49 were at 8 percent.
300M Enterprise Accounts on Sina Weibo
As Sina Weibo users continue to increase, brands are quickly taking to establishing their own presence on the microblogging platform. According to China Internet Watch, Sina Weibo had roughly 300 million Enterprise accounts in 2012. The platform itself has users accessing Weibo from multiple sources; desktop users hit 285 million, while mobile app users were at 88 million in March 2013. According to Sina, the top five brand categories for Enterprise accounts were online shopping, entertainment, consumer electronics, catering food and clothing. It is interesting to note that online shopping comes out on top with a significant margin of 6.4% in terms of most followed Enterprise Weibo Accounts. Receiving promotional information constituted the strongest reason for following Enterprise accounts, with nearly a quarter of the respondents agreeing that this was a factor (23.9%).
China Now Has 591M netizens, 460M on mobile web
According to a recent article by TechInAsia, internet users in China has grown to consist of 591 million users and 460 million mobile web users Based on new data from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the findings illustrate considerable growth in the past three years, from the 420 million internet users reported in mid-2010. The number of mobile web users in particular has doubled since December 2009. TechInAsia notes that the increasing popularity of mobile web is related to the high penetration rate of mobile phones, with more than 1.1 billion subscriptions “at last count” and 300 million users with 3G. Mobile web is especially promising, given the fact that over 70 percent of new netizens accessed the internet via mobile phones in the first half of 2013.–roughly twice as much as new users who access the web through desktop PCs (35.4%).
Influencers on Sina Weibo are less active this year: survey
According to TechInAsia, Sina Weibo activity is on the decline compared to its booming performance and growth last year. The findings are based on data from a third-party tool called WeiboReach, that tracked verified and influential users with over 10,000 followers. The findings indicated that Sina Weibo activity started to decline in October of last year.
As the graph above indicates (click to enlarge), Weibo was at the height of its performance during Summer 2012, just as it revealed a massive user base of 500 million users (and 46.3 million daily active users). Aside from expected seasonal spikes (January’s spike is tied to Chinese New Year; the second spike is due to the Ya’an earthquake in late April).
Pinterest has 70M users; over 70% in US
According to a recent Semiocast study, Pinterest has reached 70 million registered users worldwide. The report also indicates that more than 20 million images were pinned, repinned or liked during the month of June alone. The findings also suggest that 71% of the total users are based in the US, as are 79% of of active users on the platform. The concentration in the US market will be mitigated, however, by the fact that international adoption is growing; nearly half of the new accounts from June were for non-US users, while 55% of the new users were based in the US. Semiocast predicts that the international user base may overtake that of the US within the next 18 months. The study also found that English-speaking and North American markets constitute the majority of the worldwide user base; Canada, the UK, Australia and Mexico follow as the largest markets, after the 49 million users in the US.
In another interesting finding, Semiocast found that China had the largest base of business accounts worldwide. While there are only 320,000 Pinterest users in China, over 190,000 of them were registered as business accounts, constituting 35 percent of all business accounts on the platform.
Vietnam users spent 4.8B mins on Facebook in April 2013
According to a recent eMarketer report, a large majority of internet users in Vietnam are youths and young adults. Based on April 2013 data from the US Census Bureau, the estimate has about 52.6% of the internet population under 30 years of age. Data from ComScore also suggested that the 15-24 and 25-34 age brackets make up nearly three-quarters of internet users in Vietnam (72.8%).
Of these internet users, social networking is gaining in popularity. Facebook ranked 5th amongst top 15 web properties for April 2013, with 11.8 million total unique visitors. Meanwhile, Google and Yahoo came in first and second, with 15.5 million and 13.1 million unique visitors respectively. On the other hand, Facebook dominated all 15 web properties when it came to total minutes spent. As the chart below indicates, almost 4.8 billion minutes were spent on Facebook during the month, while Google claimed just over 3.5 billion minutes. Facebook also claimed the highest number of unique visitors amongst social networking sites by a huge margin; its 11.8 million unique visitors are more than double the 5.3 million visits to ZING Me and blogger.
A snapshot of Pakistan’s digital landscape in 2013
TechInAsia recently reported on a summary of the digital landscape in Pakistan this year. The findings indicate that social media is on the rise in the market. For instance, there are now over nine million Facebook users in Pakistan, and the last million was gained in the last 175 days. That’s pretty impressive given the fact that internet penetration stands at a relatively low 15%, or 29.1 million of the total population. This means that Facebook has a penetration of roughly one-third of all netizens in Pakistan. Blogging follows Facebook as the second most popular social media activity in the market. Despite the platform’s ban in 2012, YouTube has remained popular and ranks third amongst social media platforms. LinkedIn has 1.5 million users in Pakistan, making it the 10th largest LinkedIn nation worldwide. Meanwhile, Twitter is estimated to have 1.8 million users in the country, and is noted for being a major source for breaking news.
50% of UK population will use social networks in 2013
A recent article by eMarketer indicated that social networking would reach half of the population of the UK this year. The study further predicts that the growth will continue for the next few years: the penetration rate will reach 55.6 percent of the total population by 2017, or 71 percent of all internet users in the UK. It is predicted that the only age bracket without 50 percent penetration or more will be seniors aged 65 years or over. eMarketer note that the UK is a leader amongst markets for social media, with many areas of opportunity for platforms to expand. Precedent indicates that the social media audience has consisted of younger demographics (12-44 years of age); however, users over 65 years old will drive the largest increases this year, predicted to grow by over 15 percent in 2013, and nearly 11 percent the following year.