Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Jiepang’.

Five Friday Facts #66

by Laura Picard in News

Sina Weibo logs 731,102 posts during the first minute of Lunar New Year
TheNextWeb recently reported that Sina Weibo announced a staggering milestone: There was an astounding 731,102 posts in the first minute of Lunar New Year, where users on the Chinese microblogging channel gathered to celebrate the year of the snake. TechInAsia also highlights that this number included an impressive 34,997 posts from the first second alone. The number also illustrates the magnitude of Sina Weibo’s growth in the past year. As TechinAsia reports, this first-minute record is particularly striking given the 481,207 posts that were logged during the last New Year, with the peak clocking in at 32,312 posts per second.

59% of top 100 brands are on Instagram, reaching 5.8M followers
According to a recent study by SimplyMeasured, 59% of the top brands have created accounts on Instagram. The social media analytics company conducted their quarterly study for the third time in February 2013. They found that this comprised an increase from 54% in November 2012, or a QoQ increase of 9%. The study breaks down the platform adoption further, to show that 55% of the top brands have active accounts–meaning they have posted photos via the photo-sharing platform. This also compares favorably, to the 49% of top brands with active Instagram accounts.

But are the top brands on Instagram being noticed? The answer seems to be a resounding “yes”, as their Instagram followers have collectively increased by 41% and engagement by 35% since November 2012. The total number of top-brand followers has increased to 5.8 million users, with 10 of the brands logging over 100,000 followers.

Sina Weibo grew 73%, passed 500 million registered users in 2012
In another report on Sina Weibo, TheNextWeb reported that China’s popular microblogging platform had accumulated over 503 million accounts by the end of last year. Sina CEO Charles Chao also revealed that daily users on the site came to a whopping 46.2 million users as of December 2012. This number expresses an 82% increase year-on-year. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Sina Weibo had only recently reached 400 million registered users late in the year, during the third quarter of 2012. TechInAsia notes, however, that growth has recently slowed down to 9% in the latest quarter. Chao similarly expressed some concern regarding decreases in usage following competitor Tencent WeChat’s growth to 300 million users in the past year. Chao stated that his concerns were ultimately mitigated by the notion that Weibo had reached a size that would inevitably keep itself going and growing–particularly given the increasing adoption of mobile web and “the formation of [an] ecosystem” around the popular platform.

68% of marketers to increase data spend, focus on social media in 2013
eMarketer reports that a majority of marketers are planning to increase spending on data, with the objective of understanding the “surge of data produced by digital interactions with customers.” As the study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive indicates, 68% of marketers are planning to increase spending. By contrast, 23%  had planned to spend the same amount, and only 3% of the respondents planned to decrease spending on data in 2013.

The increasing interest in social media data comes from the findings that followed. When asked about the prospect of using social media data to drive campaigns, a significant portion (78%) of the respondents indicated positive interest. While 42% of respondents reported plans to integrate social media data further, 36% indicated plans to start during 2013.


200,000 users check-in through Jiepang every day
Jiepang currently has 4 million users. While this number pales in comparison to the number of users on social giants like Sina Weibo and Tencent, China’s location-based check-in app is consistently abuzz with activity. As PandoChina notes, Jiepang’s CEO David Liu stated that over 200,000 users checked-in to locations on a daily basis. The Foursquare analogue has been around since 2010 and cultivated a relatively small but strong niche following in the past two years. As of now, the highest number of check-ins stands at 150,631 for a single location–again, somewhat paltry compared to the 1 million check-ins logged by its Western counterpart, Foursquare earlier this month. TechInAsia notes that the road ahead may indeed become difficult for Jiepang, especially given the rapid growth of other social channels in China. It is noted, however, that Jiepang plans to adapt and innovate around potential obstacles by loosening the emphasis on check-ins and increasing focus on social sharing and user content. According to Liu, their revamped app will ultimately take on a Facebook-like appearance as a social network. Ultimately opening up new ways to use the app for its current and prospective users in the upcoming year.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #59

by Karen Wee in News

Line chat app launches Chinese rival to WeChat
Mobile messaging is big in Asia, and Japanese chat app Line has launched a Chinese version called ‘Lianwo’ (loosely translated to mean “link me”) in a bid to expand into China. The Chinese version of the popular chat app comes with most of the features except social gaming support. Line faces an uphill battle for the Chinese market as its rival WeChat (also known as “Weixin” in Chinese) has a firm foothold within the country and a far larger user base of more than 200 million versus Line’s user base of 70 million. Line might be a late entrant into the Chinese market but it has made some headway in Thailand, where it recently announced passing the 10 million download mark and Indonesia, with social marketing tie-ups with local businesses and special stickers.

Nimbuzz chat app plans to compete for the Asian messaging market
Nimbuzz, a Dutch-born chat app with its headquarters in India, is the latest to enter the fray in the battle for users in Asia’s mobile messaging market. Like its rivals, Line, WeChat and KakaoTalk, Nimbuzz has features such as messaging, voice and video calling. However, Nimbuzz differentiates itself from the competition through its integration with other online chat platforms like Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook messaging and Windows Live Messenger. Nimbuzz also offers Skype-like international calling allowing users to connect to anybody worldwide even if the other party is not a Nimbuzz user.

Starbucks kicks off 4th year of Jiepang tie-up with festive social check-ins
Get virtual goodies with your brew when you check in at over 300 Chinese Starbucks stores in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces this festive season. Through a tie-up between Starbucks and Jiepang, China’s most popular location-based check-in service, Starbucks customers can earn four virtual Christmas badges, send Christmas e-cards and unlock buy-one-get-one-free drink deals. Available till the end of 2012, Jiepang users will unlock a ‘Magic Wish’ badge and be eligible to redeem buy-one-get-one-free rewards when they’ve collected all four Christmas badges. To make gifting Christmas greetings easier and more social, users can send Christmas e-Cards to friends on their Sina Weibo accounts from within the Jiepang app. Toffee Nut Latte, anyone?

South Koreans to hold “Battle of the Singles” on Christmas Eve
What started as a harmless question about Christmas Eve plans on Facebook has resulted in a mass dating event slated to take place in a park in central Seoul. The event has attracted over 36,000 people and garnered the attention of businesses with around 200 firms offering to sponsor the event. On Christmas Eve, the singles will gather at the park located on an island on the Han River. Clad in red, the women will stand a few metres away from the the men, dressed in white, till the event starts and they’re allowed to run towards a potential date and grab his or her hands. The singles who couple up will be encouraged to post photos taken with their newly found partners on the event’s Facebook page. The concept received such an overwhelming response and publicity that similar events are being planned in other cities with some businesses have offered single employees a day off to attend the event.

Travel gets more social with WAYN and India Today Group partnership
London-grown social network for travellers, WAYN (Where Are You Now), and content platform, India Today Group, have inked a deal to co-brand a travel portal – Travel Plus. The deal gives ITG access to WAYN’s userbase of over 19.1 million users, of which 4 million are Indian. For WAYN, ITG offers rich content and reach through its 38 magazine titles, 4 television channels, 7 radio stations in addition to a range of websites and apps. The travel portal, which will collate travel information and deals, is expected to appeal to potential tourists and expatriates wanting to learn more about India.

The Global Popularity of Social Media
A report by the Pew Research Center has shown the increasing usage of social networking sites all over the world. Key findings show that in countries like Britain, US, Russia, Czech Republic and Spain, around half the population are using social media. Also, in almost every country polled, social media usage was higher amongst under 30s and those with a college degree. This graph shows the percentage of each country’s population using (and not using) social networks around the world:

Worldwide Social Network Usage

A shift is expected in marketing budgets
A global study by the Chief Marketing Officer Council expects that the coming year will see increased budgets for digital and social marketing, with slower growth in television. 79% of marketers intend to invest in social media: 30% in community building, 30% in social media monitoring and 19% into tracking and analytics. With these interests compiled, social networks prove the most important point of investment for global CMOs.

The Networks being used to connect with brands
SocialVibe have produced research into the networks used by Internet Users to connect with Brands, with Facebook unsurprisingly topping the list. What is more interesting is how well Google+ is doing, outperforming both YouTube and Twitter.

Only 20% of FTSE 100 engaging on LinkedIn
Sociagility’s research has shown that only 1 in 5 FTSE 100 companies are active on LinkedIn, despite 96% holding some presence on the platform. In fact, only 12% are receiving regular engagement from LinkedIn users, despite the network now consisting of 187 million members. Could this be a missed opportunity for brands?

Facebook set to launch disposable photo sharing app?
Facebook is rumoured to be launching an app for sharing self-destructable text and photos, similar to Snapchat, before the end of 2012. The app, which will be standalone, much like Camera and Messenger, allows users to share a photo or message that can only be viewed for a certain amount of time. The vast similarity between this and Snapchat means the battle between the two will be interesting to monitor over the coming months.

Twitter adds photo filters
After last week’s news that Instagram had removed Twitter card functionality, the microblogging platform has now introduced its own set of filters, powered by Aviary. The service offers many of the same features as the site’s former partner, Instagram but it is unlikely that Instagram’s user base will be tempted away by the new feature.

Twitter improves Promoted Tweets functionality
Having introduced Promoted Tweets back in 2010, a couple of alterations have been made to the feature this week, intending to provide a better service for marketers. Firstly, when intending a Promoted Tweet to appear in a search, it is now possible to select from three different keyword matching options: exact match, phrase match, and basic keyword match. This means that you can prevent your Promoted Tweet about bacon appearing in searches for Kevin Bacon, simply by adding “Kevin” as a negative keyword.

Also, Promoted Tweets will now automatically respond to relevant and related trending topics. This means that, say you’re a vendor of baby clothes, you can have Promoted Tweets react to a new trend about a celebrity baby and increase your overall reach.

Pinterest adds Twitter card support
In a timely fashion just after Instagram switched off their Twitter integration, Pinterest have now added Twitter card support. This means that, whenever a pin is posted to Twitter, you can view it without leaving the page. Here’s what it looks like:

A wealth of new Google+ Features
Google have launched 18 new features for Google+, intending to make “sharing and communicating easier and more fun than ever.” These include new Android features that allow increased mobility, such as on-the-go profile editing and altered posting tools. Photos have also changed, including backups and animated GIF support, whilst there are also new ways to produce and respond to Event invites. Finally, Hangouts are set to be made smoother for those with lower bandwidths, which could be seen as a move to reach out to poorer countries.

Flickr produces iPhone app
Flickr has launched a radically improved iPhone app, including a number of new features. The most intriguing of these are perhaps the Instagram style features, as shown by this rather handsome dog.

Lanyrd and LinkedIn team up for events management
LinkedIn have teamed up with Lanyrd to fill the void left by the removal of the LinkedIn events function. Lanyrd has a number of features that should prove useful on LinkedIn, including recommendations based on your contacts and the ability to see who is attending an event, giving you the chance for a bit of networking.

Guardian’s Facebook social reader is no more
The UK’s Guardian newspaper has chosen to remove its social reader from Facebook, providing them with greater control over how readers find their content. Despite initial success, with over six million monthly users at one point, the reader declined in popularity after changes made by Facebook meant lower reach for articles with less engagement.

Pizza Hut makes fragrance for Facebook fans
Love the smell of pizza? After a lighthearted post by Pizza Hut Canada asked fans about a pizza perfume, the response was so strong that the restaurant chain decided to produce the fragrance and send it out to 100 Facebook fans. Apparently it smells like “dough with a little bit of seasoning added”. Sounds intriguing, though perhaps not one to wear on a night out.

J. Crew and Tumblr hosting Secret Santa blogger event
J. Crew have teamed up with Tumblr and hosted a Secret Santa event for some of the world’s biggest fashion and photography bloggers. Each was given two things by J. Crew: a $101 gift card and a “101 Gift Ideas” guide and expected to let their creativity flow for their Secret Santa. The move shows increased interest in social media by the retailer, who have this year launched on Pinterest and Instagram and relaunched their Twitter feed.

Lavazza launch 2013 Social Calendar
Coffee brand Lavazza have launched a 2013 calendar made up of content curated from their fans on Instagram. The sourced images are put together into a video collage, which can be downloaded and personalised as a 2013 calendar.

The Pope takes to Twitter
As we previously reported, the Pope took to Twitter this week, with 8 separate language accounts including @Pontifex tweeting in English. He opened with the following tweet:

This was followed by providing answers to a set of questions asked earlier in the week from Twitter users across the world, absolutely nailing the papal tone of voice.

Surrey police’s Twitter Tone of Voice
In a slightly more contemporary approach to Twitter, Surrey police have amused followers this week by tweeting safety advice based on the lyrics to Vanilla Ice’s seminal 1989 release, “Ice Ice Baby”. This, along with other tweets to the tune of “Santa Claus is coming to town”, is interspersed with more serious content, displaying how organisations can alter their tone to fit different types of content.

Starbucks get rather less festive cheer than they hoped for
As part of their Christmas marketing activity, Starbucks have produced an in-store screen that automatically displays any tweet with the hashtag #spreadthecheer. However, Twitter users have taken this as an opportunity to berate Starbucks for their recent poor performance in the tax paying stakes. An example of a time when social media moderation might seem like a good idea.

Check yourself in to a white Christmas with EE
Mobile network EE are creating white Christmases through Foursquare check ins. With snow cannons set up atop various London buildings, checking in to the right place could make it instantly start snowing near you. The cannons are located in Rivington St. and Hoxton Square, so to Londoners looking for snow, this might be your best bet.

A very modern Christmas miracle
We end with another Christmas story – Reddit users have saved Christmas for a father of four. He posted on r/offmychest, a board on which users rant about their problems, about various financial problems that were affecting him and his family. As a result, redditors gathered together to raise over $8,000, enough to pay off the father’s various bills and provide Christmas presents for his children to the extent that he is now trying to redirect help towards other needy redditors. A Christmas miracle to melt the heart of even the most stubborn Grinch.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #34

by Dhanuj Selvaraj in News

 Jiepang buddies with Weixin
Jiepang.com, China’s largest location based check-in service announced its integration with the country’s biggest social media networking site Tencent. This allows users to log in using their Tencent account giving Jiepang access to a massive 700 million user pool. Check-ins can now be synced into all of Tencent’s social networking offerings such as QZone, Tencent Weibo, Pengyou and Weixin.  The highlight of this integration is the leverage off Weixin(WeChat), a group chat service provided by Tencent. Weixin has over a 100 million registered users and more than 50 million active users, a rich opportunity to be tapped into for a location based service like Jiepang. What this means is that a check-in on Tencent Weibo will only take a couple of clicks to get that particular friend prompting him or her to drop by or as a notification if he or she is running late. The updated app also features a newly added function ‘What’s nearby’ which is said to challenge both Google and Baidu as a source for finding cool stuff in your area.

NonStop Games to bring Instagram and DrawSomething together
With OMGPop’s user numbers and sales dropping drastically, a drawing game might not be a safe bet for any studio. However, NonStop Games, a Singapore based Social Gaming start-up believes that the concept introduced in Draw Something was underdeveloped. Co-founder, Suuronen shares that the success of apps like Instagram and DrawSomething do not lie in the activity of taking photos or painting but rather in the social aspect that is nested in them. His insight into the real driver behind the popularity of Instagram is the aspect of having followers loving your work and commenting on them which motivates people to engage with app. The sentiment of coming back to the app and witnessing 10 likes and 20 new comments encourages people to keep drawing or posting photos. Leveraging off that insight, the team at NonStop introduced their newest creation Paint Stars as an interactive social gaming attempt. The app has already seen 30,000 pictures being painted everyday. While the concept behind making drawing social is inviting, whether or not people are ready for a replica of Draw Something remains a question mark.

China to recruit talent via its social media networks
As a matter of fact, China’s social media platforms are immensely popular, creating windows of opportunities for organisations to build their brand and market their products and services. Taking it further, human resource professionals are already using social networks for talent acquisitions, with up to 51% of all Chinese employers getting on board. This ranks higher than postings on newspapers, search engines and even higher than campus postings. Statistics on how Social recruiting is perceived as, as opposed to traditional means can be found here. While 75% of human resource professionals use Social media to keep in touch with active job seekers, it is noteworthy that 52% of employers are seeking opinion leaders and scarce talent. Also, 20% of them use it to screen candidates, which definitely puts extra pressure on avid social media users who are actively seeking for jobs.

 Facebook tests new design and wording changes
With Facebook’s News Feed becoming more activity-based through Pinterest pins, articles read and Spotify listens, users might not feel the same connection with their friends on the site. To optimise user engagement, Facebook regularly tweaks its features to make it more user friendly. Recently, it has been testing new designs with status updates as shown below:

It is also experimenting on encouraging users to update their status by showing the last time they updated and how many of their friends have recently logged in.

Facebook’s quickly woven into the Web’s DNA
Even if you’re not logged into Facebook, chances are you still see that little blue icon everywhere. Pingdom reports that almost half of the top 10,000 websites in the world have Facebook links, plugins or widgets on their homepages. Twitter isn’t too far behind at 42%, and Google+ has made up surprising ground in the short span of its existence, with 21.5% of the top sites including some kind of integration.

Mums are the queens of the Internet
Mothers are more likely to regularly use social media, have more than 200 friends on social networks and to ‘Like’ brands, according to the latest data from eMarketer and BabyCenter. This crowd of almost 28 million users is on the lookout for product reviews and advice from fellow mums.

eMarketer sets the scene:

You see the same scene in any neighborhood with young families: mom pushing the stroller with one hand, clutching her smartphone with the other. Through Pinterest, Facebook and other social media platforms, she is likely using that phone to connect or gather information online.

That moms are big-time social network users is demonstrated in study after study. eMarketer’s latest forecast shows that this year nearly 28 million moms will use social networks, representing a whopping 82% of mom internet users who have children under 18 in the household.

WOMMA updates social media disclosure guide, seeks public comment
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association has revised its disclosure guide, and it includes suggested status updates and hashtags for brand advocates (updated from just calling them bloggers). The group is seeking comment on the updates until Thursday.

Facebook tests off-site ads, hit by court ruling
Sponsored Stories, which appear when a user interacts with a page, have begun popping up on Zynga.com, the popular games platform that has long partnered with Facebook.

But Facebook is required to let users opt out of having their names, profile pictures and activity used in these sponsored stories, after a lawsuit settlement in California. However, it looks like users will have to opt out on a per-story basis, after the event, instead of being able to opt out of all sponsored stories in the future.

Is Facebook for branding but not for advertising?
Facebook’s profile as a viable ad medium took another blow this week when Sir Martin Sorrell said he didn’t “think it is necessarily an advertising medium”. Sorrell, the head of marketing giant WPP, did say however that Facebook is “one of the best branding mechanisms in the world”. WPP accounts for 5% of ads running on Facebook, so you could say his right hand isn’t talking to his left.

As if Facebook could hear Sorrell speaking to The Guardian, Facebook has called on some creativity from outside its four walls, and created a new creative council. It gathered the chief creative officers from agencies across the world to sit down and talk about how to make Facebook advertising better at the Cannes Lions ad festival.

Facebook brings back comment editing and introduces new hover cards
Pushed enter too quickly? Facebook users can edit comments as many times as they’d like. The change appears with an “edited” tag next to the comment’s ‘Like’ button, and all users can see a change log for the comment. Facebook has also updated “hover cards”, which pop up when users hold their mouse over page and user names. The new text is white over the cover photo, which could be problematic for some pages with light-coloured cover photos.

Facebook takes full ownership of the ‘Like’, Face.com and subscription billing
The network has given mobile app developers 90 days to reroute their app’s ‘Like’ function to Facebook’s, meaning that developers can no longer have their own ‘Like’ action within mobile apps using the Facebook API. The new functionality is good though – in Instagram’s integration, a friend can like your photo on Instagram and you are notified of it on Facebook.

Facebook has acquired facial recognition company Face.com for a reported $100 million in another effort to become the one-stop photo-sharing platform. The company’s claims its technology can guess which friends appear in your photos, as well as their age, gender and mood (it should be noted Facebook already licences this technology so the acquisition will make no immediate difference to Facebook’s functionality). In another recent move, Facebook has backed away from virtual currencies in favour of real currency for games and other apps, similar to paying for an app on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.

Twitter revamps how readers see the conversation, introduces ad products
Want to see what brands, athletes and musicians are posting but not their conversations? Twitter is rolling out a feature for verified accounts that lets users see just original tweets or @replies. Twitter’s also expanding its borders with theintroduction of ad products to 50 new countries by the end of 2012. The main targets are Brazil, Spain and Germany, which will be able to purchase promoted tweets, trends and accounts. Twitter’s CEO confirmed that these kinds of promotions, not large display ads on the site, were the way forward (and the way to profit) for Twitter.

But it’s not like we even needed proof that the globe is having its conversations on Twitter, as shown in this stunning visual from the England vs. France Euro 2012 match, with England supporters in red and France supporters in blue. #Euro2012 also just got its own customised hashtag page, similar to NASCAR’s.

Targeted status updates come to LinkedIn

Business pages can now filter updates to send just to certain industries, seniority titles, job functions, company sizes, non-company employees and regions, making it a bit similar to Google+ Circles or Facebook Lists. Some businesses that were part of LinkedIn’s trial run have already reported higher engagement with their targeted posts.

Google+ integrates with Flipboard
Flipboard users can now add their Google+ streams to the “king of social news readers”. What does this mean for Currents, Google’s own social news reader? Flipboard could spell its death, but it’s a good move for Google if they want more content from Google+ to be seen. Google’s Bradley Horowitz highlighted that Google wanted to get to know its 170 million users better, and having good relations with app developers will certainly help that mission.

Habbo Hotel’s fans make their voices heard
Although the platform is still reeling from the sexual predator scandal last week,Habbo’s loyal users have made themselves known on social media, directly tweeting Channel 4 their thoughts and experiences. Habbo even temporarily opened a public forum where users could speak their minds on one of three questions posed by Habbo’s CEO about the importance of the community and how they could improve the site. However, it still isn’t clear what will happen next as the aftermath of the scandal is still unfolding.

Want to become an Olympic athlete? Tell your Facebook friends
2012 is quickly becoming the Year of the Social Exercise app, and HealthyShare, debuted by Facebook and GE, has just jumped into the arena in time for the Olympics. Add your fitness and health goals to your Facebook Timeline, and friends will cheer (or boo) you on, depending on how your New Year’s resolution is going.

Unilever makes friends with Facebook on WaterWorks project
Unilever’s charitable contributions had a huge boost last year with the launch of its Sustainable Living plan, a project to bring safe drinking water to 500 million people. This has not been a social campaign so far, but that has changed as the consumer brand is hitting up Facebook’s 900 million global users for help by launching a Facebook app where they can donate between 10 euro cents and €1 daily via Facebook credits. In return, donors will see updates from the aid workers and the people and villages they help.

P&G hosts ‘Thank-a-Thon’ for its 1 million Facebook fans
It’s the big brand milestone on Facebook, and they are keeping it personal and creative. To celebrate P&G’s first million, its employees across the company said “thank you” for 30 hours and 48 minutes straight via video stream and encouraged fans to interact with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Evian doesn’t serve well in its Wimbledon campaign
Wimbledon had a great start this week, and many brands have been busy looking for links it can make to the competition. One such brand is Evian, the official water of the tournament. Evian UK launched a competition for its 119,500-odd Facebook fans to win exclusive tickets to watch the tennis. Over the last week, Evian’s ball boy left clues of his London whereabouts on Facebook and Twitter, and a follower who found him was chosen at random each day. Given Evian’s huge social presence, the campaign has been criticised for the seeming lack of engagement on its social profiles, averaging about 25 likes per post, made even more surprising by the fact that Evian has been running marketing since 14th June. The actual results are not quite yet in, but this is certainly one to watch.

Panasonic tests Pinterest for its latest competition
The camera company partnered with PureWow, an e-mail media firm, to launch a typical “Photo of the Year” contest, but then took the top 20 photo submissions and put them on Pinterest, Facebook and a web photo slideshow to find the winners. One of the two winners would be chosen by getting the most re-pins on Pinterest. The early results are impressive. In two weeks, more than 10,000 photos were submitted, and Pinterest is now the third highest traffic source for PureWow. One of PureWow’s posts has been repinned more than 40,000 times.

Tweets for teas
The beverage company BOS has developed the first vending machine that dispenses drinks when a customer tweets a hashtag while standing in front of the machine. The machine is connected to Twitter’s Streaming API, so even if you tweet using the hashtag but are outside of a certain radius, there will be no tea for you.

Nike is the first UK company to have its Twitter campaign banned
The line between paid-for, sponsored and personal tweets can be blurry, and the ASA has riuled said that tweets from footballers Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere weren’t clearly labelled when they contained Nike-branded content without an #ad tag. As our very own Robin Grant said:

The ASA has made some questionable decisions recently which call into question its ability to properly regulate social media campaigns.

It ruled that AMV’s Snickers campaign didn’t break the CAP Code when it clearly did and, in this instance they’ve ruled against Nike, when it could quite reasonably be argued that Wayne Rooney’s tweets did not fall within its remit.

This is bad news for everyone, as incompetent and inconsistent regulators are in neither the industry’s or the public’s best interests.

Femfresh removes its page from Facebook after backlash
Asking ladies on Facebook whether they call their vaginas “hoo haas” or “lady gardens”is not the way to win friends, as Femfresh has discovered over the past week.Femfresh finally pulled its page after loads negative comments came in, instead of addressing them and redirecting the campaign.

A Stephen Colbert tip of the hat to @Sweden?
In a surprise twist from last week’s story about the @Sweden account, this week finds us wondering whether Sweden will hand over control of the country’s official Twitter account to one of America’s greatest comedians. Apparently it’s actually being discussed, and Colbert should find out in the next week. The Twitter account won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions International Festival or Creativity on Wednesday for “best international viral marketing campaign”.

Smart Cars have a smart reply for a critic
After ad critic Clayton Hove tweeted, “Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totaled it”, Smart Car brewed up a brilliant infographic about just how many bird craps of various sizes it would actually take to total one.

VisitEngland just won Euro 2012
During last night’s disappointing match against Italy, it seemed like England’s National Tourist Board scored more than the team as they fired off one-liners like a standup comedian. The best tweet of the night had to be when Italy scored the third penalty kick.

But NatWest isn’t @NatWest…
An angry mob of NatWest customers took to Twitter after a computer glitch at the bank stopped transactions from going through, but their frustrations were accidentally directed at a 22-year old teacher named Natalie Westerman who goes by @NatWest on Twitter. She said she “never felt so popular in my life”, and she’s been kindly sending them on to the correct Twitter handle, @natwest_helps.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #13

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Starbucks and Jiepang team up again for Valentine’s Day
Starbucks and Chinese location-based service Jiepang will play matchmaker this coming Valentine’s Day with Starbucks’ new social marketing campaign. All check-ins on Jiepang in some parts of China will earn users a blue or pink Valentine’s badge, which will entitle them to two free cups of Starbucks coffee with every purchase of a Starbucks reward card. 520 lucky users stand to win Nokia N9 phones, while those who fill out the matchmaking in-store postcards might win themselves a special Starbucks mug – or a date for Valentine’s Day.

Air China’s Facebook check-in campaign
Although Facebook is banned in China, that did not prevent Air China from promoting its services in Sweden using Facebook. It partnered up with a number of popular Asian restaurants in Sweden and encouraged guests to check-in on Facebook as they sat down to eat. Those with the highest number of check-ins (and calories, we assume) at the end of the week won a pair of free tickets to Asia. Although it may seem simple, this was a highly successful campaign, reaching over a million people.

Can the caged bird still tweet? Not in Thailand
Twitter has announced that it is now able to censoring tweets in certain countries, in order to comply with local laws. The announcement was met with some scepticism from commentators, not least because of the role Twitter played in many of the uprisings that took place last Spring, although Twitter have deflected some of the criticism by opting for full transparency when censoring tweets. In order to qualify for censorship, an ‘authorised entity’ would have to report the tweet or account, which would then be censored in that country, and in its place would be left a notice informing users that the tweet or account in question had been censored for legal reasons. The Thai government have been one of the first to welcome the decision.

The Indian Army bans use of social networks
The Indian Army is reported to be introducing a ban on social networking amongst its servicemen and women due to fears of crucial information being leaked. All 36,000 officers and 1.3 million other personnel of the Indian Army will have to immediately cease using and even delete their profiles from their various social networks. The alleged reason for this strict ban is due to the increasing number of photos of officers in uniform, with weapons or amongst their units that are posted to the Web, which has led to concerns that important information may risk being leaked on sites like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and others, or that individuals may put themselves at risk, having disclosed their professional identities.

Emergency alerts on Google Maps
Google Maps will now add emergency alerts for natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and blizzards to locations. Google’s Public Alerts will integrate warnings from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) into Maps. Users can search for a type of alert near a location, which will bring up any warnings from the source, as well as a chart illustrating the likelihood, severity, and how soon the emergency might occur. Although limited to the US at the moment, the implications should Public Alerts roll out worldwide would be momentous. Considering that Google Maps has been integrated into Google+, users will be able to share emergency alerts from Maps with their social network, and the spread of information and updates about potential disasters through individual networks could reach a great number of people quicker.

In other Google Maps news, Google and online train ticketing website thetrainline.com have collaborated to make planning for train travel across Britain much easier. Information and timetables for train services in Britain have been launched on Google Maps at maps.google.co.uk, and more than 2,500 stations, 170,000 trips nationwide, 8,000 bus stops and over 250 tube stations have been added onto Maps. Users are also provided walking directions and some bus timetables for connections, and can directly click through to thetrainline.com to search for and book tickets for their journey. This will no doubt greatly benefit the throng of visitors flocking to London for the Olympics later this year, as tourists will be able to combine walking and transit directions on Google Maps for mobile to help them navigate about.

Only 1% of Facebook fans engage with brands
According to a study from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, only a little more than 1% of fans of the biggest brands on Facebook are engaging with brands on their Facebook pages. Researchers for the institute looked at the ‘People Talking About This’ metric, which is a running count of likes, posts, comments, tags, shares and other activity, as a proportion of overall fan growth of the top 200 brands on Facebook. Across a six-week period, they discovered that the percentage of People Talking About This to overall fans was 1.3%. If page and post ‘Likes’ are taken out of the equation to narrow the scope of engagement, since it requires only a click and does not involve as much motivation to interact as compared to a comment, the percentage shrinks to 0.45%. What this illustrates is less than half a percent of people who publicly show that they ‘Like’ the brand are interested in interacting with or creating any kind of content around it. This shows again that the absolute number of Facebook fans is not the best metric brands should strive towards, but rather, engagement with their fans is what will most likely convert into loyal and paying customers.

Consumers respond better to shared content than paid advertising
General Electric teamed up with Buzzfeed to prove once and for all that shared content results in a better response from consumers than paid advertising placement. Digital advertising measurement firm, Vizu, exposed subjects to the ‘The GE Show’ video through both paid display ads and sharing from friends and found that, overall, those who watched the video via sharing “had a significantly bigger lift in positive attitudes toward GE – associating the brand with such things as creativity and innovation – than people exposed via paid placements.” Paul Marcum, director of global marketing and programming at GE, said that the study was a lesson on “the value of advocacy, and that absolutely will inform marketing decisions”.

Teens opting for Twitter as older generations ruin Facebook
Since the days of yore parents have been warning their kids about privacy and not sharing too much information online. And kids, characteristically, have not listened and have shared whatever they please with their friends and the friends of their friends. But now a funny thing has begun to happen. As parents begin to disregard their own advice and tentatively setup Facebook profiles of their own, the kids start to fear for their privacy, not from ‘pirates’ or fraudsters, but from their parents. As a result, a lot of teens are now migrating to Twitter in an effort to escape the prying eyes of the older generations. Of course, what is happening here is nothing new, as Alice Marwick, a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research points out, “They just want someplace they can express themselves and talk with their friends without everyone watching”.

When it comes to Facebook brand pages: Local is better than Global
Socialbakers have done a bit of social media sleuthing and determined, once and for all, that local pages consistently result in higher levels of engagement than global pages. Citing both Xbox and BMW as examples, they show that the top local pages result in far higher (10 times higher in Xbox’s case!) levels of engagement than a centralised global page. The benefits of ‘going local’ include content and conversation being more relevant, fans sharing a common language and fans having more in common.

Timeline and Open Graph are coming to brand pages
Social marketers are readying themselves for the changes that are to come to Facebook brand pages in 2012, most notably, the introduction of Timeline and Open Graph. Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions at Facebook:

There’s a lot of speculation [about Timeline]. The goal has always been to have your personal experience on Facebook not be so different than the brand or page experience. And right now, it is different. You have Timeline and you have a page-brand profile. So we are absolutely moving in the direction to sync those up. We believe that brands want to be able to curate how they’re represented in a more visually pleasing way, and we’re in the midst of trying to figure out how best to do that.

and on Open Graph:

We don’t want a mad rush to have every brand suddenly think that the next thing we have to do is an Open Graph implementation. Because then you put stuff out there that people don’t care about, and that they don’t really share, and they turn it off. We’re working brand by brand, and frankly, industry by industry.

Timeline supported by just one in ten Facebook users
When it comes to users rather than brands, a survey of 4,000 of them has found that just 8% of users endorse Facebook’s Timeline feature. The survey also found that 51% of those asked were worried by the changes and just 8% said they would get used to them. Of course time will tell whether the changes are accepted in the long run. It tends to be the case that redesigns of this sort are met with uproar at first, then quiet consternation and finally accepted as the status quo and the whole cycle repeats itself ad infinitum. Unless, of course, you happen to be Digg.

Facebook’s ‘Subscribe’ feature proves a hit with journalists and page owners
Since November 2011, journalists have seen a 320% increase in Facebook subscribers. Twitter proved an early hit with journalists and they seem to be using Facebook’s ‘Subscribe’ feature in more or less the same way; keeping their readers informed and up to speed by sharing articles, photos, videos and asking questions of their subscribers. Facebook has also introduced the option for Facebook users to subscribe to page owners, opening up new communication channels between consumers, brand pages and the people that manage them.

Facebook beta new social plugin, ‘The Recommendation Bar’
Facebook have debuted a new social plugin that incorporates some of Facebook’s Open Graph features. Essentially, it boils down to a ‘Recommendation Bar’ that gives readers ‘Social Recommendations’ on similar content they are likely to enjoy or that their friends enjoyed, an ‘Omnipresent Like’ button to ensure that user’s ability to Like a page isn’t hampered by poor site design and the ability to switch on ‘Frictionless Sharing’.

Over 5 billion songs have been shared on Facebook since the f8 conference
Since September, over 5 billion songs have been shared as a result of Facebook’s ‘frictionless sharing’ feature, although the jury’s still out on whether or not frictionless sharing is a hit with users. Some critics say that it has reduced the sharing of content to a passive activity, others say it is intrusive. Even so, it is hard to argue with the numbers.

Twitter to roll out more of their fan-dangled brand pages to big spenders
The roll out of Twitter brand pages will continue from February 1st onwards, although only to brands that have already committed to spending at least $25,000 on its ad products. Twitter declined to comment on the ongoing roll out of the new brand pages or the advertising spend required to qualify for one, although they did say they are partnering with some individuals and charities for the roll out of its brand pages, one of which will be the American Red Cross.

Twitter analytics to be introduced in the coming months
Erica Anderson, Twitter’s manager for news and journalism, also announced that one of the new features that will be released in the coming months is an analytics service to help content creators track how their content is spreading across the Twitterverse.

Twitter to add right-to-left languages
Twitter have announced that hashtags and Tweets now work properly for users that write in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu, and it should be only a matter of months before the Twitter interface is available in those languages.

Facebook, Twitter and Myspace engineers fix Google’s social search results
“Don’t be Evil” was Google’s first unofficial motto. It referred to, among other things, objectivity and parity in the results it returned to users. But since the launch of Google’s social search features, a number of their competitors claim Google has been hoisted on its own petard, with Google’s new results seemingly favouring Google+ results over other networks, such as Twitter. As a result, a group of engineers fromFacebook, Twitter and Myspace have launched the “Don’t be Evil” bookmarklet, which let’s users view the new social search results without this bias. The results are quite impressive.

The G+ name saga continues
It seems like people have been whining about Google+’s policy on nicknames and pseudonyms since before the platform was even launched, and last week they offered a tiny, if impractical concession. You can now add a nickname to appear between your existing names ie. George “The Destroyer” Terry, or to have your name appear in another script, ie., to use their examnple, “सौरभ शर्मा (Saurabh Sharma)”. They also let you set up profiles under other ‘established’ identities, but the process to have these alternate identities verified seems a little impractical. Something tells me they haven’t quite hit the nail on the head with this one.

Just when O2 thought it couldn’t get any worse…
O2 got in a bit of hot water last week after it came to light that they had been sending copies of their customer’s numbers to every website that the user visited on their handset. As you’d expect, the Twitterverse flew totally off the handle and set upon the mobile service provider with all the rage it could muster. O2 fought valiantly, and seemed to be weathering the storm as best as could be expected – until they hit their daily tweet limit, which, if you didn’t know, is 250 direct messages and 1000 tweets/retweets/@messages. As more and more brands attempt to salvage their reputation from the jaws of ignominy in the midst of epic #fails through social media, this could become a serious issue, and one that Twitter might want to address.

Time Out to launch social TV guide
Time Out will launch an interactive TV guide that will feature listings, links to more information about the shows, relevant Twitter and Facebook activity, ‘Watch now’ links to services such as 4OD, ITV Player and BBC iPlayer and the option to record listed programmes on their Sky+ or TiVo box.

FIFA Street to feature in-game social ‘Street Network’
EA have announced their plans to bring social to the FIFA Street series with new features that will allow users to create profiles, capture videos of their best tricks and goals. “The Street Network brings that real-world swagger into the game by enabling players to capture video of those moments and share them with everyone in their street network to see,” said producer, Sid Misra, “and providing friends with a way to compare each other throughout the game.”

Lego launch social media platform for fan
Called ReBrick, the Lego platform is essentially a content platform that allows fans to bookmark content elsewhere on the web and aggregate it on the site, creating a hub for all Lego-related user generated content on the web. A bookmark widget can be installed for easy bookmarking and links can be shared through social platforms. The cool thing about ReBrick is that rather than clearing out all of the existing fan-sites dedicated to Lego creations the world over, ReBrick works in tandem with them. The creators consulted fans throughout the development process and the site also provides links to other sites and forums online where fans can further indulge their love of Lego.

Kermit the Frog takes to Twitter to promote upcoming film
Disney made their way into the trending topics on Thursday when Kermit took over the @DisneyMoviesUK account and fielded questions from his fans as part of Disney’s marketing efforts around the premiere of the new Muppet movie. This isn’t the first time that a fictional character has cropped up on Twitter in order to promote the release of a new film or series, but come on, this is Kermit the Frog. Loads of people got in line to #AskKermit their question, including one Mr @StephenFry.

Orange launch film site based on the wisdom of crowds
Orange have launched an aggregator called Orange Film Pulse which collates opinions from different online sources – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, online review sites, etc – in one place. You can also tweet directly from the site. It will be worth watching whether the site achieves any pick-up, considering Orange’s wider involvement in film.

House of Fraser targets students
This time, some of We Are Social’s own work – House of Fraser is embarking on a major marketing push to target students – people who might not have considered the brand before. It has partnered with the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Extra Card, to launch a vouchering app on the House of Fraser Facebook page (concepted and built by us) . The app enables students who “like” the brand on Facebook to receive a 10% discount when shopping on its site. It is also offering “flash discounts” via the social network to students.

Manchester City launch City Fan Cam
During last Sunday’s match with Spurs, Man City captured a 360 degree ultra HD picture inside the Etihad Stadium, which after the match fans could access online – and then tag themselves before posting to Facebook or Twitter. This was impressive, if unoriginal. But what made it clever, was that they hid players like Balotelli and Nasri around the stadium with the fans, and challenged fans to find them. This meant the picture was interesting for more people than just those who were at the match. It also explains why Nasri went missing on the pitch.

Bayern Munich’s spectacular own goal
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich promised fans a new signing on Thursday – with the announcement via their Facebook Page. When Bayern revealed the signing ‘the new FCB star’ was actually just a marketing stunt designed to show how important fans are to the club. 5,000 angry comments later, Bayern were forced to apologise. Oh dear.

LA Fitness shamed by Twitter
LA Fitness faced their own crisis last week – after a Guardian story about them trying to extract £360 from a pregnant woman who’s husband had lost his job went viral. In the end LA Fitness agreed to waive the fees, but it’s fair to say this marketing blunder will cost them far more than £360. Oh dear.

Snickers investigated by the ASA
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into Snickers’ Twitter campaign where they recruited celebrities to post some very out-of-character tweets. The campaign is being investigated against two possible breaches of the Advertising Code: whether it should have been stated in the ‘teaser’ tweets that they were marketing communications; and whether the hashtag “#spon” in the final ‘reveal’ tweet made it clear enough that that tweets were sponsored.

Twitter users deported for joking about ‘destroying’ America
In a shocking but amusing story, two British tourists were deported from America before even getting out of the airport, after one tweeted that he planned to ‘destroy’ America. The police refused to believe that it was slang, and he didn’t actually plan to destroy either the nation, its people or its government. A story that seems funny now, but one that could become a common occurrence if the FBI’s plans to monitor social media come to fruition.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in China

by Simon Kemp in News

Continuing our series of reports into the social, digital and mobile landscape across Asia, today we’re delighted to share our country report on China.

Unsurprisingly, this is one of the bigger reports in the series, with some spectacular numbers – some highlights include:

  • The number of internet users in China is greater than the total population of the European Union;
  • Netizens in China aged 18-27 use the internet for an average of 5 hours per day;
  • China’s web users conduct 10,000 searches every second.

More than all these facts, however, it’s the speed of growth in China’s social and digital use that is so exciting. Adoption of Weibo microblogging services has exploded in 2011, while location-based services like Jiepang are taking off in a very big way. And if this year is anything to go by, the rate of change will only continue to accelerate in 2012.

However, the accuracy of statistics in China remains an issue. We see numerous reports on the social and digital scene in China each week, and each one tells a slightly different story.

There is also a lot of misinformation about the social and digital scene in China, with political agendas often getting in the way of objective reporting. These range from sensationalist stories on censorship, to reliance on old data that no longer represents the actual interests, preferences, or behaviour of Chinese netizens.

An interesting example of this misinformation came in the form of this infographic from G+ (not the Google network) that Mashable shared last week:

There is clearly plenty of juicy info in there, but there’s a distinct Western bias in the reporting. It’s vital to understand that, while there are many parallels between platforms around the world, Chinese (and other local Asian) platforms are not automatically ‘knock-offs’ of Western equivalents.

Indeed, some of the Western services outlined in the infographic above launched after their Chinese equivalents – a fact discussed at length in this article on the Asian tech blog, Penn Olson. As the author, C. Custer, points out:

“…if you’re going to talk about copycats, please spend some time using these services first. Calling Sina Weibo a “copycat platform” is just dumb. Calling Youku a copycat platform might have made sense once, but it doesn’t anymore. Calling Happy Farm a copy of Farmville is straight-up ignorant, lazy, and wrong. And being lazy when writing about Chinese censorship does readers a disservice if you want them to actually understand the market.”

It’s the last sentence that rings truest for us – in order for brands around the world to be able to develop an effective, strategic approach to global social media, they need accurate and balanced data that allow them to examine platforms and behaviours beyond what they already know and are comfortable with.

What’s more, this is only going to get more important as brands’ audiences become ever more global.

It’s clear that the US and Europe continue to be highly socially active online, but as our report above shows, the ‘population’ of QQ alone is almost as big as the population of these two regions combined.

We all know that China is big. It’s the fact it’s still getting bigger – to the tune of 10 million new internet users every month – that matters. That’s huge.

To put that number in perspective: in the time it’s taken you to read this post, more than 1,000 Chinese people will have used the internet for the first time. Given that the average web user in China spends 2½ hours on the net every day, those people are only going to add even more weight to China’s online momentum.

It’s time to get to know China in much more accurate detail.

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