Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Korea’.
Alibaba invests $294M in China’s top online mapping company AutoNavi
Two weeks after taking an 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo, China’s biggest e-commerce company has announced another investment of $294 million in AutoNavi. This investment will take up 28 percent shares of the company. AutoNavi is China’s top online mapping company, beating search giant Baidu and even Google Maps in terms of mobile maps market share in China. As an industry leader, AutoNavi seems to be a perfect partner for Alibaba in seeking opportunities to explore and develop new location-based e-commerce services. It is also clear that this deal will give Alibaba access to a huge pool of consumer behavior data based on location. With Alibaba’s acquisition of the social music service Xiami last year and their more recent stake in Sina Weibo and AutoNavi, Alibaba has quickly become equipped with big social data and strategic alliances to explore a new kind of e-commerce service—one that will integrate three big things: social, mobile and location. It will be interesting to see what kind of revolutionized services Alibaba will bring out to the market in the future.
In Japan, politicians leverage Line to deepen ties with supporters
The importance of mobile messaging apps is growing. Many brands already know it and try to leverage the increasing impact of mobile messaging app to engage with their consumers. Politicians in Japan are no exception to this recent trend. According to Japan-based mobile messaging app Line, ten political parties in Japan have opened official accounts on the app. This was after the ban on the use of internet-based mediums for election campaigns (including social networks and blogs) was lifted. Line provides politicians an opportunity to engage with their supporters more directly and actively, by allowing users to opt-in to receive message from political parties, as well as leave feedback and comments on their accounts. Will this impact on the way politicians in Japan communicate with public?
IGAWorks joins KakaoTalk to increase game releases and app traffic
Korea-based mobile messaging app Kakaotalk has announced a partnership with IGAWorks, the local in-Game advertisement provider. The partnership will involve integrating IGAWorks’ adPOPcorn into Kakaotalk that will provide “in-game and in-app incentivized offers, as well as pop-up adverts that link through to social and mobile media channels.” This collaboration is intended to strengthen Kakaotalk’s video game offerings—features that have contributed to distinguishing Kakaotalk from other mobile chat apps. By allowing all game developers on Kakaotalk to access adPOPcorn, Kakaotalk is looking to create a new channel of income for video game developers and publishers. The goal is to encourage more game releases which will drive more user traffic to the app. This also reflects KakaoTalk’s desire to attract more brands as well, to tap into Kakaotalk as a mobile advertising platform.
QQ gets makeover to look like WeChat; new look upsets users
Tencent’s drastic revamp on QQ has led the chat service to resemble China’s most popular mobile chat app, WeChat. This makeover has brought out a large number of angry users. According to Techinasia, nearly 95% of people who left reviews on the newly updated QQ app have given it the lowest star rating. By contrast, the previous version of the app mostly received five-star feedback. The new look of QQ app, ungracefully called “second hand WeChat” by disgruntled users, has taken on less of a traditional IM user interface, and this is the root of most of the discontent. An indicator light that used to appear beside user contacts’ names allowing users to indicate the online or offline status of users has been taken out of the app, despite the fact that most of users found the function to be useful. In addition, the new style of chat window inspired by WeChat seems a waste of space for those who prefer QQ app as a “fast-paced conversation in one window.” Users have already expressed their stance against the new look of QQ, requiring Tencent to bring previous IM-like features back. We will wait to see how Tencent will react.
Japan’s Quan-inc partner with AIS to roll out sticker maker app “AIS myStickerShop”
Japan based mobile application maker Quan-inc has partnered with AIS, Thailand’s top mobile network operator. Quan-inc is well known for developing Lounge - a mobile messaging app with unique features of collaborative drawing and message decoration. The partnership is intended to release an app called “AIS myStickerShop”. The app allows users to create their own stickers for their mobile messaging apps. Currently, only Android users can enjoy the service. iOS users will have to wait a while for an iOS version to come out later this month. Quan Inc’s partnership with AIS could be indicative of a desire to expand their presence in Southeast Asia, as the deal with AIS may open up an opportunity to launch future apps for Singtel, Singapore’s top mobile network operator and a stakeholder in AIS.
Research by Socialbakers has revealed that 50% of the reach of a Facebook page’s posts occurs in the first half hour, and 80% in the first 3 hours. The below chart, based on a sample of 1,000 posts, displays the real-time minute-by-minute increase in reach.
Time spent on Google+ far behind Facebook
Google+ users spent an average of 6 minutes 47 seconds on the network during March, a far cry from the 6 hour 44 minute average on rival platform Facebook. Whilst this does represent growth from the 3.3 minutes spent in February 2012, in contrast to Facebook’s dip from 7 hours 9 minutes in March 2012, the rate at which G+ is catching up can be, by these figures at least, dismissed as negligible. Figures reported by Nielsen also revealed 20 million unique US users of the G+ Android and iPhone apps, a 238% increase from March 2012 and 28 million desktop users, up 63% in the same period. However, there is likely to be some crossover between the two groups. In fact, accusations have come in that Google+ is essentially a ‘desolate wasteland’, based on the activity of the top 100 global brands. According to research by Millward Brown, 40% of these posted to Google+ either infrequently or not at all, with 17 (including Nike and Pepsi) not having posted anything for over a week. McDonald’s, as shown below, have never had a single post.
How many Vines are shared
Research has been produced into how many branded Vines are shared to celebrate the app turning 100 days old. They discovered that branded Vines are shared 4x as often as branded online videos and, of the top 100 most shared, 4% of Vines were branded, compared to 1% of online videos. In total, 5 Vines are shared per second; more of these come during the weekend than the rest of the week combined. Time-wise, Vine frequency peaks from 10am-11am Eastern Time.
75% of top US retailers and restaurants are on Foursquare
Three quarters of the US top 100 retailers and top 100 restaurants are now on Foursquare, of which a full list can be found here. As for smaller businesses, over 1 million businesses have been claimed, but this includes some chain stores; only 17% have ever tried a promotion with the network. Larger businesses are seeing a positive effect from their campaigns; Bloomin’ Brands had 678 users redeem an offer for Outback stores in Richmond, VA, which gave a free appetiser for every second check in. Karen Soots, VP of media services at Bloomin’ Brands, praised the campaign’s effect, saying that if they were to do that nationwide at many restaurants over three weeks, it’s “millions of dollars in incremental revenue”.
Littlewoods collection to be sold in Facebook Newsfeed
Fashion retailer Littlewoods will be selling their latest collection within the Facebook Newsfeed. Using a system called SeeitShopit, which allows full collections to appear within a single post, it will enable fans to browse, share and purchase items from Myleene Klass’s new swimwear collection. They have since posted further ‘SeeitShopits’ about their summer collection, as shown below:
Target launch deals with Facebook
Retailer Target has produced a set of offers, which will automatically generate Facebook posts when claimed, unless the user turns this feature off. Starting with around 700 discount offers and expected to grow to 1,000, the campaign is set to be hosted on a Target website called ‘Cartwheel’. Users can claim a deal at any point, producing a unique barcode that tracks every offer they claim. This barcode is then scanned at checkout. Cartwheel works seamlessly with mobile, meaning that a discount can be claimed at any point in the process, even as you’re walking towards the checkout.
AA’s first class lounge open to those with high Klout scores
American Airlines have decided to open their ‘Admirals Club’ lounges free of charge to those with high Klout scores, regardless of whether they’re due to fly with AA. Anyone with a score of over 55 will qualify for a free one-day pass in any one of 40 airports and can take advantage of the benefits including free WiFi and beer. The campaign hopes that these people will then tweet or post to Facebook expressing their gratitude, though this is not a requirement of claiming the offer.
This week, in weird app news… introducing ‘TweetPee’, a nappy sensor plus Twitter alert that tells parents when their baby needs changing. The campaign from Brazil also allows parents to keep track of the number of Huggies they’ve used and even order online when they’re running low. The campaign is certainly a fun and innovative one – we wonder how many parents will be hooking their children’s nappies up to Twitter.
Coke zero’s #motherpiece campaign for forgetful children
Yesterday marked Mother’s Day in many countries across the world, the day of the year that celebrates children forgetting to get their mums anything. Coke Zero to the rescue! They targeted absent-minded children (particularly boys, for some reason) and asked them to tweet their best excuses with the hashtag #motherpieces, pushing the campaign through a set of promoted tweets. The best entries were then selected to send in a personal photo, with 10 classically-trained painters on hand to create a ‘motherpiece’ of the winner. If they sent in their home address, they’d also receive a framed copy. Mother’s Day salvaged.
LinkedIn passes 1 million users in Singapore
According to a recent report by TheNextWeb, LinkedIn has officially hit the seven-digit mark in Singapore. The professional networking platform announced that this makes Singapore the fourth country in Southeast Asia to reach the 1 million user milestone. They also revealed that Singapore’s user base has doubled since 2011, to reach a staggering 70 percent of professionals and students in the market. Although LinkedIn has over 200 million users worldwide, 1 million in Singapore is an incredibly impressive feat given the fact that it currently reaches a substantial 20% of the country’s total population of 5 million.
Path has 10M users, adds 1 million per week
The previously rocky road has finally led to smooth sailing for Path–a private social network that experienced legal troubles and slow growth in the past–as it currently has over 10 million registered users. The number is small, relatively speaking, but also indicative of a sudden increase in the platform’s growth rate in the last few months. As TheNextWeb notes, Path only had 2 million users in February 2012. When they reached 3 million in June 2012, they were adding about 250,000 users per month. According to the founder Dave Morin, this rate has ballooned to a whopping rate of 1 million users added per week. Indeed, this recent uptake would suggest that things are finally looking up for Path–at least, they are for now. But whether or not these users will stick is another story, and one that will be interesting to witness as it unfolds in the social media landscape.
Chat app Line has reached 150M users
TechInAsia recently reported that Japanese chat app Line has reached 150 million users worldwide. This news doesn’t come as a surprise given the recent boom in chat apps across the globe. What is astonishing, though, is just how quickly they announced this milestone. When Line doubled its user base from 50 million to 100 million last year, it took over seven months. Impressive, but to put this in perspective: the next 50 million users took just over three months. The magnitude of this steep climb is illustrated further, in the line graph the company produced to celebrate the occasion. In any case, it seems more likely that we will see the next 50 million soon–perhaps much sooner than expected as well.
Chat app KakaoTalk approaches 90M users
In more news of chat apps milestones, KakaoTalk has also seen impressive momentum in the growth of its user base. As TechInAsia reports, the Korean chat app has recently closed in on the 90 million user mark. As indicated in the graph produced by TechInAsia, KakaoTalk has continued to see rapid growth since early 2012, adding about 10 million new users per quarter. There is still a considerable gap to be broached between KakaoTalk’s user base and Line’s 150 million (not to mention WeChat’s 300 million). But as the 90 million milestone is approaching any day now–and 100 million can’t be far behind–KakaoTalk has surely put some pressure on its Asian chat app counterparts to try and stay ahead of the curve.
Facebook has 1.11B monthly active users, 751 million on mobile
According to a recent report by TheNextWeb, Facebook has continued to grow its user base and surpass milestones, beyond the famous ten-digit landmark it reached last year. Earlier this week, the social network announced that the user base now stood at 1.11 billion monthly active users, with 665 million of them active on a daily basis. The monthly active users are up by 26 percent year-on-year, while daily active users is also up by 23 percent for the same period. The biggest increase comes from active users on mobile: the figure stood at 751 million users at the end of March 2013, indicating a significant year-on-year increase of 54 percent. Last quarter, Facebook reported having 1.06 million active users, of which 618 million were mobile. While 60 million users were new or became active, about 133 million users were added to the number of mobile users. As noted by TheNextWeb, this figure also means that more than 67% of active Facebook users access the platform through mobile devices.
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.
Vietnamese chat app Zalo reaches 1 million users
Chat apps have been on the rise lately, and particularly so across Asian markets. The active user numbers from this past quarter have indicated that KakaoTalk and Line have already claimed the largest number of active social network users in South Korea and Japan respectively. As noted in an earlier blog post, this growing trend has also been demonstrated in Vietnam. As TechInAsia reports, local chat app Zalo has recently reached a milestone of 1 million users. This news comes just days after KakaoTalk and Line had similarly reported reaching the seven-digit mark in the Vietnamese market. The mobile app Viber has also grown to a considerable user base of 3.5 million. On one hand, the 20 million smartphone users in Vietnam illustrate that there is still a lot of room for growth. We also found that the number of Facebook users currently stands at 12 million in Vietnam, far exceeding the total number of chat app users by a significant margin. On the other hand, these milestones amongst chat apps are precisely what collectively predict that a new trend is on the horizon for social media. It may be too early to tell whether or not chat apps will unfold with lasting implications on a global scale; however, the potential locked in the increasing momentum of chat apps is undeniable to say the least.
Monthly active users on Vine increased by 50% in the last month
Earlier this month, we cited a report by TechCrunch that indicated Vine was far more popular than similar apps like SocialCam and Viddy, and outperforming them particularly amongst highly active Twitter users. TechCrunch recently followed up with another report on Vine. Based on a study by Onavo Insights, the results demonstrate that the video-sharing mobile app has continued to attract users at an increasing rate. It’s only been two months since its launch in late January, but Vine has steadily grown its market share, particularly amongst iOS devices to a considerable 2.66% in the United States. Monthly active users have also increased in the last month by 50%. Unlike Vine, all three of the competitors in this app category are declining in both market share and monthly active users. This indicates that first-comers are not always at an advantage when it comes to social apps. Moreover, it may suggest that relative to other social platforms, video-sharing apps do not constitute a substitute-friendly category on mobile devices.
Jakarta is still top city on Twitter, generates 2.4% of all tweets worldwide
A recent report on Twitter users indicated that a significant portion of all tweets come from the capital city of Indonesia. A study conducted by Brand24.co.id indicates that 2.4% of the 10.6 billion tweets worldwide were tweeted from Jakarta, making it the top city in terms of total tweets across the globe. Tokyo came in a close second with 2.3%, while London claimed the spot for third at 2% of all tweets. Jakarta’s status as the top city for Twitter is especially impressive given the fact that there are 29 million Twitter users in the entire country. Jakarta also ranks high across other social platforms: the Indonesian capital is the second largest city for Facebook, with roughly 11.7 million users as well. Interestingly, this data from SocialBakers also demonstrates that the penetration rate for the social platform comes out to a whopping 136.52% of the total population.
In urban India, 74% of active internet users are on social media
Social media has made impressive gains in India, and much of the growth is tied to urban netizens in the market. A report cited by the Times of India notes that social media users in urban India accounted 62 million users by December 2012. The report was a joint effort by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB). It predicted that this number would increase to roughly 66 million by mid-2013. These figures indicate that almost 3 out of 4 active internet users are social media users in urban areas. These increasing levels of penetration are attributed to multiple factors, such as the decreasing cost of smartphones; the growth in overall internet penetration; and the subsequent increases in the penetration of mobile web. Also noted in the report is the fact that 72% of active internet users in urban India partake in some form of social networking; the activity is only second to email which claims a slightly higher rate of 80%.
YouTube has 1 billion unique monthly users
YouTube recently announced an impressive milestone: 1 billion unique users on the video-sharing platform on a monthly basis. Mashable notes that this comes roughly six month after Facebook announced their billionth user in October 2012, meaning that both social giants achieved this ten-figure user base in roughly eight years. Twitter is the youngest platform amongst the three, and had around 200 million users as it celebrated its seventh birthday earlier this week. YouTube’s reported billion users suggest that nearly half of all internet users are visiting YouTube each month, and 53% of them are viewing videos on multiple screens. As noted in YouTube’s blog, this percentage is actually higher amongst its core audience, whom YouTube identifies as Generation C or “Gen C”. While members of this core audience were just as likely to use smartphones as they were to use PCs for YouTube access, a 67% majority of them were using two or more devices to watch YouTube videos.
We’re pleased to share the latest of our SDMW snapshots for social media use around Asia.
Today’s snapshot offers a more comparable definition of ‘users’, and is based solely on active users*, rather than the overall user numbers we used for some countries in previous reports where active user data was not available.
Social Media Users
Despite this recalibration, the total number of social media users across the top network in each of our 24 SDMW Asia nations has increased to 874 million, reflecting 18% growth compared to our last full report in October.
This represents growth of more than 10 million new users of social media every month – a figure that’s all the more impressive considering Facebook’s recent clean up of ‘fake’ accounts.
However, social media penetration has fluctuated around the region in the past few months, with a number of ‘mature’ markets – including Brunei, Singapore and Hong Kong – registering a drop in penetration as the frequency of Facebook usage begins to slow.
Overall though, regional penetration remained static at 23%, in line with the overall global average:
More importantly, the drop in penetration across mature markets has been balanced by on-going growth in markets like India and Indonesia, both of which continue to see social media usage expand at impressive rates.
However, the most interesting story comes from North Asia, where we’re seeing accelerating mass adoption of mobile chat applications.
Neither Japan nor Korea was a ‘Facebook market’ in our previous report – Korea’s primary social network was CyWorld, while Japanese social media users appeared to prefer Twitter – but the rapid growth of newer chat platforms may scupper the world’s favourite network’s plans to grow in these countries.
Similarly, while Qzone continues to be the region’s largest social network by active users, we expect to see this situation change in the coming months as a result of the increased implementation of China’s real name rules for social media use, and the continued expansion of platforms like WeChat (Weixin).
Indeed, WeChat’s success beyond its home market of China looks set to be one of the biggest social media stories in Asia over the next few months.
Given these trends, it’s clear that mobile’s role in the Asian social media landscape looks set to grow in importance, so look out for our upcoming post on using mobile to connect with Asian social audiences.
* Figures reflect monthly active users, except for Korea where we’ve used daily active user numbers. Note that user numbers for Japan and Korea have been extrapolated from available data.
Continuing the series on the top Facebook pages for the month of February, here are the reports from the remaining Asian countries.
Similar to Indonesia, India saw a drop in Facebook user numbers as well. This continuing trend from January seems to be due to Facebook’s measures to delete fake profiles. Also in February, Vodafone’s valentines season content garnered all the top 3 positions on the most interacted posts of the month.
OLX Pakistan, an online classifieds page, is not only Pakistan’s top Facebook page but it also has the top content for the month of February.
Japan has the highest post engagement rate amongst Asian countries. However, its average response rate stands at a low 21% reflecting that a large portion of its fan posts and questions remain unanswered.
Similar to Japan, South Korea has an audience who prefer local pages to global Facebook pages. Again, reflecting that a social media strategy on global versus local Facebook pages for brands depends heavily on the type of community it is engaging.
Hong Kong has the highest post engagement rate in Asia after Japan. Even though Sina Weibo is a popular platform, Facebook continues to keep its audience engaged.
WeChat downloads up by 3000% in Indonesia
According to a recent report by Daily Social, WeChat has met an unprecedented level of growth in Indonesia. The increase is attributed to a TV advertisement that introduced the Chinese chat app’s launch in the market. Japan’s chat app Line had recently claimed the top spot on Google Play’s rankings; however, WeChat’s recent surge in popularity has bumped Line down to second as WeChat quickly overtook the first place spot. Whatsapp ranks third on Google Play’s top downloads, while KakaoTalk has been knocked out of the top 50, to 52 amongst free apps on mobile platforms. While a majority of WeChat’s users are based in China, Daily Social notes that the app has gained in excess of 300 million users in the past two years. In terms of the total number of downloads, WeChat still tips its hat to Whatsapp and Skype; though it is important to note that WeChat is also amongst the newest chat apps around, having only launched domestically in 2011. Equally important is the fact that “WeChat” was the result of a rebranding in 2012, that introduced languages beyond Chinese, such as English, Russian and Indonesian to name a few. As WeChat becomes increasingly accessible on a global scale, it will surely become an increasingly intimidating contender for both local and global chat apps to face.
3.2 billion accounts registered on Chinese social media sites
In China, the growth rate of social media has been unprecedented to say the least. The latest figures indicate that there are roughly 597 million active social media users in China. These social media users are also using multiple platforms; Citing an infographic via Go Globe, TechInAsia reported that these users have also registered a total of 3.2 billion accounts across the top 10 social platforms in China. Overall, more than 9 out of 10 internet users in China are on social media (91%)–a surprisingly large margin in comparison to the 67% of netizens on social media in the United States. Go Globe‘s infographic also indicates that social sharing increased by 60% in 2012, and 9 out of the top 10 social media sites have at least 100 million registered users. The largest demographic of Chinese netizens on social media belongs to the bracket of 26- to 30-year-olds (30%), followed by 31- to 35-year-olds (21%) and 19- to 25-year-olds (19%).
On Facebook, videos have double the engagement of YouTube videos
Socialbakers recently reported that brands were more likely to reach fans through videos posted to Facebook rather than YouTube. The data indicated that brands still prefer to post videos on YouTube; the sample presented a distinct bias for the video-sharing platform, with 4,731 videos posted on YouTube, compared to 554 Facebook videos. Facebook’s engagement rate for brand videos came out to an average of .22%, more than double YouTube’s engagement rate of .10%. Socialbakers notes that this may be because Facebook videos can be directly streamed from the mobile news feed, whereas YouTube links are redirected out of mobile apps. Facebook videos saw 10 times more viral reach than YouTube videos as well. It is interesting to note, however, that both kinds of videos were met with similar levels of interaction types, with 77% likes, 16% shares and 7% comments.
57% of Sina Weibo statuses are empty
Citing a recent study conducted by Hong Kong University, China Internet Watch demonstrated that Sina Weibo users are not nearly as active as you might think. The survey was based on a random sample of 30,000 users, and indicated that 57% of the Weibo timelines were completely blank. Although there are reportedly 503 million registered users in total as of December 2012, this data whittles the number of Weibos with at least one post to a mere 220 million. China Internet Watch also notes that the survey’s data is extrapolated to reveal that only 30 million users are likely to publish at least one unique post in a given week, potentially challenging Sina’s assertion that there are 46.2 million daily active users on the microblogging platform.
Traditional media ad spend declines, marketing budgets shift to digital in US
A recent report by eMarketer indicated that traditional media ad spend was continuing to decline as more marketers increased focus and spending on digital media. Based on a survey of US marketers in February 2013 (as commissioned by the American Marketing Association, and conducted by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business), the findings confirm the downward trend in spending on traditional media. Indeed, this decline is neither steady nor subtle; while August 2011 had seen a promising increase of 1.3%, marketing spend quickly turned around to decline by .8% in February 2012. The rate of decline accelerated rapidly, to show that marketers had decreased traditional media spending by another 2.7% in February 2013.
eMarketer notes that this decline in traditional media is in favor of increasing spend on digital media. Interestingly, the changing ratio of spending on traditional and digital media differ considerably by sector and industry category. The highest growth in digital spending goes to business-to-consumer brands in the product category; while traditional ad spending will decline by 0.6%, digital spending will increase by a significant 14.6%. B2Cs in the service category will also see an increase of 10.4% on digital media spend. Interestingly, they will also decrease traditional media spending the most across sectors, reporting a negative change of 5.4% over the next 12 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.