Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Korea’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #188

by Dinnie Lim in News

YouTube Launches Creator Space in Mumbai, India
With creator studios in Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and Berlin, YouTube has chosen Mumbai for its next Creator Space. This comes as no surprise as web video has been rising rapidly in popularity in India, with major creators All India Bakhod, and The Viral Fever at 1.3million and 1.1million subscribers respectively.

Naver, parent-company of LINE, launches Periscope-styled real-time live-streaming app, V, for celebrities
There is an increasing popularity of mobile live-streaming like Twitter-owned Periscope, with ten years of content watched on a daily basis. Popular messaging app LINE‘s parent company Naver has launched a social celebrity live-streaming app V.

V allows you to watch the comings and goings of your favourite celebrities, leaving comments on their past streams as well as “heart” them to let fellow fans know how you feel. A Chemi-beat (short for Chemistry Beat) also allows you to track the level of interaction you have with your favourite celebrity, this will be influenced by the time spent watching videos and live-streams. The app has been downloaded 160,000 times 24 hours after release.

The V app is available on iOS and Android.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #180

by Kristie Neo in News
Facebook Lite launches in India & the Philippines
The name says it all. Facebook has launched a “Lite” version of its social networking service, targeting users in emerging markets where user growth is expected to expand at a rapid pace. According to reports, India is set to be the largest Facebook user base in the world by 2017, so this is hardly a surprising move from Facebook, really.

In sum, Facebook Lite is a stripped-down version of the regular app while retaining all the original functions of the service. It is less than 500 KB in size, and works well on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Local communication apps, text are preferred modes of mobile communication in Japan, South Korea
That’s according to a report by Ericsson Consumer Lab, which surveyed 100,000 individuals in Japan, South Korea, India, UK and the US. The findings reveal some interesting insights. For instance in India, users spend nearly half of their time on smartphones on communication apps. In markets like Japan and South Korea, local communication apps are more popularly used as compared to those surveyed in the UK and US markets. Japanese and South Koreans also prefer text over voice calls. According to Ericsson, 1 in 4 Japanese smartphone users do not make traditional voice calls anymore.

You can read the full report here.

Taiwanese chat messaging app Pal+ secure $1.3m in funds
Taiwan chat messaging app, Pal+ has received all of $1.3 million in fresh funds to expand its growing venture. The funds came from Asiasoft, a listed game publisher in Thailand.
Pal+ is a forum-based app which invites individuals with common interests to participate in online discussions. Users get to share and discuss a wide range of topics from entertainment to animation and games, and share them with friends instantly.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #156

by Suhaina Adam in News
Daum Kakao acquired a childcare app
Daum Kakao, previously known as Kakao Talk, recently wholly acquired Kids Note, an app for kindergartens and daycares to communicate with parents. Among other features, parents can request real-time check ups on their children, whereas teachers can post daily reports and pictures. The company plans to push the app to about 14,000 kindergartens and private daycares in Korea.

Indian messenger Hike adds free voice calling
Hike, a homegrown Indian instant messenger, has over 35 million users and just recently acquired US-based voice-calling company Zip Phone, a Y Combinator startup. The company plans to launch free voice-calling soon, alongside their biggest rival WhatsApp. This competition will be one to watch, with telecom majors planning to charge customers for data usage on instant messaging and VoIP apps.


WeChat partners Caesars to bring the Smart Hotel Room
Last week during CES, Caesars Entertainment partnered up with WeChat to give tours of THE LINQ‘s smart hotel rooms. With WeChat, visitors could control the lighting, thermostats and curtains in their rooms. Upon arrival at the hotel room, visitors only need to scan a QR code to get the app which operates as an official WeChat account.

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Social, Digital & Mobile in APAC in 2014

by Simon Kemp in News

Following on from We Are Social’s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.

It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.

These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.

These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.

The Global Picture

Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:


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Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.

We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data in the report – here’s the APAC picture:


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In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.

The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:

APAC mobile contract type

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Asia-Pacific In Context

APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:


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apac global share

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Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:


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However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:


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It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:


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It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:

  • The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
  • However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
  • There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.

Social Media

2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.

We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.

User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):


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It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:

  • Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
  • Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
  • On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.

We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.

Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).

China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.

We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:

  • The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
  • The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.

However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:

  • WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
  • WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
  • LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
  • Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide

We’re  pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.


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As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.

Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.

It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.

However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:

mobile social users

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The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.

Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.

While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:


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It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.

You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.

The Individual Country Story

We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.

Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.

In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:


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Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.

Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.

However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.

The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:


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It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.

However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.

We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.

East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:


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As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.

Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.

Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.

Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.

Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:


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Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.

We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:


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As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.

The India Changes

Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:



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India Contract Type

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So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.

Be sure to check back  to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!

Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank GlobalWebIndex and GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.

UPDATE: We’ve amended this post, and some slides in the original report, due to a request from one of our data partners.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #101

by Ji Eun Kim in News

Line’s $194 million revenue, twice that of the previous quarter
According to report from TechInAsia, one of fastest growing messaging app Line recorded $194 million revenue for Q3 2013. This is a 48 percent increase from the previous quarter. The significant growth in revenue seems largely attributed by gaming which accounts for 60 percent of its’ revenue, followed by stickers which saw a 20 percent sales. Its’ gaming driven revenue model follows through its’ counterpart KakaoTalk which dominates the top 10 of Google Play’s chart in South Korea. With 280 million registered users worldwide, Line is expanding its ground beyond Japan and Taiwan and seeing growth in India, targeting to reach 20 million users by the end of the year. In addition, Turkey, Italy, and Latin America are becoming its’ new markets for expansion. In the competitive world of messaging apps, will Line continue to grow and maintain high profitability or will other chat apps come up with compelling offerings and convert Line’s users?


WhatsApp leads the chat app competition in India with 25 million MAU
According to report from Medianama, one of leading messaging apps WhatsApp reached 25 million monthly active users in India. This marks 25 percent increase as compared to three months ago. Although many other chat apps like Line try to garner share in the market with heavy advertising push, their number of registered users are not even close with WhatsApp’s number of monthly active users. It proves not only that WhatsApp is far ahead in the competition but the first-to-market advantage is not easy to break. However, it’s too early to conclude that WhatsApp will be the dominant force for chat apps given that smartphone adoption rates is still growing in the market.


Twitter, a critical communication tool for the devastating Typhoon Yolanda
Since Typhoon Yolanda hit Philippines on Friday, November 8, thousands of people have lost contact with their family. In a situation where communication lines are broke down, internet is playing a significant role in helping people connect, share information and collect aid. Google provides a crisis response map for people to find information on evacuation centers and hospitals nearby affected areas as well as a person finder to locate lost ones. As it did for other disasters, Twitter is also playing a part for  individual and organization to share information and call for helps. For example, Philippines government’s Twitter account @GovPH, has been actively tweeting to recruit volunteers. Moreover, #YolandaPH hashtag has been widely used to share information. People are also using #RescuePH to call for helps for themselves and their family.

YouTube outdoes Facebook as favourite site for teens
It’s not just messenger apps that are eating into the social habits of teens. A survey of over 4,000 teenagers aged 12-15 found that 50% of them called YouTube their favourite site, followed by 45.2% for Facebook. The story is different for those in their twenties, though: Facebook came top with 55%, followed by Amazon with 37.5%.

More Facebook likes may not increase fan sentiment
A fictional brand called Ashwood Furnishings may have provided some insight into consumer behaviour. A Facebook page was set up for the brand for the purpose of a study, which examined how viewers of the page felt about the brand, based solely on the number of likes. As fan figures increased from zero (low) to 2,000 (medium), page viewers felt more positive about the brand; however, this trailed off as the page approached a high figure (10,000+).

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New Facebook ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons
Facebook has updated its ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons. Look, look at them:

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Good, now you’ve seen them. You’ll see them even more over the coming weeks, as they start getting rolled out gradually.

Facebook testing star ratings for pages
Facebook is testing a star rating (out of five) for pages, which will allow users to rate their favourite (or least favourite) businesses and thus produce a more accurate rating system than the number of likes. Naturally, this has consequences for both users and brands – for whom it isn’t yet clear if the system will be optional or mandatory.

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Instagram is the fastest growing social network among marketers
Instagram’s uptake among marketers of the world’s 100 largest brands has rendered it the fastest growing social network amongst said group. Accounts are now held by 71% and active accounts by 65%, compared with 42% in the same quarter in 2012. Growth is also shown in the number of pages posting 1+ photo per week and those reaching the milestones of 10,000, 20,000 and 100,000 fans.

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Instagram CEO says 5% of ad views lead to likes
Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, has claimed that over 5% of ad views on the network lead to likes:

Over 5 per cent of the impression led to likes on these ads that we’ve run. That’s pretty tremendous considering most of the ads we see on the internet we ignore.

If the figures are true, his opinion is probably correct. However, figures from a Michael Kors post, the first ever advertised on Instagram, suggest that he may not be: according to analytics company Nitrogram, the update reached 6.15 million people and received over 218,000 likes – a like percentage of 3.57%.

Twitter’s redesign may have increased engagement
Twitter’s more visual redesign looks to have increased engagement across the network, according to some key sources. Klout’s head of marketing, Jon Dick, has said that:

Looking at some of our high-level volume numbers, we’ve seen as much as a 10% increase in engagement among Twitter users.

This is backed up by the founder of Twitter tracking service, Tim Haines, who says:

It looks like favs and RTs have jumped 10–15%-ish amongst my users.

It’s worth noting that these are, of course, very early figures and not necessarily illustrative of long-term change.

Google link YouTube comments to G+
Google has linked YouTube comments to Google+, in a move that has caused controversy among users of the network. The new comments allow certain social aspects, such as mentioning your G+ contacts in a YouTube comment and are explained further in the following video.

However, many people were hugely unhappy with the changes – not least YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, who posted the below, his first update for eight years. Eek.

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Google+ introduces ‘restricted communities’
Google+ has announced the launch of ‘restricted communities’, a feature that prevents users who are not members of a given organisation from joining. The system is aimed at allowing businesses to create private or invite-only communities, as an extra layer of security.

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