Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Mashable’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #45

by Karen Wee in News

Facebook to remain fenced out by Great Firewall of China
In spite of its corporate mission to “connect the whole world”, Facebook’s grandiose plan to dominate the wired world wouldn’t be complete without Chinese users, who make up 33% of the world population. Access to Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009 by what has been dubbed the “Great Firewall of China” and the social networking giant still has no plans to penetrate the market at the moment. The great untapped potential userbase served as rich pickings for locally developed social networks such as Renren and Sina Weibo, which were more compliant with censorship requirements. As long as Facebook remains locked out of China, its recent acquisition Instagram could potentially suffer the same fate when the deal is completed.

Starbucks ups the social ante in China with WeChat app
One of the first few global brands to sign up for WeChat, Starbucks has hopped onto the WeChat jet to social marketing stardom in China. WeChat is a popular messaging app that allows its 100 million registered users to follow brands or celebrities much like an evolved albeit not quite real-time version of Twitter. The demographics of the average WeChat user places them as young urbanites with money to spend, definitely music to the ears of any marketer. Unfortunately, WeChat users currently need to find and scan a QR code to follow a brand unlike the ease with which they can connect with friends on personal accounts, which are linked to phone numbers.

New Weibo ad format guarantees 100% reach
Sina Weibo’s new social ads, like Facebook Promote, are designed to reach all followers. These posts will appear at the top of each users’ newsfeed and will get pushed down the timeline as new posts get published. To minimise annoyance to the users, each user will see one promoted post within a 24 hour period. The new ad format is priced based on total impressions delivered at 0.1 yuan (approximately S$0.0195) per impression. Marketers can set the total number of impressions and get reports on ad performance measured based on total number of reposts, comments, clicks and exposure.

Hubblr’s social media dashboard supports Chinese services
So many social media platforms, so little time – if only we had one dashboard to rule them all. Hubblr’s social media dashboard seeks to fill the growing need for Chinese social network support by allowing management of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Sina Weibo and Renren through its tool. The platform offers a full suite of features which include a unified feed, post scheduling, filtering and creation of “hub” groups for individual management and monitoring. In addition to the built-in translation feature, Hubblr helps track user engagement and generates reports on activity, interactions and followers.

YouTube video uploading back online in South Korea
South Korean Internet users can now upload videos on YouTube again after the government abolished laws against anonymous commenting. This is fabulous news for Korea’s independent artists seeking to emulate the runaway success of Korean artiste PSY following virulent viewership for his cult hit Gangnam Style, which surpassed 100 million views and warranted the honour of an infographic on Mashable.

Twitter users in India issued summonses
The Indian government is cracking down on social media and have begun issuing legal summonses to Twitter users suspected of inciting ethnic tension by posting inflammatory and contentious material. The authorities have also written to Google and Facebook for details of other suspected perpetrators. This follows the blocking of about 300 websites last month during a campaign to censor sensitive content on social media sites.

Social has become an integral part of business
About two-thirds of large companies now agree that social media is an essential part of their business strategy, according to a new study from Econsultancy and Adobe. The majority say that they use social as an awareness channel and to bolster marketing campaigns. Some, however, are still struggling with how to measure their social activity.

More than half of Facebook’s users are mobile
Facebook’s mobile app now boasts 543 million monthly active users, an impressive 57% of its user base. The social network has finally responded to previous criticism about the app being too slow and has recently released a speed update for iOS, integrated Timeline support for iPad and made photo uploads faster for Android. Of the biggest 10 countries on Facebook, there’s a wide variation amongst them, ranging from 76% of Americans at the top of the list to the Philippines at 37%.

Facebook updates Pages design on mobile
Facebook has been slow to make its mobile experience the same as viewing the site on a computer, but they’ve made some big progress. Pages on mobile now include minor design features like cover photos but also huge features that we’ve been missing, such as tabs, friend activity and pinned posts. They’ve also popped in a few cool additions for place pages, such as showing when the business is open and a call button, and for artists’ pages, where fans can now see their most played songs on Spotify. But we’re still asking: How much longer until we get a ‘Share’ button?

Twitter unveils embeddable timelines
We’ve all seen a stream of a user’s tweets embedded on blogs and websites, but Twitter has now launched an official version that will show a feed from a specific user, a hashtag or a list. Twitter’s version is unsurprisingly much more robust, and users can now expand tweets to see photos and media and join the conversation through a box at the bottom of the stream. This is one of the first tools that Twitter has created in its quest for consistency after nixing some of its relationships with third-party developers.

YouTube allows taggable videos
YouTube has agreed to a new partnership with a startup that has unlocked the ability to make faces, products or other objects in the videos clickable links. Some big brands have been pushing for this on their paid channels, and we’re excited to see what kind of “new” interactive videos result from this project.

LinkedIn gets a makeover
LinkedIn, the Facebook of the job world, is starting to look a bit more like Facebook after it introduced real-time notifications for comments, likes, an accepted connection request or new InMail. LinkedIn also announced a new look for its Company Pages, which look something like, well, Facebook Pages, where users can see a hybrid of a cover photo and a profile photo as well as a stream of updates. This isn’t yet available to all companies, but LinkedIn says it should be rolled out to all pages by the end of the year. The company has also beefed up its mobile and iPad apps, bringing in notifications, the new designs and language support. LinkedIn says it made these design changes based on user feedback, and it looks like the site is hoping for higher engagement numbers.

Foursquare announces paid advertising
Following the success of Local Updates, Foursquare is officially launching Promoted Updates, which give businesses the option to offer specials to a wider audience. So what’s the difference? Promoted Updates appear in the Explore tab while Local Updates appear among friends’ checkins. Local Updates appear for users only if they checked into a location multiple times or if they’ve liked it. Promoted Updates will float to the top of Explore based on your location, previous checkins, friends’ checkins and other factors, and the business pays on a cost-per-action basis. And just how well are Foursquare’s Local Updates going? About Foursquare posted a great roundup of 10 businesses that are setting the bar high.

Social media is bringing the conversation back into politics
US President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention broke a record for the number of tweets at a political event, coming in at a staggering 52,757 tweets per minute and more than 9 million tweets during the three-day convention. Candidate Mitt Romney might also have broken a Twitter record, though not exactly one to be proud of. Romney’s team bought a promoted hashtag, a phrase which is quickly becoming the most overused question of this election season, #areyoubetteroff. Twitter’s response? Yes, we are. The ratio of yes answers to no answers was about 5 to 1, and #areyoubetteroff might be joining the ranks of hashtag failures, even worse than McDonald’s #mcdstories and Disney’s #peoplelikeus.

Nevertheless, Romney’s continued Twitter assault on Obama has cost him some serious cash. In addition to #areyoubetteroff, Team Romney purchased a day-long #RomneyRyan2012 promoted trend for his acceptance speech, as well as #failingagenda, each with a price tag more than $100,000. Obama’s retaliation hasn’t been cheap either, with his campaign buying #Forward2012. And as with any hashtag, it’s gotten plenty of negative responses.

But American political conversations have been much of a muchness, no matter which candidate you’re following. The most tweeted-about topic for both Obama and Romney were jobs and unemployment, with the economy and health reform also in the top 5. We will be interested to see what social media shenanigans both parties pull out of their hats for Election Day in November.

Fashion Week catwalks into social
Brands are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to Fashion Week, which is going on now. Mercedes-Benz, the event’s main sponsor, has built a social hub where fans can keep up or catch up on the biggest updates from the week’s styles. A number of fashion brands and magazines are uploading behind-the-scenes photos, hosting pre-show Google+ Hangouts and posting “live-GIFs” of the event. Foursquare has also created its own Fashion Week 2012 badge to celebrate.

Coca-Cola hits 50 million Likes
Coke has hit a huge ‘Like’ milestone in becoming the first page to reach 50 million Likes. Now it is asking its those 50 million Facebook fans to sign up to make the world a happier place, but it hasn’t yet unveiled what the big project will be. Coke says the timelines for the project will be unveiled in just a few weeks, but at the moment, the app seems like a big data gathering operation, where fans must enter their birthday and where they live, information that brands usually don’t have access to.

Mitsubishi wants to get rid of your friends’ snooty Facebook updates
Tired of seeing your friends’ holiday snaps while you’re stuck in the office? Mitsubishi has created a clever new campaign to destroy the “pretentiousness” that afflicts us all on social media. In just a few clicks, you’ll see an Outlander driving through a friend’s latest post about latte art. Rest In Pieces, humble brag.

Johnnie Walker integrates Instagram into its Facebook cover photos
The whisky brand has come up with a cool way to integrate a live feed of Instagram photos into its Facebook cover image that we’re surprised neither of them have come up with first. Three Instagrammers have been invited to take over the official Johnnie Walker feed, which will ‘live stream’ the photos to Facebook’s cover image. Just refresh the page to see more of the stunning photos.

Grey Goose vodka takes on Pinterest and Instagram
Grey Goose is launching on a couple of new platforms to promote a new variety of its vodka, and it sounds like quite the story. Each week, a new “chapter” will be announced, and Grey Goose has asked a group of photographers to capture the week’s theme and then share it on Instagram and Twitter. A weekly Pinterest board accompanies these chapters and continues the story.

Cadbury launches two new Dairy Milk bars on social media
Cadbury has taken to the Internet to announce two new members of the Dairy Milk family: toffee popcorn and gold biscuit crunch. The new bars were unveiled on Cadbury’s pages on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Fans could get a free sample by unscrambling a mystery word on Facebook. What a delicious way to engage fans.

Maldon Salt wants to celebrate its 130th birthday online
Just in time for its 130th birthday, Maldon Salt has started its first social activity and has roped in some big names in the food world for conversations about their favorite dishes of all time, some of which will then appear on Maldon Salt’s boxes. The conversation starts on Twitter but drives to the company’s blog, where food blogger James Ramsden is prepping the dishes. We’re hungry already.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #19

by Cai Yu Lam in News

We Are Social across the pond
This week’s big news is of course that We Are Social has opened in New York, our eighth office worldwide. Those who have been following us since the beginning know that this has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to start making a difference for US based marketers.

#WeAreSXSW
There’s just one day left of the social media circus that is South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. That means there’s just 24 hours left for you to say hello to the We Are Social team there.

Largest Chinese video sites Youku and Tudou merge
China’s two largest online video sites Youku and Tudou have merged to form a new entity named Youku Tudou Inc. So far it seems like both sites will retain their separate brands and URLs, except they will now together claim almost half of China’s online video market share. Even though there was allegedly speculation last spring that Youku would acquire Tudou, this merge is interesting given the battle both companies have been embroiled in the past year over alleged copyright infringement

Citibank Singapore’s social credit card
To better leverage the 1.5 million Facebook users under the age of 35 in Singapore, Citibank has launched its Clear Platinum Card which allows Facebook users to ‘check-in’, win badges, gain rewards, and earn points which can then be converted into Citibank dollars through its Clear 24.7 Facebook app. Jacquelyn Tan, head of credit payment products at Citibank Singapore explained the rationale behind Citibank’s social media approach with its new credit card:

Social media focuses on one thing – the consumer and his voice. With the new Citibank Clear Platinum card, we are building on the role of the consumer’s voice in this social media space to give cardmembers the power to actively customize their own card experiences, from merchant promotions to events, for the first time in Singapore.

Yahoo!’s new lifestyle site for women in Southeast Asia
Yahoo! rolls out yet another online product in the form of Yahoo! She, an online lifestyle hub for women in Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines that will host community-generated content in addition to locally relevant content from female lifestyle publications, expert columns, polls and sponsored content. Yahoo! She is aimed at 18 to 34 year olds and is modelled after Yahoo! Shine for women in the US, which sees more than 38 million unique visitors every month.

Instagram to launch Android version, finally
Instagram‘s co-founder Kevin Systrom announced at SXSW on Sunday that the long-awaited Android version of Instagram will be released “very soon”, and is currently being tested in private beta. Systrom revealed that the Android app is fast, works well on large screens and can share photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social networks. We’ll believe it when we see it. At the same time, it was announced that the iOS version of Instagram has seen some 27 million downloads to date.

India puts Facebook on trial
This week, India begins a trial against Facebook and 11 other online services it has found in violation of its law that requires Internet companies remove any material that “seeks to create enmity, hatred” and deemed “ethnically objectionable, grossly harmful, defamatory or blasphemous” within 36 hours. Given that Facebook and the other online services have clarified that they can’t be held liable for content posted by users, we don’t expect a devastating outcome, yet this episode does signal a potential clamp down on users responsible for offensive statements made on social media in India.

Posterous is Joining the Flock at Twitter
Posterous have announced on their blog that they’re being acquired by Twitter. Twitter themselves had this to say:

Today we are welcoming a very talented group from Posterous to Twitter. This team has built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple—a goal we share. Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.

CNN in talks to acquire Mashable
In other big acquisition news, rumours are making the circuit at SXSW that CNN is in talks with Mashable and could potentially acquirethe Internet media start-up founded by Pete Cashmore. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for whether the deal does indeed go through.

Facebook’s growth dwindles, Twitter still climbing
Facebook’s userbase still dwarfs Twitter’s, and its double-digit growth could only hold out for so long.

However, although Twitter’s user numbers should double by 2014, it will still have only a fraction of the users that Facebook does.

What to watch for on TV
Not sure what to watch on telly tonight? A new study says nearly 40% of Brits turn to social media to help them find the must-watch programmes of the evening. It underlines the ever-growing trend for dual-screen viewing.

Facebook’s ‘Interests’, check-in API, animation on tabs, mobile comments
Facebook now allows users to add their interests to lists, and follow collections of pages, subscriptions or friends, in a move similar to Twitter lists, but more clearly, Google+ Circles. Facebook has had an option for lists since 2007, but most of its users haven’t used the feature. With Facebook now promoting celebrity-curated lists, they’re clearly pushing the features, like they did with Questions early last year.

In the first sign of the results of their acquisition of Gowalla, Facebook also wants to become the backbone of your location data through updated APIs that will let the locations sent from other apps live as a layer on your Timeline. Check-in services will be able to pull your friend’s check-ins – from other services, perhaps – and therefore create more chance of meetups. Nice.

In an update to pages, brands can now have animations and video that play on apps and tabs without the user initiating it, a departure from pre-Timeline policy. With an animation already playing, it should be easier for brands to drive engagement.

On the mobile front, Facebook app users can now like or comment with a single click from their News Feed in the new design.

Big updates coming to Twitter brand pages
Taking a few notes from Facebook and the recent launch of Timeline for brand pages, Twitter is plotting more visual page updates for brands that are spending with the network. Although Twitter is still being hush-hush about specifics, rumour has it that soon e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes will be available directly from the site. Twitter is also continuing to improve its language options, adding Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu last week, as it continues to try and further grow the userbase.

Google exec says: Maybe you’re just doing it wrong
Google+ is no ghost town according to Vic Gundotra, a senior VP of engineering at Google. He countered the no-man’s-land claims with stats about the network’s rapid growth, trumpeting 100 million active users over 30 days. Can’t see what people are posting? Maybe it’s their privacy settings. We can’t help but be a little dubious.

On the plus side, if you do use Google+ and people +1 your content, Google is now encouraging users to say thank you. How cute.

Converting the location app Muggles
Foursquare and the like were unsurprisingly quickly adopted by dedicated tech geeks, but now Foursquare wants to reach out to the average Joe Smartphone through specials and deals. The service hopes that partnerships with ubiquitous, everyday companies, will lead non-techies to its side.

Pinterest quickly climbing the referral ranks
Last month, Pinterest overtook Twitter as a source of referral traffic to sites with the Shareaholic widget installed:

AddThis has also let readers peek into its site analytics, and, perhaps as a by-product of all this sharing, growth from Pinterest continues to skyrocket:

How long until Pinterest is up there with the likes of Twitter?

Social TV app Zeebox gains 22,000 users during ‘Dancing On Ice’
Phillip Schofield, the host of ‘Dancing On Ice’, tweeted about Zebox four times during last week’s show, and it gained 22,000 users as a result. However, Zeebox has been adding as many as 15,000 users an hour since the launch of its TV campaign anyway…

Channel 4′s new channel with schedule based on online conversation
Last week’s FT Digital Media Conference in London saw Channel 4 announce the launch later this year of a new channel – called 4seven – which will give viewers the chance to catch up on the most ‘talked about’ shows from the previous seven days. As well as traditional media, this will also include social media buzz. Considering Channel 4 say the new channel will help to increase engagement with viewers, it seems likely that programming will be strongly influenced by online feedback.

Barclaycard crowdsource credit card features
Barclaycard are trying to open up to consumers in a bid to win back their trust. They plan to do this by asking customers to name what features they would like in their new credit card – e.g. where call centres are – before actually producing the card. In addition, they’ll disclose how much profit they make from the card.

American Express: Sync. Tweet. Save.
American Express is letting customers get money off a selection of stores, by tweeting special offer hashtags from retailers including McDonald’s, H&M and Best Buy. With the mechanic to get the discount so easy – simply to retweet – it’s unclear whether this is actually any good for engagement, but it’s still an interesting step in the social commerce path.

Walgreens launch barcode redemption on Foursquare
Without wanting to get over-excited, Foursquare just beaome genuinely useful. For so long, it was nigh on impossible to redeem a special because cashiers in any large chain didn’t understand what was going on.

Now, that’s all changed. Walgreens ran a special which created a barcode on the phone screen, which could be scanned like a normal product by the cashier, and thus work together with normal checkout systems. It might seem simple but it’s a genuine game-changer as far as mobile check-in apps are concerned.

bmi launch Pinterest lottery
Pinterest is all the rage right now and marketers are keen to get involved, but bmi’s Pinterest Lottery just seems a bit 2010. They’ve created five boards featuring five different destinations, each with nine pictures on them.

Users can re-pin a maximum of six pictures, and whoever has re-pinned that pictures goes in a draw for the chance to win a free flight. The problem with this: ‘re-pin to win’ shows no real engagement with the brand – it’s like ‘RT to win’ on Twitter. It doesn’t feel very social.

Fanta hide characters in their Timeline
The launch of Facebook Timeline has obviously brought new challenges for marketers – as well as new opportunities. Fanta took the opportunity, by hiding characters on their Timeline:

On the 29th of February, Fanta posted a status update saying that the leap year day had thrown Fanta time out of kilter and four Fanta characters, Gigi, Lola, Floyd and Tristan had been brought into the past and hidden in the timeline. The first character hidden was Gigi; users were given the clues to identify the year she was in, and then had to ‘like’ an image of her to bring her back to the present.

Fanta – with their 2.6 million fanbase – asked for 1,956 likes to bring the character back, but managed just over 900. The key takeaway from this is that while there’s definitely cool stuff to be done with Timeline, it might not drive as high engagement as expected.

Heinz launch another ketchup via Facebook
Last year, our We Are Social team in London launched Heinz Limited Edition Ketchup with Balsamic Vinegar on Facebook and it went down a treat. This year we wanted to go one better, so before their new Limited Edition Ketchup went into supermarkets, we created a game where fans could either win a bottle of the new ketchup, or buy one. Without any media support, 50,000 fans played the game.

Twitterscrabble: how to promote a new product
To promote the launch of Scrabble Trickster, Scrabble have created a microsite to get people involved in the traditional board game, exclusively via Twitter.

Users landing on the microsite are challenged to write the highest scoring ScrabbleTweet from a set of 100 random characters. Once you’re happy with your entry, you can tweet it for judgment:

Mars found not guilty by the ASA
The Advertising Standards Agency published its adjudication into the celebrity sponsored tweets Mars purchased – and concluded that Mars did not need any action taken against them, as the ‘#spon’ in the fifth tweet each celeb posted was enough to make it clear that the previous four tweets were also sponsored. As crazy as this judgement seems, it sets an interesting precedent.

Newt Gingrich launches anti-Romney timeline
Newt Gingrich’s campaign last week launched a Facebook Timeline attacking fellow Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his record, particularly that he’s a liberal. Despite prominent coverage on Mashable, the Page has garnered only 1,000 likes, suggesting the Gingrich campaign might want to, ahem, give it an abortion.

Red Cross launches social media operations centre
The Red Cross have launched a social media operations centre, which should help them find victims in times of trouble and offer them help, as well as recruit volunteers.

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