Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Microblogging’.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the true number of users on Sina Weibo. The author discusses a study conducted by researchers at Hong Kong University that was based on a sample of roughly 30,000 users.
The results were quite surprising: 57% of the user studied had no posts at all in their timeline, while almost 87% made no posts during the seven-day study.
These results led the author to conclude that a significant number of Sina Weibo users are “just ‘lurking’”.
Based on my personal experience with Sina Weibo, I agree that many users are not actively creating content on their Weibo accounts; however, this does not mean that they are not doing anything useful on Sina Weibo, nor that they are of no value to brands.
In fact, Sina Weibo’s quieter users may be quite different from the ‘lurkers’ or zombie accounts on other platforms like Twitter, in part because of the technicalities of the Chinese language.
Sina Weibo has the same 140-character limit as Twitter, but 140 characters in Chinese can contain far more information than the same number of characters in English.
Collectively, these short Chinese language posts can consist of three or four sentences, and provide enough content to tell a story or a piece of news on a single weibo post. In contrast, there is usually only enough space for one sentence plus a link in a tweet in English.
As a result, Weibo users can gain a sufficient amount of information simply from reading the posts in their Weibo feed, without even having to click through to any external linked content.
For this reason, many people use Weibo as a customised news portal that allows them convenient access to real-time updates across a variety of topics, and from a variety of sources, all in a single feed.
They may not contribute to this feed themselves, but nonetheless, they take a considerable amount of value away from their experiences.
Another interesting fact is that many ‘lurkers’ on Sina Weibo are not perennial ‘lurkers’. Indeed, our research indicates that it’s relatively common to find users who are quite active during a given period of time, but become ‘lurkers’ at times when they have less time to participate in more creative Weibo activities.
It may be discouraging for brands to find that active engagement is comparatively low on their Weibo accounts, but a lack of ‘creative’ activity is not necessarily a sign that things aren’t working.
People may well go on to read links included in posts without reposting, or may choose to share them in other ways in different contexts (e.g. via more intimate conversations in platforms like WeChat).
This highlights the need for marketers and observers to understand the benefits that their audiences take out of social interactions, rather than analysing social platforms with the same metrics that they’d use to evaluate a traditional advertising medium.
Our advice for brands that find themselves in a situation of lower engagement is to explore a more ‘irresistible’ content strategy that encourages ‘lurkers’ to become more active users.
Part of this will involve experimenting with different approaches to understand what those audiences want and expect, and working with the more active members of the community to build dynamic conversations that draw other users into the action.
Most importantly, though, it’s about moving away from product-centric updates, and understanding how brands can add real value to their audience.
More than 50,000 government accounts on Sina Weibo
According to a recent report released by Sina, there are 50,947 government entities with weibo accounts as of September. In the last year, government bodies have established their presence on weibo upon understanding the new sphere where public discussions take place. This figure represents 33,132 government accounts and 17,815 government officials, and the numbers have doubled since December of last year. Police departments were the first adopters and we’ve seen them in action during this year’s Beijing floods when Sina Weibo came to the rescue. Today, departments and officials from every province are represented, from public security to public health. Tech in Asia noted that most of these accounts come out of the more developed areas like Beijing, Jiangsu and Guangzhou. Therefore, there is still room for growth when it comes to the public sector in disseminating information. In terms of disseminating news of crises in the West, we have noted that Hurricane Sandy has poured in plenty of updates on all the social media platforms. Apart from the obvious platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, photo sharing network Instagram has emerged as the destination for breaking news on the hurricane in pictures. There were 10 hurricane photos shared every second on the first day of the disaster. As of today there are more than 700,000 photos tagged #sandy and 420,000 photos tagged #hurricanesandy.
Japan’s Line grows past 70 million users
Japan’s mobile messaging app Line’s growth has been in the limelight for awhile now. Upon passing 70 million users, the service is attracting marketers from various brands in Asia. Only last month, Line reached a milestone of 60 million registered users. It claims to add 5 million new users every three weeks since February of this year when it had some 21 million users. The company is aiming to hit its 100 million target by end of this year by launching Line in China and the US. A number of brands in the region have already taken it to the service. In Thailand, food brand CPF and Thai Airways are seeing success on Line, with the latter racking up more than 1.2 million followers in less than one month of its presence.
Microblogs reach Chinese netizens more than other social media platforms
Nielsen’s recent report on China has revealed that microblogging sites such as Weibo reaches 97% of all Chinese social media users while social networking sites such as Renren penetrates about 70% of the social media users. Location-based check-in platforms are still emerging services with only a 10% usage rate.
Facebook’s future is on mobile
Earlier last week, Facebook announced its Q3 earnings in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his optimism about the company’s chances on mobile. As of Q3, there were 604 million monthly active users on mobile . Zuckerberg shared the possibilities of monetising on mobile, crediting that each product group inside Facebook now owns the mobile monetisation experience, which enables Facebook to leverage the ad revenue opportunities on mobile.
He also revealed,
Someone who uses mobile has a 70% likelihood of using Facebook on any given day, compared to 40% on desktops.
He went on to say that most people underestimate the opportunities with the trend towards mobile as Facebook starts to reach more people on mobile than on desktops. This seems to be making a larger difference with emerging markets and in their respective rural areas where ownership of mobile phones are more common than personal computers.
Here are all the numbers you need to know on Facebook’s Q3 report.
Twitter goes female
Research from Beevolve has revealed data on Twitter demographics and usage. The microblog that attracted men as early adopters is now seeing a shift towards women with a 47% to 53% gender distribution between male and female. Women also tweeted more than men. This trend of women communicating more than men on Twitter is also consistent with their usage on other social media platforms.
Interestingly, with this emerging shift there appear to be more conversations on the topic of family on Twitter. This definitely presents marketers in the industry of home products and services an opportunity to engage in conversations with this interest group.
Instagram sharing to Sina Weibo
Instagram added sharing functionalities to Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo on March 1st with their iOS 2.2 version and since then, 100,000 Instagram photos have been shared on Sina Weibo, with 50,000 users having linked their Instagram and Sina Weibo accounts together.
Sina Weibo fails to implement real-name policy
Sina, whose popular microblogging service Sina Weibo only had a little more than 19 million verified users out of its more than 250 million registered users more than a month ago, has publicly admitted its failure to fully implement the government-mandated ‘real name’ registration for microblog services in China. Even though there’s been no significant change to the volume of posting on Sina Weibo up til now, the consequences that lie ahead include the possible “termination of Weibo operations”, which will have a dramatic impact on the social media landscape of China as a whole, if it does indeed happen. Although this doesn’t seem very likely at the moment, we’ll still keep our eyes peeled for any shocking revelations.
Youku and Tudou connect user accounts
Following news of its merger on March 12, Youku and Tudou now both allow users of each platform to log-in to either video-sharing site with either their Youku or Tudou account. Currently Youku already integrates other social services into its video platform for commenting and favoriting, such as microblogging platforms Sina and Tencent Weibo, as well as social networking sites Renren and Kaixin001. We expect to see a lot more integrated features between the two video-sharing sites in the near future.
Brazil overtakes India as 2nd largest Facebook nation
Just 3 months ago, India had just surpassed Indonesia as the 2nd largest country on Facebook with 43,497,980 users compared to Indonesia’s 43,060,360 users. Today, both have been overtaken by Brazil, which now has 46,339,720 users, which reflects a pretty impressive growth of 22.24% in 3 months. Given that the major social network of choice in Brazil was still Orkut up to early 2011, the adoption of Facebook by Brazilian users has been rapid indeed.
Friendster relaunches for the Asian gaming market
Friendster has declared its latest attempt into the social networking sphere with a full-on redesign of the site, and have relaunched as a social discovery and gaming platform “combining search, content discovery and social functionalities”. Users can chat with friends via the Friendster Chat Application while playing more than fifty online games from eight different genres on the platform. The Facebook Connect function will likely make it more convenient for new users to log-in. Friendster still has more than 100 million registered members even though what exactly they were doing on the platform before the relaunch we have no idea, but it’ll be interesting to see if it can spring back to life, similar to how MySpace.com is trying to revive itself as a music-centric social network.
Facebook advertising revenue stalls despite strong growth
Figures from the 1st quarter of 2012 have shown that even the might of Facebook is not impervious to the advertising business cycle. Sales of $1.06 billion in Q1 were slightly down from the $1.13 billion reported in Q4 of 2011, though it’s not uncommon for marketers to tighten their belts at the start of a new year.
Even so, it’s important to emphasise how Facebook’s users remain enamoured with the site – the social network now has 901 million users, of which 526 million use the site every day.
Despite this Facebook has shown strong growth in areas beyond new users. A recent amendment to their filings for their public offering has shown that Facebook now hosts over 42 million pages and 9 million apps. Since December 31 2011 the number of pages with 10 or more “Likes” has increased by 5 million and the number of integrated apps has increased by 2 million.
Facebook upgrades Android app
Late last week Facebook released an updated version of their Android app including updated messenger features and new shortcuts to encourage photo sharing. From the outside this seems like a direct attempt by Facebook to negate Google’s advantage on the platform. As they own the operating system Google can integrate Google+ into the phone in ways that Facebook cannot. The updated app hopes to combat this by adding new icons allowing users to access Facebook’s camera feature with ‘one tap’.
Facebook have further enhanced their Android offering by announcing that Android apps will now work the same as web apps – if you click on a link to an app from your mobile Facebook News Feed, it will now load on your Android phone (or take you to the download page if it’s not installed).
Instagram sharing on Twitter increases 20x in 12 months
The Instagram juggernaut keeps on rolling. Not satisfied with being bought for US$1 billion this month, the photo-sharing app has been taking Twitter by storm. Sharing between Instagram and Twitter has doubled in the last two months and is 20x what it was a year ago. Though some of this growth can be attributed to the new Android app, research shows that the average number of shares is also increasing. Impressive.
Facebook tests and launches a new set of features for select brands
Facebook is testing a new button that will simplify the process through which Pages create Sponsored Stories directly from their posts. Rather than using a complex ad dashboard, the ‘promote’ button will appear on the Page publisher as well as on posts that have already gone live. The feature is aimed at small to medium sized businesses that want to promote their content but cannot afford premium products such as Facebook Reach Generator.
Facebook has also made Offers available through the API to a select number of partners. Offers are a new type of story that enables Page Owners to post coupons that fans can collect through their News Feed. Making this available through the API will allow developers to integrate the feature into their social media management systems.
In addition, Facebook have also relaunched their ‘Locations’ app to fit the Timeline layout. The app allows users to search from a company’s Page to find business locations near to them. At the moment the app is only available to select brands working with Facebook.
New Facebook Timeline apps
Christian Hernandez, Facebook’s Director of Platform Partnerships has revealed the latest set of Timeline apps to be released. JustGiving, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Sky Italy and Canal+ are among the 18 new additions to the Open Graph world.
LinkedIn launch iPad app
LinkedIn have added an iPad app to their iPhone, Android and Mobile Web products. The app has the ability to sync with the iPad’s calendar offering the user Linkedin profile data on attendees of meetings and conferences.
Google+ launch share button
Google+ have launched a share button available to publishers worldwide to add to their site. What’s interesting about it is that it stands alongside the +1 button, in case users want to share to their Circles without necessarily showing approval to a story. Particularly at a time Facebook are downgrading the importance of the share button, it will be interesting to see how this performs.
Barcelona vs Chelsea sets new Twitter record
There’s nothing like a sporting giant killing to get us all talking. Last Tuesday was no exception with Chelsea’s dramatic upset of the reigning European Champions Barcelona sending Twitter into a frenzy of excitement. The game knocked the NFL’s Superbowl off the top spot as the biggest sporting event on Twitter, peaking at 13,684 tweets per second. This demonstrates the growing use of Twitter as a way people share experiences of live events on a mass scale.
Will.i.am live-tweeting during The Voice
Building on the theme of enhancing live events through social media, The Voice judge Will.i.am was not satisfied with merely providing entertainment through the UK’s TV screens. Will.i.am tweeted from his judging chair during the show to provide followers with extra insight into how he was feeling about his act’s performances.
Channel 4 air live Twitter response ad
On Sunday night, in the first ad break for Homeland, the UK’s Channel 4 premiered the trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s new film. Viewers were then asked to share their thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #areyouseeingthis, with the best tweets picked out to appear in a live response ad in the next break. It was the first time ever viewers tweets have been shown in a live response ad and it worked – the hashtag was a trending topic in the UK, and the response ad worked well:
With Prometheus also teaming up with Zeebox, a dual-screen TV app, to offer a pair of Premiere tickets to one winner out of the many who watched a synchronised ad through the app, it was a successful night for the film’s promo team.
Gawker’s new commenting service
Gawker have launched a new proprietary commenting system called Burner, which is based on anonymity. What’s interesting is not so much the change itself, but the reasons behind it – namely, to disrupt commenting cliques. Removing names means that in theory, it won’t just be the same people repeatedly dominating commenting threads. Which all in all, is probably a good thing.
Elle launches Shoppable Trend Guide
Elle has launched a clever Facebook app where users can click ‘love’, ‘want’, ‘own’ or ‘buy’ on each product page. By default, all interactions with the app are shared automatically on their Facebook Timeline — so even if users don’t make a purchase, they may draw curious friends in to interact with the app. It’s a nice way of attempting f-commerce – including purchase as part of the app, rather than being the entire point of the app.
Pepsi launches global campaign focusing on social
Pepsi has launched a new brand campaign called Live For Now, which puts social at the heart of the campaign. This is partly through a ‘social media cheat sheet’, the #NOW board which pulls together the hottest stories from social media.
According to Techcrunch:
Beyond serving as a news aggregator, Singh says the site will include other features, like the ability for celebrities to pose challenges to their fans, and exclusive deals courtesy of sites like Thrillist. And naturally, the content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
But according to Pepsi, the campaign will go above and beyond the Pepsi micro-site:
As part of the “Live for Now” platform in the U.S., Pepsi will present a series of exclusive pop-up, Twitter-enabled concerts this summer featuring major music artists. Additionally, Pepsi’s first of its kind Twitter music partnership will enhance consumers’ music experiences and bring them closer to what is hot in music today.
Considering their previous success in social media, it will be interesting to see how this campaign gets on.
Kraft personally thanks 4,632 Facebook fans with music video
Apart from competition prizes, there’s very little reciprocal love from brands on Facebook. Kraft tried to change this on Tuesday. First, they posted on their Facebook Page ‘LIKE this post, and you never know what may happen’.
The post garnered over 4,600 “Likes” – with each person then thanked in a ‘Likeapella music video’:
C&A Brazil puts Facebook Likes on store hangers
Before Mother’s Day, C&A Brazil put Facebook “Like” counters on the hangers in their flagship store – and uploaded their collection to their Facebook Page. Then, whenever anyone “liked” one of the products, the numbers would update in real-time. A nice way of convincing people to purchase.
Volkswagen create innovative flipbook ad for their Facebook Page
Volkswagen have created a genius little ad on their Facebook page. Through a photo album that doubles as a flipbook you can click to watch the Volkswagen Tricari Arc drive through the desert into an urban area in a continuous loop. The ad builds on what Smart Argentina did in Twitter recently, but is the first of its kind on a Facebook page. (The comments are also worth a read).
Hasbro bully tactics create social media backlash
Toy manufacturer Hasbro have received large scale condemnation for the way they dealt with blogger Martyn Yang. The blogger, whose hobby was writing about the brand, was tricked into giving his home address so that Hasbro could press legal proceedings against him. It seems ridiculous that brands still operate in this way when a quick email or phone call would have most likely wrapped the whole situation up with a far more satisfactory result.
Paying for Tweets is a PR disaster waiting to happen
An ABC Media Watch revelation last Monday has opened a can of worms for organisations paying celebrities to tweet for them. The Australian highlighted the negative response by the Australian public to the South Australian Tourist Board paying chef Matt Moran $750 to tweet about Kangaroo Island. We Are Social’s own Julian Ward commented on how less than a dozen tweets can create a crisis for a brand:
The total reach of potentially damaging tweets was 3,453,843 and the cost is huge but unknown at this point. By doing what they have done, what does it say about the brand? Why go so cheap and why risk so much?
Active weibo users in China
There’s no doubt that China’s microblogging platform is an important source of information to Internet users in China. The number of active weibo users has since reached 249 million by the end of 2011, a 59.3% increase compared to the year before. The number of new subscribers is however gradually levelling off after the explosive growth in 2011.
How people entertain themselves online
Ipsos Global Public Affairs surveyed Internet users in 24 countries to find out how people in each country entertain themselves online. China topped all segments with 71% having downloaded and/or streamed movies, 55% having done the same with television programs, 72% with music, and 61% having played video games online. It almost appears that Chinese Internet users escape online to seek solace from the harsher realities of life. In stark contrast, only 9% of Japanese respondents have downloaded and/or streamed movies and television programs, and 24% have downloaded and/or streamed music online. This could be due to the stricter piracy laws that are implemented in Japan.
Most trusted forms of advertising
The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising survey polled more than 28,000 respondents in 56 countries and discovered that earned media such as word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of recommendation for 92% of those surveyed. Online consumer reviews followed with 70% of global consumers surveyed indicating their trust in them. In Asia-Pacific, recommendations from friends are the most trusted. Almost half of the survey respondents trust paid media such as television, magazine and newspaper ads, but confidence in these media have declined by 24%. Nevertheless, majority of advertising spend is still allocated to traditional or paid media. Mobile phone text ads are the least trusted medium of advertising with only 29% of respondents claiming to trust ad messages they receive via SMS.
Impact of Facebook vs. Google advertising
Facebook ads have far greater reach than Google, as US$100 spent on Facebook and Google advertising will garner you 15 times more unique people reached and 35 times more exposure from just 3 times more of Google’s traffic. Time to shift advertising budgets?
Influencing moms through social media
The opportunities brands have in engaging and influencing mothers are bountiful given how much more receptive moms are to brand messaging. Performance marketing firm Performics‘s survey of nearly 3,000 active social network users uncovered that approximately 61% of moms are more likely to own a smartphone compared to other women, and are more active on social networks as well. In particular, moms are 16% more likely to visit Facebook daily than women without children. Purchase intent of moms after being recommended goods and services on social sites is also 45% higher compared to women without children. Most importantly, 75% of moms are more likely to regard information disseminated by brands on social media as trustworthy. Since mom bloggers control more than US$2 trillion worth of purchase power, these findings are extremely significant to brands.
Social media users in China
The number of social media users in China reached 256.5 million in 2011, and looks set to reach 414.5 million by 2014. Already making up more than 50% of China’s Internet population, social media users there will encompass 63% of China’s Internet population by 2014. Even without the presence of Facebook or Twitter, social media users in China have no lack of alternative local options that are not banned by the government, thanks to a very competitive social media landscape that is led by Internet giants such as Tencent, Sina, Biadu etc.
Smartphone growth boosts Asia-Pacific’s games market
Asia-Pacific’s booming smartphone market will boost the region’s gaming industry to more than $30 billion in 2016, with annual growth of 18%, which is 2% higher than the global average. Research by Ovum estimates that Asia Pacific will have more than 1 billion gamers by 2016, of which nearly 900 million or 90% of gamers will play games solely on a mobile device or in addition to a PC. In light of recent hit ‘Draw Something‘ and Zynga’s ‘With Friends‘ titles, it’s likely that social gaming will be the one paving the way forward in the growth of Asia-Pacific’s gaming industry.
Tumblr hits 20 million users
Microblogging service Tumblr continues to grow at an impressive rate, having hit 20.15 billion posts and a total of 49.89 million blogs at time of writing. Earlier this year, Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp announced that Tumblr was serving 120 million people and had 15 billion pageviews every month. Its average user creates 14 original posts each month, and reblogs 3. Given the rise in popularity of Pinterest, which has similar functionalities to Tumblr in terms of “liking” and “repinning” posts but with a focus on photos alone, we wonder whether Tumblr will continue on this trajectory of growth, or if it will in fact be affected by this bright shiny new platform everyone’s spending their social networking time on at the moment.
Does your CEO tweet?
Apparently, CEOs who tweet are regarded more positively than those who don’t. A survey by social media branding firm BRANDfrog discovered that 77% of respondents are more likely to purchase a product from a company if its CEO and other C-level executives are tweeting. In addition, 78% believe that CEOs participating on social media leads to better communication, 71% believe it improves brand image, and 64% feel that it offers more transparency. Internally, 82% of employees who responded trust their company more if the C-level and other leadership tweets. Of course, it’s not feasible for all CEOs to tweet, but brands should recognise that having an ambassador for the company in the form of higher management might instil more trust and confidence in consumers towards the brand.
New Facebook Pages drive higher engagement rates
A study by Simply Measured analysed 15 Facebook brand pages that were early adopters of Timeline to determine its impact on engagement rates. The results concluded that the implementation of Timeline led to a 14% increase in fan engagement, a 46% increase in content engagement, and a 65% increase in interactive content engagement, namely videos and photos. Of course, we’re not convinced that all brands will see a similar lift in fan engagement because the brands surveyed have a significantly large fan base and were also featured often on articles or used as case studies leading up to the big reveal of Timeline for brands. Still, the new features of Timeline should no doubt make it easier for brands to engage with their fans, so we shall see if a more comprehensive study of brands on Timeline in future will yield similar results.
PayPal experiments with QR code mobile shopping in Singapore
PayPal will be introducing mobile shopping in Singapore, whereby smartphone owners can buy goods while on the go using a QR code reader application. This initiative will take place at 15 subway (MRT) stations, where gifts from eight retailers at prices reduced specially for Valentine’s Day will be displayed. Smartphone owners must first download the PayPal QR code reader which allows them to scan the QR codes of the displayed products, and subsequently purchase these products by logging into PayPal or by providing their credit cards details.
Singapore is poised for such an experiment as it has a large smartphone userbase, having achieved the largest recorded feature phone to smartphone migration rate globally at 54%, and having the largest smartphone user base per capita in the world with a 90% penetration rate. It also has the infrastructure in place, with mobile 3G network and free public Wi-Fi that every citizen can register for with their mobile phone number.
Smartphones serve as entertainment guides in Taiwan
An Internet survey by Google found that most smartphone users from Taiwan use their mobile devices as a restaurant finder and travel guide. 38% of Taiwanese who responded said they use their smartphones to search for restaurants and food recommendations, while another 35% use their smartphones to seek travel information. Similarly in other parts of Asia Pacific, 66% of smartphone owners aged 18 to 29 in Singapore said they used their smartphones mostly as a food directory, followed by 55% in Hong Kong, and 40% in both Australia and China respectively.
Tencent’s mobile gaming platform
China’s Internet giant Tencent revealed that its mobile gaming platform Mobile QQ Game Hall has surpassed 200 million registered users and sees 13 million users everyday, with peak usage hitting more than 1 million concurrent gamers. It has no doubt tapped on Tencent’s weibo service, which has more than 250 million members. The current selection is still rather limited, but Tencent has claimed it will be adding more titles to its collection of casual games.
‘The Sims Social’ comes to China
Social gamers in China can soon look forward to playing The Sims Social, which was launched on Facebook last year but was unavailable to Chinese netizens as Facebook is blocked in the country. The 537 million active users on Tencent’s social gaming network QZone will be able to access The Sims Social, or Mo Ni Shi Guang in Mandarin, through an open beta on its platform soon.
China’s 254 million active microblogging users
China had 254 million active microblog user accounts by the end of 2011, up by 150.7% from the previous year. The active user activity proves just how big a part microblogging plays in China’s Internet culture. Microblogging user activity was mainly reflected by the number of user-generated content, the number of ‘retweets’ and comments, content shared among social platforms, and content sharing outside social platforms.
LinkedIn reaches 150 million users
LinkedIn has reached 150 million users, after adding more than 50 million users in the last 10 months; in doing so, it has secured its place as the professional’s social network. Asia Pacific accounts for 25 million users, with India accounting for the majority of Asian users with 13 million LinkedIn accounts, while 4 million originate from Southeast Asia. Singapore alone accounts for 700,000 users, which signals a 14% penetration.
Liking a brand has a positive purchase intent
Interesting news from eMarketer: 54% of those who like a brand on Facebook are then more likely to purchase the product.
From social media to word of mouth
Promoting a brand on Facebook means more than just buying up thousands of fans and, right on cue, Unilever have announced that it is shifting away from using social media for getting fans and instead wants to move towards engagement to drive advocacy and word of mouth.
The dinosaur in the room
Is it brands that are having a hard time evolving, or is it agencies? Just 9% of senior marketers believe traditional ad agencies have successfully joined the digital age, according to a new study.
Hey, have you seen this new video?
Just like a study released a couple of weeks ago, new research has found that viewers who watched a video were more likely to recall the featured brand when it was recommended by a friend compared to viewers who found the video through browsing. Also, people who watched a friend-recommended clip were more likely to enjoy the video and purchase the product.
Brits are top on Twitter
Nearly 40% of people in the UK use Twitter, the highest per capita usage in the world. The U.S., the Netherlands, Chile and Venezuela round out the top 5.
Should Facebook make a ‘junior’ edition?
Although Facebook requires its users to be 13, almost half of British 8 to 12 year olds lie about their age and have accounts on the site. Most of the children replied that they simply wanted a place to play games online and would join a ‘junior’ Facebook if it were created.
Adding Facebook Places to your map
Some Facebook users can now see an “Add to Map” button for business pages with brick-and-mortar addresses. This is meant to encourage more people to fill in their Timelines, but should also yield valuable information in recommending places to friends and letting businesses create more targeted ads.
Could the tap-in be the next check-in?
In its latest update for Android, Foursquare has included support for near-field communication, which would allow check-ins via a wave or a tap when you reach a location. The service has changed dramatically as it gets ready to enter its fourth year, and it’s taking notes from Twitter about getting past its ‘growing pains’.
Google launch Google+ developers page
Last Monday saw Google launch a Google+ developers page within Google+ to allow users to stay close to the latest Google+ platform news and events. The idea is for the page to act as a feedback portal for users, as well as encouraging users to join hackathons. It’s been successful thus far, as it’s already in almost 19,000 circles.
MySpace to announce one million new users
Since December, when MySpace introduced a new music player, it has added one million new users, the first increase in users in almost a year.
Pinterest reaches ten million unique visitors a month
According to comScore, Pinterest is the quickest ever site to reach ten million uniques a month. Certainly a site we’re watching closely.
Path: one to watch
Since its redesign two months back Path has added one million new users and is growing exponentially. Whilst it’s only available on smartphones – and hence it’s userbase will always be limited – the ease of use of the nascent app-cum-social network, means it’s another we’re watching closely.
Domino’s return to crowdsourcing
Domino’s has launched Think Oven, its new attempt to crowdsource feedback from its Facebook fans:
The Think Oven Facebook tab has two sections: Projects and Idea Box. Projects is where Domino’s solicits feedback on specific projects, with the kick-off project asking fans to brainstorm uniform ideas. Two visual submissions and two written submissions will each receive $500 rewards.
Idea Box is more open-ended and accepts any ideas people want to submit (although it’s safe to assume the brand’s Facebook admins can delete any offensive/rude suggestions). After all, the pizza chain’s latest product, Parmesan Bread Bites, was created by Brian Edler, a Domino’s Store Owner in Ohio. Other ideas so far including introducing rooftop gardens, better French dressing and a pizza delivery locator light.
Domino’s to trial F-commerce
Meanwhile, Domino’s in the UK are embarking on a new product launch exclusive to its Facebook fans. The Pizza chain is launching ‘boneless ribs’, a new addition to its menu of side orders. Facebook fans will be able to preview and order the dish at a promotional price for a week before the national launch. Perhaps there’ll be a domino effect from this, and it will drive long-term sales?
Control cats from your computer
A new campaign from Friskies allows users to control a series of kittens’ toys through Facebook (while real live kittens play with them). With cats, consumers and the internet combined, expect the web to go into meltdown.
New Cillit Bang Product Launched exclusively on Facebook
Reckitt Benckiser has announced plans to exclusively sell the new Cillit Bang ‘All in 1 Dish & Surface Cleaner’ household-cleaning product through its Facebook page. They also plan to invest an extra £100m in brand building across Europe.
Cadbury’s use Facebook to launch new Wispa product
After running a competition to find the Ultimate Wispa fan, Cadbury’s then let the very same fan launch the new Wispa product – Bitsa Wispa – on their Facebook Page, before running a competition all week to give the first batch of the product away.
Foster’s with Facebook Timeline app
Fosters is the first alcohol brand in the UK to develop a Timeline app, using it to showcase its exclusive comedy content. Rumours of the comedy being sweet, but mostly flat, are yet to be confirmed.
O2 surprises and dazzles with a Valentine campaign
The mobile operator O2 is rolling out plans to ‘surprise and delight’ customers with another personalised social media campaign for Valentines Day. The have created a virtual digital love nest in the clouds to deliver Twitter users messages via Youtube videos, personally recorded by non-identical twin “O2 Cupids”.
Dove creates Valentine’s Day tweet screen
Dove has erected a Valentine’s Day tweet screen in London’s Victoria station, which displays tweeters responses to questions about women and beauty. Aside from the time of year, it’s hard to see how much this has to do with Valentine’s.
Threadless link-up with Pinterest
T-shirt makers Threadless are one of the first brands to run a campaign on Pinterest: they’ve asked users to create a Valentine’s Pinboard including five Threadless products, for the chance to win an $100 voucher as well an $100 Amazon gift card.
Skoda’s impressive use of social media
A really nice story from Car Dealer Magazine, about how a tweet from a journalist about not having a car, ended up with him being a given a car for the day, as well as free lunch. It all goes to show the power of listening on social media, and then generating positive word of mouth. It’s hard to get brands to believe it can be this simple, but sometimes it really can be.
Sky News bans retweeting others, BBC bans breaking stories on Twitter
Sky News has introduced a new policy that bans its journalists from retweeting non Sky sources. It seems to miss the point of social media – about reporters being part of the wider community – and it will be interesting to see if there is a backlash from their journalists.
Simon Collister from We Are Social London highlighted just why it’s a bad move for Sky:
Sky, as an early adopter of Twitter, has taken a big step backwards. It’s easy to see where it’s coming from in terms of attempting to protect the brand from association with inappropriate personal tweets or unconfirmed news, but Sky is missing the point. The biggest damage to the brand will be that its reporters go from being ‘real people’ to official broadcast channels for Sky. This risks diminishing the range, breadth and quality of the content being produced and shared.
What will these policies mean for the individual journalists concerned? Many of Sky’s reporters understand that getting the most out of Twitter means reciprocal engagement through sharing and retweeting other users and are already flouting the new policies. If Sky journalists find themselves losing followers, authority or relevance in the increasingly networked news environment, it will be interesting to see if this leads to higher staff turnover – or a management re-evaluation of the proposed practices.
The domino effect has already been felt at the BBC, where journalists have been told not to break new stories on Twitter. The new rule, which applies to all correspondents within the corporation, reporters and producers, was announced on Wednesday, just a day after Twitter’s new ruling.
It’s our last Tuesday TuneUp for the year, and we hope that everyone will have a marvellous Christmas, even amidst faulty public transportation and dreary weather.
Heineken launch social Christmas tree, a Christmas memory game – and hire We Are Social
Heineken have launched a Facebook campaign where fans can send a Merry Christmas message to 16 friends in a sendable graphic. These messages will then come alive on a real tree in Singapore.
In China, Heineken is challenging beer lovers with a Christmas memory game based off their global TV spot ‘The Entrance’. ‘Discover the Entrance’ is an interactive campaign on China’s second-biggest video website Tudou, where participants will be challenged to remember the characters from the TV commercial, and stand to win a one-night stay in a five-star hotel.
In even more exciting news, Heineken have hired We Are Social to work on Bulmers and Jacques, two of their cider brands.
Most engaging brands on social media in China
According to R3’s on-going En-spire study, Taobao is the most engaging digital brand in China, with more than 70% of respondents voting it as their favourite shopping portal. For other brands, sports giant Nike leads in terms of engagement at 13.2%, followed by Lenovo with 10.8% and Coca-Cola at 8.7%. The En-spire study noted that Lenovo in particular has been enhancing its Weibo presence and impact. It currently has 179,904 followers on its Sina Weibo account.
Malaysian Government uses Internet TV to communicate with public
The Malaysian government has introduced a new Internet video service which will help it to communicate information, news and other updates to Malaysians, both within the country and abroad. The government sees the importance of an avenue where they can provide reliable and up-to-date information, given the socialisation of news in which breaking updates are disseminated through social media and other Internet channels. This IPTV Internet channel 1MalaysiaIPTV can be viewed online from a mobile device, or through dedicated applications for BlackBerry, Android and Apple devices. Content will be purely in Bahasa Malaysian.
Chinese microbloggers must now verify their identity
It will soon be mandatory for Chinese microbloggers to adhere to the real-name policy, one of 16 new regulations for microblogs set by the Beijing municipal government. Users are now required to register their microblog accounts under their real name by providing their official state ID number. The severe implication for users will be the accountability they now hold towards anything they ‘tweet’ on Weibo, as opposed to using nicknames previously through which their real identity could not be traced.
Most overused buzzwords on LinkedIn profiles
LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals, has identified the most overused buzzwords on the profiles of its 135 million users worldwide. Singaporeans like the term ‘track record’, Indians are ‘effective’, Australians think themselves ‘creative’, French are apparently ‘dynamic’, and Brazilians are ‘multinational’. It’s time to update your LinkedIn profiles.
Social networks used by over three quarters of consumers
A new study from Ofcom produced some interesting findings about the state of social:
Social networking is a global phenomenon, with over three quarters of consumers in the markets we surveyed saying that they have visited a social networking site, with the majority saying they visit them on a daily basis. This is much higher among 18-24 year olds, with eight in ten (83 per cent) visiting on a daily basis.
Social networking sites are most popular in Italy, with 91 per cent ever having visited and a quarter visiting over five times a day (24 per cent), while in the UK eight out of ten (79 per cent) have ever visited with one in five visiting over five times a day.
UK consumers are more likely to access social networking sites on a mobile phone than other countries, with 43 per cent of those with social networking site profiles saying they do so compared to just 30 per cent in the US.
More widely, the UK is Europe’s most digitally aware nation (second only to America) and this is underlined by Britons spending more time online, owning more smartphones and even watching more TV online.
Companies look to expand social media spend in 2012
An interesting bit of research from Grant Thornton highlights how although just 43% of companies worldwide currently use social media, 61% plan to increase their usage, with it breaking down by country as follows:
Notably, 75% of companies from ASEAN and 56% from APAC are planning to increase use of social media. The quicker growth amongst BRIC countries is also backed up by the latest research from KPMG, which suggests that brands are keen to use social media in those markets as a cheap and effective way to boost brand awareness.
Judging by another survey, it seems the increased spend will go – unsurprisingly – mainly to Facebook and Twitter campaigns:
Facebook profits hit 1 billion – and flotation nears
According to Gawker, Facebook will make one billion Dollars in profit in the calendar year 2011 – double its profits from the previous year. More to the point, its limited outgoings means Facebook is swimming in cash.
These extraordinary profit figures mean that if and when a Facebook flotation does occur, the social network will be valued at at least 100 billion dollars. And that’s a lot of money.
Facebook Timeline now available worldwide and on mobile…
A long time after it was announced, Facebook Timeline is finally available worldwide. Once users activate Timeline, they get a seven-day review period to check what goes on the Timeline before it goes public. Timeline is also now available on iPhone, Android and Mobile Web.
Brands try to make the most of Timeline
Although Brand Pages don’t yet have Timelines, a couple of brands are already getting involved: both Mountain Dew and Volkswagen have added a tab to their Pages where users can download images and use them as cover images for their Timeline. Nifty.
Facebook considering new ad formats
AdAge reports that at the end of March, Facebook is planning its first push into mobile advertising – by putting Sponsored Stories into the mobile News Feed. It’s an interesting development as Facebook believes its user base will be growing on mobile, meaning that this is almost certainly the first of several steps.
Judging by a post on Inside Facebook, the social network has also launched a new premium ad unit, allowing brands to post Coupons on their Pages and then push these through traditional Facebook social ads. This could be great for establishments like restaurants and bars.
Buy concert tickets without leaving Facebook
With Ticketfly, the entire ticket-buying experience now takes place right on a Facebook Page. Ticketfly was one of the Open Graph launch partners announced at Facebook’s f8 conference, and music venues in Oakland, San Francisco, and New York have been beta testing the service and seen advanced sales on tickets increase by almost 25% for various artists. Buying concert tickets has never been easier.
LinkedIn launches Polls in Groups
LinkedIn last week launched Polls within their private Groups – a development they dub as ‘the easiest way to join the professional conversation’. They’ve clearly never spoken to anyone in real life.
New Google+ updates and changes to Hangouts
With the end of the year just a few days away, Google have decided to launch some new updates to Google+. First up, they’ve added the option to ‘change the volume’ of Circles, so that the overall stream can be better weighted to your interests:
They’ve also updated Brand Pages in a really positive way: they can now have multiple admins with a notification flow to enhance Page management, and they also have launched an aggregated count of all users who have engaged with a Page:
Besides that, they’ve launched a whole range of updates for Hangouts including video Hangouts on mobile which are designed to make them more accessible.
But how effective this all is, is rather questionable: for all Britney Spears now has a million followers, it’s hard to escape the truth: nobody cares. After Google Wave and Google Buzz, it’s like oops I did it again.
Miso launches a superb update
Social TV startup Miso has launched a nice update called Sideshows:
Basically, it’s a slideshow of additional content that can be synchronized to run alongside a TV show. In one example, Smillie showed a fan-created, fashion-focused SideShow for Gossip Girl. When a notable outfit appeared on screen, the SideShow would bring up a card with more information about the clothes, as well as an image and an online shopping link. Another example was a demo that SideShow created for MTV’s high school comedy Awkward. As a song played during the show, Miso brought up a card with the title, artist, and a link to the song on Spotify.
In some ways, this may seem like an update to the on-screen captions and annotations that TV shows and DVDs have experimented with in the past. But the SideShows are more interactive, since they’re connected to the Web. And because they’re on your phone (it’s only available on the iPhone initially), they don’t interfere with the TV image itself.
It’s a tremendous update because it means that brands can socialise product placement in TV programmes, and really link their marketing strategy together.
Banks begin to use social data to decide credit ratings
An interesting – if somewhat scary – report from Betabeat show how banks might try to tap into customers’ social data in the future. Privacy is important to most social media users, and these development are somewhat worrying – essentially, your credit rating could depend as much on your friends as what you yourself do.
KLM to introduce in-flight matchmaker zone
KLM’s latest social campaign is one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve heard all year: customers will be allowed to see fellow passengers’ social media profiles, and based on their interests can choose to sit together.
This could go well, or really, really badly. And that’s what makes it so brilliant.
BrandAlley predicts 5% of sales in 2012 will come through F-Commerce
The success of sales directly through their Facebook Pages has led BrandAlley to predict that 5% of revenue next year will come directly from F-Commerce. Impressive.
Capital One offer bonus rewards based on Klout score
Capital One have launched a Christmas promotion with Klout to reward cardholders, offering bonus rewards based on individual Klout scores. This means that everyone who participates – with a Klout score of 10 to a Klout score of 100 – gets some form of bonus rewards based on their influence.
Sherlock Holmes film utilises Stephen Fry’s Twitter following
It’s not original using celebrities for endorsements, even in social, but this one caught our eye for its inventiveness: Stephen Fry has been posting Holmes-esque cryptic clues on his Twitter channel to promote the new Sherlock Holmes film, and the first person to crack them each day wins a prize. A good campaign, well executed, without any elementary mistakes.
All Saints reaches out to fashion bloggers
All Saints is to expand the number of UK bloggers it works with in a bid to drive greater advocacy. They will focus on nurturing partnerships with fashion fanatics.
Dunkin’ Donuts new Foursquare campaign
Dunkin’ Donuts are offering quite a cool Foursquare sweepstake in the New York area. If users connect their Foursquare account on the DD Facebook Page, they become eligible to win a whole host of prizes in-store. Nice.
Sweden lets citizens take over its Twitter account
In a bold move, Sweden is letting ordinary citizens take over its Twitter account and curate it for a week at a time. While this will obviously drive PR value, it could also go disastrously wrong. That’s the beauty of it.
Republicans compete to spend more on Twitter
Republican Presidential rivals Rick Perry and Mitt Romney seem to be competing as to who can spend more on Promoted Tweets. The real-time opportunities of Promoted Tweets is what seems to appeal to the different candidates.
The We Are Social team in London shared a fantastic update yesterday on the redesign of Twitter and its new functionality.
Following a closer look, though, and fuelled by this great post on Penn Olson, we came to the conclusion that many of Twitter’s ‘new’ features look quite familiar.
However, as Steven says in his Penn Olson report, we’re not trying to “call copycat” here; rather, we believe that exploring these similarities helps to illustrate how global social networking is fuelling some great innovations in the way we share things, and may point to other, future developments we might expect over the coming months.
In Twitter’s new re-design,
“Tweets can now expand to show more information such as replies, retweets and embedded photos and videos.”
These various capabilities are also present in Sina Weibo, but the major difference lies in visibility. The number of ‘retweets’ and comments are shown on every weibo on the user’s homepage, whereas Twitter users will have to click on specific tweets to see this information. As for photos, instead of having to click on ‘view photo’ before the embedded photo is revealed within a tweet, a thumbnail photo that can be expanded is embedded within a weibo itself.
You can now ‘see who follows you, retweets or favorites one of your Tweets, or adds you to a list’ in a single stream. More comprehensively, Sina Weibo features a comments thread that allows users to view all comments and ‘retweets’ of an original ‘tweet’, with the added functionality of either replying everyone on the thread, or replying comments individually.
What this allows is a conversation between seemingly un-connected individuals, and resembles a comments thread similar to Facebook, which does not seem to be present on Twitter even in its re-design. So instead of tracking your impact on Twitter across various @ replies, retweets and favourites, you can monitor these activities within each individual weibo with Sina Weibo.
On Twitter, you can now discover stories, activities, who to follow, find your friends and browse categories through the new ‘Discover’ function. Users might embrace ‘Discover Stories’ if they wish to discover news or information that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to via their followers. In a way, it’s like StumbleUpon for tweets, instead of websites.
Twitter’s ‘Browse Categories’ function under the ‘Discover’ tab allows users to browse for topic-specific information. Sina Weibo appears a little more sophisticated, as a weibo user can browse for topics of interest through his personal word cloud, which displays topics that the user himself has indicated before, or is aggregated through his weibo hashtags. The search function on Sina Weibo is also quite advanced in terms of scoping hashtag mentions from tweets, user profiles, Sina Weibo Groups, and in photos.
Brands who use Twitter as an important social media tool for engaging audiences would be impacted greatly by the new Brand Pages. There are customisable elements that would really differentiate between brand pages, one of which is the main overhead banner. Brands can use that to headline messages, taglines or welcome a visitor, much like a customisable Facebook welcome tab. Another addition would be ‘pinned tweets’, where brands can ‘pin’ a particular tweet that will appear at the top of their activity stream, This will be particularly apparent in tweets with embedded images or video, which can be set to remain open, and will definitely aid in engaging audiences visually.
Similarly for Sina Weibo, its brand page allows brands to host a video on its homepage, which is separated from the rest of its weibo activity.
[Image of JetBlue's Twitter page taken from this Techcrunch article]
Try it for yourself
Regardless of these similarities, we think the new Twitter features look like they’ll make a great addition to a service we already love, so we’re looking forward to seeing how they influence people’s adoption and usage behaviour around the world.
Oh, and if you’d like to find out for yourself how these updates change the Twitter experience, you can download the latest versions of Twitter for iPhone or Android mobile devices: