Here are all of the posts tagged ‘mobile app’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #52

by Karen Wee in News

Momo in a SoLoMo dating world
Online dating services are big and have evolved rapidly. Last week, we mentioned that Indian website Shaadi.com was the most engaging brand on Facebook. This week, a report by The Next Web looks at the evolution of online dating services in China. Moving on from scouring online profiles in the hopes of meeting “The One”, social networking app Momo allows users to meet new people who are nearby, meetings powered by the confluence of  social networking, location-based and mobile services. The service is barely over a year old and has attracted 16 million users, of which 6 million signed up within the past 2 months. Though the service has a reputation for enabling easy hookups between young people (the average user is around 25 years of age), the company says it was created for a loftier purpose of allowing Chinese urban dwellers to make friends with their neighbours in an increasingly disengaged world. Momo doesn’t see themselves as a competitor to Tencent’s WeChat, which has a similar feature allowing its users to meet strangers, claiming that the 2 apps function on different levels. There are plans to release an English-language version, complete with Facebook integration, in an effort to make headway into the international market.

Singapore-based Sprooki to expand into the Philippines next
Singapore-born location-based mobile commerce platform Sprooki announced that it has secured S$590,000 in seed funding. Comprising a lean team of 8, Sprooki has over 60 mall and retail partners within Asia and Singapore for their services, which enable retail shops to send targeted messages and promotions to potential customers milling close by.  Having recently appointed a representative in Manila, Sprooki is also exploring opportunities in Australia.

RealLifeConnect adds Sina Weibo support for social media check-in stations
“Offline social media” sharing is now available in China through Austrian startup RealLifeConnect’s check-in stations with support for Sina Weibo. The RFID/NFC-equipped check-in terminals allow users to share from stands at events, exhibitions or stores without needing to use their own smartphones. Brands or event organizers can benefit from the service by giving out free cards or tokens at events, thereby allowing recipients to talk about them easily on Weibo. Variations of RealLifeConnect’s social media check-in stations allow users to transfer files or contact details via NFC or RFID, giving the platform more flexibility in application. The company shared that it has seen 50 successful cases through the application of its platform across 5 continents within the past 10 months and is now looking to expand globally.

@WeAreMumbai is India’s first rotational curation Twitter account
India is making another mark in Twitterverse with it’s first rotational curation account @WeAreMumbai, which is managed weekly by a new tweep from Mumbai. The curator recommends things to do and places to see in addition to sharing opinions and ideas for 7 days. The account has gained 848 followers within a space of 3 weeks and received positive feedback. During its first week, the hashtag #WeAreMumbaiQuiz trended in India for 6 hours with 350+ mentions and increasing follower numbers by 150. The account has attracted the attention and following of influential Twitter users within Mumbai and looks set to grow significantly as users get wind of its existence.

More UK businesses adapting to social
A new survey from the Internet Advertising Bureau has found that 55% of UK business execs are changing their company’s strategy to be more social. While this figure is now firmly in the territory of the majority, the more worrying find from this report is that 45% haven’t made any changes at all, mostly because of a lack of confidence, education and training in the area. Also frightening is the fact that just 45% of companies are using social media to raise brand awareness, and an even smaller fraction (28%) are using it to actually interact with customers.

Facebook’s revenue on the rise
Facebook has reported $1.2 billion in revenue for the third quarter, up from $954 million from this time last year, beating analysts’ expectations and sending Facebook’s share price soaring. The lion’s share of Facebook’s revenue came from advertising, which has grown steadily since 2011.

Facebook hit 1 billion users just over a month ago, and its biggest growth has been in Asia, especially Japan, which had a 216% increase in users in the last year. The number of monthly active users in the US and Europe has also increased since the last quarter, though those markets have slowed down now.

Facebook Mobile is marching toward widespread adoption and has now crossed the halfway point in terms of number of users. About 600 million people access Facebook via their phones every month, a 61% increase since last year. The company reported that 14% of its ad revenue came from mobile this past quarter.

Brands see up to 5x more reach with Facebook ads
It’s no surprise that brands that pay to run advertising on Facebook are seen by more users, especially with the recent changes to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. But how many more users see these posts exactly? Facebook investigated the top 100 brand pages by fan base and found that using paid-for ads exposed the page to five times as many people. The reach of a single post is amplified more than 100%, and the reach of all page posts from that week increased significantly as well. The study also found that these new fans love to shop more than the average internet user, both online and in store, and are more engaged with the brand and the category. Amazing content can go a long way, but paying to have it pushed up the newsfeed seems to go even further.

Twitter introduces gender targeting for Promoted Products
With Twitter’s simple profile, it’s not always easy to tell the guys from the girls based on a simple bio, but Twitter is trying to do just that to make it easier for marketers to target their campaigns on Twitter by gender. However, Twitter isn’t adding this option to users’ profiles, but instead it’s looking at “signals” in users’ tweets, such as their account name and who they follow, similar to what it uses for interest targeting. And when gender can’t be determined, those users will not be exposed to the ads. Twitter has said that its predictions were found to be 90% accurate in tests.

More than 2,000 brands now have ‘expanded tweets’
Twitter has announced that it now has more than 2,000 partner sites on board for Twitter Cards, which expand tweets to include more of a description of the linked content, as well as interactive media. The potential for this is huge, and Twitter might be headed down the right trail to monetization if it can take a slice of sales from tweets.

Pinterest motivates more online shopping than Facebook
A new study has found that Pinterest is one of the top online destinations for online shoppers looking to browse, easily topping Facebook in terms of engagement and where Internet users go to keep up on the latest trends. 70% of respondents said that they turn to Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy, with just 17% saying they used Facebook for that. More Internet users also said they are more likely to follow a brand on Pinterest to get special offers compared to liking them on Facebook.

In other news, Pinterest users can now verify their website on their profile page, similar to Twitter’s verified accounts. But unlike Twitter, Pinterest users can request verification themselves, and when approved, a red circle with a checkmark will appear next to their site name.

Yelp buys Qype for $50 million
If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em. That’s the latest from Yelp’s biggest European rival Qype, which Yelp has just purchased, as it looks to grow in Europe and become a stronger competitor to Google. Earlier this year, Qype soared ahead of Yelp in terms of the number of places reviewed in Europe, which stood at 860,000, so it looks like this is a good deal for Yelp’s expansion.

Romney’s Facebook app finds your most influential friends in the election
If you’re stuck in a heavy red or blue state for the presidential election, a new Facebook app created by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s team will find your Facebook friends who are most likely to have sway in the election and lets you sway them with a private message or a post on their wall. But will taking a stance on social media change your friends’ minds? Nearly 20% of social media users say they block friends who spout off about politics on their pages, even though 2010 saw a 2% increase in voter turnout, a boost thanks to political messages sent on Facebook.

Tesco Wine and Topshop reveal campaigns to celebrate Halloween
Halloween might be on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a party. To celebrate, We Are Social developed the #HalloWine hashtag to get Tesco Wine’s followers in the Halloween spirit with the chance to win a few bottles. Topshop is also using a dedicated hashtag and is asking its followers to submit photos of their Halloween costumes using #TrickorTweet to win in-store goodies. Followers can present their tweets to staff at special ‘tweet shops’ in selected stores, where they will get to take home free cosmetic products. The shop is rewarding the best daily photos with £100 gift cards.

New campaign asks Facebook users to ‘Like’ the rainforest to save it
Coffee company Kenco has created a new campaign that vows to protect a square meter of Colombian rainforest for every ‘Like’ it gets on its Facebook page. Facebook fans can return to the page to see how their area of the rainforest has grown over time, as the Likes keep pouring in.

We Are Social appointed to accounts for Evian, Volvic and Badoit
We’re incredibly thrilled to be starting work with three fantastic bottled water brands that have taken the plunge into social media. We Are Social has been appointed to work with Evian, Volvic and Badoit. Watch this space for our work with them as it goes live.

Tweet your composition to save Amsterdam’s orchestra
Amsterdam’s Metropole Orchestra could be on its last strings because of cuts to public broadcasting in the Netherlands. In an attempt to save it, they’ve paired Twitter with a digital piano interface and asked fans to tweet their compositions. The orchestra will select and perform the most interesting Twitter songs and play them in a live broadcast from the studio.

Foursquare drops new badges for Halloween and two UK exclusives
Cheers, Foursquare: In the last week, the social check-in platform announced two new badges available only in the UK that celebrate the country’s two favorite drinking occasions: the after-work pint and the afternoon high tea. Sounds like the perfect excuse to cram both events into the same day. Foursquare has also released three new badges for Halloween, including a standard 2012 pumpkin and a special spooky swarm.

tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #36

by Dhanuj Selvaraj in News

Chinese social media users ‘happier’ than Westerners
Researchers from two universities in Holland and in China studied 46 million posts from Twitter and Sina Weibo. While almost all of the posts on Sina Weibo were from China, 80% of all tweets were from the United States. The study revealed that 79% of the messages on Weibo were expressing positive sentiments as compared to 71% on Twitter. The Chinese largely avoided mentioning large groups such as political parties – only 3% of the Chinese referred to ‘organisations’ as compared to 16% on Twitter. Sina Weibo users also posted on a wider range of topics with 19% more messages over the weekend as opposed to 11% less tweets on average over weekends. While the social media scene is vastly different in China and the West, the reason behind a less negative outpour on Weibo could be largely attributed to the tight regulation of social media in the nation.

Facebook invests in underwater net cable for Asia
In order to support their growth in South Asia, Facebook is investing in an underwater internet cable to be built from Malaysia through to Japan to boost the Internet speed. A Facebook spokesperson commented:

Our investment in this cable will help support our growth in South Asia, making it possible for us to provide a better user experience for a greater number of Facebook users in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Facebook definitely has its eyes on Asia where it has made big progress in  markets such as Japan, Korea, and Thailand.  Social Bakers has recently announced that Asia has overtaken North America to be the second-largest continent in terms of Facebook users. Asia as a whole only has an online penetration rate of 6 percent, so the number of Facebook users will continue to grow exponentially as infrastructure allows for more people to get on board.

Mobile messaging apps threaten Facebook and other social networks in Asia
With social media sites focusing on building their service on mobile phones, a genre of communication apps – mobile messaging apps – are gathering speed as an alternative point of messaging. Skype led the change in early days but today, WhatsApp and a number of Asia-based messaging apps following the principle to connect people via text messages and calls see a huge amount of success. For instance, Japan’s Line had 45 million users in less than a year while Korea’s Kakao Talk registered 52 million users. WhatsApp, the more popular one of the lot claims to receive  2 billion messages across its platform every day.

While mobile carriers have partnered with Facebook and Twitter, their partnership focuses on the low-end, pre-paid users to enjoy free access of the social networking platforms such as Facebook Zero on feature phones. However, the messaging apps target the other end of the spectrum – the smart phone users. This is the caution why apps will continue to rival Facebook as they are designed for mobile, offering a platform to connect with friends for free. While Facebook’s mobile ‘messenger’  is a stripped down version of the private messaging aspect of its app, the Facebook offering is reviewed as ‘heavy’, taking longer to load and requiring more information than mobile messaging apps. Many may value the fact that Facebook shows older messages but they are not particularly relevant to quick instant messages. Obviously, this is because the Facebook app also lacks a mobile-centric chat approach of WhatsApp and others. Not only are the mobile messaging apps gaining significant attraction in Asia and other emerging markets that Facebook is looking to grow within, but they have relationships with operators and offer more functionality than social networks.

Vietnamese authorities watching out for Baidu’s social site in Vietnam
The largest Chinese search engine Baidu is said to launch a new social network site in Vietnam. The site is called ‘Baidu Tra da quan’ which stands for Baidu Tea Stone Pub and is currently located at tieba.baidu.com.vn as a ‘coming soon’ page. Despite the hype from netizens on this forum-like social site, Vietnamese authorities have said that they have not received any application from Baidu to set up a social site in the country.  It is evident that Baidu is looking to penetrate the Vietnamese market as the company launched  a portal site last year together with its Yahoo answers equivalent.

Survey reveals marketers are more interested in awareness than ‘likes’
survey from Ad Age and Citigroup asked marketers who buy Facebook ads about what their goals are and 45.9% responded that building awareness and sentiment for their brands was their top priority. In second place was driving traffic to brand websites with 17.6% followed by staying in touch with customers, generating likes / sales leads and finally social commerce:

Getting behind the code of Facebook’s new “Want” button
Last week developer Tom Waddington discovered the ‘Want’ button for Facebook, andhas now revealed further findings after taking a deeper look at the code behind it.

Using the Graph API Tom was able to generate updates and stream stories, hence revealing the code. The Want/Unwant button includes ‘socialcommerce’ and there are a number of actions associated with purchases, including “product.purchased”.

This would allow users to share product purchases, charitable donations or items purchased directly within Facebook games to their profile pages and Timeline.

App usage to affect how Facebook targets mobile ads
According the the Wall St Journal, Facebook is to release a new type of mobile advertising, that will target consumers based on the mobile apps they use. Using Facebook Connect to track this behavior, the social network will then target ads based on this data. The ads are due to be announced next month and could prove a great revenue generator for the team.

Companies like Apple and Google don’t track what its users do in apps to target mobile ads to them. This certainly will raise privacy concerns – to which the social network is no stranger to.

Facebook’s App Store hits UK shores
Facebook’s App Centre has begun rollout in the UK and features apps including Spotify, The Guardian, Deezer and Livesport.TV. Facebook hopes the App Centre will drive additional revenue streams through app purchases – gaining it a neat 30% cut of the revenue.

The App Centre will allow developers to charge for Facebook apps for the first time and host Pages to promote them. The App Centre launched in the US in June and is continuing its global rollout.

Facebook Insights made more accurate and now include mobile
Last week, Facebook made two important updates to its Insights to help Page owners understand more about the true reach of their posts. This now includes mobile data, previously this was only desktop, and a change to desktop News Feed views. In a move to improve efficiency, the News Feed will load fewer stories and only load more when the user scrolls down the feed. As impressions and reach is calculated upon load of the story in the Feed, the reach shown in Insights will be far more accurate as to what users have actually viewed.

Twitter introduces simpler search
Via a blog post on Friday last week, Twitter announced that it has introduced search autocomplete and ‘People you follow’ search results via twitter.com. This adds to recent updates relating to query suggestions and spelling corrections.

Search autocomplete reveals a drop-down menu of possible matches as you type – much like Google search – and you can select your query before you finish typing it. In addition Twitter has introduced spelling corrections, related search suggestions, search results with real names and usernames and results from people that you follow.

Twitter goes football mad for the Euro 2012 final as 16.5m tweet
Stats released from UEFA on the Euro 2012 Final show that the match beat the Tweets per second record for a sporting event previously held by April’s Chelsea vs Barcelona Champions League semi-final. Amazingly, when Juan Mata Garcia (@juanmata10) scored, around 15,358 tweets where generated per second. The match saw 16.5 million tweets and Fernando Torres was the most popular player, with the #Torres hashtag clocking up 18,000 tweets. Spain also managed to generate the more positive mentions over Italy.

The Streamgraph above shows the volume of tweets during the full Euro 2012 championship period, broken down by country. You can see the full country-by-country results here.

Leeds Rhinos replace shirt names with players Twitter handles
In a social commitment above and beyond, plus a nice social marketing move, UK Rugby League team the Leeds Rhinos decided to take to the field in shirts with their Twitter handles instead of traditional names on the back of their shirts. This will be the first time a rugby team has done this and special preview editions of the shirts will be available.

Tinie Tempah & Nike lead a scavenger hunt for his new Blazer trainers
To celebrate the launch of Tinie Tempah’s new clothing line ‘Disturbing London’, the rapper has created a special edition of Nike’s Blazer trainers. These trainers were to be revealed once a scavenger hunt on twitter found their location.

The hashtag for the activity was #blazerhunt and clues revealed 6 locations around London. Whoever was fastest to the locations got one of the only 60 pairs made.

Heineken creates social hub for Olympics fan-generated content
As an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Heineken is asking fans to upload their photos celebrating the Olympics to its fan hub. These will then be whittled down to the cream of the crop, which will be displayed ‘near-live’ on JCDecaux’s Transvision screen at Charing Cross station and on digital outdoor screens throughout London Underground and rail stations. The campaign will also use a sponsored hashtag #celebratelondon2012 on Twitter. The online fan hub will go live next week.

Get extra Tesco Clubcard points by promoting them on Facebook
UK supermarket giant Tesco, is to offer Facebook users double Clubcard points if they like, share and buy products from its ecommerce site. As part of the four week trial, customers need to register for the Share & Earn Facebook app via the Tesco Facebook Page. Tesco has an impressive 839,703 likes on its Facebook page and certainly has a good base to work from – one to watch.

FemFresh utter fail on Facebook
Feminine hygiene brand FemFresh last week suspended its Facebook page after receiving negative consumer complaints on its page. Our very own Tarryn Blackwood spoke to The Drum about her thoughts on the issue:

It’s clear that Femfresh hasn’t understood or embraced what social is all about. They managed to undo a whole year’s work of community building and management just because people didn’t have nice things to say about them. Not only did they swiftly dump their social agency in a transparent attempt to pass the buck, they also proceeded to run crying to Facebook for help in making the bullies go away.

Femfresh’s biggest mistake was to keep quiet, rather than making the decision to either stand by their campaign, or pulling it because of the public backlash.

Barclays times its Facebook campaign to imperfection! 
So we’ve all heard about the ‘issues’ that Barclays Bank has had in recent days, with its disgraced CEO and Chairman steping down amid accusations of Libor-rigging. To top it all off, this news came just as Barclays introduced its Facebook fans to Dan, a normal guy who has some personal finance tips for us, introduced as:

Dan’s a HR manager and spends £5 a day on lunch. That’s about £100 a month; enough to buy a ticket to the vintage car festival he really wants to go to in August. Bringing food from home for a couple of months would mean a more memorable end to the summer. So come on Dan, get making those sandwiches and book those festival tickets.

Oh dear, and so the ensuing comments came in. Including a personal favourite:

Bob’s a CEO and spends £5,000 a day on Bollinger. That’s about £155,000 a month; enough to buy a classic Ferrari at the vintage car festival he really wants to go to in August. Rigging LIBOR for a couple of months would mean a more memorable end to the summer.

After a long social silence, Barclays eventually took to its UK Facebook page with a big apology over the Libor issues. It was a brave move from Barclays and one that in a situation like this, is the only option for social – be honest, own up and say sorry.

tagged: , , , , , , , ,

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #25

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Chinese marketers to increase digital spend, but request accountability
A joint study by R3 and independent ad tracking company Admaster reveal that Chinese marketers intend to increase their digital spend in 2012 by 26.9%, compared to 18% in 2011. 25% of those surveyed have budgets between RMB 5 to 10 million or S$990,150 to S$1.98 million, while 6% have budgets above RMB 50 million or S$9.9 million  The focus will be on online video with a share of digital spend of more than 23%, followed by microblogs with 20% and social networks with 16%. Only 16% of the 150 companies surveyed believe that they are actually getting competitive digital media buying rates, with fewer than 40% satisfied with the reliability and quality of measurement of their campaigns. This certainly bodes well for digital agencies.

Sina Weibo launches Weibo Places
Sina Weibo has launched a new location service that will collect and arrange posts that a user has made on Sina Weibo that contains a geo-tag into a timeline that includes maps of each location. It also allows users to check-in at specific locations, or search for new places to visit which they can then mark as ‘want to visit’. The latter functionality sounds similar to what Chinese location-based app Jiepang already offers, even though Weibo Places appears to be more an aggregator tracking the history of a user’s location-based posts. In addition to the web application, Sina Weibo has also partnered with several third-party mobile applications such as photo-sharing app Tuding001.

China’s e-commerce site Tmall launches an iPhone app
China’s leading e-commerce website Tmall has launched an iPhone app, which allows users to browse and purchase items from all of its B2C brand partners and independent stores, with the addition of social functionalities such as ‘likes’ and comments. The mobile app also supports full order management, such that purchases can be tracked whilst they’re on the road. This signals the growing trend of m-commerce whereby consumers are making purchases from their phones while on-the-go, and Tmall seems to be capitalising on this with their dedicated mobile app. It’s interesting also that Tmall has decided to launch an iPhone app first while the iPad and Android versions are currently in the works, which signals the increasing popularity of the iPhone in China.

Boris Johnson joins Sina Weibo
Boris Johnson’s campaign for re-election as Mayor of London has even seen him join Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo in a bid to win over London’s Chinese community. However, Mayor Johnson certainly hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet.

Mobile an increasingly important media channel in Thailand
Statistics from mobile ad network InMobi reveal that mobile is an increasingly important media channel in Thailand, with 44% of mobile web users claiming that their preferred method of going online is through a mobile device. Most importantly, 75% of mobile web users are as comfortable with mobile advertising as they are with TV or online advertising. Mobile is fast becoming an important driver of consumer purchasing decisions with 38% of Thai respondents saying they have been introduced to something new via mobile advertising, while 13% have reconsidered a product because of mobile advertising. M-commerce will also be a driver of this mobile movement, with 68% of mobile web users planning to purchase a product through their mobile device over the next 12 months. Marketers clearly have an area of opportunity to better target Thai consumers through mobile advertising given their receptiveness to it.

Trust in social grows
According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, social networks and consumer-generated media continue to have a significant impact on advertising as consumers’ reliance on word-of-mouth in the decision-making process has increased significantly. The report showed that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends above all other forms of advertising – up 18% since 2007, with trust in consumer opinions posted online up to 70%, a 15% increase in four years.

Sponsored ads on social networks, a new format included in the 2011 Nielsen survey, were found to be trusted by just 36% of consumers, underlining that a paid strategy for social networks alone is not enough.

Consumers respond to social media symbols on TV
A new survey has reinforced the idea that social media and television are a perfect match. The survey, carried out by Accenture, found that one-third of US television viewers interacted with a social network ‘after seeing a social media symbol on the TV screen’, with the Facebook ‘Like’ being the most recognised symbol. Interestingly, US television viewers are more likely to recognise QR codes than Twitter hashtags.

Facebook tests and launches a range of new features
It’s not exactly news that Facebook is focusing on mobile – witness the purchase of Instagram – but it is interesting that they’re focusing on all mobile users. Recently, they’ve launched a new ‘Facebook for every phone’ app which creates a much better mobile experience for non-smartphone users, and in good news for brands, includes the ability to vist Facebook Pages within the app. It’s a move which shows Facebook is keen on mobile domination across the market.

Facebook has implemented a ‘listen’ button on artists’ fan Pages that lets users instantly stream songs from an artist’s catalogue. The feature could help make Facebook a go-to option for people looking for new music, similar to the Myspace in its glory days, but more likely will just integrate music more strongly into the existing Facebook product.

Facebook is also testing a new “trending articles” feature to highlight social reader articles within users’ News Feeds in an attempt to drive more users to Open Graph news apps. Particularly for smaller news sites, this could have a big impact on the number of people reading their site.

In addition, Facebook has delivered “real-time” analytics to Page admins for the first time. This overdue improvement provides new abilities to help marketers measure how well a post is performing on their Pages now, rather than 48 hours later, and modify their content (and advertising spend) accordingly.

It’s an interesting move now, as over the next few weeks, Facebook will introduce more granular metrics, measuring actions other than ‘Likes’, within its ads management platform. Facebook’s product manager for Pages Insights David Baser said the measurable actions “could be anything [such as] commenting or sharing a page post, claiming an offer, or, instead of just installing an app, actually using an app or doing things within an app.” The new feature titled “Action Measurement” will appear as a column and pie chart in Facebook’s Ads Manager and will help marketers tailor ads for relevant consumers.

It seems clear that Facebook are trying as hard as they can to get existing advertisers to spend more money with them – both through letting marketers optimise the performance of their posts, and by making advertising more measurable.

Google products get the social treatment
YouTube aims to become more social and increase revenue by possibly introducing Google+ comments to the site. It could be a mutually beneficial move for Google – encouraging better quality comments on YouTube and also increased use of Google+.

In a smaller piece of news, Gmail users can expect to see recent photo and video thumbnails from Google+ when they hover over the “people” widget within their inbox.

Foursquare announces advertising platform launch
Plans for a mid-June launch for a paid-media platform have surfaced which will give Foursquare merchants the ability to promote a deal to check-in at a given place. According to the reports, Foursquare is pitching brands to become launch partners, and it’s a move which we can definitely see being of particular interest to restaurant chains.

Tumblr to overtake blogs, will introduce advertising
Tumblr looks set to overtake ‘blog’ by the end of the year in Google searches. Between the two terms, ‘blog’ is currently ahead but XKCD blogger Randall Munroe believes that ‘Tumblr’ will see more Google searches by October 12 this year.

Pinterest losing its interest
After its explosive growth in recent months, it seems Pinterest’s bubble may have burst and might now actually be losing users. Monthly active users of their Facebook app are down from 11.3 million on March 1 to just 8.3 million currently. It’s likely that the hype around the photo-sharing and curating site motivated many people to join, but have now decided that Pinterest is not their thing.

Quora and Path both raise funds and plan expansion
According to TechCrunch, Quora is set to raise between $30 – $50 million in its Series B fundraising, giving it a $400 million valuation. Co-founder Adam D’Angelo will also be investing up to $20 million of his own money along with other investors according to one source.

Location-based app Path closed its Series B funding of ”more than $30 million” with investors including Sir Richard Branson, which values it at $250 million. In his email statement, Path CEO Dave Mortin noted the investors’ commitment to building Path “for the long term” with the funding being used for “international growth and expansion as well as user adoption”. It’s unclear whether he meant they would be spending money on advertising, or just on improving the product to boost user adoption.

Klout launches Brand Pages – ‘a new twist on influence’
Klout, the influence measurement company, is now topping 12 billion API calls a month– and has launched Brand Pages to try and work more with brands. According to Klout, the newly launched Brand Pages give ‘influencers a place to be recognised and have a direct impact on the brands they care about most’.

Red Bull have teamed up with Klout for the Beta launch and are offering their top advocates the chance to win a trip to the X Games or, more likely, some merchandise. It’s good to see Klout trying something new, but what they really need to work on is their influence measurement which could do with some work.

Brands tweeting and the Olympics
If you’re working for a brand which isn’t an official Olympic sponsor, even mentioning the Olympics on social media channels could get you in hot water. While Rax Lakhani makes a fair point that it will be impossible for the IOC to keep an eye on every tweet and the rules are clearly overbearing, it’s still an unnecessary risk to break them.

It was notable in the pre-Christmas period how little variety there was on brand social media accounts, with everyone talking about Christmas and little else, so it will be interesting to see how skilled community managers perform in posting content which deflects attention away from their competitors’ Olympic sponsorship, without breaking the rules.

In other Olympic news, the IOC has launched the nicely designed ‘Athlete’s Hub’ which will bring together social media updates from different athletes. While you could just follow them all on Twitter, this is an easier way to follow the Olympic stars, with less effort for the ordinary fan. Nice.

Honda ask people to give up Pinterest – sort of
The new Honda campaign for the CR-V strikes of one where somebody has come up with a decent pun – Pintermission – and built a campaign around it. The campaign revolves around offering active pinners $500 to give up Pinterest for a day, and instead go outside and do the things they’ve been pinning about. It even features personalised invitations and persuaded a few super-users to give Pinterest up for a day.

But as Adweek neatly put it:

The campaign is nicely designed and executed, but somewhat frustrating. If the only way your brand can relate to Pinterest is by dissing it, isn’t it disingenuous to build a whole campaign around it?

Quite.

Dr Pepper’s new Facebook Connect campaign
Dr Pepper have launched a new campaign called ‘The Best Day Of High School’ which creates a bespoke video for each user by connecting it up with their Facebook profile. Considering how long Facebook Connect has been around, it’s a little underwhelming.

Air New Zealand give consumers cashback for recommendations
UK-based Air New Zealand customers can earn £50 for every Twitter, Facebook, email or blog recommendation that turns into a premium economy booking. Consumers that register for the trial can earn cashback on bookings for the premium economy seats. Although the campaign will probably show impressive numbers, it will be hard to prove it has convinced people to book who wouldn’t have otherwise.

Fulham FC attempt Foursquare Super Swarm
Before their home game against Wigan on Saturday, Fulham attempted to unlock the Super Swarm badge for all those checking-in on Foursquare. While this isn’t particularly innovative or interesting on its own when you consider there was a crowd of 20,000+ at the Cottage, Fulham also plan to introduce special offers on tickets and retail items throughout the season that you can only redeem with Foursquare.

Italian ‘blog killer’ law returns
In a quite incredible story, the Italian government is trying to pass a law so brilliantly ridiculous one could be mistaken for thinking Silvio Berlusconi was still Prime Minister.

The proposed law – which is designed to protect those libelled online – works like this:

In order to protect people from online defamation, this law states that each webmaster of whatever website must rectify within 48 hours (even if you’re a private blogger who just left for the weekend!) any page on the website itself, if somebody just tells him or her (how?) that they consider themselves wronged by that page. No discussion or reply allowed, no judge needed, and the fine for not “rectifying” within 2 days is 12,000 Euros [about S$19,693].

Nuts. In other words, if one writes a fact and anyone disputes it, the person will have to change what they’ve written. Looks like the trolls have finally won.

tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Five Friday Facts #24

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Google Maps loses lead in mobile mapping in China
According to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International, the Google Maps app now accounts for 25.3% of mobile client usage in China, a decline from 46.3% around the same time last year, and now second to Autonavi by a mere 0.2% in terms of the apps Chinese consumers turn to for their online mapping needs. Considering the rise of location-based social networks in China, such as location-based check-in app Jiepang and other photo-sharing apps that use geo-tagging, losing out on market share could be very disadvantageous for Google, considering its already diminished presence in China with Google search capturing a small percentage of the online search market dominated by Baidu.

Blackberry photo app PicMix on par with Instagram’s initial growth
Blackberry’s 60,000 apps in its App World may seem paltry compared to Apple’s App Store and Android marketplace Google Play, but Blackberry developers have been catching on to the photo-sharing craze as well. PicMix, an app that includes photo filters and photo-sharing functionalities, has reached 1 million users within the last two months, which its founder claims is progressing at a pace faster than Instagram in its initial stage. The app has had over 7.5 million photos uploaded by more than 1 million members thus far, with 32,000 new members signing up every day. Its user base is spread out all across the globe, with 40% of members hailing from Indonesia, 10% from Venezuela, and South Africa in third with 9%. Let’s see whether PicMix can indeed become the Instagram for Blackberry devices.

360Buy has over 40 million users
E-commerce is booming in China, with a total transaction value of 240.1 billion yuan or S$47.71 billion for the year 2011, and China’s second-largest B2C e-commerce site 360Buy.com is reaping the benefits. It has over 40 million registered users to date, and have been processing around 400,000 orders per month for the past two months. Its sales income is also increasing at a rate of about 200% per year, which may have received a boost due to its new hotel bookings and travel services additions. Judging by the current rate of growth for China’s B2C market, we don’t expect 360Buy’s growth to be slowing down anytime soon either.

Tumblr’s new ad revenue model
Having recently passed the 50 million blog mark, Tumblr announced its first foray into paid advertising at Ad Age’s Digital Conference on Wednesday. Tumblr will start offering ad units  from 2 May 2012 via the “Radar” post that appears on a Tumblr user’s dashboard, which currently features an officially curated selection of images that highlights notable or popular posts. Prior to the repacking of Radar as an ad unit, Tumblr had 15 partnerships wherein Radar was used to promote content from brands. Radar placement currently receives 120 million impressions per day from users logging into their dashboard across devices. At present, Tumblr makes money by receiving a cut from sales of custom blog themes that are sold on its platform, as well as charge users to highlight posts for their followers within their dashboards for US$1.

US online video market
Data from comScore revealed that 181 million or 83.5% of the US Internet audience watched nearly 37 billion online videos in March 2012, with the average viewer having watched 21.7 hours of online video content. Considering that the duration of the average online content video was 6.4 minutes long, each viewer could have watched up to 203 videos in a month. Google Sites, driven primarily by YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property with 146.1 million unique viewers in March, followed by Yahoo! sites with 60.6 million, VEVO with 51.3 million, Facebook.com with 45.1 million and Viacom Digital with 44.3 million. The opportunities for brands to engage with its audience through video content seem pretty great, as is targeting their audiences via video ads.

tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Five Friday Facts #9

by Cai Yu Lam in News

We’ll round off this first week of 2012 with our 5 Friday Facts. Hope everyone managed to conquer that dreaded backlog amassed over the holiday break!

Social interactivity higher in China and India than in US
Forrester’s Social Technographics data shows that 80% of Indians and 76% of Chinese netizens surveyed are creators of content, as compared to a mere 24% of Americans. This means that 8 in 10 adults are blogging, publishing web pages, or uploading videos online in India, with China only slightly behind.

A billion texts sent from Kakao Talk everyday
South Korean mobile application Kakao Talk is a chat messaging service that sees 1 billion texts sent through its service everyday. Similar to Whatsapp in which users can send and receive messages inclusive of text, emoticons, photos and videos, Kakao Talk has more than 30 million members, most of which are daily active users, while 6 million are allegedly overseas users.

Groupon leads group-buying market in Taiwan
Groupon has 52.37% of market share in the group-buying industry in Taiwan, nearly twice that of its closest contender Gomaji, which has 24.2%. Groupon seems to be faring better in Taiwan than it did in mainland China, even though the entire industry shrank slightly by 0.9%.

Consumers prefer sending emails in their communication with brands
Even though brands are increasingly relying on social media to better engage their customers, it’s interesting to note that email is still the preferred channel for those who wish to communicate with a brand. A survey by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium showed that 65% of consumers surveyed would send an email, 50% would fill out a form on the company website, while 44% would call a customer service line. In comparison, 33% would post on the brand’s Facebook page, while only 12% would tweet. Of course, with the new private message function on Facebook, we might see the preference for email decline.

Social media resolutions for the new year
Posterous surveyed 2,000 Americans to discover what were some social media New Year’s resolutions they had. Privacy was the topmost agenda, with 44% of respondents wishing to create a platform to share content privately with close friends and family, while 42% of respondents wanted to be more careful about what they shared. 25% of respondents vowed to spend less time updating their social media accounts. We’re not fooled.

tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,