Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Myspace’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #82

by Cyra Caparros in News

Facebook now has searchable hashtags to follow public conversation
Following the report in March, Facebook just recently launched the functionality to follow conversations through hashtags.  As reported by Techcrunch, Facebook announced that its capabilities include clicking on hashtags from other services, searching for hashtags and writing posts directly from the hashtag feed. Here’s a look at what a quick search of #sghaze, trending topic about the haze in Singapore from Indonesia’s forest fires looks like:

Facebook Hashtags

When it comes to the privacy perspective, Facebook says that the hashtags will work similarly to Facebook Graph Search where you’ll only see the comments that you are authorised to see. Although AdAge suggests the move is intended by Facebook to help them compete with Twitter for real-time marketing spend, it’s hard to see them competing with Twitter as the prime social network for second-screen viewing.

Strategy Director, Jordan Stone, told Marketing:

Facebook would love to tap into the ‘real-time’ public conversation in the same way that Twitter does, but the challenge for Facebook is they have always been considered a private social network for people you actually know. This is in contrast to the very public nature of Twitter where you can more easily tap into the public consciousness through search and hashtags. Whether Facebook can credibly straddle the line between being a personal social network and a public platform is open for debate.

Twitter has successfully positioned itself as an important second screen platform, which makes it attractive for advertisers and agencies to integrate Twitter into campaign thinking, and therefore spending. Facebook may well be going after their ‘second screen’ dominance and the near ubiquity of using hashtags in advertising campaigns to drive conversations. Which is no doubt why they will allow advertisers to include hashtags in Facebook advertising as it’s rolled out.

WeChat joins Ramadan in Indonesia
Tencent is pushing hard for WeChat to grow in the Southeast Asian market. Recently, WeChat teamed up with the Indonesian creative network Kreavi for a Ramadan-themed contest to create the best holiday WeChat emoticons. As published in TechinAsia, contestants have to submit a set of custom-made WeChat stickers for 10 different emotes including prayer, homecoming, and new clothes—all traditional Ramadan customs. The first place will receive IDR 10 million (($1,020) while the rest of the top ten finalist will receive IDR 50 million ($5,100). The contest has started and runs until July 10. Through this, WeChat hopes to appeal to at least nine out of ten Indonesians.

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Line is now the biggest social network in Japan
Are Facebook and Twitter users in Japan now losing their interest and moving to Line? A recent article from ClickZ.asia says that Facebook registered user base in Japan had dropped substantially from about 17 million to 13 million, while Line had increased its users to 41 million. According to Adage, most of the Twitter users in Japan have switched to Line as well.

Listening and responding in social media is vital to protect sales
According to McKinsey, an unnamed telecoms brand found that negative online buzz hurt signups by 8%, effectively off-setting any gains from their entire TV spend. It underscores a really important point: it is quite literally pointless to put money into TV advertising if you are not also listening and responding to consumer queries and complaints on social channels.

Fan-created content vital for brands on YouTube
Research from Cisco has found that by 2017, online video will be even more popular than social networking. Although brands have learnt from this somewhat by ensuring their content is top-notch, they also need to learn to appreciate their super-fans on YouTube – as much as 99% of video views featuring a brand can come from user-submitted content.

Facebook to eliminate Sponsored Search results
As parts of its push to simplify its ad product range, Facebook is eliminating Sponsored Search results. According to Inside Facebook:

The reason why the sponsored results will be nixed is because the most common marketers for them were app and game developers, and Facebook feels that the mobile app install ads and page post link ads are more efficient ways to reach this goal.

Twitter opens up its analytics platform
Twitter has opened up its analytics platform, giving casual users and brands an insight into the people that follow them, as well as the performance of their own tweets.

Myspace relaunches with $20 million ad campaign
Myspace has officially relaunched with a huge ad campaign, aimed less at re-recruiting former users and more as an attempt to re-position the site, aiming it at all creatives involved in the music industry. They’ve released a 90-second ad which they say represents what the new Myspace has to offer:

Google buys Waze for more than $1 billion
Google’s purchase of Waze for more than a billion dollars shows just how important maps and location data is to Google’s business model. Waze is a social map app with real-time traffic data provided by users, letting them flag bad road or weather conditions to other drivers. The acquisition of Waze is a sign that Google will be trying to make Google Maps even more social – with indicators that the next incarnation will include data from Google+ (such as restaurant recommendations) along your routes.

Google launches unified dashboard
In a move which will allow businesses and brands greater flexibility in managing their Google products, Google has launched a single dashboard that allows Google+ page owners to also manage their presence in Search, Maps and AdWords in one place.

For example, the new dashboard will allow businesses to update their info with their website URLs, store hours and phone numbers, across Google Maps, Search and on Google+ right from the tools Overview tab.

Path to raise new funding at $1 billion valuation
Mobile-only social network Path is raising a new round of funding of between $75 and $100 million, valuing the company at over a billion dollars. It’s particularly impressive as their last round of funding in 2012 valued the company at around $250 million.

Twitter and Everyday Health join up to provide public health alerts
Twitter is partnering with health news publisher Everyday Health to deliver health alerts and potentially to sell ads. The publisher will be able to scour the 2 million health-related tweets in the US every day to see if anything is over-indexing in such a way as to suggest a potential outbreak. They say the HealthBeat program developed with Twitter could warn users to be vaccinated through Promoted Tweets and Trends. Although they’re yet to seek any advertisers, in time they will for broader health issues such as hayfever or flu.

Random House launches book recommendation app
Random House has launched BookScout, an app which recommends books to users based on the things they like and discuss on Facebook, as well as their Facebook friends’ interests.

Foursquare rolls out Samsung-sponsored visualisation of users’ check-ins
Foursquare has partnered with Samsung for The Foursquare Time Machine, a new feature that provides users with an animated infographic based on their check-in history. Although the campaign includes a play-pause button and specially-generated heat maps, the campaign is more interesting as an insight into Foursquare’s business model going forward: it has been criticised for a lack of revenue, but Samsung reportedly paid $1 million for this campaign.

Despicable Me 2 characters take over Mumsnet
In the first site takeover in Mumsnet’s history, minions from upcoming film Despicable Me 2 will take over Mumsnet for one week from next Monday, renaming the site Minionsnet to help promote its release. The campaign also includes advance screenings of the film for 400 Mumsnet users in Manchester and London, online competitions and on-site advertising.

Heinz Salad Cream launches new campaign with We Are Social
Heinz Salad Cream is looking to promote the product to a younger audience with a new £2m ‘Bring on the Zing’ campaign, including a Facebook challenge (created by We Are Social) challenging fans to add some Zing to sandwiches to try and become a Zing Master.

We’re also working with Heinz on personalisation campaigns for HP Sauce and Five Beanz.

Kiss Me First’s Facebook Connect campaign
Lottie Mognach’s first book launch is being supported by a Facebook Connect campaign. Which you might be impressed by if you’d never seen a Facebook Connect campaign before.

Clever campaign for Tourette’s awareness
The Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada has launched ‘Surrender Your Say’, where consumers have their Twitter account taken over for a day by their app, and the consumer cannot control what is tweeted. It’s a great illustration of what life with Tourette’s must be like.

The ultimate anti-social app
Foursquare prides itself on giving you the location data of your friends – so that in theory it’s easy to meet up. But developer Scott Garner has re-used this data in his app ‘Hell is Other People’, which utilises the most recent check-ins of your friends to work out a position where you’re most likely to avoid them entirely. Scott has created a nice video about his experience using his own app:

How EE ended up embarrassed on Twitter
EE were left red-faced after a consumer’s complaint about them not upholding their T+Cs – and not giving him the Glastonbury tickets he had rightfully won – went viral. After an enormous amount of negative publicity, including O2 offering the consumer entry to all their events for a year, EE eventually caved in and offered Terry his Glastonbury tickets.

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Social Brands: Communities vs Platforms

by Simon Kemp in News

Social Brands Part 2

In Friday’s first post in our series on Social Brands & The Future Of Marketing, we noted that, “the most successful brands don’t just predict the future; they define the future on their own terms.

We’re continuing that theme in today’s second post in the Social Brands series, exploring the importance of building social marketing activities around the people you care about, and not around specific technological features or platforms.

The Motivations Driving Social Networking

Most people visit social networking sites in order to connect with other people: to stay in touch with friends and family; to share things with colleagues and professional peers; and even to meet strangers with similar interests and needs.

Because of this, most people see social media as a means to an end, with that ‘end’ being social interaction.

Of course, there are many times when technology plays an important part in facilitating these connections; things like the filters on Instagram, or the sharing features common to most social networks, are all important aspects of our social networking experience.

However, people connect around the personal, social benefits these elements provide, and not around the functionality itself.

Critically, if those social benefits don’t exist – if the people we want to connect with are not present, or if our networks move on – then the platform quickly loses its value.

We’ve seen this happen many times before; the declines of Second Life, MySpace, and Friendster were all driven by the migration of their audiences, not by technical failures.

Single-Serve Audiences

Sadly, when audiences move on from an incumbent Big Platform – and they invariably do – marketers quickly lose out.

The investments they’ve made in building large audiences specific to that platform stop delivering meaningful returns, because those audiences are invariably ‘non-transferrable’ (how many brands succeeded in migrating their Second Life audiences wholesale into Facebook without paying for the privilege?).

As a result, marketers need to stop relying on buying attention within specific platforms, and find a more resilient way of managing their social media activities.

From Platforms To Communities

The trick is to stop seeing social media as media, and to focus on the motivations and behaviours that drive people’s social activities instead.

Instead of buying attention in the hottest platforms of the day, tomorrow’s top brands will spend time understanding how to deliver value to the same people across different settings and contexts.

They will focus on nurturing active communities that choose to engage with and around the brand and its activities wherever and whenever they can.

Critically, they will use new platforms to offer incremental value – not simply as another means to interrupt people.

From Eyeballs To Heartstrings

The secret to building these ‘migratory’ communities is to understand people’s wants, needs, and desires, and to build engaging connections around them at every opportunity.

We need to understand what brings communities together, and build our strategies around their shared interests and passions, and not around technical functionality or platforms.

Above all, we need to add value to their lives at every opportunity – a topic we’ll explore in more detail in the next post in this Social Brands series.

Want to join the conversation? We’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions, so why not share them in the comments, tweet us via @wearesocialsg, or drop us an email? 

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #62

by Karen Wee in News

Sina Weibo launches promoted feed ads
Still trying to find ways to monetize its popular Twitter-esque microblogging site, Sina Weibo has rolled out promoted feed advertisements to its 400 million users. Known as Weibo Tuiguang, the ads will appear in user feeds and be differentiated from user posts by a grey line and a notice indicating that it’s a sponsored post. Yet to be implemented on the mobile platform, the decision to roll out on the web platform first  is an interesting deviation from the company’s declared intention to focus on its mobile platform as it seeks to monetize.  In addition to promoted feed ads, the company is exploring a diverse range of options such as e-payments and fan headline advertising to start the revenue stream flowing. It better move quickly as its rival, Tencent’s killer chat app, WeChat is fast gaining ground having registered its 300 millionth user less than a week ago and drawing Weibo users’ attention away from the microblogging service.

WeChat’s new features to include song recognition & voice chatrooms
Speaking of WeChat, the app has unleashed a beta version 4.5 update that features multi-user voice chatrooms, Siri-like voice reminders and even a song database search feature along the lines of Shazam or SoundHound. The update will allow users to set verbal reminders for themselves and to search for an unknown piece of music by shaking the smartphone. The app will stream the song along with its lyrics but  is expected to be made available only to Chinese users due to copyright issues. Word has it that the update will be made available to iPhone users first before Android users. It will be interesting to see how many users the group chatroom can host.

Japanese chat app, Line, reaches 100 million users
Fast becoming a worthy rival to WeChat, Line has just passed the 100 million users milestone. The photo below shows the user counter that was set up at Line HQ in anticipation of breaching the 100 million users mark. Though a much smaller player than 300 million strong WeChat, Line is ahead of Korean Kakao Talk’s 72 million users, in the battle for dominance in the Asian mobile messaging market. Industry watchers expect these Asian players to expand into English speaking markets this year. This would be interesting as they face off with old players such as WhatsApp and new entrants such as Facebook Messenger in the international arena.

Snoop Dogg pimps Line on Twitter
Line has tied up with popular US rapper, Snoop Dogg to help its expansion into the North American market. Boasting a range of Snoop Dogg virtual stickers that are available for free downloads, Line has been getting lots of attention through the rapper’s shout-outs on Twitter.

Line’s aggressive foray into overseas markets such as Southeast Asia and the US has been credited with helping it to hit the 100 million user mark. Interestingly, the app’s maker, NHN Japan revealed some months back that half of its then 70 million users were not from Japan. The app is expected to gain more traction in English speaking markets in 2013 while simultaneously looking to expand in China with a Chinese version, called ‘Lianwo‘.

China’s MiTalk to give WeChat a run for its money
China-born Android-based smartphone maker, Xiaomi, has struck a partnership with Taiwanese startup, Mface, to market it’s messaging app known as Miliao in Chinese (aka MiTalk in English) across Southeast Asia. The collaboration is expected to help MiTalk expand its reach to Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. MiTalk aims to register 5 million overseas users by year end. The chat app currently has 23 million registered users, a large proportion of which are presumably from mainland China. The company will be marketing its smartphones in Hong Kong and Taiwan soon and may expand into North America in the next few years.

Worldwide smartphone penetration on the up
An article by eMarketer has examined the growing smartphone market around the world. It predicts that by 2016, roughly 75% of certain markets including the US and UK, will own one of the devices. The mobile phone market is incredibly saturated, with 130% combined market penetration of smartphones and non-smartphones. As such, they argue that the coming years will see an increase in the former and a decrease in the latter, resulting in the following figures:

Facebook release Graph Search
Facebook have announced Graph Search, a new social search engine that will allow users to search for results based on what their friends like. For example, instead of just looking for a dentist, you can look for “dentists in my area that my friends like”, or even the likes of “singles in my area who like Star Wars”. We have produced a comprehensive post detailing everything you need to know about the feature here.

Facebook bring free voice calls to the US
As we’ve previously discussed, Facebook operated a trial in Canada for free voice calling over the Internet with its iOS Messenger app. Now, they’ve extended this to the US with the latest version of Messenger for iOS. Provided that both users have downloaded the app, they are able to call one another for free, either over WiFi or by using up some of their data allowance.

Instagram releases monthly active user data
After the speculation about Instagram losing users, which we mentioned in last week’s mashup, the network has decided to release data about its monthly active users for the first time. They have stated that, contrary to the rumour, they have actually seen 10% growth in the period from December to January and that the last count showed over 90 million people using Instagram monthly.

EyeEm overtakes Instagram in app downloads
Whilst this was going on, Instagram was actually overtaken by a rival photo-sharing app called EyeEm in terms of downloads, which was at one point the second most downloaded photo/video app behind YouTube. Instagram has since regained its position ahead of EyeEm, but this shows the potentially precarious position Instagram holds in the photo-sharing market.

Favouriting becoming more popular on Twitter
Over the past year, the option to ‘favourite’ a tweet has become much more popular, as the following graph shows:

This comes as a result of changes made to favouriting by Twitter in December 2011, placing the option in a much more noticeable position and making it easier to access favourited tweets. Interestingly, users are more likely to favourite an @-reply than a regular tweet, potentially showing how users are employing the function as a way of exhibiting a positive response, similar to a Facebook ‘like’.

Twitter and television
Twitter have released some intriguing statistics into the way in which people interact with television on the network. They claim that 60% of Twitter users access the site while watching TV and around 40% of prime time Twitter activity is about television. Using specific programmes as case studies, they showed how big TV events can attract an impressively high amount of online activity, such as an episode of Made In Chelsea that procured 215,220 tweets from 110,162 users, reaching a potential 124.2m users.

Twitter headers make it possible to fake verified accounts
The introduction of Twitter header images has led to an unwanted side effect for Twitter, as it is now possible for someone to fake a verified account. As you can see from the image below, it seems as though there is a verified account for a fictional creation, the children’s book character Percy Jackson. However, the blue tick that announces verification has simply been added to the background. Fortunately, there is still a way to tell the difference between verified and unverified accounts, as the word “verified” will appear when you hover the cursor over a true account.

New Myspace now publicly available
The new version of Myspace, which launched in July, is now open to the public after a period of invitation-only signups. The emphasis remains strongly on music and in particular discovering new usic, with an audio deck on each page and a variety of music-related trending stories. The main page also promotes investor Justin Timberlake’s new single. There is yet to be a formal announcement for the new launch.

Foursquare’s maps show the growth of the network
Foursquare have released a detailed map that shows the various places where people have checked in over the last three months.

As can be seen above, this shows various world hubs, but can also be used to show in more detail the areas where people like to check in within a city, such as a clear layout of the runways in Atlanta Airport. In an interview with TechCrunch, Foursquare’s data scientist, Blake Shaw discussed how having access to all this information is important for the future of the company. He stated how they are experiencing a stage of growth similar to Twitter in 2008, from a place to share information to a location for consumption of that information; that is, Foursquare intends to grow further towards being a tool for discovering new places.

Twitter tracking the Oscars
Twitter have released a tool for tracking the positive conversation around Oscar nominees in the six largest categories: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Director. They have produced a real time graph that displays positive sentiment around any of the nominees, measured as a percentage score against the average sentiment level of all tweets on the network. This is similar to a project pitting Romney against Obama during the US Presidential Election and is of interest for examining how particular events or news stories have an effect on public opinion.

Smoothie King helping with New Year’s Resolutions
It’s a sad fact that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t last a very long time. So drinks company Smoothie King have released a Facebook app called Lean Into Life, aimed at salvaging the spirit of New Year in mid-January, by encouraging users to take photographs of themselves whilst completing certain resolution-related challenges for the chance to win $100 gift cards, free smoothies or a bicycle. Fans are asked to take a photograph via Instagram and use the hasthags #SmoothieKing and #LeanIntoLife to take part in the contest.

Panera Bread Company promote ‘hidden menu’ via Social
Panera Bread Company last week sent out a tweet that announced their new ‘hidden menu’ and was met with a range of reactions from excitement to confusion. The idea is that the menu is not mentioned in store, but simply via social, meaning that in-the-know Twitter followers have to go in store and specifically request one of the protein-rich range. This exclusively-social promotion is an interesting idea and could be a very effective example for restaurant or FMCG brands.

Indy 500 campaign set to use people’s Instagram photos
An Indy 500 campaign is set to use Instagram images tagged with the hasthag #Indy500orBust. These will be placed on an interactive map, whilst users are also given the opportunity to win a VIP race experience by uploading photographs. After the controversy surrounding potential changes to Instagram’s terms of service, it will be interesting to see how many campaigns like this come about.

Bentley releasing cars with hashtag license plates
For the launch of three new models, Bentley showcased each with a license plate that displayed a hashtag of the car’s name.

The move is very similar to We Are Social’s campaign for Jaguar, where we emblazoned the model specific @sportbrake handle on the side of a prototype car. As such, it seems that we are seeing a growing trend in the automotive industry to attempt to support the launch of new vehicles with online conversation, specifically on Twitter.

The NHL’s Foursquare comeback
With the launch of a new NHL season, the league has released a Foursquare badge that can be unlocked by checking in at two games this season. Anyone who unlocks it is eligible for a 15% discount at the NHL online shop. Five separate teams have also released their own badge, which can be obtained by checking in at either a home or away game at any point in the season. Each of these qualifies fans for a separate benefit, including the change to win tickets or discounts at team stores.


Esurance Facebook campaign offers SXSW dream package
Online insurance company Esurance have released a campaign that offers fans the chance to win an all-access pass to SXSW, a $2000 hotel stay, iPad and the opportunity to create a set of videos that details the excitement behind the campaign. To win, fans must create content that displays why they are the right person to be behind the videos. The campaign taps into the technological nature of SXSW and produces a prize that is truly fit for the audience.

Volvic and We Are Social search for brand advocates on Facebook
We Are Social have produced a campaign for Volvic that asks fans to submit photographs that they feel best reflects the ‘Volcanicity’ brand. As an incentive, fans can win ‘once in a lifetime experiences’ around the theme of volcanoes, along with a camera to document them. The campaign is aimed at driving brand advocacy – Deola Laniyan, Account Director at We Are Social, said fans will:

become our community managers meaning the content that’s posted is much more likely to resonate with their peers and drive engagement.

English and Welsh High Court ruling on Facebook privacy
The England and Wales High Court has made a ruling on Facebook privacy, stating that pictures on Facebook cannot be published in a newspaper without permission, even if they are set to ‘public’. The ruling is of interest to all those on Facebook and could display a pro-user attitude to privacy by UK authorities.

Tesco’s horse play on Twitter
You’d think the last week couldn’t have got much worse for Tesco, what with their value-range beef burgers being found to contain horse meat. However, it looks as though it has, after accidentally tweeting what looked like a joke about horses. It goes to show the danger of scheduling tweets and making sure you keep a close eye on all social media channels, especially at sensitive times.

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Breakfast Bites 16 Jan 2013

by Simon Kemp in News

Facebook Graph Search
Facebook has launched a ‘social search’ function that allows its users to make more specific searches for the content and information that has been shared within their ‘social graph. The service does not index the social web in the way that Google does, but instead references the things that have been shared with each individual by their connections. Read more at The Next Web and the BBC.

New MySpace Opens to Public
The completely redesigned MySpace opened to the broader public a few hours ago, coinciding with the release of key partner Justin Timberlake’s new single. Read more at The Next Web and Mashable.

240 Billion Photos
Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s 1 billion users have shared more than 240 billion photos on the site to date, meaning users have shared an average of more than 73 million photos every day – or 849 photos every single second – since the site launched in February 2004. Read more at The Next Web.

 

 

 

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #48

by Karen Wee in News

WeChat launches in Indonesia
China-built cross platform messaging application, WeChat (known as Weixin in China) has launched in Indonesia. The potential is immense as Indonesia’s the world’s 4th most populous country with a population of 237 million people, slightly larger than WeChat’s worldwide user base of 200 million. The latest development is expected to put pressure on competitors such as WhatsApp and Line to make similar moves in addition to threatening Blackberry’s BBM’s dominance in Indonesia. WeChat’s popular integrated social networking features such as hold-to-talk voice messaging, ‘Moments’ status update and photo sharing features are expected to give the hybrid chat app a leg up with Indonesian users. Likewise, the features can prove attractive to advertisers seeking to leverage on the reach offered by the product.

Twitter vs Weibo
Last week we mentioned that Chinese Twitter users are the most active despite being blocked in China. Whilst Twitter is the dominant microblog service in the US, China has 2 homegrown microblog platforms, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, that are very popular within the mainland and increasingly beyond its shores. Given China’s massive population size and an increasingly affluent society that is wired and crazy about social networking, the twin threats that Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo pose to Twitter’s microblog-dom’s dominance should not be ignored even if they currently do not have a stronghold on English-speakers. Check out the infographic comparing the 3 platforms here.

Indonesian Instagram users can now print photos with Instalogi
Prinstagram-clone Instalogi allows Indonesian Instagram users to print photos in addition to photobooks and stickers. Launched on September 1st, users can sign into their Instagram accounts on the Instalogi site, pick the photos they want printed, check them out, pay, send a confirmation and wait for the prints to be delivered. The startup’s founder Kemas Dimas revealed that plans are underway to develop a mobile web version of the product and that they’ll be holding an event with iPhonesia, the largest iPhone-based photography community in Indonesia.

WhatsApp offers unlimited messaging service for Indian college students
Making a play for the world’s 2nd most populous country, WhatsApp  has partnered with Reliance to offer unlimited usage of its messaging service to college students. Reliance’s College Package is a prepaid plan offering students unlimited access to WhatsApp and Facebook for INR 16 (S$ 0.37) a month. The plan excludes calls and SMSes.

The deal will provide WhatsApp with an advantage as it competes with Indian-developed Nimbuzz which hit the 100 million users milestone recently with most of its users residing on the Indian subcontinent. WhatsApp has also struck deals with operators in Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Notably, Indonesian top operator, Telkomsel has added WhatsApp along with Line and KakaoTalk to its US$3 (S$3.69) unlimited monthly plan. India is on the radar too for Blackberry which doubled its sales presence and launched budget devices. It faces stiff competition though from Samsung which is the leading brand for Android devices in the country.

LinkedIn opens regional office in Dubai
US-based LinkedIn has opened a new regional office in Dubai, its first in the Middle Eastern region with more than a million members signing up within the United Arab Emirates alone. In February 2012, LinkedIn reported more than 44 million members in Europe, Middle East and Africia out of 175 million members worldwide. The company’s influence is reportedly growing at a strong pace with 2 new members signing up every second. Having recently hit 10 million members in the UK and 62% of its users residing outside of its homebase in the US, LinkedIn could be the next social networking behemoth to watch.

Facebook cracks down on fake accounts
Some page admins are reporting that they are losing tens of thousands of fans as Facebook deletes fake and spam accounts. Facebook estimates that on average, pages shouldn’t lose more than 1% of its fan base, though we hope marketers aren’t too worried by these fans who didn’t contribute to engagement anyway.

Facebook adds gift giving for big occasions
You really have no excuse for forgetting to buy a birthday present — now when Facebook reminds you of a friend’s birthday, you’ll also get the option to give a gift in the real world (at least if you live in the US). Browse the selection of $5 Starbucks gift cards, $35 cupcakes and more, enter your bank card details and voila, no birthday will be left behind. Facebook will be celebrating with presents for itself as well, as it takes a slice of each of the transactions and gets valuable data about its users, like their street addresses and bank account information.

Dropbox links up with Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups just got more useful with the announcement of Dropbox support, and users can now share files after linking their Facebook account with Dropbox. Other group members can like and comment  on the update, just like a regular post, and the group will automatically be notified if the file has been updated.

Instagram shoots past Twitter in daily mobile users
Maybe pictures are worth more than words now: For the first time ever, American smartphone owners spent more time browsing Instagram than Twitter and visited the Instagram app more frequently. Even though Twitter had more unique US smartphone visitors (29 million for Twitter and 22 million for Instagram), Instagram’s users are more engaged. In August, Instagram had an average of 7.3 million daily active users, compared to Twitter’s 6.9 million. And Instagrammers spent 257 minutes on the app on average, as opposed to 170 minutes on Twitter. How soon until Facebook figures out how to monetize these numbers?

Twitter beefs up ‘Discover’
Twitter continues to improve its Discover tab, a personalized finger-in-the-wind where the site tries to pick up what it thinks you’ll like reading about. Twitter has changed up the design, which now features a continuous stream of tweets that automatically expand to show photos.

LinkedIn adds ‘kudos’ for skills
In one click, your LinkedIn connections will now be able to give you endorsements for your skills and expertise, as well as make recommendations for ones you should add, in something much akin to a Facebook ‘Like’ or a +1. Skills are now vertically ranked based on the number of endorsements received from your colleagues, and you’ll be notified via e-mail and on the site when you’ve been given some LinkedIn love.  This is available in the US, India, New Zealand and Australia, but LinkedIn promises it will be coming to more countries soon.

Myspace is bringing sexy back
We were sure that Myspace had been forever banished to the Internet graveyard, but then Justin Timberlake jumped on board and brought it back from the dead. Justin, along with Chris and Tim Vanderhook who bought the site in June 2011, have completely revamped it and hope to make it a social destination for artists looking to connect to their fans. If nothing else, the tech press is going gaga, and for good reason: The site is just downright pretty. The design looks like it has been heavily influenced by Tumblr and Pinterest, and keeping with the Pinterest vibe, the new Myspace invite-only for the moment. Myspace looks like it wants to play nice with Twitter and Facebook to populate your profile with photos and data so that new users aren’t starting from scratch. Get the grand tour of the new Myspace (as much as we can see now anyway) here.

Foursquare introduces personalized maps
Fed up with Apple’s maps on iOS 6? Foursquare has released its new update just in time. The Explore is getting better and better, and the latest update has a much more efficient search system, which gives a higher ranking to what’s popular in the area and what your friends like. And just like the website, the mobile app can now show a personalized map highlighting places you have or haven’t been before and where your friends have been.

StumbleUpon unveils redesign
Not to be outdone by Pinterest and other social networks, StumbleUpon has gotten a makeover that makes the random-internet-discovery-engine more personal and social. Users can now see what’s trending, find out what’s highly recommended by StumbleUpon “experts” and curate lists of their favorite content. Sounds pretty Pinterest-y. But StumbleUpon does seem to be going its own direction by incorporating personal profile analytics, such as your Stumble DNA, which shows the types of content you like best.

What can you buy for a tweet?
Kellogg’s has opened a pop-up shop in London where the cost of a bag of crisps is just one tweet. The experiment ended on Friday, but seems to have gone well, with hundreds of tweets and even spambots picking up the #tweetshop hashtag.

Paddy Power takes Twitter to the skies
To cheer on Europe during the Ryder Cup, Paddy Power bought the hashtag #GoEurope, but then took its tweets even further by putting them up in the clouds with a team of skywriters, which made the tweets visible up to 20 miles away. And all of Paddy Power’s support seems to have paid off, with Europe taking home the top slot and tweets using the hashtag from big names in golf.

KFC targets women in its first UK social media campaign
KFC has made a viral video featuring comedian Jenny Bede asking women to share their “it doesn’t count if…” stories about unhealthy eating on social media. While we’ve all been there (daily … it’s Monday, okay?!), it’s hard to imagine many women changing their perceptions of KFC from this video (especially nutrition-wise), one of the supposed goals of the campaign.

55DSL paints the town with ideas
What would you do if you had 55 seconds to live? Inspired by the brand’s recent launch in India, Diesel’s 55DSL has asked this question, and followers can see their best ideas “graffitied” on buildings on the brand’s site. The more tweets that are sent in with the #55secondstolive hashtag, the quicker the next level will be unlocked, which promises prizes to the top tweeters at each interval.

David Cameron says he’ll join Twitter
The UK’s Prime Minister himself has promised to join Twitter in hopes to communicate more directly with people, despite his past reservations about the social network. His office already uses the @Number10Gov handle, but having his own account will allow him to talk politics more personally. No word on what that handle will be, though@PrimeMinister looks suspiciously suitable.

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