Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Myspace’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brands that Chinese youths follow on Sina Weibo
The most popular brand on popular Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo is Durex Condoms, which has 294,174 followers on its Sina Weibo account and is followed by 2.95% of youths on the social network. Other top brands include Starbucks, Adidas Originals, Converse and H&M. Social branding agency Resonance China attributes the popularity of these brands amongst Chinese youths to the daily interaction they have with their fans, consisting of ‘tweets’ or weibos that are humorous or revolve around trendy topics that stimulate conversations and enhance their brand image.
Baidu ‘share’ function to appear alongside search results
Chinese search engine Baidu plans to integrate its social bookmarking service Baidu Share with its search results, and has launched a beta ‘Share’ function alongside certain search results. The ‘Share’ feature resembles a Facebook ‘Like’ thumbs-up graphic, and includes the number of times a link has been shared on Baidu Share beside it. Social is clearly penetrating search.
US embassy uses social media to sound terrorist alert in Bangkok
The US embassy in Thailand showed how important social media is as a tool of communication when it used its Facebook page and Twitter account to spread word of a terrorist threat in Bangkok. The message alerted U.S. citizens in Thailand that “foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future”. This alert reached its 39, 791 followers on Twitter, and 30,146 fans on Facebook. US Ambassador Kristie Kennedy, who has 27,691 followers on Twitter, addressed the alert on Twitter herself to reassure sceptics that the message was real and credible.
@Rattabhum our info is credible, serious & specific. Our advice to US citizens still stands. We r in constant touch w Thai law enforcement.
— Kristie Kenney (@KristieKenney) January 15, 2012
Four Seasons embraces digital marketing and virtual experiences
Luxury hotel chain Four Seasons devotes half of its marketing budget to digital channels, including various Facebook pages that have garnered 220,000 fans, and Twitter profiles that have more than 185,000 followers. Four Seasons will soon launch a revamped website this month which will incorporate user-generated reviews from TripAdvisor and other user-review sites with a direct link to said sites. This willingness to expose user-generated content, be it good or bad, is unusual for a luxury brand, or any brand for that matter, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Four Seasons will be rewarded for their transparency.
The 69th Golden Globes Awards – on Twitter
Even though the 69th Golden Globes Awards wasn’t broadcasted on cable television in Singapore until the night of 16th January, we were still watching the awards – on Twitter of course. The awards show was tweeted about 6,162 times per second, reached 93.7 million people, and generated over 2.2 billion impressions. This infographic by TweetReach gives you the lowdown on Twitter activity during the show
At Ford, social media is bigger than advertising
Matt VanDyke, director-U.S. marketing communications for Ford has told Ad Age:
At Ford, social media is bigger than advertising
How long will it be before we hear other major brands say the same?
Bad reviews may be good for business
In a report by social commerce company Reevoo, it’s been suggested that bad reviews may actually be good for business. The company found that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, and consumers fear tampering if there are no negative reviews.
YouTube accounts for 1 in 4 visits to social networks
YouTube has boasted it’s biggest ever month of traffic with 606 million UK visits to the website during December 2011. This data from Experian Hitwise means that YouTube now accounts for 1 in 4 visits to a social network and 1 in 30 visits online.
Over the last year YouTube has seen some pretty impressive growth and has even had six consecutive months as the fastest growing social site in the UK. Year-on-year this means that YouTube’s market share has increased by a total of 7%.
Facebook places ads alongside social updates in the feed
Facebook rolls out a new way of advertising to friends of fans. Comparable to Sponsored stories, which currently sit on the right hand side of the page, the new Featured stories will actually appear in the news feed. A small difference perhaps, but giving the ad an appearance of being a story rather than a paid-for piece.
Although the addition of adverts within the news feed may irritate some users, the adverts displayed will only appear from brands you yourself or a friend has already ‘Liked’. To further reduce a chance of backlash, Facebook have also declared that there will only be one of these ads per day in the newsfeed.
Facebook have also been trialing a new type of coupon promotion. The promotion, which allows pages to post coupons and then promote them with sponsored stories, is being used by sandwich chain Which Wich, giving fans a little extra for their ‘Like’. Studies have found that users come to Facebook for exclusive offers and discounts, suggesting that these vouchers could be a big success if used correctly.
Facebook Cost per click drops in UK
Speaking of Facebook advertising, the latest quarterly report by TBG Digital has revealed the average cost per click of Facebook ads has dropped by 11% in the UK between the third and fourth quarters of 2011. Advertisers received 45% discounts for campaigns aiming to keep users on Facebook, rather than sending them offsite – a great incentive for brands to conduct campaigns entirely within Facebook.
Listen to music with your friends on Facebook
Listening to music with friends has always been seen as a social pastime. Facebook are now taking it one step further by allowing friends to listen to music on Spotify at the exact same time as each other.
A new button will be rolling out on the ticker and a simple click will have you listening along. The feature will also open up a chat with all of the friends listening in, so when that riff you all love comes in, you can share the moment together.
Want a Twitter verified account? Buy ads
As there is no longer an application form for the verified accounts, they are gained by demonstrating someone is wilfully trying to impersonate you, or if you’re an advertiser or partner. Twitter has been providing them to anyone who’s spent $15,000 on Twitter ads as a sort of perk, and as a way to prove the identity of the advertiser.
Google+ added to search, at what cost?
The big news last week was Google’s introduction of what it catchily called ‘search plus your world’ – basically a way of promoting Google+ in its search results, similar to what we mentioned earlier of Chinese search giant Baidu integrating its social bookmarking service Baidu Share in its search results. Adam has the full low-down in this dedicated post about the issue.
David Beckham is going Google+
David Beckham is joining the ranks of celebrities already using YouTube to connect with their fans. To ask Beckham a question, fans just have to head over to Google+ and post it including the hashtag #GoogleBeckham. Of course, Google isnt’t going to miss out an opportunity to show of its social network’s functionality, so users of Google+ will be able to hang out with Beckham immediately after the live interview.
TV gets a bit more social
Boxee allows users to find and play video directly from the Internet on their television sets, and now thanks to a partnership with Facebook, TV is to become a little bit more social. The new Boxee live and Facebook intergration allows users to post what they are watching to Facebook for the world to see. Friends can then click the links and ‘check-in’ to the shows and find more information about them. Don’t worry just yet; this functionality is optional so your viewing habits won’t be broadcasted to friends without you knowing about it.
Social television seems to be going from strength to strength with TV check in app GetGlue raising $12M in financing. Not only has the company been successful in raising this amount of money, but they have also announced that over 2M users are checking into their TV shows.
Looking to capitalise the rise of dual-screen TV viewing, Sky have bought 10% of hot British social TV start-up Zeebox in order to offer an innovative augmented TV experience. The service offers users social media feed and conversations via Twitter and Facebook as well as additional information about the shows. Users will be able to read up on actors, purchase music or even products on the screen without leaving their seat. The functionality will be integrated into existing Sky apps and will include the ability to access Sky+ boxes on the move, making it the perfect television buddy.
Latest to hop on the social television bandwagon is MySpace with the announcement that they’re launching a social television experience with Panasonic. MySpace’s service aims to connect viewers with content and each other utilising Panasonic Viera connect TV sets. The package will include smartphone and tablet apps so users can access Myspace TV even if they are away from their televisions.
Murdoch: We screwed up MySpace ‘in every way possible’
After joining twitter at the start of this year, it seems that Rupert Murdoch has been inundated with questions about failing social network MySpace. Murdoch responded curtly:
Many questions and jokes about My Space.simple answer -we screwed up in every way possible, learned lots of valuable expensive lessons.
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) January 13, 2012
Tebow-mania hits Twitter
Last week during the NFL playoff game between the Denver Broncos and AFC champions Pittsburgh Steelers saw the highest rates of tweets per second (TPS) in Twitter history. As Tebow threw his 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime and secured a win for the Broncos Twitter erupted at a rate of 9,420 TPS – a new record for sports events.
To put this rate into perspective the previous record was 7,196 at the end of the FIFA womans world cup last summer, and it’s even more than Osama Bin Laden’s death (5,106 TPS), Steve jobs’ resignation (7,064 TPS) and death (6,049 TPS). It’s a large number, but still far from the all-time record of 25,088 when Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Castle in the Sky’ was aired in Japan.
Facebook gives politico deep access to users’ political sentiments
Simple analysis by volume of tweets or user posts rarely reveals the sentiment behind social media feeling. In a bid to understand the sentiment of voting-age users, a study by Politico and Facebook is set to delve deep into posts to discover the true attitudes towards candidates.
The most notable characteristic is that user data will include Facebook users’ private status messages and comments, a statement that may alarm some, however the mentions will be fed through a computerised analysis tool and never seen by Facebook employees.
Tiësto Djs First Ever Live Twitter Stream At 2012 CES
Last week DJ Tiësto’s played the first-ever Twitter live concert stream, playing to an audience of thousands gathering to watch online. Tiësto played through his signature tracks, but more importantly showed off the potential of the new Twitter brand pages for embedding live video and sound.
In this short, but sweet campaign by Microsoft, they offered users a chance to win $100 if they could complete certain tasks on their existing phone before the Windows phone could complete the same task. The penalty for losing was to bite the bullet and admit on camera that you got #SmokedByWindowsPhone, a bold but confidant move by Microsoft, however after winning in 88% of the challenges, it seems to have paid off.
Klout to Crown the First-Ever ‘T-Mobile Social King of CES’
A challenge by set out by Klout and T-Mobile saw users try to aquire the most +Ks during CES 2012. The user who managed to use their Klout in order to gain the most +K during the event was crowned T-Mobile Social King and given a host of techie prizes.
Tiffany & Co. team up with the Sartorialist to showcase true love
Tiffany and Co. have joined forces with fashion bloggers the Sartorialist & Garance Doré in an effort to discover true love from real couples around Paris and New York.
The venture, True Love in Pictures is the latest venture from Tiffany & Co. as part of their Whatmakeslovetrue.com project. The project has see an Instagram gallery created by the couple and now seeks out to find user generated moments of romance, all captured using the Tiffany & Co. downloadable Instagram filter.
Audi partners with Foursquare for a new badge for Skiers
If you’re hitting the slopes this winter and can’t get enough Foursquare badges, the new Audi Winter Ride badge is sure to be up your street. User can unlock the badge by following Audi and checking in at any ski area, unlocking the badge and rewarding the user with a 20% discount on the Audi collection.
Kit Kat to decide new flavour through Facebook
A new campaign by Nestle asks consumers to vote for their favourite of four new Kit Kat Chunky flavours with the winner being sold permanently.
Fans will be able to vote on their favourite of the four flavours (double choc, peanut butter, orange or white choc) on Facebook until 24th February. To add a little incentive to the campaign, fans stand a chance to win £100 each day for their entry.
While Cadbury turns to Google+ to launch Bubbly Bar
Continuing on with chocolate-based news, this week has seen Cadbury launch their new Bubbly bar exclusively on Google+ to their followers. The post (below) was released to fans and then quickly followed by posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Diet Coke launches fashion and beauty Facebook app
Diet Coke have launched a fashion and beauty Facebook app dubbed the Get Glam app. The app is said to be the ‘perfect accompaniment for getting ready with the girls’ and includes fashion and beauty tips alongside a video chat tool. Launched as part of a three-year initiative across brands to link their activity to fashion, the idea is set to appeal to ‘young, fun loving woman’.
The Facebook sandwich
Greggs have launched a new campaign, asking users to vote for their favourite limited edition sandwiches on their Facebook page. When a customer buys one of the sandwiches, the label directs them to the page to vote on which of the sandwiches will stay.
It’s just two days more before Christmas, and we are wrapping up (pun intended) with our last 5 Friday Facts post of 2011. Enjoy the long Christmas and Boxing Day weekend everyone!
Massive growth of e-commerce on Livejournal Singapore
In Singapore, Livejournal is not used just for blogging, but as a platform for online retailers as well. In particular, e-commerce in Singapore is booming on Livejournal, with 1.2 million Singaporean users and over 50,000 ‘blogshops’ that generated more than US$72 million worth of transactions in Singapore in 2011 alone. Altogether, Livejournal blogshop transactions represented around 6% of Singapore’s forecasted e-commerce volume of US$1.2 billion in 2011.
Online shopping increases by 18% in India
Almost 60% of Indians with Internet access from home or work visited an online store last month, an increase of 18% in unique visitors from the previous year. Deals and coupon sites have contributed to this increase in online shopping, with 16% having visited a coupon site. Traffic on coupon sites increased by a massive 629% from the previous year. comScore estimates suggests that all of India’s coupon sites attracted 7.6 million visitors in total in the month of November.
Increased use of smartphones for capturing images
Photo-sharing mobile applications such as Instagram, which saw its user base increase from 1 million to over 15 million users in 2011 alone, have gained immense popularity and contributed to the shift from traditional cameras to smartphones in capturing images. A study by NPD Group found that smartphones took 27% of photos in 2011, an increase of 10% from the previous year. Conversely, traditional cameras took 44%, down from 52%.
Myspace will exit Japan
Myspace plans to exit from Japan from February 1 next year, although its service will continue to be available for those that use it there. It recorded just 1.09 million users as of August 2011, compared to Facebook’s 6 million odd Japanese users, or Mixi’s 25 million registered users.
Increased use of social media by B2B marketers
B2B companies are increasingly using social media as part of their marketing mix. According to web survey company iTracks, 89% of US B2B companies were using social media marketing as of May 2011. Sagefrog Marketing Group reports that LinkedIn is the top social media platform of choice, with 58% of US B2B marketers who used social media utilising LinkedIn, compared to 50% for Facebook and 43% for Twitter.