Here are all of the posts tagged ‘QR code’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #156

by Suhaina Adam in News
Daum Kakao acquired a childcare app
Daum Kakao, previously known as Kakao Talk, recently wholly acquired Kids Note, an app for kindergartens and daycares to communicate with parents. Among other features, parents can request real-time check ups on their children, whereas teachers can post daily reports and pictures. The company plans to push the app to about 14,000 kindergartens and private daycares in Korea.

Indian messenger Hike adds free voice calling
Hike, a homegrown Indian instant messenger, has over 35 million users and just recently acquired US-based voice-calling company Zip Phone, a Y Combinator startup. The company plans to launch free voice-calling soon, alongside their biggest rival WhatsApp. This competition will be one to watch, with telecom majors planning to charge customers for data usage on instant messaging and VoIP apps.


WeChat partners Caesars to bring the Smart Hotel Room
Last week during CES, Caesars Entertainment partnered up with WeChat to give tours of THE LINQ‘s smart hotel rooms. With WeChat, visitors could control the lighting, thermostats and curtains in their rooms. Upon arrival at the hotel room, visitors only need to scan a QR code to get the app which operates as an official WeChat account.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #45

by Karen Wee in News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Five Friday Facts #26

by Cai Yu Lam in News

LinkedIn acquires SlideShare
It was announced hours ago that professional networking platform LinkedIn has acquired SlideShare, a sharing platform for business documents, videos and presentations, for US$118.75 million or S$147.51 million. SlideShare users have uploaded more than 9 million presentations since it was founded in October 2006, and nearly 7.4 million presentations hosted by SlideShare have been embedded across more than 1.4 million unique domains. In March alone, SlideShare saw nearly 29 million unique visitors. We’ve already seen some form of integration between SlideShare and LinkedIn in terms of social sharing functionalities, being able to view SlideShare content from within your LinkedIn Stream, and hosting SlideShare content on your personal profile, so there’s definitely some form of fit between the two companies.

Mobile usage in Taiwan
Recent figures from mobile ad network InMobi reveal that mobile web users in Taiwan consume 6 hours of media daily on average, of which 27% is spent on mobile devices, which is more than the 24% of  time spent watching television and catching up to the 33% of time spent going online on desktops or laptops. 76% of Taiwanese mobile web users use their mobile devices while their waiting, 59% use it while lying in bed, and 40% while commuting. Interestingly, Taiwanese shoppers are less likely to use their mobile devices while shopping, with only 11% doing so. Taiwanese mobile web users are very much into social networking and entertainment, as they spend 21% of their time on their mobile devices on social media like Facebook or Twitter, and an equal amount of time on music or videos. 18% of their time on mobile devices is spent playing games12% on search for general information such as news, sports, and finance, and 11% on email.

Marketers increasingly aligning TV and online video
A recent study by video advertising company Adap.TV and DIGIDAY revealed that marketers were increasingly planning, buying and measuring TV and online video together. 49% of brand advertisers and agencies surveyed in North America believed that TV was the most appropriate adveritising channel to align with online video, while 40% disagreed and said online video should be more aligned with display advertising. 62% viewed online video as a direct complement to TV, while only 10% saw it as a replacement for TV ads. In terms of integrated planning, 48% of respondents already currently plan TV ads and video together, while another 25% are planning to do so within the next 12 months. We are bound to see a lot more marketers adopt multi-channel approaches to advertising in the next year as they recognise the importance of balancing traditional advertising with more social forms of media.

Zynga’s ‘Draw Something’ sees a decline in daily active users
Although Zynga’s recently-acquired social gaming app ‘Draw Something‘ had exceeded 50 million downloads and boasted more than 14 million daily users in early April, Draw Something has since lost 4 million daily active users in the past month alone according to AppData. In light of Zynga’s new advertising plans for Draw Something, we wonder how keen brands are to jump on board given the lost in interest in Draw Something after the acquisition.

QR code created by the mid-day shadow of the sun
Korean shopping mall Emart created an innovative QR code campaign to drive sales during lunch hours by creating a large display that formed a QR code from the shadow of the mid-day sun, and could therefore only be used from 12pm to 1pm during the day. When users scan in the ‘Sunny Sale’ QR code, they gained access to special offers, including a $12 coupon. The purchased items through the Emart application were subsequently delivered to users’ homes. Through this location-based mobile campaign, 12,000 coupons were sold, the Emart’s membership base increased by 58% from the previous month in February, and Emart saw a 25% increase in sales of the Emart mall during lunch hours.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #15

by Cai Yu Lam in News

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.

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