Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Qzone’.

Social, Digital & Mobile in China 2014

by Tianyu Xu in News

The social, digital and mobile ecosystem in China is unlike anywhere else on earth.

With a wide variety of home-grown platforms, technologies and behaviours, understanding the Chinese digital landscape can be both daunting and difficult.

Fortunately, We Are Social‘s new report will help to demystify things.

Continuing our series of studies into digital trends and developments around the world, our new China report profiles a variety of critical data points, including the penetration rates of different technologies, the top-ranking social platforms, and a wealth of interesting facts and figures on Chinese netizens’ behaviour.

You’ll find full details in our SlideShare report embedded above (and available for free download by clicking here), but here are some of the report’s highlights:

Country Overview

Social, Digital, Mobile in China 2014

China’s population  exceeds 1.36 billion people, with urban areas accounting for more than half of the country’s residents. 51% of the country’s population is male.

Internet

China’s 618 million Internet users represent 45% of the country’s population, and account for almost a quarter of the world’s internet users – for reference, here are the latest global stats:

Social Digital Mobile Worldwide

(You can find more global stats here)

The majority of China’s internet users live in urban areas, with fewer than 1 in 3 living in rural parts of the country.

Beijing (75%), Shanghai (71%) and Guangdong (66%) have the highest Internet penetration of the country’s administrative regions:

Chinese internet penetration by region

Instant messaging (IM) is the most popular online activity in China, with CNNIC quoting in excess of 530 million active users across platforms.

However, Tencent’s QQ, China’s most widely used IM platform, boasts more than 800 million active accounts, suggesting many Chinese IM users may manage multiple accounts.

Social Media

Although QZone claims to have the highest number of active social networking users at 625 million, Weixin (WeChat) and Sina Weibo are the current ‘darlings’ of Chinese social media, with 355 million and 129 million monthly active users respectively:

Top social networks in China (active users)

Brands continue to be highly active on Sina Weibo, contributing to a reported 153% year-on-year growth of Sina Weibo’s advertising revenue in Q4 2013.

In terms of the users themselves, and reflecting a behaviour pattern we see on other social platforms across Asia, China’s micro-bloggers can’t seem to resist checking Weibo immediately after food:

When do people use Weibo

Weixin (WeChat) users are actively using the platform’s various chat features like text and voice voice messaging , as well as its social networking features like ‘Moments’:

Top activities on WeChat

 

It’s worth pointing out that WeChat is now the world’s second biggest active chat app service, and is still growing at a staggering rate:

We Are Social - Chat Apps User Numbers April 2014

Mobile

Roughly half of China’s population now owns a mobile phone, with each user maintaining an average of nearly 2 active SIM subscriptions.

The ubiquity of mobile devices makes them China’s internet tools of choice, with 81% of the country’s netizens accessing the Internet via mobile handsets:

How people connect to the net in China

In line with this, mobile shopping and mobile payment services experienced significant growth during 2013:

Top mobile internet activities in China

eCommerce

Online shopping as a whole is hugely important to China’s economy, contributing almost US$300 million in 2013 alone.

Group buying is particularly popular, and was the fastest growing online activity in China, with a robust growth rate of 69% in 2013.

Fastest growing online activities in China

If you need more numbers, be sure to check our full 95-page report on SlideShare for loads more useful and interesting stats.

And if you’d like to stay up to date with We Are Social‘s reports, thought leadership and social media analysis, you can also sign up for our regular newsletter – just click here and follow the instructions.

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

Social, Digital & Mobile in 2014

by Simon Kemp in News

The astonishing growth of all things digital continues to gather pace around the world, as We Are Social’s new Social, Digital & Mobile Worldwide report on the key social, digital and mobile stats from around the world demonstrates.

It should come as little surprise that much of this growth is being fuelled by connected mobile devices, but this year’s data do reveal some interesting trends and anomalies, especially in relation to Japan and Korea.

You’ll find the complete story in the SlideShare deck above, but we’ve pulled out some of the highlights below.

UPDATE: We’d like to thank the lovely folks at GlobalWebIndex for allowing us to use the data in their premium Active Usage: Social Platforms data pack in this report – you can get more info on this by clicking here.

Slide001

Internet
Adding up all the users in individual countries around the world, there appear to be around 2.5 billion global internet users today – roughly 35% of the world’s population:

Slide005

click to enlarge

While this represents around 150 million more users than this time last year, these numbers may still be conservative. Reliable, recent data for some countries remains patchy, but the International Communications Union estimates that there are probably closer to 3 billion global internet users, with most of the difference made up by mobile-only connections.

Users are still not distributed evenly either, with some parts of the world still struggling to reach double-digit internet penetration. In particular, Africa, Central and Southern Asia all report relatively low numbers, although it’s worth highlighting that mobile internet users may contribute a significant – yet uncounted – increase in these areas.

Slide007

click to enlarge

With  reference to the continued growth in internet penetration, it seems clear that mobile connections will account for the vast majority of new sign-ups in the coming months. As the chart below highlights, the distribution of mobile penetration matches much more closely to the distribution of the world’s population, meaning most people around the world now have a realistic opportunity to access the internet:

Slide006

click to enlarge

The cost of mobile data clearly remains a barrier in much of the remaining world, but as costs continue to fall, and as the benefits continue to increase, it’s likely we’ll see more and more people in the developing world putting increased importance on reliable internet access.

Social Media
Social channels continued to show strong growth over the past 12 months, with top social networks adding more than 135 million new users in the course of 2013.

This number is slightly misrepresentative of actual growth though, as we’ve decided to focus solely on monthly active user figures to report social media usage in this year’s report. As a result, some numbers may appear lower than they did this time last year (when we used total registered user numbers for some platforms), while the actual growth in active usage may appear smaller than it really was.

Slide010

click to enlarge

Due to the different usage contexts, associated behaviours and opportunities for brands, we’ve also chosen to treat chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat separately to social networks in this year’s report.

However, these platforms continue to capture significant interest from users and marketers alike, a trend reflected in their huge active user bases:

Slide011

click to enlarge

It also appears that social media is now an engrained part of the lives of people across different demographic groups. This increased ubiquity may result in some changes to the specific demographic bases of individual platforms, but even if people’s habits are changing, it appears that people are moving from one social platform to another, rather than deserting social media in its entirety.

Despite this increasing ubiquity, though, social media penetration remains unevenly distributed around the world:

Slide009

click to enlarge

As might be expected, mobile is playing an increasingly important part in the social media landscape. Facebook reports that almost three quarters of its 1.2 billion monthly active users around the world access the platform through mobile, while on any given day, almost half of its users are mobile only.

The importance of mobile is mirrored across other platforms too, with Twitter increasingly a mobile-dominated platform, and platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram depending entirely on a mobile ecosystem.

Mobile
Given the above, most marketers have now accepted that mobile devices are people’s most important devices, but the opportunities they offer continue to evolve at a staggering pace.

Connected mobile devices have already outpaced more traditional means of internet access such as laptops and PCs, while smartphone sales now outnumber those of feature phones around the world too.

The number of mobile subscriptions jumped by 173 million in 2013, and the number of active mobile subscriptions around the world now equates to roughly 93% of the world’s population.

Penetration rates are more healthy all over the world too, with two-thirds of Africa’s population now mobile powered. Meanwhile, many regions – including those in the developing world – have penetration levels far in excess of 100%:

Slide012

click to enlarge

Mobile broadband access has exploded around the world in recent months too, and 1.5 billion people now have access to relatively fast internet from their mobile devices:

Slide014

click to enlarge

A Regional View
While the picture in many Western countries has converged, there are a number of areas around the world that maintain their idiosyncrasies. In particular, China and Eastern Europe continue to prefer local social networks, while Africa, Central and South Asia are considerably under-represented when it comes to internet penetration:

regional data overviews

click to enlarge

Asia
The world’s most populous region saw another strong year of growth across all things digital in 2013.

China’s social media giants continue to post strong growth, whether it’s active users on Qzone, or the incredible growth of Weixin (WeChat).

However, both Japan and South Korea have seen some fragmentation of the social media landscape, with chat apps like LINE and Kakaotalk continuing to gain momentum. Neither company releases monthly active user numbers though, so it’s hard to know exactly how these platforms compare to the more traditional networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Interestingly, however, ‘claimed’ usage of social media in both countries differs dramatically from the picture painted by Facebook’s monthly active user numbers, suggesting that Northeast Asia’s netizens may be harnessing a wider variety of platforms.

Slide034

click to enlarge

Slide035

click to enlarge

Facebook continues to lead Twitter in both countries though, and appears to maintain its top spot almost everywhere.

China and countries in Eastern Europe host the few exceptions to Facebook’s global dominance, with Qzone and VKontakte claiming the top spots in a handful of nations.

However, with more than 1 billion monthly active users, it’s safe to say that Facebook will continue to play a central role in the social media landscape in 2014 too.

The Local Picture
We’ve gone into an extra level of detail in this year’s report too, offering insights into the local digital ecosystem across 24 of the world’s biggest economies:

Slide002

Alongside offering the key digital indicators, we’ve also collated some key behavioural indicators, including time spent on the internet and on social media, as well as the prevalence of important activities on connected mobile devices.

You’ll find all the facts and figures for each country in the complete 180+ page report on SlideShare (as embedded at the top of this post), but here are the infographics for China as an illustrative example:

Slide064

click to enlarge

Slide065

click to enlarge

Slide066

click to enlarge

Slide067

click to enlarge

Slide068

click to enlarge

Slide069

click to enlarge

Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report.

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

Five Friday Facts #79

by Laura Picard in News

Chat app Nimbuzz has 150M users worldwide
We’ve reported heavily on Asian chat apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk and Line. In the past year or so, they’ve exploded in popularity across the globe. TechInAsia recently reported that Nimbuzz, another chat app, has joined the other apps in this category and done the same. The originally-Dutch chat app (that is currently based in India) has evolved from a no-frills messaging app into a relatively social chat platform with 150 million registered users and a daily registration rate of 210,000. Nimbuzz is doing particularly well in India and the Middle East, where it is the chat app of choice, and far more popular than the other Asian chat apps mentioned earlier. 37 million of these users are from the Middle East, while 41 million are from other Asian countries. There are also nine million users in the United States. The chat app features extensions that give users the option to play games, read the news, receive jokes and prepare for school exams. Nimbuzz also has its own in-app store, that sees over 500,000 transactions on a monthly basis.

The “Perfect Pinterest Picture” has 307K repins; here’s why
Wired recently reported on the characteristics that define a perfect Pinterest picture. Based on data from analytics startup Curalate, the findings indicate that photos were more 23 percent more likely to receive repins if they didn’t have human faces in them. Colours were also a factor in determining engagement. Pins with multiple colours were 3 times more likely to get repinned than those with one main colour. Those with lots of red were twice as likely to get repins than those with blue colour schemes. When it comes to the saturation of these colors, moderation is key: 50 percent saturation garnered repins 4 times more often than 100 percent, and ten times more repins than highly desaturated or black-and-white images. Background choice also plays a role in a Pin’s allure; Wired notes that “when an artificial background rises above 40 percent of the total image area, repins are typically halved or quartered.” More on this study can be found on this post from Curalate’s blog. The study also honed in on “the perfect Pinterest picture.” It’s received a whopping 307,000 repins, 8,000 likes and 300 comments, and exemplifies the findings from the study. The popular pin (below) is from cooking show host Paula Deen’s website and entitled “Aunt Peggy’s Cucumber, Tomato and Onion salad.”

Photo: PaulaDeen.com

 5 Vines are posted to Twitter every second 
Video tech company Unruly recently revealed some Vine metrics that indicate that the micro-video sharing platform–which just reached its 100-day birthday this week–is continuing to gain momentum in social media. The study collected data from a volume of 10 million Vines over a one-month period. According to their study, an average of five Vine videos are being shared on Twitter each second. Vines tend to be posted on weekends rather than weekdays. And “in most cases, [weekends] are more popular than all the previous weekdays combined.” From the one-month period, the Vine with the highest number of tweets had been shared 47,000 times, while the hundredth top Vine had been shared 1,400 times.

What happens in a China internet minute
Resonance China recently reported on the volume of what happens in a single “internet minute” in China. They indicated that nearly a million posts were published on Sina Weibo every minute, and 139,000 photos were uploaded to Qzone, the largest social media platform in the country. Resonance China’s chart below shows other mind-boggling stats as well.
Here is a summary of the data it reveals.

Every minute in China,

  • 950,000 posts are published on Sina Weibo;
  • 139,000 photos are uploaded to Qzone, the largest social media platform in the country;
  • 25 mobile devices with iOS system are sold;
  • 176 mobile devices with Android system are sold;
  • 486 online deals are made on JD.com one of the most popular online shopping sites in the country;
  • 148,000 independent visitors are visiting Taobao, the largest online shopping site in the country;
  • 950,000 posts are published on Sina Weibo;
  • 3,470,000 searches are performed on Baidu, the largest online search engine in the country;
  • Apple makes 80,000 RMB (16,200 SGD) in profit;
  • More than 13,000 apps are downloaded;

In China, over 60% of young millennials surf web daily
In a recent report by China Internet Watch, it was revealed that 61.7 percent of “post-90s” millennials were daily internet users. This demographic accounts for 13 percent of China’s internet users overall. It was also revealed that half of these daily users were surfing the web over four times per day, and 45 percent of these users were using mobile devices to access the web. While 38 percent of them used mobile phones to surf the internet, 7 percent used tablets to go online.

 

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

The State of Social in Asia (March 2013)

by Simon Kemp in News

We Are Social - Active Social Network Users in Asia March 2013

click to enlarge image

We’re pleased to share the latest of our SDMW snapshots for social media use around Asia.

Today’s snapshot offers a more comparable definition of ‘users’, and is based solely on active users*, rather than the overall user numbers we used for some countries in previous reports where active user data was not available.

Social Media Users

Despite this recalibration, the total number of social media users across the top network in each of our 24 SDMW Asia nations has increased to 874 million, reflecting 18% growth compared to our last full report in October.

This represents growth of more than 10 million new users of social media every month – a figure that’s all the more impressive considering Facebook’s recent clean up of ‘fake’ accounts.

Penetration

However, social media penetration has fluctuated around the region in the past few months, with a number of ‘mature’ markets – including Brunei, Singapore and Hong Kong – registering a drop in penetration as the frequency of Facebook usage begins to slow.

Overall though, regional penetration remained static at 23%, in line with the overall global average:

We Are Social - Active Social Network Penetration in Asia March 2013

click to enlarge image

More importantly, the drop in penetration across mature markets has been balanced by on-going growth in markets like India and Indonesia, both of which continue to see social media usage expand at impressive rates.

Mobile Chat

However, the most interesting story comes from North Asia, where we’re seeing accelerating mass adoption of mobile chat applications.

Neither Japan nor Korea was a ‘Facebook market’ in our previous report – Korea’s primary social network was CyWorld, while Japanese social media users appeared to prefer Twitter – but the rapid growth of newer chat platforms may scupper the world’s favourite network’s plans to grow in these countries.

Indeed, KakaoTalk and Line already dominate the social media landscapes of South Korea and Japan respectively, with both platforms registering significantly more users than Facebook and microblogs.

Similarly, while Qzone continues to be the region’s largest social network by active users, we expect to see this situation change in the coming months as a result of the increased implementation of China’s real name rules for social media use, and the continued expansion of platforms like WeChat (Weixin).

Indeed, WeChat’s success beyond its home market of China looks set to be one of the biggest social media stories in Asia over the next few months.

At well over 300 million registered users, WeChat is already 15% bigger than Facebook in Asia, and its growth trajectory suggests that this gap will only increase further during 2013.

Given these trends, it’s clear that mobile’s role in the Asian social media landscape looks set to grow in importance, so look out for our upcoming post on using mobile to connect with Asian social audiences.

* Figures reflect monthly active users, except for Korea where we’ve used daily active user numbers. Note that user numbers for Japan and Korea have been extrapolated from available data.

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

We Are Social Asia Midweek Mashup #27

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Tencent’s Qzone is reigning social media platform in China
According to a recent report by McKinsey & Company, Tencent’s social networking site Qzone was the most popular social media site among Internet users surveyed in China, with 44% of respondents using the social network. Similarly, data tracked within social sharing platform JiaThis showed that Tencent’s Qzone accounted for 12.95% of social shares in March, while microblogging service Sina Weibo accounted for 8.35% and rival social networking site Renren 3.95% of social shares. Other sources reveal that the Qzone service has 552 million active users, more so than Sina Weibo’s 300 million registered users and Renren’s 147 million activated accounts. Although Qzone may be one of the most actively used social media platforms in China, Sina Weibo still appears to be the platform of choice for marketers to engage and interact with local fans because of the availability and customisability of corporate accounts similar to brand pages on Twitter, even though this might not be so in the future given the speed of change in China’s social media landscape.


Sina Weibo’s new social ads
Sina Weibo has added social ads to its current offerings of brand ads and search ads, which will harness data from the demographic profiles of its users for more accurate ad targeting. There are two types of ads available, namely banner ads that will be displayed either at the top or bottom of the newsfeed on users’ profile pages, or promotion ads of topics, events, videos or products. Reports on ad performance will also be made available, and advertisers will be able to access information on the reach, click-through rate (CTR), engagement, earned reach and engagement, as well as quality and growth of a brand’s weibo followers through its social ads. According to Sina, nearly 100 companies have purchased social ads thus far, but the take-up rate will likely increase once brands catch wind of this new ad feature.

Sina Weibo tightens control over its users
Since admitting its failure to fully implement the real-name registration mandate for microblogs in China, Sina will introduce a new ‘user contract‘ to Sina Weibo users on May 28 that clearly seeks to further control and censor users’ posts. This initiative will see the creation of a ‘community committee’ or a neighbourhood watch of sorts involving members of the public as well as regular members recruited from Sina Weibo’s user base, who will seek to implement the terms of service. The terms have been translated by netizens and can be found here.

As Jon Russell from The Next Web points out, the terms under Article 13 are of particular concern as they point out the wide range of content that users must refrain from posting, subjected to the community committee’s discretion.

Article 13) Users have the right to publish information, but may not publish any information that:

1. Opposes the basic principles established by the constitution
2. Harms the unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of the nation
3. Reveals national secrets, endangers national security, or threatens the the honor or interests of the nation
4. Incites ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, undermines ethnic unity, or harms ethnic traditions and customs
5. Promotes evil teachings and superstitions
6. Spreads rumors, disrupts social order, and destroys societal stability
7. Promotes illicit activity, gambling, violence, or calls for the committing of crimes
8. Calls for disruption of social order through illegal gatherings, formation of organizations, protests, demonstrations, mass gatherings and assemblies
9. Has other content which is forbidden by laws, administrative regulations and national regulations.

Users who fail to comply will subsequently be subject to the following consequences.

Article 23) Processing of regulation violations includes: the processing of content and accounts.

Content processing includes: deletion, preventing reposting, disabling commenting or annotation, etc.

Account processing includes: preventing posting of weibos, forbidding following, and deletion of the account.

It remains to be seen how much different the user behaviour and content on Sina Weibo will be after these terms are implemented on May 28.

China’s mobile Internet revenue
China’s mobile Internet revenue totalled 15.87 billion yuan or S$3.13 billion in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 167.2% from the same period last year. Mobile e-commerce contributed the largest share of 42% to the revenue, followed by mobile value-added services which include video, music, and e-reading at 41.5%, mobile games at 8.7% and mobile marketing at 7.1%. We can clearly see the emphasis on mobile marketing given the increase in number of mobile users as well as the increased sophistication in which mobile users utilise their devices, which is reflected in the increase in revenue for mobile marketing even as all other sectors see a fall from Q1 2011 to 2012.


Internet and social media penetration in Indonesia
eMarketer predicts that the number of Internet users in Indonesia will grow by 38.6% to reach 59.6 million this year, accounting for nearly a quarter of Indonesia’s total population. Similarly, the number of social network users in Indonesia is expected to continue growing by 51.6% in Indonesia to 52.1 million social network users in 2012. Currently, Indonesia has 42.27 million users on Facebook. This would rank Indonesia as the second-fastest-growing country of social network users in the world, narrowly beat out by India, which had surpassed its number of Facebook users earlier this year.


Growth of online video advertising
Emarketer predicts that the online video advertising market will grow more than 40% annually for the next three years before levelling off at a growth rate of 20%. Even so, half of this US$1.8 billion pie is divided between the two major players – Hulu and YouTube. According to comScore, Hulu recorded 1.75 billion video-ad impressions in March, which indicates a 39% year-on-year increase. Marketers are increasingly re-allocating their TV spend into online video advertising, especially since sites like YouTube have an international reach and therefore a wider audience beyond US shores. We’ll likely see this trend carry forward into the future as marketers reallocate ad spending amongst a broader mix of mediums.

Participation inequality: 1/9/90 rule no longer applies?
After carrying out an in-depth investigation into how the UK online population uses digital media, the BBC has developed a new model of digital participation: The Participation Choice. Going against accepted models, specifically the 1/9/90 rule, it suggests that participation is now the norm, claiming that 77% of the online population in the UK is now active ‘in some way’. For those wanting to know more (as well as those who remain unconvinced), a presentation on the research should be available later this week on the BBC Internet blog.

The impact of Twitter (it’s bigger than you think)
Some research from Edison suggests that Twitter is managing to reach beyond the one in ten Americans who actively use the service. The research reveals that more than four or ten Americans hear or read about tweets almost everyday in the media. With numbers that large, the importance of Twitter as a broadcast network is evident, both for brands seeking to get their message out there as well as those seeking to combat any potential social media crises.

Poor social media customer service? You just lost a sale!
A new report from American Express exploring consumer attitudes and preferences towards consumer services confirms the value of social media as a customer service tool. It found that of those who use social media to make customer service queries, 83% had chosen not to make a purchase because of a poor customer service experience. The report also found that while consumers who use social media for customer service are the most vocal in both their praise and criticism, like their offline counterparts they are much more likely to share a negative experience, telling an average of 53 other people about it.

Facebook popular with mobile users
While most already expect that mobile will play an important part in Facebook’s future fortunes, research from comScore underscores how important it is in Facebook’s present: in March, US mobile visitors spent an average of 7.35 hours on their mobile site and/or app, putting Facebook way ahead of Twitter and Foursquare.

Social Networking Properties (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined
March 2012 Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM
Total Unique Visitors (000) % Reach Average Minutes per Visitor
Facebook 78,002 80.4% 441.3
Twitter 25,593 26.4% 114.4
LinkedIn 7,624 7.9% 12.9
Pinterest 7,493 7.7% 52.9
Foursquare 5,495 5.7% 145.6
Tumblr 4,454 4.6% 68.4

Global social media report reveals top industries on Facebook
Socialbakers has published a report on the top 10 performing industries on Facebook and brands within each. Auto and alcohol brands came out on top for both engagement and fan growth.

Facebook finally sets a date for its IPO
Facebook shares will float on the US stock market on Friday the 18th of May, according to sources in Silicon Valley,  following a Zuckerberg-helmed roadshow that kicked off yesterday in New York. It had been expected that the founder would not attend the roadshow, instead being led by COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman, but he did and initial reports suggest he came across as ‘likeable and affable’.

Another milestone for Facebook’s Instagram: 50 million users
CNet claims that Intstagram has now reached 50 million users and is adding 5 million users per week.

Facebook adds Instagam-lite functionality for feature phones
Facebook hasn’t forgotten about those of you without a smartphone, updating their Facebook for Every Phone app to provide simple photo filter options so everyone can join in the vintage-feel-fun.

Facebook makes another mobile acquisition: Glancee
In what’s arguably a blow for Foursquare, and definitely one for direct competitor and SXSW darling HighlightFacebook has acquired location app Glancee. While Facebook has been typically quiet on its plans for the app, it fits in well with the company’s location strategy of going beyond simple check-ins toward allowing users to share their past, present and future locations.

Facebook releases mobile app data
The Facebook developer blog last week revealed the traffic it drives to mobile apps, sending 160 million visitors to mobile apps just last month (an increase of 100 million since late February). The impact of integrating Facebook functionality is revealed further by looking at the top grossing apps for mobile – 7 of the top 10 iOS and 6 of the top 10 Android apps are integrated with the platform. Facebook suggests that features like Single Sign On and Open Graph have been responsible for the phenomenal growth of apps such as iOS video sharing app Viddy, which now has more than 16 million users.

Open Graph is ‘steroids for start-ups’. Or is it?
More evidence of the impact of Facebook’s Open Graph, with the latest study looking at how Facebook helped accelerate growth for apps such as Pinterest, Viddy and Socialcam. Inside Facebook has also delved further into Viddy and Socialcam’s techniques, which seem to be pretty successful.

The risks associated with this kind of super-speed growth, and dependence on the Facebook platform, are becoming evident too, with Pinterest’s recent sharp drop in active users being put down to Facebook disabling the auto-publish function and today’s furore over the Washington Post’s and the Guardian’s decline in traffic from their social reader apps, which Martin Belam has expertly dissected.

Facebook’s new ‘action links’
Also of interest to brands, Facebook has reintroduced ‘action links’, the customisable links which provide a way for users to engage with apps more easily, increasing the viral potential of each story. Foursquare is one of the first to take advantage of the new functionality, adding a “save this place” link to check-in stories. Clicking on an action link will share a story on users Timelines. Previously, users could Like or comment on an activity or click to visit the app, but there weren’t app-specific calls to action that functioned this way.

The social (engineering) network?
Facebook’s desire to get users to share their organ donor status has come under the spotlight this week. Although some are clearly happy to sign-up  (by the end of its first day 100,000 users had registered), it does raise questions over Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Facebook and if it will continue as a platform that connects individuals or becomes one that seeks to influence them.

Twitter personalises discovering stories
Twitter will roll out  a redesign with increased personalisation of the Discover tab in the coming weeks. It will use additional signals, such as tweets that are popular amongst people you follow, to select stories to display. The new design will also show who tweeted about particular stories, adding a social context to them.

Google+ Hangouts On Air now available to users worldwide
Originally only available to selected broadcasters, Google+ has now made its Hangouts On Air feature available to all users. If you have something to say to the world you will be able to broadcast live publicly from Google+, YouTube or a website, see viewing figures, and record and share your broadcast.

Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook
On the other hand, Pinterest’s reputation as a driver of sales continues to grow. According to jewelry retailer Bottica, Pinterest drives 10% of its sales compared to 7% from Facebook. More importantly, those customers spend twice that of Facebook users. It goes to show that people perhaps really do use Pinterest to discover new products.

Foursquare partners with OpenTable to offer dinner reservations
Foursquare have launched a function to actually make a dinner reservation through their app using OpenTable. OpenTable, an online reservations service is currently available in over 15,000 places across the US, handy for users and another incentive for restaurant owners to maintain their Foursquare presence.

LinkedIn claims B2B top spot
Research from HubSpot indicates that LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B conversions. In 2011, LinkedIn generated a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.60%, on average four times higher than Twitter (0.67%) and seven times higher than Facebook (0.39%). It’s also growing faster than these two rivals but recently fell behind in monthly user activity.

Man City vs Man Utd scores a million tweets
The popularity of sporting events on Twitter continues: after the record-breaking tweet total generated by the Barcelona-Chelsea game, data from Sysomos suggests that the Manchester City vs Manchester United football match received over 1 million mentions on Twitter.

Budweiser run Zeebox dual-screen campaign for FA Cup Final
In more football news, Budweiser ran a dual-screen campaign together with Zeebox to allow users to interact with Saturday’s FA Cup Final. Most interestingly, viewers could also play a Be The Ref social game within the app, which let them enact the part of the referee or dispute decisions, and share their decisions with other friends via the app’s Facebook integration.

Nutella goes nuts over Facebook
Nutella claims that it’s Facebook ads outperformed TV in a recent campaign. Ferrero attributed 15% of sales from their Christmas campaign to Facebook, and it was also the channel that gave the highest return on investment. It’s fair to say that social media helped them spread their story.

Der Big Mäc: McDonalds Germany crowdsources burger
In celebration of it’s 40th anniversary in Germany, McDonalds will create its first crowdsourced burger. As part of the ‘Mein Burger’ campaign, fans were asked to create their own burger using an online burger-builder, name it and put it to the public’s vote. After 5 million votes were cast on over 100,000 burgers, the winner emerged as the ‘Pretzelnator’. According to McDonalds (and somewhat implausibly, considering the number of votes), 1 in 4 Germans took part in the campaign:

Baskin Robbins launches Foursquare promotion for Men In Black 3
Despite the first Men In Black movie being released over 10 years ago, marketers are hoping to cash in on the franchise’s success a third time around. One of the more interesting promotions comes in the form of a Foursquare check-in competition from Baskin Robbins, which is supported by a mobile site where consumers can register and also add Facebook check-ins or share their entries. Check-ins on either platform enter the user into a sweepstakes as well as earn them achievement badges they can share across Facebook and Twitter.

National Trust: a great British day out
The National Trust are launching a campaign that asks Facebook users to design a ‘Great British Day Out’. Aimed at targeting a younger audience, the Facebook app allows users to select a National Trust destination, choose a theme for their trip and invite friends. Facebook users can vote for the top 20 days out with the winner eventually being decided by the National Trust.

Republicans expand social media efforts with ‘Social Victory Centre’

The Republican National Committee digital team has created the ‘Social Victory Centre’ app, the first of its kind in the political sector. Working on the principle that politics is inherently social, they hope that the app will amplify natural sharing activities such as recommending articles. The app also features a ‘phone from home’ ability that allows those in non-contentious states to make calls on behalf of the RNC to attempt to persuade voters in battleground states.

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