Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Sina Weibo’.
Kakao signs up Tapjoy as the first international ad partner
Kakao, the South Korean company behind Kakao Talk, marks its first deal with a major ad space provider with global operations, Tapjoy, as reported by TNW. This allows Kakao to widen its international roster of advertisers and to bring new opportunities for developers to make money from its fast-growing Kakao Games platform.
The deal with Tapjoy is also one of Kakao’s recent efforts to broaden its influence amidst fierce competition in the Asian chat space. Kakao just recently launched KakaoHome for Android, a FacebookHome-like launcher that puts Kakao at the center of the user experience. Earlier this month, Kakao announced its collaboration with Evernote to integrate note-taking and sharing functionality into the company’s flagship messaging service, KakaoTalk.
Hootsuite Integrates Tencent Weibo
According to the latest press release of the social media management system Hootsuite, it now integrates Tencent Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging platform.
Via Hootsuite Tencent Weibo, you can:
- Search any keyword in Tencent Weibo
- Information Stream to check your homepage, mentions and your posts and favorite posts
- View retweets and comments of followers and publish your comments
- Customise information, photo and link you want to post
- Multi-account management – select the account you want to use to send written update
Indian Army is now on Facebook
After creating a Twitter account in March, according to Lighthouse Insights, the largest component of India’s Armed force is now on Facebook. The Facebook page ADGPI-Indian Army was launched on 18th of May, 2013 and has already gained a fan presence that is close to the 10k milestone.
The contents being shared in the page ranges from updating fans about the 36th Border Personnel Meeting with China to sharing booklets on Welfare Schemes for soldiers. Along with the Facebook presence, the 15k followers on the Twitter Account of Indian Army have been kept updated on the latest activities that are being carried out by the Indian Army jawans. This has been a positive and very interesting move from the Indian Army since it issued orders last year asking all personnel – both officers and other ranks – on social networking sites and also those who have not joined such sites not to do so in future. The change in perception and the cautious move from the Indian Army shows the intent to adapt to new mediums of communication to reach out to the younger generations.
Sina cuts its loss to $13.2m in Q1 2013
As reported by TNW, Sina, the firm behind China’s famous microblogging platform Sina Weibo, announced improved financial results for Q1 2013 as its net loss reduced to $13.2 million. Sina also operates a successful Internet portal business with an overall net revenue of $126 million up from $106.2 million for the same period in 2012.
Sina is forecasting Q2 2013 net revenue of between $143 million and $147 million and according to statement advertising revenue to be between $117 million and $119 million and non-GAAP non-advertising revenue to be between $26 million and $28 million.
Exposure to car brand tweets increases brand consideration
Research produced by Twitter into 1800 UK Twitter users has found that those exposed to a tweet by an automotive brand are more likely to visit their website, search for an auto-brand or engage in ‘lower-funnel’ activities, including registering for a test drive and locating a dealership. Dividing the participants into three groups: those who had been exposed to at least one automotive brand tweet and two control groups representing the average Twitter user and average internet user, they found that those in the first group were 74% more likely than the average internet user to visit the website of a car brand, 54% more likely to search for one and almost twice as likely to engage in the lower-funnel activities mentioned above.
The most talked-about brands on Facebook
Socialbakers has produced a list of the top-10 brands on Facebook by the ‘people talking about this’ metric, both in the US and on a global scale. Interestingly, New York-based ‘DealDash’ top both categories, despite a much smaller audience than other pages, suggesting that people enjoy talking about low-priced offers to an extent that even Coca Cola and Walmart cannot replicate.
Social media users attempt to perfect their persona online
Social media users seek validation from others and look to attain this through massaging the truth in their online personas, according to research from the Future Foundation. 34% of social media users agree that they hold a “strong desire” for recognition from others, which has led to certain ways of behaving online, including 68% of drinkers admitting to de-tagging themselves from at least one photo. In total, 44% agreed with the statement “I wish I could be more like the person I describe myself as on social media.”
Yahoo to purchase Tumblr for $1.1 billion
As has been rumoured for the last few days, Yahoo is set to purchase Tumblr in a deal worth $1.1 billion, as announced by both parties yesterday. For the full low down on the deal, and what effect it’s likely to have, check out our full blog post on the subject.
Facebook bringing structured updates to mobile
Facebook’s structured updates, which allow users to share how they are feeling or an activity through a set of pre-ordained emoticons, are being rolled out on mobile. Available to some desktop users since January and more widely rolled out in April, the feature is now accessible via m.facebook.com, though not yet on the platform’s iOS or Android apps. Constructing one of the new status updates will look as follows:
Then, once it’s been posted, you’ll see something like the following:
Twitter strikes deals with ESPN and Fox
Twitter is looking to grow its connection with the TV industry through two new deals with ESPN and Fox. The first will see the ESPN host highlight clips of major sporting events within its tweets, an opportunity for both rich content and mutually beneficial advertising opportunities; ESPN will sell ads within the clips and have also agreed to purchase a minimum number of ‘Promoted Products’ from Twitter. Fox, meanwhile, are set to feature show previews, recaps and more.
YouTube introduces new functionality to allow purchase of goods
Google last week announced a new ‘channel gadget’ for consumer goods brands. The plan is to allow users to seamlessly move from watching, say, a video about hair straightening, to looking at featured products, browsing retailers and checking prices and availability, then purchasing the product online. Unilever are set to be the first to use the system, for their TRESemmé haircare range.
The new Google+
Google+ has made a number of updates to its service, specifically in stream, related hashtags, hangouts and photos. The updates to stream are intended to create a more visually immersive experience across all devices, with changes including a multi-column layout, larger photos and animated elements, such as the sharebox bouncing and cards flipping or fading.
Related hashtags look to enhance your ability to enter conversations about the topics you love. So, whenever you write a post about, say, your favourite sports team, Google+ will determine what it’s about and tag it accordingly. The system can then identify and rank conversations and allow you to click on the relevant hashtag for more opportunities to browse related content.
Hangouts have been expanded as stand-alone apps on desktop, iOS and Android for sharing not just live video, but also text and photos. Additional features such as a conversation history and notifications synced across devices attempt to produce a more seamless overall experience.
Finally, photos have been upgraded with four different ‘auto’ features. Assuming permission is granted, Google+ will ‘auto-upload’ your images to the network, preventing them from being left on your phone and ensuring that they’re backed up online. ‘Auto highlight’ helps choose the best images in any given album by emphasising or de-emphasising on a number of factors, from the people and landmarks present to the quality of image or fact that it’s a duplicate. For those photos that aren’t as high quality as others, ‘auto enhance’ will fix things like the light and focus. Finally, there’s a feature called ‘auto awesome’, which looks to automatically create exciting content from the photos you upload. Say you upload in a series of similar photos, for example, Google+ will try to create an animation from them. If you post a few different family portraits, the feature will choose their best smiles and compile this into one image.
Pinterest release new brand-friendly pin
Pinterest have produced a new type of pin, which allows for additional information to be shared beneath the pin when a user clicks on it, with different variations for food, retail and films. The first will include a recipe list, the second a list of purchase locations and the third additional information such as cast, ratings etc. Whilst these pins will currently only link to an initial list of partner sites, they already include big names such as eBay, Etsy, WalMart and Netflix, and the list is certain to continue growing.
Blackberry to launch BBM on iOS and Android
Blackberry are planning to launch their ‘Blackberry Messenger’ (BBM) service on iOS and Android this summer, which will include a “social engagement platform” called ‘BBM Channels’ that is looking to connect users with their favourite brands and celebrities. According to Blackberry, BBM has more than 60 million monthly active users and over 51 million daily, with daily active users spending an average of 1.5 hours a day on the service. Around 10 billion messages are sent via the service each day, suggesting that it will be interesting to see BBM go up against competitors like WhatsApp and WeChat.
Polyvore’s success for indie fashion brands
Fashion social network Polyvore released a mentorship campaign earlier this year, aimed at promoting less well-known designers to a new audience. Judging by their latest results, it seems as though it has been a success. For example, an accessories brand named Meredith Wendell was picked up by Shopbop, a retailer owned by Amazon, with Polyvore continuing to drive 20% of sales. Shoe designer Madison Harding saw overall sales increase by 2,250%, with 70% of traffic through Polyvore. This goes to show the extent to which social engagement can be used to grow indie brands; indeed, Polyvore are planning to make the campaign a yearly affair, with a new set of designers each time.
Facebook bans ‘Social Roulette’
Social Roulette, an application that offers a 1 in 6 chance of deleting a user’s Facebook account, has been banned by the network. The idea of the game is to connect to your Facebook profile and ‘spin the barrel’. 5 out of 6 times this will just post a message on your behalf saying ‘I just played Social Roulette and survived’, but if you’re unlucky (or lucky, depending on how you look at it) the app will delete your entire Facebook presence. Or it would have done. Facebook has removed the application for ‘violating its platform policies’.
We Are Social’s ‘Tweet & Shoot’ campaign with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
We Are Social has partnered with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to create a ‘Tweet & Shoot’ campaign for BNP Paribas, sponsors of the French Open for the last 40 years. This Thursday, in the build up to Roland Garros, Tsonga will take on tennis balls fired by a machine in a secret location somewhere in France. However, this isn’t just any tennis machine; the campaign is using brand new technology that fires balls based on encoded hashtags from Twitter. Fans can enter a competition in advance to become one of 40 ‘VIP trainers’, who are guaranteed to have a ball fired and receive a ‘Tweet & Shoot’ tennis ball as a memento. Many others will also see their tweets turned into tennis shots through the system explained below:
Oakley, Sunglass Hut and Shaun White’s ‘Gold Rush’
To celebrate the launch of Oakley’s new Shaun White collection, the sunglass manufacturer has produced a Facebook campaign that encourages users to match a Shaun White quotation with one of their own Facebook pictures. The 5 photos judged by the man himself to best summarise the pictures will win a pair of gold-plated sunglasses.
We Are Social launch #beginwithabulmers
We Are Social have produced a campaign for Bulmers, encouraging the cider brand’s drinkers to share their experiences of starting off a great experience with a Bulmers, in exchange for a number of rewards throughout the summer. This includes a #beginwithabulmers Facebook app, where fans can share their ‘good times that begin with a bottle of Bulmers’ – We Are Social will also be tracking all mentions of the hashtag across Facebook and Twitter, whose volume will contribute to unlockable milestones and prize giveaways. On top of this, digital outdoor displays will display the best entries in real time across the UK, while XFM will produce a guide to what listeners are doing on Friday evening based on the campaign tweets.
Nike ask football fans to put their country first
To celebrate the launch of their first ever England shirt, Nike are producing a campaign called ‘Country First Club Second’. Running through social media, Nike will encourage fans to show pride in the new shirt, to be worn by England for the first time against the Republic of Ireland next Wednesday. The timing is certainly good, as the domestic football season draws to a close to be replaced by a number of International friendlies and World Cup qualifiers and it will be interesting to see if Nike manage to capture a wave of patriotic sentiment. The shirt itself was first shown via Twitter, with England international Jack Wilshere posting:
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) May 20, 2013
F&F and We Are Social’s ‘Seven Days of Summer’
F&F are promoting the launch of their Summer 2013 range with a ’7 Days of Summer’ campaign, created by We Are Social. Revealing a new trend each day for seven days, F&F are asking fans to upload a photo of their take on the look to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or a video via Vine. One winner from each social channel will be selected to receive a £75 voucher and the best will be featured on the ‘Inspire Me’ section of the F&F site. We Are Social’s own Deola Laniyan said:
This campaign will show off F&F’s summer collection in a lighthearted way that will appeal to fashion fans. F&F is all about making fashion affordable, and we’re looking forward to seeing how imaginative people are in pulling together their looks.
Volvic Juiced produce games for Facebook and digital billboards
We Are Social has produced a Facebook game for Volvic, in which fans attempt to align similar types of fruit in a row, incentivised by prizes including surfing and zorbing sessions. This is being supported by activity on digital billboards in Bluewater shopping centre, where fans can play a game attempting to crush virtual apples. Every player will win a bottle of the drink, whilst some will be selected for other prizes such as Frisbees, Super Soakers and underwater cameras.
Guardian celebrate 1 million followers on Twitter
UK newspaper The Guardian has reached the 1 million follower milestone on Twitterand is celebrating with a #1msides campaign, playing on the idea that there are ’1 million sides to every story’. The newspaper is looking to find out more about its followers by asking them to tweet a picture of where they are with the relevant hashtag. They also posted a Vine of their journey from ‘The Manchester Guardian’ to today:
— The Guardian (@guardian) May 15, 2013
The Guardian are lightyears ahead of their British news rivals on the platform, with even their closest rival, the FT, on 789,000 and no other paper above 300,000. Activities like this are clearly the work of a paper embracing the age of social media.
Discount for tagging on Instagram
The ‘Sweden Calling’ pop up store has offered shoppers a 5% discount for uploading a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #swedencalling, or by checking in on Facebook. The idea displays both the growing importance of Instagram, as well as a nice way for a small business to create a cheap social campaign.
Colin was here
Sky News followers were surprised last week to notice a tweet reading simply ‘Colin was here’. By the time it had been deleted and blamed on a hack, a number of others had managed to get in on the joke:
#Colin was here too
— Comment is free (@commentisfree) May 14, 2013
Colin drinks IRN-BRU.
— New From IRN-BRU (@NewFromIRNBRU) May 14, 2013
Has anyone seen Colin?
— Nando’s (@NandosUK) May 14, 2013
An interesting method of dealing with complaints
‘Amy’s Baking Company’ from Arizona last week gave an absolute masterclass in how not to deal with complaints online. Having featured on an episode of ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’ in which the chef claimed they were beyond help (see clips from the showhere), ABC received a number of complaints on social. They responded in the most vitriolic fashion, including posts like:
Eventually, they released a statement claiming that all of their online presences had been hacked simultaneously, but never fear! They had the FBI on the case.
Their comments, naturally, led to a huge response from trolls, including many coming in from Reddit. The number 1 response to their FBI tweet? This.
Alibaba invests $294M in China’s top online mapping company AutoNavi
Two weeks after taking an 18 percent stake in Sina Weibo, China’s biggest e-commerce company has announced another investment of $294 million in AutoNavi. This investment will take up 28 percent shares of the company. AutoNavi is China’s top online mapping company, beating search giant Baidu and even Google Maps in terms of mobile maps market share in China. As an industry leader, AutoNavi seems to be a perfect partner for Alibaba in seeking opportunities to explore and develop new location-based e-commerce services. It is also clear that this deal will give Alibaba access to a huge pool of consumer behavior data based on location. With Alibaba’s acquisition of the social music service Xiami last year and their more recent stake in Sina Weibo and AutoNavi, Alibaba has quickly become equipped with big social data and strategic alliances to explore a new kind of e-commerce service—one that will integrate three big things: social, mobile and location. It will be interesting to see what kind of revolutionized services Alibaba will bring out to the market in the future.
In Japan, politicians leverage Line to deepen ties with supporters
The importance of mobile messaging apps is growing. Many brands already know it and try to leverage the increasing impact of mobile messaging app to engage with their consumers. Politicians in Japan are no exception to this recent trend. According to Japan-based mobile messaging app Line, ten political parties in Japan have opened official accounts on the app. This was after the ban on the use of internet-based mediums for election campaigns (including social networks and blogs) was lifted. Line provides politicians an opportunity to engage with their supporters more directly and actively, by allowing users to opt-in to receive message from political parties, as well as leave feedback and comments on their accounts. Will this impact on the way politicians in Japan communicate with public?
IGAWorks joins KakaoTalk to increase game releases and app traffic
Korea-based mobile messaging app Kakaotalk has announced a partnership with IGAWorks, the local in-Game advertisement provider. The partnership will involve integrating IGAWorks’ adPOPcorn into Kakaotalk that will provide “in-game and in-app incentivized offers, as well as pop-up adverts that link through to social and mobile media channels.” This collaboration is intended to strengthen Kakaotalk’s video game offerings—features that have contributed to distinguishing Kakaotalk from other mobile chat apps. By allowing all game developers on Kakaotalk to access adPOPcorn, Kakaotalk is looking to create a new channel of income for video game developers and publishers. The goal is to encourage more game releases which will drive more user traffic to the app. This also reflects KakaoTalk’s desire to attract more brands as well, to tap into Kakaotalk as a mobile advertising platform.
QQ gets makeover to look like WeChat; new look upsets users
Tencent’s drastic revamp on QQ has led the chat service to resemble China’s most popular mobile chat app, WeChat. This makeover has brought out a large number of angry users. According to Techinasia, nearly 95% of people who left reviews on the newly updated QQ app have given it the lowest star rating. By contrast, the previous version of the app mostly received five-star feedback. The new look of QQ app, ungracefully called “second hand WeChat” by disgruntled users, has taken on less of a traditional IM user interface, and this is the root of most of the discontent. An indicator light that used to appear beside user contacts’ names allowing users to indicate the online or offline status of users has been taken out of the app, despite the fact that most of users found the function to be useful. In addition, the new style of chat window inspired by WeChat seems a waste of space for those who prefer QQ app as a “fast-paced conversation in one window.” Users have already expressed their stance against the new look of QQ, requiring Tencent to bring previous IM-like features back. We will wait to see how Tencent will react.
Japan’s Quan-inc partner with AIS to roll out sticker maker app “AIS myStickerShop”
Japan based mobile application maker Quan-inc has partnered with AIS, Thailand’s top mobile network operator. Quan-inc is well known for developing Lounge - a mobile messaging app with unique features of collaborative drawing and message decoration. The partnership is intended to release an app called “AIS myStickerShop”. The app allows users to create their own stickers for their mobile messaging apps. Currently, only Android users can enjoy the service. iOS users will have to wait a while for an iOS version to come out later this month. Quan Inc’s partnership with AIS could be indicative of a desire to expand their presence in Southeast Asia, as the deal with AIS may open up an opportunity to launch future apps for Singtel, Singapore’s top mobile network operator and a stakeholder in AIS.
Research by Socialbakers has revealed that 50% of the reach of a Facebook page’s posts occurs in the first half hour, and 80% in the first 3 hours. The below chart, based on a sample of 1,000 posts, displays the real-time minute-by-minute increase in reach.
Time spent on Google+ far behind Facebook
Google+ users spent an average of 6 minutes 47 seconds on the network during March, a far cry from the 6 hour 44 minute average on rival platform Facebook. Whilst this does represent growth from the 3.3 minutes spent in February 2012, in contrast to Facebook’s dip from 7 hours 9 minutes in March 2012, the rate at which G+ is catching up can be, by these figures at least, dismissed as negligible. Figures reported by Nielsen also revealed 20 million unique US users of the G+ Android and iPhone apps, a 238% increase from March 2012 and 28 million desktop users, up 63% in the same period. However, there is likely to be some crossover between the two groups. In fact, accusations have come in that Google+ is essentially a ‘desolate wasteland’, based on the activity of the top 100 global brands. According to research by Millward Brown, 40% of these posted to Google+ either infrequently or not at all, with 17 (including Nike and Pepsi) not having posted anything for over a week. McDonald’s, as shown below, have never had a single post.
How many Vines are shared
Research has been produced into how many branded Vines are shared to celebrate the app turning 100 days old. They discovered that branded Vines are shared 4x as often as branded online videos and, of the top 100 most shared, 4% of Vines were branded, compared to 1% of online videos. In total, 5 Vines are shared per second; more of these come during the weekend than the rest of the week combined. Time-wise, Vine frequency peaks from 10am-11am Eastern Time.
75% of top US retailers and restaurants are on Foursquare
Three quarters of the US top 100 retailers and top 100 restaurants are now on Foursquare, of which a full list can be found here. As for smaller businesses, over 1 million businesses have been claimed, but this includes some chain stores; only 17% have ever tried a promotion with the network. Larger businesses are seeing a positive effect from their campaigns; Bloomin’ Brands had 678 users redeem an offer for Outback stores in Richmond, VA, which gave a free appetiser for every second check in. Karen Soots, VP of media services at Bloomin’ Brands, praised the campaign’s effect, saying that if they were to do that nationwide at many restaurants over three weeks, it’s “millions of dollars in incremental revenue”.
Littlewoods collection to be sold in Facebook Newsfeed
Fashion retailer Littlewoods will be selling their latest collection within the Facebook Newsfeed. Using a system called SeeitShopit, which allows full collections to appear within a single post, it will enable fans to browse, share and purchase items from Myleene Klass’s new swimwear collection. They have since posted further ‘SeeitShopits’ about their summer collection, as shown below:
Target launch deals with Facebook
Retailer Target has produced a set of offers, which will automatically generate Facebook posts when claimed, unless the user turns this feature off. Starting with around 700 discount offers and expected to grow to 1,000, the campaign is set to be hosted on a Target website called ‘Cartwheel’. Users can claim a deal at any point, producing a unique barcode that tracks every offer they claim. This barcode is then scanned at checkout. Cartwheel works seamlessly with mobile, meaning that a discount can be claimed at any point in the process, even as you’re walking towards the checkout.
AA’s first class lounge open to those with high Klout scores
American Airlines have decided to open their ‘Admirals Club’ lounges free of charge to those with high Klout scores, regardless of whether they’re due to fly with AA. Anyone with a score of over 55 will qualify for a free one-day pass in any one of 40 airports and can take advantage of the benefits including free WiFi and beer. The campaign hopes that these people will then tweet or post to Facebook expressing their gratitude, though this is not a requirement of claiming the offer.
This week, in weird app news… introducing ‘TweetPee’, a nappy sensor plus Twitter alert that tells parents when their baby needs changing. The campaign from Brazil also allows parents to keep track of the number of Huggies they’ve used and even order online when they’re running low. The campaign is certainly a fun and innovative one – we wonder how many parents will be hooking their children’s nappies up to Twitter.
Coke zero’s #motherpiece campaign for forgetful children
Yesterday marked Mother’s Day in many countries across the world, the day of the year that celebrates children forgetting to get their mums anything. Coke Zero to the rescue! They targeted absent-minded children (particularly boys, for some reason) and asked them to tweet their best excuses with the hashtag #motherpieces, pushing the campaign through a set of promoted tweets. The best entries were then selected to send in a personal photo, with 10 classically-trained painters on hand to create a ‘motherpiece’ of the winner. If they sent in their home address, they’d also receive a framed copy. Mother’s Day salvaged.
Indonesian airlines’ presence on social media
Brand24.co.id, a social media monitoring company in Indonesia, has released an infographic as reported by TechinAsia, depicting the country’s airlines and its presence on social media. AirAsia Indonesia leads the follower count on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Local airlines’ social media presence on the other hand are not as strong, especially for LinkedIn. Garuda Airline, Indonesia’s flagship carrier, has less than half of Air Asia’s number of Facebook fans and about one-eighth of Air Asia’s total Linkedin fans. Despite the differences in follower count, online conversations and social sentiment are still far greater for the local airlines Garuda Airline and Lion Air, as compared to AirAsia Indonesia.
Sina Weibo introduces a Snapchat-inspired tool called SnapWeibo
Similar to the popular mobile app Snapchat, Sina Weibo has recently introduced SnapWeibo where users can use hashtags to make their posts vanish within a certain time period. The procedure is as simple as signing into SnapWeibo using one’s existing Weibo account details and including time-related hashtags in either English or Chinese. The hashtags can be set to minutes, hours or days such as #2m# or #5h# or #1d#. Even if the tweet gets retweeted before it’s due to disappear, the missive will later appear to be blank.
Baidu overtakes Youku-Tudou as the biggest video platform
Kakao Talk updates its Plus Friend platform to Plus Friend Home
Korean chat app, Kakao Talk is rolling out a new feature update to its existing Plus Friend feature. The initial feature was launched in October 2011 for the purpose of allowing users to interact with their favourite brands and celebrities, and currently has over 400 partners availing the feature and more than 26 million active users following 100 million Plus Friend accounts. The upgraded version, Plus Friend Home, allows brands and celebrities to have dedicated homepages and custom design tools but is currently only available in Korea. As reported by TheNextWeb, the feature upgrades will allow brands to have their mobile homepage accessible within the chat room itself, and divided into three sections – ‘mini profile’, ‘chatting room’ and ‘brand home’ – as well as the ability to add links from websites and blogs to enable free interaction within and outside the page.
Facebook report Q1 earnings & increase in monthly
Facebook has reported its earnings for Q1 2013, announcing revenue of $1.45bn, up 38% from Q1 2012. 85% of total revenue came from advertising, amounting to $1.25bn, up 43% from Q1 2012.
The network simultaneously noted an increase in Monthly Active Users (MAUs). While growth slowed down in markets like the US, Canada and Europe, MAUs were up from 901 million in Q1 2012 to 1.1bn a year later, while Daily Active Users (DAUs) increased from 526 million to 665 million in the same period.
A great deal of this growth was down to mobile. Q1 2013 saw 751 million mobile MAUs compared to 488 million the year before, while there are now 189 million Mobile Only MAUs.
Twitter appoints Cynthia Gaylor as head of corporate development
Twitter has fuelled rumours of plans for an IPO with the appointment of ex-Morgan Stanley investment banker Cynthia Gaylor, who worked on the public offerings of Facebook, LinkedIn and Zynga. In what was her first ever tweet, she said:
— cynthia gaylor (@cynthiag) May 2, 2013
Twitter was valued at $9bn after an offer to staff in January and is set to hit global ad revenue of $1bn by 2014. This, along with the above appointment, has led to speculation by The New York Times that “next big step is to go public on the stock market, and insiders say the current goal is to have an initial public offering in 2014″.
Twitter ads now available to all US users
Twitter’s self-serve ads interface, launched in March 2012, is now available to all US users. Previously accessible only by invite, Twitter has used the period to improve on a number of features, from targeting to reporting, and decided to open the self-serve platform to everyone in the US. All you need to do to gain access is visit the page at business.twitter.com and answer a few questions. There has been concern that the increased demand will lead to either a boost in the number of ads appearing in users’ streams, or the price of ads. Russ Laraway, senior director of small- and medium-sized business at Twitter, has stated that “There will be no change in the frequency with which ads show up in timelines”, though it is not clear how price will be affected.
‘Photos of You’ on Instagram
Instagram has launched ‘Photos of You’, which essentially allows Facebook-style tagging of people and brands in photos. Previously, users would @-mention one another, as if on Twitter, to perform a similar function. This form of tagging comes with another key feature: it makes a full archive of all photos someone has been tagged in that appear on that user’s profile, assuming they have given permission. To prevent privacy complaints, Instagram has built controls that allow manual selection of which photos are visible to others. The feature looks to foster increased communication between individuals, but may also be beneficial for brands to interact with each other, as well as influencers with high follower counts and normal users.
Twitter updates Vine for iOS
Twitter has produced a couple of updates for the Vine iOS app, including the ability to shoot with the front-facing camera and tag others in posts. Where it was previously only possible to shoot with the camera on the back of the phone, the screenshot below displays a small button in the bottom left of the screen that allows switching between cameras. You can also see that @-mentioning is set to work much like on Twitter, Vine’s parent platform.
Path exceeds 10 million users
Path, the social network that limits you to 150 friends, has exceeded 10 million users for the first time. After reaching 2 million in Feb 2012 and 3 million in June 2012, the figure sees a large milestone for the platform. They’ve since added a search feature in December and released version 3.0 in March this year, which supported messaging. While the number of registered users is an impressive start for Path, it will be interesting to examine how many active users they manage to retain.
Where does brands’ Pinterest engagement come from?
According to a study by Digitas and Curalate, 30% of engagement on Pinterest comes from brand accounts. The remaining 70% comes from users pinning content from outside of brands’ Pinterest accounts.
J.C. Penney asks fans to come back on social media
Last year, J.C. Penney decided to get rid of sales and coupons, focussing instead on regular, low prices. The move was a disaster and they’ve recently taken to social media in an attempt to remedy it. They took to Twitter with the hashtag #jcplistens, whereby fans were asked which changes should be kept and which reversed. The move is a nice example of a brand using social media honestly, in an attempt to connect with fans. It will be interesting to see if it helps their ailing figures.
Mountain Dew purchases promoted tweets for apology
Another example of a big brand mistake was Mountain Dew’s ‘Felicia the Goat’ advert, which was criticised as both racist and misogynistic. Last week, they purchased promoted tweets to expand the reach of their apology, letting users know that they had pulled the advert. It’s an interesting idea: on the one hand, it allows the apology to be seen by as many people as possible. However, it also provides potentially unnecessary promotion to the original issue.
Lowe’s post six-second tips on Vine
Lots of brands are using Vine. Some are doing it well, some aren’t. Hardware storeLowe’s has strongly entered the former camp with their latest campaign, using Vine to post six-second home improvement tips. The medium brings to life content that is relevant but not necessarily exciting, while the tips themselves are useful, not an unnecessary experiment with a new medium. As such, the form and content compliment one another perfectly.
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) April 21, 2013
— Lowe’s (@Lowes) April 24, 2013
Red Bull’s ‘Imaginate’ Pinterest puzzles
Red Bull is asking fans to solve Pinterest puzzles based on stunts performed by trials cyclist Danny MacAskill. Six videos will be released, each showing a different trick, which fans must watch in order to solve a puzzle on Pinterest. This involves pinning content in the correct order to create an image of MacAskill. Those who do so correctly will be entered into a draw to win signed photos of the cyclist.
Hugh Jackman answers Wolverine questions
To promote the upcoming release of ‘The Wolverine’, in which he plays the title character, Hugh Jackman answered the Twitter questions of 11 fans in a series of YouTube videos. He also tweeted the answers and posted links to the videos from his official @RealHughJackman account. This is the latest in a series of social stunts around the film, including a 6-second ‘Tweaser’ released through Twitter’s Vine app.
Alibaba buys US$586 million stake in Sina Weibo
As part of its push into social media, Alibaba (China’s top e-commerce company) has purchased an 18% stake in Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-esque service with a userbase in excess of 500 million. The deal gives Alibaba the option to increase its stake in Sina Weibo to 30% and is expected to rake in revenue of about US$380 million within the next 3 years. Sina Weibo users can expect more e-commerce offerings in the coming months
Line to launch toy smartphone for kids
Japanese chat app, Line, clearly believes in starting young. Shortly after launching its own cartoon series, Line is expected to launch a toy smartphone priced at US$70 on August 8. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, children will be able to send stamps and messages when two toy Line phones are in contact.
Top brands on social media in ASEAN
Thailand-based social analytics firm, Zocialinc, has released an infographic ranking best-performing brands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram in Southeast Asia. The coverage is largely focused on Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and seems to penalize brands that may not have an active presence on all four networks even though they may be doing very well on their network of choice. The full infographic includes interesting insights into user behaviour on the different social networks.
(click through for the full infographic)
Swedish food supplier uses Instagram as Asian food education tool
Want to learn about Asian food? Upload a picture of the dish to Instagram and hashtag #askctfood or tag @AskCTFood and receive details on how to prepare them. The catch? This service is only available in Swedish, as this app was built by Swedish food supplier CT Food.
UK photo sharing users to lose rights to uploaded photos
Changes to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act has resulted in an overnight loss of rights by amateur and professional illustrators and photographers to work that they’ve uploaded to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. The Act contains changes UK copyright law which allow commercial use of images deemed “orphan works”, ie. where information identifying the owner is missing. The far-reaching consequences is that millions of photos are at risk since metadata is often stripped from the photos when they’re uploaded. As if that isn’t bad enough, the Act allows for sub-licensing, which allows wholesale of work by someone who has it, without paying the originator a single penny. Penny for your thoughts!
New layout for pages on Facebook mobile
Facebook has updated the way pages appear on mobile, citing a number of benefits for users and page owners. For the former, they note a ‘cleaner, simpler look’, with relevant information such as photos and location positioned alongside interaction buttons at the top of the page. These seem to constitute benefits for page owners too, who will look to benefit from higher engagement as a result of the changes. They’re also set to be provided with the ability to pin important posts and a streamlined management tool. To see how the changes will appear for different users, see the image below:
Twitter testing two-factor authentication
Twitter has begun testing two-factor authentication, in a move that looks to prevent a continuation of the high-profile hackings that have happened recently. From the Associated Press to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, a number of large, verified accounts have been taken over, posting strange and often embarrassing content. Whilst two-factor authentication would be unlikely to be rolled out universally for the sake of avoiding hassle on smaller, personal accounts, it would likely be a welcome move for brands and public figures. Both Google and Facebook already offer a similar system.
LinkedIn launch ‘Contacts’
LinkedIn have introduced a new service called ‘Contacts’. Essentially, it takes details of contacts from various areas of your phone or computer, including email accounts, calendars and address books and compiles them in one place, allowing you to interact with people more easily and maintain important relationships. The service will be launched both on the LinkedIn platform and as a standalone mobile app. The full details are contained in the following slides:
Tumblr introduce in-stream mobile ads
For the first time, Tumblr will include ads on mobile that look like normal posts. Previously, adverts only appeared in “Radar”, where now mobile users will see up to 4 ads per day in the home stream. With collaborators including GE, Warner Bros and ABC, Tumblr are really set to bulk up their advertising revenue, but claim to be devoted to maintaining the current Tumblr experience. Head of sales Lee Brown has stated that:
This mobile advertising opportunity is native to how our consumers experience content on our apps; as a continuous stream.
Advertised posts will be differentiated from others with a $ symbol. Tumblr have stated that, the move will ultimately expand to desktop, but there is no timeframe given as yet.
Budweiser’s ‘buddy cup’ app
Budweiser’s new campaign looks to play on the emotional connection created by touching cups during a shared beer. Their new ‘buddy cups’ link to Facebook, so that you can become friends with someone on the network by tapping cups with one another. Now when you drunkenly agree to add someone on Facebook, you won’t have until the morning to change your mind.
Nike PHOTOiD and Instagram
For the past few years, Nike iD has allowed create their own, customised clothing from a range of colours. Now, the sportswear brand is taking it one step further, linking with Instagram to launch ‘PHOTOiD’, a tool that designs clothing based on the colours of your favourite Instagram photos. It’s certainly a novel idea and it will be interesting to see the extent to which people are willing to use a system like this. Here are some examples that have already been made:
Photograph an advert for free Weetabix biscuits
Weetabix are looking to take advantage of ‘dual screening’ behaviours with their new #takethebiscuit campaign, which asks for fans to take a photograph of their latest TV advert. Fans can then show their picture at a branch of Boots to pick up a free breakfast biscuit. Whilst the idea is an interesting one, it did have a couple of problems. The barrier to entry is quite high and, according to reports, some Boots stores were unaware the campaign was happening. You can see the advert below in all its glory, complete with #takethebiscuit hashtag to encourage Twitter conversation.
We Are Social’s design campaign for Kleenex
We Are Social have launched a competition to design the new Kleenex Box, partnering with internationally-renowned designer Kelly Hoppen to create a brief asking young creative talent to decorate the box in their own style. Using Talenthouse to collect entries, the final decision will then be made by Kleenex’s Facebook community, who will vote on which design gets made into the next tissue box.
Urban Outfitters and Converse’s joint Vine competition
Fashion retailer UO and trainer brand Converse have partnered to produce a competition on Vine, which asks fans to post a video of ‘A day in the life of your Converse’ for the opportunity to win $1500 in UO gift cards, 10 pairs of trainers and 2 different music related trips, in San Francisco and Brooklyn respectively. Whilst a number of brands have started using Vine to produce content, this is one of the first examples of a more in-depth campaign usage.
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 17, 2013
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) April 17, 2013
Guided Twitter tour by the Tate Modern
To highlight a new Roy Lichtenstein exhibition, the Tate Modern produced a guided tour on Twitter. A museum curator spent half an hour tweeting images and information about the artist’s work, allowing those who would be otherwise unable to attend the museum to interact with the content in a meaningful way.
Evans support ‘golden bikes’ activity on Twitter
UK bike shop Evans Cycles have partnered with record-holding British Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy for a campaign called ‘Hoy’s Golden Bikes’, for which the Olympian has hidden 3 gold coloured bicycles around the country. Whoever finds them can trade one in for a brand new bike of their own, worth £1000. They’re supporting the activity on Twitter, with clues coming both from the official @chrishoy account and via the hashtag #hoyshiddenbikes.
China’s Ya’an earthquake: How social media helped
The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that jolted southwest China’s Sichuan Province Saturday morning shook the nation, reminding many of the Wenchuan disaster that happened in the same province in 2008. While social media was not widely used during the 2008 earthquake, this time, Chinese social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, Baidu, SoSo and 360 have responded with a homepage search function for people who are looking for their lost family and friends.
For example, Sina Weibo created a hashtag “#ya’an person finder#” for the earthquake. Anyone affected by the earthquake can post their information in the format “#ya’an person finder# + victim’s information + family’s contact details”. The post below shows a Tencent Weibo post by an earthquake victim to let his concerned family know that he is safe:
Last year, we observed Sina Weibo playing its role as a crucial lifeline in the Beijing floods. Increasingly, social media becomes the go-to channel for people to communicate with family and friends in times of disaster. Celebrities, media, and telecom companies are also helping with rescue efforts by pushing out information on social media channels. To pay tribute, Sina Weibo mourned along with the sufferers by changing the whole page black and white.
Sina Weibo launches new layout for traditional media
As Wechat continues its rise in the social media scene, competitor platforms such as Sina Weibo are quick to respond with new functions. It has launched a special layout for traditional media pages, such as the one for People’s Daily as shown below:
In the media edition, posts will now feature a news thumbnail, headline and a summary. Moreover, it is reported that the posts can be targeted based on different audience segments. Similar to Wechat, news updates on Sina Weibo will be based on users’ stated preferences then delivered to them via private messages (私信). Will this be enough to compete with Wechat?
Indonesian President joins Twitter with over 700,000 followers
As reported by Tech in Asia, yet another world leader has joined social media. Last week, Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (also known as SBY) opened a Twitter account. Since his first presidential tweet, his handle, @SBYudhoyono, has gained over 700,000 followers.
Indonesia has one of the largest Twitter user populations in the world, so it is great to see that it is being used as a platform for the president to better interact with the Indonesian people in real-time. Among his 27 tweets so far, the Indonesian president also responded to a few Indonesian citizens asking about plans to develop Indonesia’s poorest region, Papua. With several global leaders also engaging their citizens on Twitter, will Yudhoyono eventually be one of the most active world leaders on social media?
The value of a Facebook fan
The average value of a Facebook fan has risen by 28% to $174 since 2010, according to a study by Syncapse of 2,000 US residents in January and February 2013. The research compared fans and non-fans in a number of topics, including product spending, brand loyalty, propensity to recommend, media value, cost of acquisition and brand affinity, in order to come up with a monetary value of the average fan. It’s worth noting that there are huge behavioural differences between fans and non-fans in terms of social media, with 2/3 of the former group also fans of more than 10 brand pages. 3/4 are likely to share a good brand experience with Facebook friends and 2/3 a bad one.
Questions on Facebook brand pages increase by 30%
From Q4 2012 to Q1 2013, the number of questions asked on Facebook brand pages has increased by 30%, from 953,000 to 1.2 million. This is accompanied by a 49% increase in answers, from 499,000 to 744,000, suggesting that brands are catching up with the necessity of responding via social media. In fact, the percentage of queries that receive a response is up in every sector; Finance are leading the way with 80%, followed by airlines with just below 80%, whilst alcohol brands prop up the other end of the table with under 40%. Despite this, the time it takes for brands to respond has spiked in the last quarter, bucking a decreasing trend. Down from 20.9 hours in Q2 2012 to 19.5 in Q3 and 13.7 in Q4, the waiting time shot back up to 22.6 hours in Q1.
New Facebook app for iPhone and iPad
Facebook has launched a new Facebook app for iPhone and iPad. Major new features include stickers, chat heads, an updated news feed and some changes to photos. Stickers are basically large emoticons; these may present a revenue stream in future with an announced ‘sticker store’, but are currently free. Chat heads, previously announced in ‘Facebook Home’ for Android, will allow users to keep on top of chats wherever they are in the app. The updated News Feed and filters, allowing users to organise what they see depending on whether it was posted by certain friends or people they follow, have been integrated, whilst a couple of photo filters have been added, along with a ‘shared photos’ album containing any images you have sent to particular friends.
Facebook’s Ads API allows cost-per-action pricing
Facebook has announced a new method of pricing available through its Ads API, which allows advertisers to choose their favoured action and set a maximum price per action of that type. This means that, rather than limiting budget to ‘price per click’ or similar, brands can choose the action that they value the most and allot spending accordingly. The system is currently available for page likes, link clicks and offer claims, but is likely to expand further in future.
Facebook set to price video ads at $1 million
Despite being yet to finalise the format for its upcoming video ads, Facebook are reportedly asking for $1 million per day from advertisers to use the system. The adverts, set to be introduced in June or July, will play automatically within the desktop version of Facebook. Four broad demographics have been identified: under-30s and over-30s, divided in turn by gender, with each of these intended to see no more than 3 adverts per day. If Facebook can achieve their asking price, this could serve to be lucrative business for them; however, it’s far from a forgone conclusion that they will succeed in doing so.
Facebook experimenting with ‘Tap to Call’ functionality?
Facebook has reportedly been in talks with ‘tap to call’ vendors RingRevenue, Freespree and Synclio, with a view to integrating the functionality to ‘Home’ and its mobile app. ‘Tap to Call’ functionality would allow a button within adverts that users could click to instantly call the brand advertised. If done right, this could see a world of advertising opportunities on Facebook, with the idea already working wonders for Google. However, there are a couple of counterpoints; critics have wondered about how the service may be impacted by the fact that Facebook ads are currently targeted by interests, rather than intent, and how cautious the network is likely to be with the service, potentially more useful for interacting with friends than advertising.
Facebook’s TV ad for ‘Home’
Hot on the heels of their first TV advert, Facebook have produced another, this time starring Mark Zuckerberg himself. The video, below, shows Facebook’s CEO giving a speech to the engineers who built ‘Home’, until one of them drifts off into the imaginary world of the service itself.
Positive tweets directly linked to sales
A study presented by Deloitte at last week’s Twitter4Brands event in London found that not only does Twitter produce valuable word of mouth advertising, but that positive tweets directly drive sales. One case study was particularly illuminating: that of EA Games and their world-famous title ‘FIFA 13′, which concluded that a 30% increase in positive tweets was more effective in driving sales than a 30% increase in above-the-line advertising. By tweeting about major events they were able to get people talking about the game at the same time as football in general. For example, they launched a giveaway under #86messi when the Argentinian star’s 86th goal broke the record for most times scored in a year, and saw the hashtag mentioned over 50,000 times.
Twitter launch #Music app
Last week, Twitter launched their new #Music app, a platform for fans to locate new music through the social network. Available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, it is divided into four sections: ‘suggested’, ‘popular’, ‘now playing’ and ‘emerging’. The first three are fairly self explanatory: ‘suggested’ and ‘popular’ suggest artists and tracks based in turn on what you follow and what’s trending, whilst ‘now playing’ allows your friends to see what you’re listening to. ‘Emerging’ is particularly interesting, allowing users to find new music through an algorithm that locates music that might not be too well known. Currently, the system seems designed at increasing conversation around music, but there may be opportunity for advertising from record labels and sponsorship.
Twitter introduce keyword targeting to Ads API
Twitter has bulked up its Ads API with the introduction of ‘keyword targeting’, allowing advertisers to target users based on specific words in their Tweets. The key benefit is that this will allow the targeting of intent; Twitter themselves have given an example based on a touring band, whereby the band’s management can target tweets at those who have mentioned them, letting them know that the band are playing in their area. This is a signifcant contribution to Twitter’s increasingly profitable advertising base: eMarketer have predicted that they will make $582.8 million in 2013 and nearly $1 billion in 2014, on the back of $288.3 million in 2012.
Twitter partner with BBC America for branded video
Twitter has launched a partnership with BBC America, looking to expand its branded video output. Video clips will appear in-stream when users click on a Tweet. Having already done so with sports for NCAA’s ‘March Madness’ basketball event (shown below), this represents the first time that such a link has existed for entertainment television.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 29, 2013
WhatsApp is bigger than Twitter
According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the service now has more than 200-million users, making it a larger overall network than Twitter. Moreover, it is being employed heavily by those users, with 8 billion inbound and 12 billion outbound messages every day and no reported drop off since its decision to charge $0.99 a year. With competition growing from Chinese rival WeChat and its 300 million users, of whom 40 million live outside of China, it will be interesting to see how WhatsApp’s growth continues going forward.
New LinkedIn app for iPhone and Android
LinkedIn has majorly updated its iPhone and Android apps for the first time in nearly two years, with a vast overhaul of the activity stream and navigation systems, as well as the introduction of ads. The personalised activity stream is now sleeker, with more visual content, much like the updates that have been made to recent Facebook mobile apps. From here, users can simply swipe the left side of the screen to navigate around the app, creating a more well-rounded overall experience. Adverts will see the network attempt to monetise its success on mobile, in the form of sponsored content within the stream. More detail on the app can be found in the below video:
Google+ comments now visible on Blogger
Those using ‘Blogger’ to update their blog can now integrate Google+ Comments with other responses to their posts. Google have cited the benefits to this, including more straightforward comment management, as well as the ability for readers to filter blog comments, leading to more meaningful engagement and potentially higher traffic as a result. Bloggers can turn on the system, shown below, by selecting ‘Use Google+ Comments’ in the Google+ tab of the Blogger dashboard.
Twitter donates trending spot to #OneBoston
In the wake of the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon, Twitter donated the top promoted spot, free of charge, to the hashtag #OneBoston. As people used the hashtag to send messages of respect and condolence, or even in some cases to encourage charitable donations, the social network released the below tweet:
We’ve provided the City of Boston the Promoted Trend today free of charge through Twitter Ads for Good. Learn more: bit.ly/171q0O9
— Twitter Good (@TwitterGood) April 16, 2013
We Are Social win The Outnet account for social media
The Outnet, discount fashion website owned by Net-A-Porter, has appointed We Are Social as its worldwide social media agency. The company, which previously managed its social media in-house, has 411,000 likes on Facebook and 103,000 followers on Twitter, communities which will be key to We Are Social’s initial focus on “social listening and reporting”, followed by strategic recommendations, content production, audience engagement and creative campaigns. We Are Social US’s managing director Leila Thabet said:
The Outnet is well placed to innovate in social media due to its unique position in the discount luxury market. We’ll leverage our fashion experience to develop a social strategy together, and constantly look to The Outnet fans and shoppers to shape how we create content, position the brand and devise campaigns.
Samsung end Anonymous reviews under Taiwan Fair Trade investigation
Samsung has brought an end to its anonymous online reviews due to an investigation by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission into whether it was paying for fake positive reviews of its own devices and negative of its competitors. The charges, if found to be in breach of fair trade regulations, could see penalties of up to $837,000 per incident. If found to be guilty of criminal charges of defamation, each charge could lead to a 2 year jail sentence. Samsung has stated its commitment to transparent and honest communication, stating that the situation “occurred due to insufficient understanding of these fundamental principles”.
Epicurious posts insensitive Boston tweets
As many took to Twitter to discuss the tragic events at the Boston Marathon, Epicurious posted tweets suggesting whole-grain cranberry scones “in honor” of the city. The two tweets shown below received a huge backlash from offended Twitter users, eventually prompting the following apology: “Our food tweets this morning were, frankly, insensitive. Our deepest, sincere apologies.” Epicurious is another in a line of brands coming across as “insensitive” at the very least when posting about tragedies. This should act a lesson for brands about keeping your mouth shut when you have no right to enter a conversation.
In US and Europe, more tweets come from mobile than PC
The increasing adoption of mobile web has continued to have a significant impact on the online behaviour of internet users. Using a study conducted by Strategy Analytics, TheNextWeb proves that this has clearly remained a trend amongst Twitter users as well. The survey compared how 6,500 Twitter users in the US and Europe used the platform between March and October of 2012. The findings showed that mobile users increased from 56% to 71% during the period. Of these users, mobile phone users increased from 53% to 64%, while tablet users doubled from 9% to 18% of the respondents. Meanwhile, users who tweeted through desktop or laptop computers declined considerably, from 77% down to 64%. TheNextWeb notes that this trend may continue to unfold given the sharp drop in PC sales in the last year.
Urban netizens in China have a vast appetite for digital content
A recent report by eMarketer suggests that a vast majority of netizens in metro China are keen on digital content consumption. Based on a survey by KPMG, the findings indicate that social networking and streamed music constitute the highest share of digital activities, each claiming a response rate of 72%. These activities are followed by downloaded music (68%), streamed online films (67%) and accessed news (61%).
In fact, internet users in metro China surpassed those in other metropolitan areas across the globe when it came to music and international news. The highest number of respondents indicated they had accessed music content in urban China (77%), followed close behind by metro Brazil (75%). While 69% of internet users in urban China accessed international news through digital media, Singapore came second–this time at a considerable margin of 58%.
Spotify launches in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong
According to TechInAsia, Spotify has launched in three markets across Asia: Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. As these are the first steps into the region for the music streaming giant, many questions were abound regarding the decision to come into these Asian markets. After all, the platform already claims 24 million active users across 23 different markets, with a whopping total of one billion playlists created. Spotify’s Sriram Krishnan indicated that Asia had actually been in sight all along–it only took a while to launch in the region because they had to tune it correctly “for this part of the world.” Although Spotify will face a local competitor called KKBOX, TechInAsia notes that Chinese-language music constitute the majority amongst the songs offered by the Taiwanese platform.
Smartphones help drive users to Facebook in US
A recent study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) has illustrated how smartphones are encouraging Facebook users to visit the platform more often than before. As noted by eMarketer, the findings suggest that 74% of the respondents in the 18-24 age bracket used their smartphones immediately upon waking up in the morning. A whopping 89% of the participants claimed to use their smartphones within the first 15 minutes of their day. The overall results amongst all of the respondents show that the numbers did decrease but only slightly. Even amongst the 18-44 age bracket, 62% of the participants reported using their smartphones immediately, with 79% of smartphone users taking to their devices within 15 minutes of waking.
IDC also found that amongst these smartphone users, Facebook usage through mobile constitutes an average daily engagement time of 32.5 minutes overall. Over half of these minutes are spent checking their newsfeeds (16.4), while 9.5 minutes are spent messaging and 6.6 minutes are spent on photos or photo statuses every day. The total number of sessions averaged 13.8, with Newsfeed claiming the top spot again with an average of 7 sessions. Messaging similarly came in second with 4.1 sessions, while photo/photo status averaged 2.7 sessions per day.
Sina Weibo enters Thailand, aims to reach 1.6M users by year end
TechInAsia recently reported that Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo has made strides toward entering the Thai market. To this end, Sina Weibo has partnered up with Jiaranai Entertainment, a local company, and set some lofty goals for their expansion into Thailand. In particular, Sina Weibo aims to earn $1 million in revenue, and acquire 1.6 million active users by the end of their first year in the market. On one hand, Thailand is a popular destination amongst Chinese tourists; as TechInAsia notes, however, this hardly supports the venture on its own, not to mention the ambitious goals set forth within the short span of a year. Given Twitter’s presence in Thailand, as well as the increasing reach of (and possible displacement by) chat apps, Sina Weibo may be facing an uphill battle–one that is much steeper than they had anticipated.
VNG launches microblogging platform in Vietnam
The creators of Vietnamese chat app, Zalo, have recently launched microblogging platform Zing.vn. This news comes shortly after the company announced reaching 1 million users on their chat app last month. VNG also created the local social network Zing Me, which is reported to have about 12 million users. Zing.vn puts a heavy emphasis on hashtags, mirroring the traits of other well-known microblogging platforms such as Twitter and Sina Weibo. With a chat app, a social network and the launch of Zing.vn, VNG seems to complete a social trifecta of sorts in the Vietnamese market.
Finland-based chat app Jongla expands in Asia
Asian chat apps have continued to dominate in mobile apps this year, particularly in the APAC region. Foreign chat apps have also come into the chat app scene in Asia, and are seeing significant levels of success in the local markets. TechInAsia reports that Finland-based chat app, Jongla, has recently moved into Asian markets with an eye to increase their reach across the region. Although Jongla’s users are marginal compared to reigning giants such as WeChat, it is noted that they have seen increasing user bases in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia.
China’s QQ launches as a Facebook app
QQ messenger is the top social network in China. With almost 800 million users, it seems likely to reach a billion-user milestone–an achievement that Facebook reached only late last year. TechInAsia reports that, to this end, QQ has launched as a Facebook app with an eye to increase their user base further across the globe.
Smartphone users check Facebook 14 times a day
Are you a Facebook addict? Unless you check it more than 14 times a day on your smartphone, you actually fall below the daily average – no wonder Facebook is the third most popular app on smartphones! Channels of communication are now a constant in our lives which explains the fact that 79 per cent of smartphone users check their devices within 15 minutes of waking up – 62 per cent don’t even wait 15 minutes in the morning, and grab their phones immediately. The world’s addiction to Facebook is growing with almost half of Facebook users checking on updates while out and about – we’re even checking in at the gym, whilst cooking and at the cinema…
Facebook is still the dominant social media network in the UK
The latest Ipsos Mori quarterly tech tracker report showed that “50% of British adults access social networks”, with over half of them using smartphones to do so. Nearly 50% have used Facebook in the last three months, compared to 16% using Twitter, and perhaps surprisingly, 17% using Google+.
Online video accounts for 5% of all UK Internet usage
The UK population “made over a billion visits to video sites last month”, accounting for 5% of the UK’s internet usage. In February 2013 the UK spent 323 million hours watching online video content, that’s 100 million more hours than in February 2012. This makes it one of the few sectors that people are increasingly spending time on per visit. The average visit time online has decreased by 20% year-on-year, yet online video average visit time has increased by just over 3 minutes.
Hashtags have changed the way people communicate
“Hashtags have become one of the most ubiquitous symbols used in social sharing” by brands and consumers. Research conducted by RadiumOne into mobile hashtag usage revealed a large number of consumers now utilise hashtags via mobile devices. In fact “58% of respondents from the survey utilize hashtags on a regular basis, and 71 percent of regular hashtag users do so from their mobile devices.”
Twitter’s ad revenue to near $1 billion in 2014
It has been forecast by eMarketer that Twitter will earn $582.8 million in global ad revenue in 2013, with roughly 53% of that projected to come from mobile advertising. Over the next 24 months Twitter should expect to see advertising on mobile devices grow a great deal more, increasing Twitter’s ad revenue to $1 billion in 2014. This “comes as advertisers have shown more interest in spending money on mobile advertisements on Twitter.”
Details about Facebook Home for Android leaked
Facebook are due to make announcements this Thursday about their new offering for Android, however aspects of this have been leaked ahead of time. It is believed that Facebook will release a modified version of the Android operating system, a new product called ‘Facebook Home’, “software that any Android device can run to give users a more socially integrated homescreen experience.” The updated version is thought to include features from News Feed and Messenger and will be running on “a new device by Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC”.
Advertisers can now create ‘unpublished posts’ on Facebook
Facebook has now given advertisers the option to create unpublished posts which can then be supported with specifically targeted ads and will not appear in fans News Feeds organically. Due to the nature of the News Feed this has not been possible until now as previously a page was required to create posts that would be visible to fans. “Unpublished posts that run as page post ads in News Feed will now enable advertisers to show users more relevant content[...] taking a message that matters to the people it’s relevant to in the most engaging place on Facebook.” In tests, AdParlor found that unpublished post ads had initial success, with 0.87% clickthrough rate compared to “organic post ads with a CTR of 0.30 percent.”
Facebook Exchange ads in desktop News Feed
Facebook have made changes to the way their Facebook Exchange partners can advertise on the site, “by letting advertisers serve ads directly in users’ main News Feed.” The ads will look like normal sponsored newsfeed stories rather than display ads, allowing “users to Like, Share or Comment on an ad, whereas previously users could only click on the ad and be taken to a third-party site.” The placement of Facebook Exchange ads in the News Feed will allow advertisers to behaviourally target huge numbers of users using a ‘native’ format.
Embed your Vine posts on the web
It is now possible to embed Vine posts on the web through a post’s page on vine.co, or using the mobile app. You’ll not only be able to share your own posts but others as well, as long as its already been shared outside of Vine.co.
Tumblr hits the 100 million blogs mark
Tumblr, last week crossed over the 100 million blogs threshold, with 44.6 billion individual posts! The online platform has grown significantly in the last year, with roughly 50 million blogs being created since last April, and 6 million of those being created in the last month.
LinkedIn search is getting smarter
Gone are the days of searching for people, groups, companies and jobs separately, now “all you need to do is type what you’re looking for into the search box and you’ll see a comprehensive page of results that pulls content from all across LinkedIn.” All searches will be customised to your personal profile, so no two searches will produce the same results. The smarter search will be available to members today and to global members in the coming weeks.
Google+ gets a refresh for Android and iPhone
Google+ functionalities that have been available on desktop have now been rolled out for mobile. The Google+ app has been updated to include basic image editing tools using Snapseed’s technology, e.g. crop, rotate, change contrast, saturation, brightness and filters. The view of posts has been updated to include more text as well as single tap links to photos and videos, enabling users to read more content in a shorted period of time. A really nice addition is the ability to swipe through an entire photo album inline, without having to head over to a separate album page. Additionally, the +1, share and comment buttons are more prominent.
Amazon has acquired Goodreads in a bid to further socialise itself
Between the two platforms, Amazon and Goodreads have changed the way authors reach their audiences and readers choose books. It is thought that through last week’s acquisition of Goodreads, the world’s largest community for book recommendations, Amazon will develop its ability” to share users lists, e.g. “want to read”, improving book recommendation sharing and other such areas.
AT&T owned March Madness Twitter activity
It could be said that AT&T are this year owning March Madness, the US college basketball frenzy, as part of a sponsorship deal with the NCAA and Turner Broadcasting. AT&T have “continuously bought ads for tweets going out from @MarchMadness, NCAA’s handle.” The social media team worked towards providing “behind-the-scenes content so people from their living rooms on their couches can be a part of the on-site game experience.” A Twitter based programme was implemented incorporating key moment tweets from the @MarchMadness handle which were then pushed out at Promoted Tweets by AT&T and AT&T’s Promoted Trend ads which linked to television viewing. The Promoted Trend rather than just Promoted Tweets really helped AT&T rise above the other noise.
Buick uses Pinterest to design its 2013 Encore luxury car
Buick have designed its 2013 Encore luxury car based on a Pinterest board chosen from its ‘Pinterest to Dashboard’ campaign entries. The winner, Michael Wurm Jr., was picked as the inspiration for new color palates, textures and design features for the car. Using the boards, three designers “pulled key elements from his boards that they thought were interesting[...] and came up with their own interpretations of the boards, and expanded on it based on mood, a theme and an environment. Buick wanted to “connect with a younger audience and show a different, more playful side of the brand.”
We Are Social launches adidas: Join Team Messi
The We Are Social London office worked alongside adidas and Media Monks to launch a new personalised social experience, Join Team Messi last week, giving Messi fans the chance to join his team.
The online experience use Facebook data to place fans in a personalised short film alongside the Argentine icon, with the user controlling how play evolves, and at the end are given a trailer of their experience, personalised to the user to share with friends.
BrewDog to launch its first Twitter beer
In a bid to slake the thirst of tweeters, BrewDog will be designing the ‘first democratically designed beer‘ and all major decisions will be handed over to social media users. Votes determining all elements of #Mashtag brew will be cast via Twitter, Facebook and the BrewDog blog, with BrewDog “giving up the important brewing decisions to fans, customers and any who wants to learn more about the craft beer process.”
Red Bull Editions launched by We Are Social
Last week We Are Social launched a campaign around Red Bull’s three new flavours, creating a collaborative art project to bring to life the colours of the three Editions through the lens of Instagram. Red Bull fans are encouraged to share photos on Instagram with the hashtags #rededitionplease, #silvereditionplease and #blueeditionplease, and include @redbulluk to enter. If the users Instagram makes it into the Red Bull gallery they could, qualify for a can of Red Bull Editions, or even have their Instagram showcased in cities across the UK. The campaign is going swimmingly so far, but don’t miss out on the chance to be part of it.
Doritos use Vine to get creative
Doritos used vine to share clips of the Mariachi band from their current campaign asking their community to guess the name of the song to win Easter prizes. It was a really innovative way of using the platform. Bravo Doritos!
— Doritos (@doritosuk) March 26, 2013
The first film to be previewed on Vine
Six days before the official trailer was released, a ‘tweaser’ of the new Wolverine movie was shared on Vine by the film’s director, James Mangold. This is a huge win for the app in terms of placing itself as a player in the social media ring.
The tweaser. vine.co/v/bDExaiMjJ1F
— James Mangold (@mang0ld) March 25, 2013
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the true number of users on Sina Weibo. The author discusses a study conducted by researchers at Hong Kong University that was based on a sample of roughly 30,000 users.
The results were quite surprising: 57% of the user studied had no posts at all in their timeline, while almost 87% made no posts during the seven-day study.
These results led the author to conclude that a significant number of Sina Weibo users are “just ‘lurking’”.
Based on my personal experience with Sina Weibo, I agree that many users are not actively creating content on their Weibo accounts; however, this does not mean that they are not doing anything useful on Sina Weibo, nor that they are of no value to brands.
In fact, Sina Weibo’s quieter users may be quite different from the ‘lurkers’ or zombie accounts on other platforms like Twitter, in part because of the technicalities of the Chinese language.
Sina Weibo has the same 140-character limit as Twitter, but 140 characters in Chinese can contain far more information than the same number of characters in English.
Collectively, these short Chinese language posts can consist of three or four sentences, and provide enough content to tell a story or a piece of news on a single weibo post. In contrast, there is usually only enough space for one sentence plus a link in a tweet in English.
As a result, Weibo users can gain a sufficient amount of information simply from reading the posts in their Weibo feed, without even having to click through to any external linked content.
For this reason, many people use Weibo as a customised news portal that allows them convenient access to real-time updates across a variety of topics, and from a variety of sources, all in a single feed.
They may not contribute to this feed themselves, but nonetheless, they take a considerable amount of value away from their experiences.
Another interesting fact is that many ‘lurkers’ on Sina Weibo are not perennial ‘lurkers’. Indeed, our research indicates that it’s relatively common to find users who are quite active during a given period of time, but become ‘lurkers’ at times when they have less time to participate in more creative Weibo activities.
It may be discouraging for brands to find that active engagement is comparatively low on their Weibo accounts, but a lack of ‘creative’ activity is not necessarily a sign that things aren’t working.
People may well go on to read links included in posts without reposting, or may choose to share them in other ways in different contexts (e.g. via more intimate conversations in platforms like WeChat).
This highlights the need for marketers and observers to understand the benefits that their audiences take out of social interactions, rather than analysing social platforms with the same metrics that they’d use to evaluate a traditional advertising medium.
Our advice for brands that find themselves in a situation of lower engagement is to explore a more ‘irresistible’ content strategy that encourages ‘lurkers’ to become more active users.
Part of this will involve experimenting with different approaches to understand what those audiences want and expect, and working with the more active members of the community to build dynamic conversations that draw other users into the action.
Most importantly, though, it’s about moving away from product-centric updates, and understanding how brands can add real value to their audience.