Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Sina Weibo’.
Sina Weibo now has another 2.5 million daily active users
Last quarter was a successful one for Sina, with an additional 2.5 million daily active users. The number of users increased by 4.2% from 58.9 million in September to 61.4 million in December.
WeChat launches Mac app
A web version of WeChat is already available for users to chat on their PCs but there will now be a desktop Mac client – in both English and Chinese. Users need to have Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and above to install the client, and scan a QR code to sync their mobile version to the browser.
Chinese Vine-like app Weishi gaining popularity in China
Tencent’s new app Weishi may just be on its way to success just like its predecessor, the hugely popular WeChat. On Valentine’s Day, it received 160 million video views on a single day, with “millions” more outside the app itself. It is no surprise that the app is in the top three most downloaded social networking apps in Apple’s App Store in China from end December to February 25, 2014.
Line opens sticker marketplace to all, introduces voice calling
Japanese-based messenger app, Line, is opening its sticker marketplace to all designers and companies from April. This could be a significant move, as stickers currently account for 20% of Line’s revenue, despite being available to partners only. Like WhatsApp, Line is also launching a voice-calling service, which will be released first in the US, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the Phillipines.
Twitter continues to grow in the US
Twitter’s user base in the US is growing and, as of 2013, accounts for 17.6% of US internet users, expected to rise to 19.2% in 2014. Growth is slowing, however, with 2014′s expected user increase just 11.6% compared to 2013′s 19.4%. Users are maturing, too; a higher percentage of 25-34 year olds than teenage internet users are on Twitter; by 2018, 35-44 year olds will also outnumber teenagers.
Facebook decreases reach for status updates
Edgerank Checker has analysed the reach of Facebook plain-text status updates, concluding that there has been an average 40% decrease between 7th January and 4th February this year, from 18% to 11%. Video posts now have the biggest reach, followed by status updates, while users engage most with photos.
Tagging other Facebook pages can increase reach
It’s not all bad news for Facebook reach, though. Now, when one page tags another in a post, that update may appear in the newsfeeds of those who already ‘like’ its subject. See the post below, in which a Facebook user who ‘likes’ NBA star Dwight Howard is exposed to content from Bleacher Report, in which Howard is tagged.
Facebook pages can edit past updates
Facebook has made it possible for more pages to edit their updates, with the feature now available to all verified pages, as well as some others. There is as yet no known date for a universal rollout.
Facebook puts an end to email
Facebook has put an end to its email offering, officially disbanding the service after acquiring WhatsApp. The feature, introduced in 2010, provided users with an @facebook account, but it proved unpopular. For those who weren’t aware of the feature… well, precisely.
Promoted accounts to appear in Twitter search
Twitter is featuring promoted accounts in search, alongside recommendations of who to follow when users enter certain terms. The network will automatically decide which queries are appropriate, based on advertisers’ targeting decisions.
LinkedIn updates ‘Who’s viewed your profile’
LinkedIn has significantly updated its ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ section. Where users previously saw just names, they will now be treated to analytics, including industry and job title, as well as tips on how to increase the number of views your profile receives.
WhatsApp to introduce voice calls
WhatsApp, Facebook’s recently acquired messenger service, is set to launch voice calling on iPhone and Android by Q2 this year. The feature will eventually expand to other devices, and will reportedly be free for at least a limited time.
Updates to Google+ for iPhone and Android
Google+ has completely revamped Hangouts for iPhone and iPad, such that the feature now resembles mainstream messaging apps like WhatsApp. Changes include reorganised tabs (Hangouts, Favourites and Contacts), as well as the ability to send videos, stickers and locations.
It’s not just iOS that received updates, though; photo-editing for Android has changed, too. Along with new filters and creative tools, there is increased ‘cloud’ integration, so users can access and edit all their photos from any device.
Snapchat could look to college students
College students could be the key to Snapchat’s success, with 77% of the demographic using the app at least once per day. Of those, 45% said that they would open a snap from a brand they’d never heard of, the number rising to 73% for already-known brands.
McDonald’s joins Snapchat
Talking of brands on Snapchat, a particularly large one has just got involved: McDonald’s. The fast food chain told its Twitter followers about its Snapchat plans, and has since shared several snaps, some including brand spokesperson and basketball star, LeBron James.
Apple begins to embrace social
Apple has launched a Tumblr to promote its iPhone 5C, complete with four different 15-second videos. The move comes as something of a surprise, considering Apple’s historical reluctance to engage in social media.
American Idol announces partnerships with Facebook and Google
Reality TV programme American Idol announced partnerships with Facebook and Google last week. The former is set to host ‘live visualisations’, which will “bring a new dimension to the viewing experience and enhances the connection fans have with the show”. Fans will also be able to vote directly via google.com.
Manchester United and Google’s ‘Front Row’
English Premier League club Manchester United has partnered with Google to create ‘Front Row’. By using Google+ Hangouts, the club will be able to show the faces of participating fans on pitchside ad hoardings during the 16th March derby game against rivals Liverpool.
The Oscars and social media
Last night’s Oscars, like any big award shows, generated a lot of Twitter chat, with over 7 million mentions of the hashtags #oscars and #oscars2014 on the platform. A few moments proved particularly popular on social, including a photobomb by Benedict Cumberbatch and Leonardo DiCaprio missing out on an award. However, the clear winner was a star-studded selfie by host Ellen DeGeneres.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
The post took just 40 minutes to become the most retweeted of all time, outdoing Obama’s ‘four more years’ from 2012. It turned out to be a well thought-out piece of product placement from Samsung, whose Note 3 was used to take the image, on a night when several brands were looking to get in on the act. Arby’s purchased Pharrell’s famous hat for charity, NASA used mentions of Gravity to display their own images and pizza chain Big Mama’s & Papa’s were delighted when DeGeneres put in an order from the ceremony.
— Big Mama’s & Papa’s (@BigMamasNPapas) March 3, 2014
Al Jazeera asks social network users to help #FreeAJStaff
News network Al Jazeera is calling for action to promote awareness about journalists detained in Egypt. Supporters are encouraged to share pictures and messages on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FreeAJStaff, which will be amplified using Thunderclap. Images will be curated on a Tumblr dedicated to the hashtag.
LinkedIn launches Chinese-language site
LinkedIn pursues Chinese users more aggressively through a localised version of its site and a joint venture with Sequoia China and CBC Capital. The Chinese version of the professional networking site, branded “领英”, also includes integration with popular local social networking sites, Sina Weibo and Tencent WeChat.
Indonesian Idol rakes in money through Twitter votes
Indonesian Idol, the Indonesian version of popular singing talent show American Idol, has implemented a voting system called Twitter Vote which charges users money for each vote they cast. Fans are charged IDR 2,000 (S$0.22) for every vote cast through the hashtag #Vote(idolname) while mentioning @IndonesianIdol. Fans can also use #Supervote(idolname) to give 20 votes to their favourite idol in a single tweet and can pay using credit card, bank transfer, Doku Wallet or from convenience store chain Alfamart.
Sina Weibo reportedly planning an IPO
According to a report by the Financial Times, Chinese microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, is looking to raise approximately $500 million through a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has also reportedly hired Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs for the IPO, which is expected to complete in the second quarter of the year. The site may be valued up to $7-$8 billion and is set to be one of the biggest deals from China this year.
KakaoTalk to launch cash gifting feature
Sirgoo Lee, the co-CEO of KakaoTalk announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that his company is working on allowing “modest amounts” of money to be sent through its messaging service, although it is unclear if this feature will be available outside of South Korea. Japan’s Line and China’s WeChat have recently integrated similar financial services into their messaging apps, with five million users participating in WeChat’s Chinese New Year money gifting scheme.
Facebook’s ROI has been underestimated
A study by seven large packaged-goods companies, in partnership with Facebook, Google and Nielsen, has found that marketing-mix models tend to underestimate Facebook ads’ return on investment by up to 48%. By measuring impressions instead of clicks, the ROI of Facebook ads increased by up to 75%.
Facebook buys WhatsApp
Facebook last week announced its acquisition of messenger service WhatsApp for $16bn, or $36 per monthly active user. The Guardian produced a profile of the deal, including the history of WhatsApp, which examines the pros and cons for Facebook. Benefits include the potential for reaching younger users and those in emerging markets. The move comes after rapid growth on WhatsApp; here’s how its user base compares with other big names within the same time period:
Buzzfeed shares on WhatsApp
Last week, Quartz reported that Buzzfeed articles were being shared more frequently on WhatsApp than on Twitter by iOS users, leading to the consideration that publishers may need a WhatsApp strategy. A riposte by Nieman Journalism Lab claimed the figures were skewed; they showed the number of times a user clicked on the ‘share’ button for each platform at the bottom of a Buzzfeed article, not the actual number of impressions. Digiday discussed whether or not publishers should devise a WhatsApp strategy; the piece argues that, while the platform is undoubtedly huge in terms of its user base, it may be a while until it is considered a place to share news.
Changes to Facebook ad targeting
Facebook has updated the way in which advertisers can target different audiences on the platform. First of all, it’s good news for business-to-business marketers (but bad for LinkedIn) as users can now be targeted based on job title. That isn’t all, though; other options include location, demographic, interest and offsite behaviour.
Facebook ad spend focussed on Europe and North America
Facebook’s ad spend is primarily concentrated in North America and Western Europe, despite huge user bases across the world. North America accounts for 52% of global ad spend for just 15% of users, while Western Europe gets 35% for a 14% share of users. The map below shows the potential for growth in other markets, though it’s worth remembering that the average value of each consumer will vary by region.
Twitter’s Marketing Platform Program
Twitter has expanded its Ads API and is now calling it the Marketing Platform Program. The set of partners is intended to increase ROI on Twitter ads and, according to the network, includes all “Ads API partners as well as those in measurement and targeting”.
LinkedIn publishing platform for all
LinkedIn has for some time allowed a network of certain ‘influencers’ to post long-form blogs on the site. It is now opening the publishing platform to all users in a staged move over the next couple of months.
Tide’s Winter Olympic Vines
After the success of using Vine in a Halloween campaign last year, Tide has produced ten more Vine videos around the Winter Olympics. Two examples, with different levels of success, can be seen below.
— Tide (@tide) February 17, 2014
— Tide (@tide) February 19, 2014
Coke’s World Cup Moments of Happiness
Coca-Cola has launched a ‘Moments of Happiness’ campaign for the upcoming World Cup, in which it asks filmmakers to submit video clips around happiness, for the chance to appear in the video for their World Cup ‘anthem’, entitled ‘The World is Ours’. At least 20 winners will appear in the video, while three will be selected to receive $1,000 each.
The Brit Awards and social media
Despite their lowest TV ratings for 15 years, the Brit Awards were a huge success on Twitter, with over 4.17 million tweets. Roughly 2 million of these were votes for the ‘best video’ award, won (shock horror!) by One Direction and their Twitter army. Naturally, brands wanted to get a slice of the action, and it was the first time that British brands made use of Twitter’s Amplify platform.
Twitter users could get exclusive video content through Amplify, with pre-roll ads for Brits sponsor, the haircare brand, VO5. Another sponsor of the event, Mastercard, was not so successful in its social media offering, when news that it had requested specific tweets from journalists in exchange for accreditation went viral. Bookmakers Paddy Power were quick to react on Twitter.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) February 19, 2014
Pepsi Max using Vines for billboard ads
Pepsi Max is putting Vines on UK billboards, under the hasthtag #LiveForNow. The billboards, which have already been taken over, currently ask people to submit their ‘unbelievable Vines’, which will then be filtered and shown on screen.
KLM partners with Facebook and Twitter for social commerce
The Dutch airline, KLM, announced a partnership with Facebook and Twitter that will allow customers to purchase tickets through the networks. As well as the obvious ease for consumers, this blog post highlights the principal benefits for the brand.
Burberry partners with WeChat
Burberry is looking to grow its Chinese consumer base by partnering with Chinese messenger app, WeChat. Burberry followers will be able to view the brand’s Fashion Week AW14 Womenswear show and personalise digital versions of the collection, in order to unlock exclusive audio content from a senior member of the Burberry design team.
Create your own Instagram adventure
Macmillan Publishers is using Instagram to promote a new book for teenagers. Making use of the ‘tagging’ feature, users can follow a ‘Create Your Own’ adventure, with each click directing the participant to a different account to continue the story. An example is seen below – do you fight back or keep still?
Creme Egg’s Google+ bake off
Cadbury’s Creme Egg is using Google+ to discover new recipes. Hosted by Eric Lanlard, the mastermind behind Creme Egg brownies, the #CremeEggBake asks users to submit their own crazy ideas, with Lanlard set to bake his favourites in a live hangout on the network.
Google and Saatchi Gallery’s Motion Photography Prize
Google+ has partnered with the Saatchi Gallery to produce a gif-making competition, dubbed the ‘Motion Photography Prize’. Users can submit their creations to a panel including director Baz Luhrmann and artist Tracey Emin, with the winner’s work set to appear in the gallery.
#UseMeLeaveMe at SXSW
Those attending this year’s SXSW in Texas may be able to make use of free transport and accomodation. Adobe’s #UseMeLeaveMe campaign includes a free biking programme, in which the vehicles have their own personalities and are capable of posting to Twitter while you use them. There is also a ‘Buds for Beds’ competition, which encourages attendees to explain why they are the ‘deservingest of the deserving’ (sic), for the chance of winning free accomodation at the event.
Twitter increases focus on Asia
In an effort to increase global engagement and revenues, the newly-listed social media company has gone on an aggressive hiring spree in Asia. The company has reportedly staffed five key marketing and communications positions in the last two months, and is said to be currently hiring for more than 20 positions in the region.
Possible LinkedIn integration on WeChat
The upcoming WeChat update could possibly come with LinkedIn integration and an Android makeover for the popular messaging and social media app. The following screenshots from a private beta version were released on Pingwest.
LinkedIn currently has more than four million registered users in China. Analysts predict that a Chinese-language version of the professional networking platform could be released soon.
Reverse takeover lands mig33 on the ASX
The Singapore and Indonesia-based mobile social networking company, mig33, is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Australia-listed mining exploration company, Latin Gold, acquired it in a reverse takeover, which allows mig33′s shareholders to become majority owners of the combined group. Latin Gold will also take on mig33′s company name.
Wongnai, Thailand’s Yelp, grows to 1 million users
Thai restaurant review site, Wongnai, revealed that it has reached its goal of 1 million registered users since its establishment in 2010. Available both as a website and mobile app, the review site currently sees approximately 220,000 active users per month. Despite its success thus far, Wongnai has not revealed any plans to expand its services beyond Thailand.
China’s Weibo users decline while WeChat rises
The future of China’s Weibo platforms does not look promising as they have lost 27.8 million users over the past year following the Chinese government’s latest internet crackdown campaign against online rumours. However, as China’s most popular social platforms experience this dramatic fall, the number of users on instant messaging apps such as WeChat has grown by 64.4 million users in 2013 while the total number of mobile Internet users reached 500 million.
WhatsApp users double in less than a year
Private messaging’s popularity does not cease as WhatsApp reports an increase of over 200 million users since April 2013, now standing at 430 million active users as of January 2014. A staggering 50 billion messages are sent and received on the app per day.
The ongoing saga of organic reach on Facebook
Facebook threw another curve-ball this week when it revealed its latest alterations to the newsfeed. They will now show fewer text status updates from Pages, as the latest testing has shown that people are more likely to post on Facebook when they are exposed to plain text status updates from their friends rather than Pages. Facebook have been vague about what brands should do as a result, but they have recommended that when posting links, brands should use ‘link-shares’, as in this example:
Facebook is testing a mobile ad network
Rather than being content to just display ads to it’s own users, Facebook is testing showing ads to users of third party apps. Unlike previous tests, Facebook is working directly with a limited number of advertisers on its own mobile ad network rather than outside ad-serving platforms to display “sponsored content outside of its own properties”.
Watch your b-to-b-back, LinkedIn
Facebook is making room for job and b-to-b marketing as it plans to allow advertisers to start targeting users based on their employment details this March. This is expected to appeal to recruiters, placing Facebook in direct competition with LinkedIn.
Twitter lends a hand to brands and publishers
Twitter has revealed a shiny new dashboard called analytics for Twitter Cards that will allow brands and publishers to monitor how media-filled tweets perform. This dashboard will then provide companies with personalised tips to help them make more strategic decisions. These new set of tools are already being used by the likes of BuzzFeed, NBC News and ESPN.
Pinterest experiments with GIFs
GIFs may no longer appear just as static images on Pinterest, who are experimenting with a new play button that features on the bottom left of embedded animated GIFs.
Ajax helps you wipe away annoying social trolls
Scouring brand Ajax have develop a new social utility tool, ‘Social Wipes’, allowing you wipe your social slate clean. For Facebook, the tool allows you to unlike pages you’ve liked over the years. For Twitter, it scans all of your followers and people you follow for potential spam bots. Only a week old, Ajax has already helped clean up more than 200,000 page likes on Facebook and nearly 20,000 Twitter spam bots from social feeds. Oddly enough, the brand does not maintain a social presence on either social network.
JBL turns tour tweets into music
JBL has created a digital experience which transforms user tweets into a custom track generated by JBL’s Tweet Music algorithm, converting every letter, number and character into a loop of music. The popularity of the campaign is evident: in just one week of the promotion, JBL received 2,600 mentions using the @JBLaudio handle, compared to it’s typical average of 360. They have also accumulated 3,100 new followers with nearly 1,200 songs created so far. The opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Grammy Awards is no doubt having a positive impact.
Thinking of buying a DLSR? Not after this campaign…
This week We Are Social launched the “why DSLR?” campaign for Panasonic, with a series of videos featuring a bodybuilder, an owl and a duel-style shoot-out between two cameras to promote its mirrorless Lumix cameras. We Are Social will also monitor social conversations surrounding DSLR cameras found on internet forums and across social platforms and will respond to questions about DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Sarah Oliver, Account Director at We Are Social said:
Whichever stage of the purchase journey people are at – researching DSLRs on forums or searching to buy a DSLR on Google, this campaign will surface considerable and credible expert opinion with the power to change their decision.
OnePiece unveils #HackTheSale social campaign
The Norwegian clothing company OnePiece, is inviting customers to share its #HackTheSale campaign on Facebook and Twitter, to communally drive down the price of a onesie jumpsuit. Every time a customer uses the #HackTheSale app to share the campaign on either of the social networks, the price of a Lusekofte Onesie, which starts at £139, will go down.
Microsoft faces a fumble with the FTC
Microsoft didn’t know what they were in for when they signed a content deal with YouTube network Machinima. Machinima recruited YouTube creators to make videos about the Xbox One, however these console enthusiasts didn’t disclose that they were paid to promote the product. As a result, Microsoft has unintentionally disobeyed the FTC’s endorsement disclosure guidelines, which may result in intervention.
Brands’ Grammy Tweet Attempts…
The awards season is truly upon us, beginning with a bang last night with the Grammys. And, of course, that can only mean one thing; social media triumphs and disasters. Antiperspirant brands a plenty tried desperately to jump onto the Grammy conversation, but armpit puns and poor jokes fell on deaf ears. Others, such as Pizza Hut and Fitbit, tried to brazenly join in the conversations, with various jokes, ‘tips’, but alas, failed to win the hearts – or the RT’s – of the Grammy viewers.
However, some brands were right on the money. Pharrell Williams was trending on Twitter that evening, due to his questionable headgear at the awards. Restaurant chain Arby’s, whose logo looks a bit like Pharrell’s hat, was quick off the bat to tweet him just that. The tweet received over 70,000 RT’s, demonstrating the power of social if your timing is right, coupled with a genius comment.
Sina Weibo recently launched mobile payment to compete with WeChat
To compete with WeChat’s mobile payment service launched last year, Sina Weibo has recently partnered with China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba to launch its own mobile wallet feature. Alibaba already owns the most influential payment tool in China, Alipay. With the cooperation of the two giants, it is expected that Sina Weibo will be able to compete head on head with WeChat.
China Southern Airline garners millions of WeChat users
China Southern Airline’s official WeChat account(CS5539) started in January 1st of last year. By November 11th, the account already generated over a million WeChat users. It became one of the most influential public accounts in China. The airline’s customer service platform consists of WeChat, website, SMS, and a customised mobile app together with their call centre. Within its customer service platform, WeChat is the only real- time platform that allows for one-to-one communication, providing a more personalised customer service. According to China Southern Airline, there were 9,000 members who used WeChat instead of the mobile app. At this point, the official account reached 300,000 WeChat users. Will WeChat start to grow more as a social media platform instead of just a chat app in 2014?
Social.gg identifies social media trends in Thailand
There are over 24 million Facebook users in Thailand with Bangkok accounting for more Facebook users than any other city in the world. Moreover, the fastest growing trends for last year was Facebook commerce (F-commerce) in Thailand. To harness this opportunity for brands and marketers, Social.gg has launched a tool that explores trends and hot topics on social media in Thailand. This is said to be similar to Google Trends or Twitter’s trending topics.
Mobile internet usage is massive in Western Europe
According to eMarketer, nearly half of all Western European mobile users will access mobile internet at least once a month in 2014. That figure is up from 40.0% in 2013, expected to rise to 66.0% by 2017. Scandinavia looks set to lead the way in 2014, with Norway’s figure of 63.5% in first place, followed by Denmark and Sweden.
Organic Facebook reach dropped throughout December
Analysis of the 28 day period either side of the 2nd December by EdgeRank Checker has shown that Facebook’s organic reach dropped considerably in that period. On average, organic reach dropped from 10.15% in the earlier period to 7.83% afterwards, with statuses and videos most affected, as shown by this graph:
As Facebook may well have hoped, in a separate study by Locowise, the use of paid post promotion on the platform increased throughout December. An examination of 1,000 pages found that 25% more of them were using ads in December than previously and, in 53% of the cases where organic reach had increased, promotion had also been used.
Facebook leads for social logins
Facebook remained the leader for social logins in Q4 2014 according to Janrain, with 45% of all social logins throughout the web. Google+ is not hugely far behind, with 35%, while Yahoo and Twitter follow, both on 6%.
Facebook scraps Sponsored Stories
Facebook has announced a change to its current advertising format: the network is axing Sponsored Stories. These ads, which suggest pages that a user might like based on their friends’ interactions with that page, have been controversial in the past, including a law suit accusing Facebook of misappropriating users’ likes and comments without consent. However, they’ve also been fairly successful, and are currently Facebook’s ‘simplest’ ad format, allowing first-time marketers an easy way onto the platform. You can find out more about the move in our own blog post on the subject.
Facebook acquires link-sharing Branch
Facebook has acquired link-sharing service, Branch, for a figure believed to be around $15 million. The web-based service seems to make sense as a purchase, given Facebook’s recent interest in developing the importance of news stories on the network. To quote Branch’s CEO, Josh Miller:
We will be forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests.
The acquisition also includes Branch’s latest app, Potluck for iPhone, which offers users small pieces of news, which they can discuss with friends in-app, as shown below.
Updates to ads on Tumblr
Yahoo has announced some changes to advertising on Tumblr, the platform it acquired last May. Sponsored Posts, now be known as ‘Sponsored Posts Powered by Yahoo Advertising’, can now be targeted based on gender or geolocation, and advertisers will only pay when their adverts cause some sort of action, whether that be a reblog, follow or like.
Use Gmail to message Google+ contacts
Google has updated its email service, Gmail, to allow users to email their Google+ contacts directly. Now, when a Google+ user writers a message via their Gmail account, they will see the details of their G+ contacts appear as options in the address bar, without having to know their email address. It is an opt out system, with the ability to limit those who can find you via Google+ to certain circles, or block the process entirely.
Branded Google+ ‘Helpouts’
We’ve all heard of Google+ Hangouts. Recently, the network launched ‘Helpouts’, which allow individuals, as well as five branded partners, to offer live video help to consumers, whether it be for free or at a price. Weight Watchers, for example, offer free health advice, while Sephora charge $15 for 15-30 minute beauty sessions. Three other partners are One Medical, Redbeacon and Rosetta Stone, though we may expect to see more in future.
Social at the Golden Globes
The Golden Globes used their star-studded audience to full effect last night, with a set of 360 degree Vines straight from the red carpet. Usher (below) was joined by some other A-listers, including Mike Tyson and Sean Combs.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 13, 2014
Brands were also keen to get in on the action, with some examples embedded below. L’Oreal’s tweet about a GIF hair tutorial was clearly much better than CVS’s attempt to get involved.
— L’Oreal Paris USA (@LOrealParisUSA) January 13, 2014
— CVS/pharmacy (@CVS_Extra) January 13, 2014
Cinemax creates Vine mini-series Cinemax is using Vine to promote season two of ‘Banshee’, with a complete series of 6-second Vines that reveal the hopes and fears of characters. It’s the first time that a TV programme has created a full series in this way, and will be supported by comic-book content, using the hashtag #BansheeOrigins.
— Cinemax (@Cinemax) January 10, 2014
BT’s Twitter #GuessThePrize
BT is promoting its £7.50 per month ‘BT Infinity’ sale with a Twitter competition, dubbed #GuessThePrize. Running every day from 12-4pm, users have seven minutes and 50 seconds every hour to guess what the prize might be, with options ranging from an Xbox One to Premier League football tickets.
Clorox produces some top reactive content
When a hashtag arose poking fun at the names given to American college football games, cleaning brand Clorox came up with the below. A great piece of reactive content on Twitter.
— Clorox (@Clorox) January 8, 2014
Brands hijack the Polar Vortex
A side effect of last week’s Polar Vortex was a lot of branded content. Some of it was good, some of it really wasn’t. You can decide for yourself on the below examples.
The UK government’s Facebook gaffe
Michael Gove, the UK Secretary of State for Education, was in trouble last week when a Facebook post from the Department of Work and Pensions posted advice on its Facebook page about how to look good at interviews. This may not have been too controversial, had the quotation included not come from a company owned by his wife. Gove claims to have no knowledge of the promotion; if this was a genuine mistake, it shows the importance of doing proper background checks on any social content.
The relationship between one man and a brand
Chip Zdarsky, a Canadian journalist and comic book artist, enjoys trolling brands in his spare time. Fair enough. However, when he came across the Applebee’s Barrie account, it felt so lonely that he decided to try and build a proper relationship. Naming the project Applebee’s & Me on his Tumblr, some of the results from his burgeoning friendship can be found below.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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 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.
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:
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:
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.
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%:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report.