Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Sina Weibo’.
WhatsApp hits 500M active monthly users
WhatsApp has announced it just passed half a billion monthly active users. However, the question over how brands will tap into this huge audience remains unanswered.
Line introduces sticons for Android
Japanese messaging service Line recently introduced sticons – a hybrid between stickers and emoticons. You can now use them as large, standalone stickers or as emoticons when used in text messages. Over 1,000 sticons are available from faces, animals, symbols, sports, vehicles to even Line character sticons as well. An iPhone update will also be available soon.
Line’s Creators Market to start next month
Line has also recently released more details of its upcoming Creators Market where anyone can create, submit and sell their own stickers for use on Line chats. For a start, these stickers can only be bought by users from Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, with sticker creators able to receive half of the net income sticker sales. Time to start doodling!
WeChat adds flight booking services
To add on to its m-commerce offerings, Tencent-owned WeChat has teamed up with travel site LY.com to allow you to book your flight tickets using WeChat Payment and receive instant notifications on your flight statuses. This is currently only available to users in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, with more cities to follow suit as well as other online booking services by LY.com.
Sina Weibo’s value jumps after IPO
Sina Weibo went public last week. From its IPO price of $17 per share, its value shot up 19% in the first day, closing at $20.24. Day two saw a further growth of 12% by the time markets closed, at one point reaching the $24 mark. Looking good so far, Weibo…
Adobe releases stats on Facebook ads
Adobe has released its quarterly report on Facebook Advertising for Q1 2014, and it’s good news for Facebook advertisers. The stats show cost per click decreasing 2% year on year and 11% quarter on quarter, while click through rate has jumped 160% year on year and 20% quarter on quarter. Other results include an increase in engagement and video views, plus evidence that suggests most engagement/video views happen on Fridays. Take note, social media managers!
Facebook launches ‘Nearby Friends’
Facebook is rolling out a new feature for US iPhone and Android users, named ‘Nearby Friends’.
The opt-in system allows users to browse the approximate locations of all their friends who have also signed up, as well as to receive push notifications when one of them is nearby. Mashable has played around with the system and posted an article about it, in which they examine its various features. The author discusses how to turn on the system and displays how it shows only a rough location, even after opting in, unless a user chooses to share more details with a friend. Naturally, Nearby Friends is collecting a lot of data, and the piece makes a point to discuss the long-winded process of erasing it. Facebook hasn’t ruled out using the feature’s data to serve ads in the future.
Facebook to reveal mobile ad network?
Facebook is rumored to be set to launch a mobile ad network. Details are slim on the ground just now, but allegedly all will be revealed at the F8 developer conference at the end of this month. You know where to come then, don’t you? Yes, your favourite weekly round up of all things social media.
Facebook to launch ad segment for the World Cup
Facebook looks set to create a new audience segment for its largest advertisers, made up of those watching this summer’s World Cup. It would be the first time that the network has created a segment specifically for a TV event, pitting it against Twitter, the reigning champion of social TV. Advertisers can already target an audience segment named ‘FIFA World Cup’, but the new alternative will be updated daily to include those who start to show interest after the event begins.
Twitter to offer mobile ads beyond its own app
After purchasing the mobile ad exchange MoPub last September, Twitter now has the ability to offer mobile ads beyond the Twitter mobile app. The social network, which attributes 75% of its business to mobile, can now show ‘app install’ ads in apps across MoPub’s network, including WordPress, OpenTable and Songza.
Google+ updates ads
Google+ has made three updates to its ad offering. Firstly, +Post ads, which turn G+ content into display ads, are now available to all pages with 1,000 followers or more. Secondly, brands can now choose to automatically promote their most recent update and only pay once it receives engagement. Finally, it is possible to promote a Hangout to a +Post ad, allowing users to either RSVP, watch live or watch a recording.
We Are Social and Evian bring Spiderbaby to Twitter
We Are Social has helped Evian bring its sponsorship of the new film, Amazing Spiderman 2, to life on Twitter. Using the hashtag #AmazingBabyRescueMe, the water brand asked followers to tweet in their everyday dilemmas and receive a personalised response from the Amazing Baby character. Replies included tweets, Vines and illustrations, such as the below:
Dos Equis starts marketing on Foursquare
Dos Equis has brought its signature character, the ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’, to Foursquare. Continuing with his classic tone of voice, which has even spawned its own meme, the page will be populated by content like the below.
US Airways post interesting image to Twitter
US Airways posted an ‘unsavoury’ image to Twitter last week. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a Buzzfeed article that shows the picture, which is very NSFW. The airline has apologised and has said that it’s investigating exactly what went on. However, the employee won’t be losing their job. We Are Social’s own Leila Thabet discussed why with Mashable, comparing it to other ‘Twitter fails’. As it’s so clearly a mistake, the brand has managed to sidestep major criticism – it isn’t the same as when Kenneth Cole made light of the Egyptian political situation to try and boost sales, for example.
NASA asks everyone to post a #GlobalSelfie
Had enough of selfies? NASA hasn’t. The organisation is celebrating Earth Day byasking people around the world to post pictures of themselves, wherever they are. The images will then be compiled, along with shots from NASA’s satellites, into a giant mosaic of the entire planet. As selfies go, these ones sound pretty good.
Sina Weibo to be officially called Weibo
China’s number one social network, Sina Weibo will officially be called Weibo with the drop of ‘Sina’ from its name to be listed on US IPO. The logo on the site has also been modified accordingly. In Chinese, Weibo translate to “microblog”. By taking over the name that refers to the platform itself, Sina Weibo expect to get further leverage in the competition with other services including Tencent Weibo and Netease Weibo. The reason for this act (in spite of Sina Weibo leading the market share anyway) seems to be in the attempt to set potential investors at ease from the worry that the number of microblogging users are in the trend of decline and users are less engaging on the platform. This is seen as a response to China’s efforts to minimize the influence as a free thought platform. Furthermore, time spent on Weibo is decreasing as Tencent’s messaging service WeChat takes away the time users spend on mobile. Even so, will Sina Weibo’s new name actually make a way to lift the value of Weibo in US IPO?
Line recorded 70% growth with 390 million registered users worldwide
According to the latest update from NHN corp, messaging app, Line has recorded 390 million registered users worldwide, which is almost 70 percent growth from 7 months ago. Japan has the largest number of registered users with 50 million, followed by Thailand with 24 million users. The success in Thailand can be explained by its’ endeavor to the complete localization and meeting local needs. To do this, Line set up a local office with Thai employees and partnered with local companies, providing users with local content. However, Line still has a long way to go to beat its counterparts like WeChat and WhatsApp and strengthen its presence globally. WeChat has 355 million active users and WhatsApp has 465 million active users.
In Malaysia, 5.4 million tweets are posted per day
Zocial Inc., a leading social media agency in Thailand and Malaysia published an info graphic that looks at Twitter landscape in Malaysia. Based on the data analyzed from February 2014, 3.5 million twitter users are from Malaysia and 21.8% of them are active users. A total of 162.4 million tweets were posted in the examined period, which suggests approximately 5.4 million tweets were made per day. Brands, celebrities and politicians are also on Twitter in Malaysia. The most popular twitter handle is the current Malaysia Prime Minister and three out of five top brands with most followers are airlines. Check out the full info graphic here:
Twitter is struggling to keep users tweeting
Twopcharts, a site that measures account activity on Twitter, has produced reports that display the platform’s retention issue. Almost 40% of the 20m accounts registered every month send at least one tweet in the first month, but this is likely to decrease to one quarter after a year. It may be the case that Twitter users are logging in but not tweeting. The table below shows the extent of the issue.
Instagram hits 200 million users
Instagram produced a blog post last week to celebrate passing the 200 million user milestone. The network, which has added 50 million users in the last six months, has now seen over 20bn photos shared. Its growth in the US is particularly impressive, where there are now 50.6 million users in total, of whom 35 million access Instagram at least once a month. These figures mean Instagram and Twitter are now very similar in size – the former has more mobile users, but the latter’s desktop usage leaves it slightly larger overall.
Twitter and TV
There were two pieces of research released by Twitter today about Twitter’s relationship with TV. The first discussed the importance of hashtags: 75% of those surveyed believed hashtags were used because they were seen on TV, while 76% thought other users made sure tweets about TV were funny in order to get retweets. Finally, 69% liked seeing celebrities talk about TV on Twitter. The second looked at the way in which people discuss TV on the network, making a distinction between ‘relaxed’ and ‘engaged’ types of behaviour. Analysis of two BBC programmes, Line of Duty and The Voice UK, display the difference between drama and live events. For drama, conversation peaks before and after the show, while talent shows tend to produce sustained chat throughout.
How marketers use Twitter
Twitter’s use for marketers is primarily in increasing brand awareness, as 72% of respondents made clear in a recent survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals.
Perhaps oddly, considering the above goal, Socialbakers found that only 23% of marketers are using Twitter advertising at the moment. This falls in fourth place among social networks, after Facebook (92%), YouTube (35%) and LinkedIn (24%).
Wisemetrics produce research on Facebook reach
Wisemetrics has produced an article about the extent of the decrease in post reach on Facebook. They display that it has been a two-step process, with dips in both August and November, followed by a plateau since roughly January. The larger the page, the bigger the decrease: pages with over one million fans have suffered a 40% decrease, compared with 20% for pages with one thousand.
Facebook is number one for social commerce
Facebook drives by far the most online commerce of all social sites, according to online store operator, Shopify, and accounts for almost two-thirds of referrals to sites operated by the company. In total, 85% of all social orders were driven by Facebook, which amounts to a 129% year-on-year increase. It wasn’t the highest in terms of order value, though, coming in fourth behind Polyvore, Instagram and Pinterest.
Facebook purchases Oculus-VR
Facebook has announced its intention to purchase Oculus VR, known best for the ‘Oculus Rift’, a 3d virtual reality headset. The move is worth $2bn in cash and stocks and is described by Mark Zuckerberg as a “long-term bet on the future of computing.” Nick Hearne, senior creative at We Are Social, spoke to the Drum about constrasting senses of “admiration and trepidation” about the move:
I’d certainly question whether this is even the right move for Facebook right now. For me, Google’s move into robotics with the purchase of Boston Dynamics has more credibility than Facebook moving into virtual reality. We’ll have to wait and see whether this acquisition is an admirable ‘moonshot’, or a case of joining the scramble to snap up any hot new tech companies for Zuckerberg and co.
Other online users were even more sceptical, to the extent that Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, had to take to Reddit to quell fears about the future of his company. He assured users that a Facebook account wouldn’t be needed to use Rift, but didn’t rule out either Facebook branding or in-game advertising.
Facebook expands Lookalike Audiences
Facebook has extended the capability of Lookalike Audiences. Now, advertisers can create audiences based on people who visit their website, use their mobile apps or are connected to their Facebook pages, where previously only information like email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs could be used.
Twitter makes photos ‘more social’
Twitter introduced two major changes to photographs last week: users can now tag up to ten others in a photo and post four separate photos in one tweet. Naturally, certain brands were quick to react, as shown in the below examples.
— Meow Mix (@meowmix) March 28, 2014
— IZZE (@IZZE) March 27, 2014
True brilliance is remembered by its effect on people, not things. pic.twitter.com/wQjjNEF2nH
— General Electric (@generalelectric) March 28, 2014
Twitter partners with Billboard and ITV
Twitter announced two partnerships this week. First of all, the network will be working with Billboard to create social music charts, based on online chatter, which will include a section for ‘new and upcoming’ artists. Secondly, the UK’s ITV has announced that it will start using Twitter’s Amplify service, which will allow brands to purchase pre or post-roll adverts on ITV content across the network.
LinkedIn introduces Insights for published content
LinkedIn has announced a free set of Insights, aimed at showing brands how effectively their content is performing on the site. Not only can companies see which stories are trending on the platform, but each will be assigned a performance score based on the effectiveness of their posts, as well as those of related influencers and employees.
It is this last group that could be key to brands’ success on the platform. Last week, Adweek published a piece on the importance of employees on LinkedIn, discussing how their cumulative reach can be higher than that of the brand itself.
Pinterest is preparing to launch ad business
Pinterest is getting ready to roll out the ad business it has been testing since last September, with a soft launch planned for April. Digiday showed some examples of how the ads will look, which reportedly came from a pitch deck sent by Pinterest to an unnamed agency. Other takeouts from the deck include the main target audience (women on mobile), the cost ($30 per 1,000 impressions) and the plans for targeting, which will occur on both a national and regional basis.
Foursquare launches ‘Tap to Tweet’ ad product
Foursquare has added a new element to its ad offering. Entitled ‘Tap to Tweet’, the system encourages users to tweet pre-written marketing messages on checking into certain locations.
BlackBerry looking to monetise BBM
BlackBerry has updated its BBM instant messenger with two new features, each aimed at raising revenue. The platform will now feature sponsored content, alongside a virtual goods store that allows users to purchase stickers.
The Sun adds hashtags to print stories
British newspaper The Sun has become the first of its national rivals to include hashtags in print stories. A postscript titled “What Do You Think?” appears at the bottom of certain articles, encouraging readers to take to Twitter to discuss the paper’s content.
Nike hosts ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout
Sportswear giant Nike hosted the first ever ‘shoppable’ Google+ hangout last week, in partnership with Asos, to celebrate 27 years of the Air Max product. Hosted by MTV’s Rebecca Dudley, the stunt discussed the various different ways in which the trainers can be worn.
Taco Bell buys its first Instagram adverts
Fast food chain, Taco Bell, is promoting its new breakfast menu using the hashtag #WakeUpLiveMas, and will do so by purchasing Instagram ads for the first time. Other social marketing is being employed, too, including Vine videos, Snapchat messaging and the influencer activity we reported in last week’s Mashup.
Barack Obama joins Quora
Following in the footsteps of his Reddit AMA, Barack Obama is joining Quora to answer questions on the Affordable Healthcare Act, and will become the first verified account on the site. Unlike on Reddit, he will not be responding live; instead, the President will answer questions that people have already asked on Quora about the act. His answers will be aggregated on his profile and across the site under existing topics.
Sina Weibo Is Going Public
In what could be the biggest social media IPO of 2014, Sina Weibo began the process of going public in the US on Friday. Sina Weibo is seeking to raise up to $500 million in its initial public offering and though not quite as big as Twitter, which has more global appeal, it looks like it’s trying to ride on Twitter’s strong performance following its IPO. Actually, its “selling points” are nearly identical to Twitter’s – which is interesting considering both platforms face stiff competition from messaging applications that are quickly becoming the go-to communications tools for younger smartphone owners, such as WeChat, WhatsApp and Line.
Thailand now reaches 1.5 million users
Thailand is one of the most social countries in Asia with 24 million users on Facebook and an increasing user base on Twitter. It has just reached yet another milestone on Instagram with 1.5 million users. The number of Instagram users in Thailand increased from 240,000 in 2012 to 1,551,649 in 2013. An infographic from Zocial Inc. published by TechInAsia shows that celebrities with an average of 172, 013 followers make up 0.26 percent of the app’s user-base in Thailand.
Sources of most Instagram selfies in Asia: Philippines and Malaysia
According to Time magazine’s The Selfiest Cities in the Word report (via TechInAsia), The Philippines emerged as the selfie leader in Asia followed by Malaysia. TIME counted the Instagram photos with #selfie hashtags and geographic locations for two five-day periods between January and March through the site’s API. The high selfie rate may be attributed to the growing smartphone adoption in the Philippines. In 2011, the Philippines was considered the “social capital of the world,” when Facebook became more popular than Google. Malaysia is the second country that has taken the most selfies in Asia led by its Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who was recently spotted taking a selfie with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Selfies are definitely a popular trend in Asia with Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia cities making it to the top 100 ‘selfiest’ cities list.
Twitter is testing ‘Fave People’ feature
Love Twitter but miss tweets from the people you care about the most? The “Fave People” feature that Twitter is testing now might be the answer. According to TechCrunch, the feature allows users to keep track of their favourite Twitter users in a separate timeline by tapping the star icon on their profiles. It is quite similar to “Lists” which lets you organise users into labelled groups. Looking at the initial reports, the feature seems to be useful but we have to wait and see if it will be rolled out to the wider public anytime soon. Last month, the site also started testing a major profile redesign that has a greater focus on content cards and images.
The State of Social Advertising in 2014
Socialbakers surveyed over 500 marketing professionals to better understand where social media is heading in 2014; analysing both the priorities and practices of marketers and the state of social media advertising. Remarkably, 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social advertising budget for 2014, despite the growing need to support organic reach with paid advertising.
However, most companies surveyed did invest in social advertising, at varying levels. Interestingly, Twitter appears to struggle to attract advertisers; most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.
Facebook Reveals ‘Premium’ Autoplay Video Ads
Facebook has revealed Premium Video Ads, the long-awaited marketing tool that delivers video ads right into users’ News Feeds and starts playing 15-second clips automatically; similarly to videos on Instagram. The ads will play with no sound unless the user clicks on them, in order to avoid being too interruptive. The ads will start rolling out during late April and will include the ability to target by day-part, along with measurement features supported by Nielsen and Ace Metrix.
A Streamlined Look for Facebook Pages on the Desktop
After recently announcing a redesign of its desktop News Feed, Facebook has announced that there will be a new design for Facebook pages on desktop, to be rolled out over the coming weeks, as seen in the example below.
Facebook has now notified some page admins that they can join a waitlist to have their page converted to the new design, for those extra eager to explore it. The right-side column of the timeline will show all the page’s posts, while the left will hold information about the page or business. There will also be a ‘Pages to Watch’ feature, allowing marketers to monitor pages similar to their own (i.e. competitors) and track those pages’ performances. It also appears that tabs, with images, have returned to Facebook’s new page design on the left sidebar.
Twitter’s Direct Response Pitch: A New ‘Click-to-call’ button
Brands are already using Twitter as a direct response channel, listening for and responding to tweets that mention certain keywords, hashtags or handles. This month alone, Microsoft and Airbnb launched clever real-time marketing campaigns at South by Southwest, responding directly to consumers. In an attempt to go one step further in developing its advertising capabilities, Twitter is currently beta-testing a “click-to-call” button for sponsored tweets, which would allow mobile users to engage with a Twitter ad by calling the advertiser directly. This feature could potentially help Twitter break into the local advertising market. Location-based apps like Foursquare and Google Maps already have click-to-call features in their apps.
H&R Block Taps YouTube Talent For New Social Media Record Label
According to H&R Block, a ‘tax preparation’ company, 56 million Americans will try to do their own taxes this year. The company claims that last year, taxpayers lost more than a billion dollars thanks to inaccuracies in their tax returns. H&R have decided to enlist ten up and coming YouTubers as brand ambassadors to release original songs and videos on a social record label called “Billion Back Records”, as well as using social media to build enthusiasm around getting a tax refund. H&R is also using its Twitter feed to issue challenges for the chance to win music-themed prizes like concert tickets and a guitar. YouTube, taxes, and rock n’ roll?
March Madness And Twitter Ads
For anyone not still reeling from the real-time marketing overload around the Superbowl this year, American brands are now queuing up around college basketball’s March Madness period. As NCAA teams look to beat the buzzer on-court, brands are jumping in on highly relevant promoted hashtags with a mix of pre-planned and reactive content with varying degrees of success. There are no clear slam dunks on display which raises an important question: are marketers planning their real-time strategies to deliver value to their business and consumers, or falling into the trap of jumping into conversations without a clear goal? Judging by some of the brands’ efforts there’s still a lot to learn.
David Cameron’s new Facebook likes
UK Prime Minister David Cameron found himself under scrutiny last week when it was reported that he’d invested an estimated £7,500 to increase his Facebook Like count from 60,000 to 130,000 in one month. He’s now one of the most popular UK politicians on social media (even if not in real life)…
‘Safe Badman’: Argos wins at Twitter
Argos indulged in some top Twitter bantz with a disgruntled customer. When Immy ‘BADMAN’ Bugti tweeted with a complaint about the lack of ‘da PS4 tings’ available at Argos’s Moss Side store, as well as member of staff who had ‘bare attitude’, Argos responded superbly. Its gangsta response has since been retweeted thousands of times, and left Immy satisfied. Respect, yo.
@BadManBugti Safe badman, we gettin sum more PS4 tings in wivin da next week y’get me. Soz bout da attitude, probz avin a bad day yo. LD
— Argos Helpers (@ArgosHelpers) March 8, 2014
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.