Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Singapore’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #121

by Jolene Siow in News

CABCY video gets shorter as it’s shared
Singapore’s ‘Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth’ has created a social video with a real sharing incentive. The video, originally 100 seconds long, shows a child in distress. It gets shorter and shorter each time it is shared on Facebook, and is accompanied by the tagline ‘Share it to End it’.

Facebook passes 100m users in India
India is now Facebook’s second largest national market (after the US), as the network passed 100 million users there. It expects further rapid growth as it increases its mobile focus in a country where eight in 10 users are mobile.

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Yelp launches in Japan, its second market in Asia
Community-sourced restaurant review site Yelp has formally launched in Japan. This is its second entry into Asia, after Singapore in 2012, and the 26th country to receive Yelp. Opening in Japan comes with its own unique set of hurdles, such as the handling of the character set, as well as competing against popular review site Tabelog.

Yelp JapanJust 5% of users contribute to 90% of all Weibo posts
According to a study, Chinese microblogging platform Weibo was found to have a sizeable content gap between its users. Only 10 million users post original content, while the other two hundred million other users are made up of spam or empty accounts, or users who just repost others’ content. Reasons for the small percentage could be due to the large amount of spam accounts, or competitors such as WeChat  gaining popularity in China.

Xiaomi’s social media strategy drives fan loyalty
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has a fiercely loyal fanbase, and a lot of this lies in the way it engages its fans and customers with social media. Xiaomi uses social media in several ways – to drum up excitement about its flash sales, as well as engaging fans and customers in an informal and playful manner, much like how friends speak to each other. Its recent Mi Fan Festival saw 1.3 million handsets sold across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, raking in CNY1.5 billion (SGD302 million).

Xiaomi Fans

Facebook and YouTube launch unique add-ons for India Elections 2014
For the 16th Lok Sabha Elections, Facebook has launched a ‘I’m a Voter’ button for its users in India, which allows users to post their voting stories on their timeline, sharing with friends that they are voting in this election. YouTube has also launched a India Elections 2014 page, which has garnered over a thousand subscribers. The page features a curated list of videos, aimed at providing a one-stop source of news on the elections.

Facebook voter button

Most social networks are predominantly mobile
The 2014 US Digital Future in Focus Report has been released, with interesting figures about the growth of mobile and social. Of major social networks, only two (Tumblr and LinkedIn) are predominantly desktop (among US users aged 18 and up).

Snapchat, Vine and Instagram are, as expected, the most ‘mobile-first’ social networks, each seeing almost all of their traffic from non-desktop devices. The three sites have grown their unique visitors figures significantly between February and December 2013 – Instagram by 43%, Vine by 515% and Snapchat by 234%.

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Most social content is shared from mobile
It’s not just user growth where mobile is steaming ahead, but also the volume of shared content. Of everything shared to social networks in Q1 2014, 52% came from a mobile device, compared with 48% from desktop. This resulted from much stronger volume growth on mobile: 28% against desktop’s 11%.

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Photos are most popular Facebook content for brands
Despite Facebook pushing brands to use links, it’s clear that photo posts remain the most popular content type for brands on the network. Analysis of over 30,000 brand posts found that 75% were photo posts, followed by just 10% including a link.

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This is perhaps no wonder, when we look at the most engaging content types: photo posts make up 87% of the top 10% of branded content.

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Facebook to remove messenger from mobile app
In an attempt to keep up with standalone messaging apps, Facebook is planning toremove the ‘Messenger’ function in its main mobile app, forcing users to either download the standalone app or lose the service entirely.

Facebook launches new ads as prices increase
As brand pages’ organic reach has dropped throughout Q1, Facebook ad prices have increased by 10%. This news comes as Facebook has announced a new format for ads in the right hand bar; the network has claimed that these will increase engagement and allow brands to use the same image for News Feed and right-hand bar ads.

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Facebook looks to reduce News Feed spam
Facebook is making some changes to its News Feed algorithm that will decrease the reach of certain types of content, each of which is considered ‘spammy’. The initial targets of these changes are:

1. Pages that repeatedly post images asking for likes, comments and shares
2. Frequently-circulated content that users have already seen
3. Spammy links that bring users to pages full of ads

Facebook has looked to reassure pages that this is unlikely to negatively affect their reach; it states that most publishers are not posting ‘spam’ and should instead expect to see their reach increase slightly.

Facebook is updating privacy settings
Facebook is attempting to make its privacy options clearer to users with a series of tests. As can be seen below, the iOS app will include details of who can see any post above the publishing box (left), while desktop users will notice a change to the drop down menu (right).

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There will also be pop-up messages for users who haven’t updated their preferences in a while, straight from the mouth of the privacy dinosaur.


Twitter renovates profiles
It’s all change in the world of Twitter this week, as the platform announced a complete overhaul of users’ profiles on desktop. Changes include a larger profile picture, customisable header, and the ability to pin a particular tweet to the top of your profile (though it’s worth noting that this will only be available for free to certain high-profile users or paying accounts). A user’s more engaging tweets will now appear larger on their profile, too. The new style, which is in the process of being rolled out, can be seen here:


Some brands have already begun using the new design. The below, for example, displays Skype’s videos – users can now filter tweets to see just photos or videos.

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The move is being seen as part of a larger attempt to make the network more accessible for the less tech-savvy among us; technical ‘jargon’ like RT and @replies may be at threat, while the network looks to concentrate more on video/images and add emoji functionality. Users are beginning to get notifications on, too, which are fully customisable; anyone can choose what actions they get notified about. All of this, along with the design of the above profiles, has led to a number of comparisons with Facebook and rumours of a ‘land grab’. Watch this space.

Twitter adds 15 new ad types
Twitter will also be ramping up their ad offering, with news that they’re planning 15 new types of ad, such an ‘app-install unit’. This news comes at a similar time to figures that suggest Twitter’s ads receive a higher click-through rate than Facebook’s. Advertisers still spend a lot more on Facebook advertising, as we can see here:

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Moreover, Facebook ads reach much further than their Twitter equivalents. Twitter may get higher click-through rates, but Facebook still earns a much higher volume of clicks and impressions.

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LinkedIn removes ‘Products & Services’ tab
LinkedIn has today removed the ‘Products & Services’ tab from company pages. The network has proposed two different ways around this for brands: they can discuss their offerings in either company updates or the ‘showcase’ pages that LinkedIn has designed for this purpose.

Disqus introduces ‘Sponsored Comments’
Disqus, the commenting platform used by many popular blogs (including this one), has this week launched a native ad product, known as ‘Sponsored Comments’. It launched the new unit in a blog post, in which it looked to reassure users that it would maintain the quality of their experience. The adverts will appear as follows:

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Unilever’s multi-brand YouTube channel
Unilever is launching a multi-brand YouTube channel, named ‘All Things Hair’. Brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5 will all host content on the channel, which is taking much of its content from famous video bloggers.

Oreo brings Snack Hacks to online video
Oreo has launched a series of web videos dubbed ‘Snack Hacks’, which showcase unusual ways of eating the snack. After asking Twitter followers to discuss their favourite #OreoSnackHacks, the brand has since taken the campaign to the next level and produced content of its own. One example, featuring celebrity chef Roy Choi, is presented in this video.

Peter Griffin is now on Instagram
American cartoon, ‘Family Guy’, has created an Instagram account for its protagonist, Peter Griffin, to drive downloads of a new mobile game based on the series.

WWF creates Snapchat campaign
The World Wildlife Fund is using a Snapchat campaign to raise awareness about endangered species. Dubbed #LastSelfie, the campaign plays on the trend for a constant stream of self-taken photographs on the platform.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #109

by Suhaina Adam in News

Singaporeans are not interested in paid content
Outbrain, a content discovery platform, has recently released its inaugural Asia Pacific Content Consumption Trends report based on data pulled from 100,000 sites. The study revealed Singaporeans to have the highest bounce rates across six markets, with Australia being the most engaged with paid content. This means that visitors “bounce” or leave the site rather than viewing for much longer. Interestingly, these APAC consumers prefer to consume content on their mobile phones and tablets at night as per shown below:


LinkedIn appoints President for China region
Derek Shen, founder and former CEO of Nuomi (a Chinese site similar to Groupon) is now the president of LinkedIn China. This appointment marks an official move into the Chinese market, which to date has over four million members. Could a localized language site soon be in the works?

WhatsApp has 35M users from India
Last December, WhatsApp shared its India numbers to be 30 million monthly active users. Yesterday, it revealed its latest growing numbers to be over 35 million active users, with a consistent increase of approximately 5 million active users every month in the country. This can be due to its second operator tie-up with Tata Docomo that offers Unlimited Whatsapp data packages for Rs.15 and Rs.30. With its current global count of 430 million active users, we reckon it wouldn’t be long before they cross the 500 million mark.

Facebook ads influence car shoppers mid-funnel
Facebook have shared a study that found automotive ads on the social network cause a 50% increase in visits to car-model pages, 46% increase to all product pages, and a 10% increase in internet-wide searches, indicating paid promotion heightens the average time spent looking at specific vehicles. It also suggests auto brand rivals suffer when Facebook advertisements are implemented, seeing competitor brand searches across the internet drop by 3%.

Facebook ‘Trending’ has arrived
Facebook has announced the imminent roll-out of its new Trending feature on its web version to users across the USA, UK, Canada, India and Australia. The trending topics will be identified by an algorithm, “highlighting topics that have had a sharp increase in popularity, as opposed to overall volume”. Descriptions accompanying each trend will add to the more personal touch Facebook has aimed to achieve. As it standsno plans have yet been announced to sell sponsored trends, however this could be a source of revenue for Facebook further down the line.

Facebook could be set to launch news reading app this month
Re/code is reporting that Facebook is planning a news reading mobile app, Paper. The new offering is likened to Flipboard and is said to include rich media content alongside status updates from Facebook users, and is reportedly set to launch later this month.

Twitter develops tailored audience offering for ads
Twitter has released three new ways for advertisers to create tailored audiences to target its ad products against, enabling them to define groups of existing and potential customers.

The CRM approach creates tailored audiences from an internal CRM database or an ad partners database, with “unreadable scrambles (called hashes) of email addresses” matched to Twitter accounts.

The Twitter ID approach uses usernames or user IDs to create a tailored audience. This approach could be used to target influencers with a large following, and build relationships with them, in the hope they’ll spread the brands message.

The third, exclusion targeting, will enable advertisers to exclude CRM and Twitter ID audiences from the set of Twitter users reached. Using Twitter targeting options (interests, keywords and TV) users already following or engaging with a brand, or users who won’t be interested can be excluded from a campaign.

@ mentions have arrived on Tumblr
Tumblr has graduated from blog network to social network in recent times. With theaddition of the long-awaited user mentions feature, it is now possible to tag friends in Tumblr’s compose screen using an @ symbol.

BBC News launches Instafax
The BBC is currently trialing a short-form video news service delivered to Instagram users, named Instafax. December saw mobile and tablet viewing figures overtake desktop use for the first time, and Instafax is the BBC’s response to this news.

Acura uses Twitter preview, to preview stop-motion project
Honda brand, Acura, took to Twitter to promote Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which the Acura NSX prototype featured. They tweeted single frames from a stop-motion gif, each displaying in Twitter’s timeline image preview with the result of a visual flip book as you scroll down the page. Twitter users got involved during the show using #NSXCoffeeRun, and 150 fans were rewarded with a @tweetacoffee Starbucks gift card.

Subway go mad for gifs this January
Sandwich brand Subway are tempting those dieting this January by launching 73, soon to be 100 animated gifs with the hashtag #januANY for a mini-campaign across Facebook and Twitter, using both paid and organic messages. The idea is that consumers will rapidly share these unusual animations with their friends and family via social media channels.

You could #BeeFamous with Applebee’s
American food chain Applebee’s has two TV spots to fill to promote their more diet-friendly ‘Under 550 Calories’ menu, and for your shot at six seconds of fame you simply have to capture your ‘unbelievable’ reaction to the special menu items with a vine and share it on Twitter using #BeeFamous. If you’re successful you’ll be sent to to await further instruction. This method has been tried and tested previously , most notably by Dunkin Donuts during ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” pregame show featuring animated content posted to Vine from the brand. Submissions will be accepted until January 26th.

Real fans could be #FlyingToMadrid
Emirates and Real Madrid launched their ‘Fans For Real’ campaign on Google+, giving their biggest fans the chance to win flights to Madrid and watch the team in action. To get involved users must +1 Emirates and Real Madrid’s Google+ pages, upload and share content using #FansForReal and #FlyToMadrid. The campaign launched with the below video depicting what the winners experience could be.

The Mindy Project is matching on Tinder
American TV series, The Mindy Project has broken new territory with Tinder. The show announced in November that there would be a Tinder-themed episode in the new year, and to co-inside with this the show has been advertising on the app, matching users with fake character profiles.

Vlogger takes over brand Snapchat account
WetSeal, a teen retailer is one of the latest brands to turn its hand to Snapchat marketing. They partnered with influencer and vlogger Meghan Hughes who manned their account for two days in the lead up to Christmas, creating a Snapchat story. Meghans story was “stitched together from multiple snaps and broadcasted to a larger audience”, and remained visible for 24hrs, making it possible to replay it as often as someone liked. The results speak for themselves, WetSeal gained 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of the story for WetSeal, and vlogger Meghan was able to interact with her fans and followers in a whole new way.

Brands are joining Jelly
The new and much talked about social query app, Jelly from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has been live for two weeks and already brands are trying their hand at it. In the UK Carphone Warehouse, Nandos and Asda have begun to experiment with the app, with varying levels of success. And in the US Whole Foods, Lowes, Shutterstock and Ben & Jerry’s are also dabbling in asking fun, interesting and thought provoking questions. For some though, brands’ use of the app is ruining the user experience.

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Social, Digital & Mobile in APAC in 2014

by Simon Kemp in News

Following on from We Are Social’s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.

It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.

These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.

These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.

The Global Picture

Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:


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Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.

We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data in the report – here’s the APAC picture:


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In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.

The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:

APAC mobile contract type

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Asia-Pacific In Context

APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:


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apac global share

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Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:


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However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:


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It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:


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It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:

  • The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
  • However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
  • There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.

Social Media

2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.

We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.

User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):


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It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:

  • Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
  • Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
  • On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.

We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.

Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).

China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.

We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:

  • The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
  • The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.

However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:

  • WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
  • WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
  • LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
  • Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide

We’re  pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.


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As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.

Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.

It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.

However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:

mobile social users

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The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.

Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.

While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:


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It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.

You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.

The Individual Country Story

We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.

Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.

In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:


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Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.

Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.

However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.

The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:


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It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.

However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.

We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.

East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:


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As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.

Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.

Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.

Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.

Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:


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Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.

We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:


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As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.

The India Changes

Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:



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India Contract Type

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So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.

Be sure to check back  to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!

Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank GlobalWebIndex and GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.

UPDATE: We’ve amended this post, and some slides in the original report, due to a request from one of our data partners.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #98

by Jane Hoang in News

Twitter expands its reach in India by partnering with Airtel
With no extra charge, subscribers of Airtel Digital TV in India can soon start tweeting whilst enjoying their favorite TV show or viewing tweets related to it. The tie-ins of Twitter and TV providers around the world has been making headlines for quite some time, which is often referred to as an indication of the emerging second-screen phenomenon. With an user base of 15 Million people, the invasion of Twitter into the digital TV platform in India seems inevitable. In fact, it’s a win-win situation for both parties as Twitter can enrich its revenue stream through TV ad placement whilst Airtel can benefit from the promotion of its additional internet services. How are the Airtel subscribers taking this? Well, we would be keen to hear your thoughts on this.


2 in 3 e-shoppers in India are influenced by social media
In a consumer survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan recently, it’s revealed that over 67% of Indian online shoppers refer to social media before making their purchase. Moreover, 40% of web users aged 18 -35 who took part in the study admitted that they once acquired items after seeing them in a social networking site. In essence, the widespread adoption of smartphone and feature phones  has significantly transformed the decision path of Indian consumers by allowing them to get online and stay connected more easily. Companies who embark on this  journey and make social media work to their advantage are definitely reaping the benefits.

Line’s stickers turned into dramatic mini-soap operas in Taiwan
Last month, we wrote about how Line tried to compete with WeChat by offering the fun series of Wandoujia stickers in China. Perhaps it is hard to beat the giant that WeChat has grown to become, but the Japanese chat app’s popularity is hinted everywhere in Taiwan: on billboards, in subways, at night markets. Interestingly, Taiwanese fans have gone the extra mile to demonstrate their addiction to the cute stickers by creating funny mini-soap operas out of them. If you’re a huge fan of these animated characters who can read Chinese, check them out!


91 Million social media users in India by end of 2013
It’s estimated by IAMAI, the Internet & Mobile Association of India that the number of social media users in the country will touch the 91M hallmark by the end of this year, reflecting a growth rate of 17% from June. Facebook which enables users to stay in touch with friends, publish content, as well as search for contacts would remain as the most popular platform with a penetration rate of 96%. The promising outlook for social media can be attributed to the influx of affordable smartphones as well as mobile data plans in India. Interestingly, “non-working women” is predicted to be the next segment to be swept along by the social media stomp.

Berocca to make cool easy in Singapore
Berocca is looking to make it easier to be cool for teenagers in Singapore, by creating a desktop widget that compiles interesting content from around the web. Users can then be the first to share this on their own social presences, hopefully upping their own status.

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The growth of mobile use for UK internet and shopping
The UK is becoming increasingly mobile as a market, after a study last week predicted that 57% of the country’s internet users will get online via a mobile in 2013, compared with 40% in 2012 and 20% in 2011.

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Once online, m-commerce is key for segments of the UK mobile community. 10% of UK consumers use a smartphone as their main shopping method, while 22% make purchases on their phone. This makes Britain the European market leader, with 15% of Germans making mobile purchases, followed by 8% in the Netherlands and 4% in France.

Social referrals growing across the board
Shareaholic released its social media traffic report last week, with positive news for many social networks. Pinterest remains a surprisingly important source of traffic, second only to Facebook. The top three networks, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, increased their referrals by 55.81%, 66.52% and 54.12% respectively and now together account for 15.22% of all traffic to Shareaholic’s publishers. YouTube and LinkedIn also increased their share (by 52.86% and 34.51%), while Google+ remains a relatively unimportant source with a cumulative 0.04% figure.

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47% of US advertisers to up social spend
A spring survey of US advertisers found that there are set to be increases in a large number of social budgets.

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Facebook ads performing well
Facebook ads are up on all key performance indicators, according to global analysis of 85bn ad impressions. From Q2 to Q3 2013, click volume increased by 14.4%, conversion rate went up 2.36 times, revenue up 2.16 times and return on investment up 3.04 times.

Facebook allows retargeting through newsfeed ads
Facebook has released a new method of ad targeting, which allows advertisers to directly retarget people who have visited their site or app through native ad formats in the newsfeed. This means that retargeting can now take place not just on desktop but also mobile, where ads appear only in the newsfeed and not via the page sidebar – it’s the first time that such a system has been in place for mobile devices.

FBX adds Google, offers very cheap impressions
Facebook has added Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager to its ad exchange, FBX, which allows real time bidding and traditional display ad retargeting. This could well be big news, considering the huge number of advertisers using the system.

In other news, it has become apparent that ads can bought very cheaply through FBX. In fact, 50% of impressions cost less than or equal to US $0.50, as shown in the below graph.

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Twitter ups US revenue, but slows on growth and may close #Music
Twitter has announced an increase in its US revenue, leaving it likely to hit $500mn for the year. The first nine months have seen revenue of $422.2mn, up 106% year on year – suggesting strong figures ahead of the platform’s mooted IPO. However, it’s not all good news for the platform, as its growth has slowed to 6.13% in Q3 2013, down from 10.6% for the same period in 2012, as shown in the below graph. It’s also planning to close its mobile #Music app after just six months, with its market share dropping month on month.

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Twitter introduces scheduled tweets
Twitter is looking to emulate Facebook by introducing the ability to schedule updates. Previously, Twitter users could schedule tweets by using a client such as Hootsuite or Buddy Media, but the ability is now on offer to users of Twitter’s Ad products directly through the native platform, and applies to both promoted and organic tweets. For more details, see our blog post on the subject.

Receive Twitter DMs from any user
Another Twitter update, this time to its direct messages. Previously, you could only receive DMs from users you follow, but this has all changed with the ability to receive them from any user. The system could well be useful for brands, who can now receive such messages without having to follow each individual consumer.

Twitter’s new Android app and sketching
Twitter has also released a new app this week, its first for Android tablets. The most interesting development allows users to ‘sketch’ a tweet using their device, then upload it to the network. Announced, naturally, in a tweet, a particularly pleasant response came from Samsung.


It’s not yet clear whether this is to be rolled out across Twitter for other devices, but if so, it would be considered a major change in the platform’s functionality.

The social features of Microsoft’s XBOX One
One of the major releases planned for the next generation of consoles, Microsoft’sXBOX One is set to have a decent number of social features, including community achievements, a Twitter-esque ‘feed’ and the ability to follow professional gamers. More details are included in this video:

Vine-based TV ads by Mountain Dew
Drinks brand Mountain Dew is launching a set of Vine-based TV ads. These will show on NBC Sports and ESPN during Nascar, and can hardly be less interesting than watching cars go round in circles for hours on end.

Tide using Vine for Halloween
Detergent brand Tide has been using Vine this week, too. It is planning seven separate short videos for Halloween, each around a different spooky theme.


Jose Cuervo’s #PartyAnimals ‘Howl’ app
Jose Cuervo has launched a ‘Howl’ app under its #PartyAnimals theme, which uses SMS technology to allow users to create a ‘pack’ of friends. When on a night out, users can then ‘howl’ to their entire ‘pack’, or ‘text’ all their ‘mates’. It sounds good to say ‘howl’ and ‘pack’ though, so go Jose Cuervo.

We Are Social create #MoetMoment
We Are Social has created a global social campaign for Moët & Chandon, under the hashtag #MoetMoment. Users upload images or memories of moments that they deem worthy of a bottle of the champagne to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr using the hashtag, with the best each week receiving a golden Magnum of Moët Impérial.

ASOS send discount codes on Snapchat
Online fashion retailer ASOS used Snapchat to send customers 10 different discount codes, each of which disappeared after 10 seconds, requiring users to either screengrab or write them down quickly. They also tweeted the following to push people to the promotion:

C&A Brazil promote partnership with Instagram campaign
C&A Brazil is launching an Instagram campaign to celebrate its partnership with Roberto Cavalli. Based on the idea of ‘Cavalli rules’, fans are asked to post a photo to the C&A account with the hashtag #loucasporcavalli (#prayforcavalli) explaining how they interpret said rules. The best will be selected to win an invitation for the Cavalli collection’s pre-sale event, a book about Cavalli and a C&A gift card.

Carphone Warehouse’s #OnceInABlueMoon
UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse is promoting the launch of the new HTC One Vivid Blue with a Twitter campaign called #OnceInABlueMoon. Users are asked to tweet moments in their own lives that fit the hashtag, for the opportunity to win one of the new phones.

Unicef’s #emptyplate campaign for World Food Day
Global charity Unicef created a campaign for World Food Day that aimed to highlight hunger by playing on the tendency for people to post images of their food online. It asked Instagram and Twitter users to instead post an image of an empty plate, hoping that this will raise awareness of those going hungry across the world.

British Gas and the art of the social fail
UK energy company British Gas hiked their prices by 9% last week. Now, this is something that Twitter might just have had something to say about, but the company meant and made it a whole lot worse by offering them a hashtag to use. Offering people the opportunity to #AskBG, they received a number of hugely negative comments, as discussed in our blog post from last week. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they then chose to promote Facebook updates just as the conversation was dying down, highlighting themselves to a whole new audience and bringing on fresh criticism. Like many of their customers may be driven to this winter, all they ended up doing was feeding a dying fire.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #92

by Ji Eun Kim in News

Sina Weibo expands to Singapore and Indonesia
According to Techinasia, Sina Weibo has officially appointed Trends Media as Sina Weibo’s Singapore and Indonesia exclusive reseller, supporting its expansion in the region. The main focus of expansion will be to increase the number of sign-ups of the ‘blue V enterprise-verified’ Weibo accounts. It is similar to Facebook brand pages but it attempts to help brands in Singapore and Indonesia to effectively target Chinese speaking users on Sina Weibo. About 70% of the Singapore’s population are able to converse in Mandarin. Singapore is fourth largest nation in terms of registered Sina Weibo users globally with 1.5 million registered users. However, Facebook and Twitter are still most used social media platform in Singapore. Will Sina Weibo become major social media platform in Singapore? Only time will tell.


Rakuten buys singapore-based video streaming site Viki
According to TechinasiaRakuten has officially revealed the acquisition of video streaming site Viki. Viki is a Singapore based start up company offering premium TV shows, movies and music video content with crowdsourced subtitles, allowing multi language users to consume the content created from various nations. The acquisition appears to be one further step for Rakuten to go beyond e-commerce and attract worldwide users with unique service to compete with the market leaders like Amazon. This move is in line with its investment in social bookmarking site Pinterest and acquisition of Spanish online video service last year. It will be interesting to see how Japan originated e-commerce site, Rakuten will shape its path to become international digital content provider.


DrawChat joins Chat app competition in Asia
The Japanese startup known for developing the popular photo customization app DecoAlbum, has released new chat app, DrawChat. It’s the first Facebook API that utilized messenger featuring doodling and handmade emoticons. While drawing functionality and a set of cute emoticons are nothing new (as we have seen them from Taiwan-made messaging app Cubie), DrawChat is expected to be more accessible by connecting with your Facebook friends. Do you think DrawChat will be able to grab Asia’s competitive chat market, by leveraging Facebook messenger API?


Facebook open newsfeed competitions
Facebook, which previously stipulated that an app be used for pages to run a competition, has decided to allow them through the newsfeed. This should be interesting for brands, who will no longer require the budget necessary to create or lease an app; fans can enter simply by liking, commenting on or sharing a status. For the full lowdown, take a look at the post we’ve written on the changes.

Update to conversations on Twitter
Twitter has updated how it presents conversations, intending to make them easier to read. Now, tweets that are part of a conversation appear in chronological order, with a little blue line connecting them to make it clear what’s going on. The video below explains the update.

Twitter test ability to tweet excerpts from articles
Twitter last week performed a test with the New York Times that allowed users to tweet certain sections from an article, not just the headline, as had previously been the case. In one article about Saturday Night Live, the network chose certain sections that they felt people were likely to want to tweet, then highlighted them such that they could be automatically selected for sharing. The newspaper noted that the story was shared 11 times more frequently than the average from their top 500 articles of the last month, so it’s likely that we’ll be seeing this tool more in the future.

Location aware recommendations on Foursquare without checkin
Foursquare has announced that it is trialling push notifications based on location, without users having to checkin. The system will suggest occasional places to eat, or sights that you should see if in a new city and will function based on a variety of location signals. By not using GPS alone, it manages to dramatically reduce the battery life necessary, making this a possibility for the first time. The system is being rolled out to a few thousand Android users for testing.

Tumblr creates collaborations for New York Fashion Week
Tumblr has linked 20 fashion bloggers with designers and relevant organisations tocreate content for New York Fashion Week. These will take the form of ‘apprenticeships’, with the bloggers learning from their mentors and helping them produce an installation, which will be displayed in a New York gallery during the event.

Pinterest and Fashion Week
Pinterest, too, is ramping up its Fashion Week activity and has created a dedicated hub where designers and other influencers can share their various inspiration, featuring content from the likes of Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta. In addition, the network has partnered with the television channel ‘Style Network’ to bring an on-screen ‘It List’, featuring the top ten trends for the upcoming season.

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ESPN using Twitter’s Amplify for sport highlights
Sports broadcaster ESPN is set to use Twitter’s social TV platform, Amplify, to show highlights of the college American football season on Twitter. These will be pre-rolled by adverts for Verizon Wireless as part of a larger #DidYouSeeThat campaign, which will extend to ESPN’s on-screen TV coverage of the sport. The move comes after similar deals by Twitter for the MTV VMAs and with the USTA for US Open coverage – evidently, Twitter is working hard on bulking up its already strong links with TV.

GAP make us of .gif on Facebook
After tech firm Giphy has created a product that allows .gifs on Facebook, high-street fashion brand GAP has made use of the technology. It posted its first .gif, shown below, to its Facebook page last week, accompanied by #BacktoBlue copy.


Co-op produces Snapchat campaign
The co-operative is set to become the first major UK brand to use Snapchat in a marketing campaign, promoting their electrical business. Customers will be sent a code for a £30 discount on a laptop, which will ‘self destruct’ after a short time, as with all Snapchat messages.

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