Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Singapore’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) October 10, 2013
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.
— Tide (@tide) October 18, 2013
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:
Er, hello @Snapchat! Yeah, we’re totally on there… and we have some secrets to spill. Get following ‘ASOSFashion’
— ASOS (@ASOS) July 3, 2013
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.
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 Techinasia, Rakuten 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.
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.
Day Two of the iMedia Agency Summit kicked off with a series of roundtables, and I hosted a great discussion on “Demystifying The Complexities of Social in a Diverse Region”.
I was joined by delegates from Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and the UK, each of whom highlighted the specific nuances of the social media landscape and audience behaviours on their respective markets.
- Brands can’t just adapt global campaigns for social in Asia; the cultural context means we need a dedicated approach for local needs.
- Industry growth and improved ROI requires greater involvement from senior marketers within client organisations and agencies.
- Listening technologies still don’t offer a universal solution across the region, and this is a major barrier to improved success.
- Marketers need to think more about how to deliver meaningful social value, instead of antisocial product spam.
- We need to build social communities that people find welcoming and rewarding, and not egocentric brand fan clubs.
In-Depth Conversation Review
We started the roundtable by discussing the diversity of technologies and platforms around the region. Facebook and Twitter are still the dominant networks in markets like Malaysia and Singapore, but we’re seeing increased use of new platforms and services such as WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk, especially in Northern Asia.
However, while audiences have jumped on these platforms at a startling pace, Miki from Comnico suggested that many brands in Japan still struggle to use these platforms for marketing, especially where the interactions are more personal, private and contextual. She stressed that large-scale social media marketing in Japan is still dominated by Facebook and Twitter, whom she feels are better set up to cater to the needs of big brands.
Hanh from VietBuzzAd stressed the continued importance of forums in Vietnam’s social media ecosystem, pointing out that forum seeding and paid interactions still form a large part of many Vietnamese brands’ investments in social. Contrary to Miki’s experiences though, Hanh says that brands in Vietnam are already exploring how to use chat apps for marketing, and she’s been involved in activities for a fast-food chain where chat apps played a central part of communications. She believes that the mobile nature of these apps makes them ideal for marketers who want to connect with Vietnam’s permanently mobile youth.
This kicked off questions around the kinds of content brands are using in different channels, and Lola from Tribal in Malaysia pointed out the difficulties in managing consistent brand delivery across the region, whilst also catering to local cultural and linguistic nuances. This was a theme we discussed at the iMedia Brand Summit a few months back too, and it continues to challenge both agency and client-side marketers alike.
One thing all participants agreed on, however, was the need to develop content specifically for Asian audiences. Simply translating a global campaign into Asian languages rarely delivers meaningful audience engagement, because the ways Asian audiences engage around content are different. Asian audiences can be more reserved in the way they interact with content in social media, so brands need to make extra effort to ensure the content is tailored to specific audience needs and behaviour.
This segued into a conversation about how difficult it is to measure success across different markets. The cultural dimensions of engagement mean that it’s very tough for brands to benchmark and compare success metrics across markets like the Philippines, whose audiences are culturally more socially gregarious, and those in, say, Japan, whose audiences are often more reserved.
Kate from Profero said that these differences really struck her as a recent arrival to Asia; she wasn’t prepared for the diversity of platforms and technologies around the region, and the challenges this diversity causes. She noted that marketers in the West are used to using a single tool that can collect comparable data across markets – often in different languages – but that this was currently still unfeasible in Asia, where no single social listening tool covers all of the top languages.
This not only makes marketers’ jobs more difficult, it also makes it more difficult to compare the successes of activities across markets. As a result, marketers in Asia spend lots of time simply collecting data, rather than analysing it, and as a consequence struggle to gain the same momentum as their Western counterparts. This compounds the challenges marketers face when trying to develop regional activities, as it’s much more difficult to find common insights to inform strategy.
The difference here isn’t one of skills though; rather, it’s often about access to reliable tools and technology that would allow marketers in Asia to optimise activities more efficiently, and report their successes more accurately.
Many complexities stem from differences in how people around the region do business too; the challenges we face are not just technological, but also relate to the ways marketers approach things in their individual business cultures. Lola pointed out that differences in business culture can make it tougher to gain traction with regional clients too, so it’s imperative that agencies build strong relationships with senior marketers.
She suggested that social media doesn’t always get enough senior attention within larger agencies, and that by making it the domain of junior teams, social media would continue to remain a novelty, and would always struggle to gain the backing that it needs. She stressed that youthful enthusiasm had huge value, but agencies also need people with broader experience and an understanding of business to work on social activities.
In particular, senior marketers continue to worry about negative comments and ‘trolling’, and this is particularly important in Asia where senior marketers have an elevated need to ‘manage face’. This often makes it more difficult for senior managers in Asia to take big risks, and as a result, social media remains a marginal activity in traditional industries like Banking and professional services.
Hanh noted that this is one of the reasons why it’s so difficult for agencies to find a good remuneration model. She noted that clients are used to paying for people’s time when it comes to producing social content (e.g. images), but they don’t really understand the value of activities such as community management, so don’t want to pay for them. Consequently, many agencies in Vietnam have been including these for little or no cost, which has further devalued them in clients’ eyes.
Miki said the situation in Japan was equally tricky for two reasons: firstly, because too many of the people working in social media are very junior, and secondly, because very few senior marketers use any form of social media in their personal or professional lives. She said that even when clients were keen to get involved in social media, it was more as a result of looking at what their competitors were doing, rather than because they saw a unique opportunity for their own brands.
This leads to a lot of copying between brands. The resulting lack of differentiation results in much lower engagement, creating a vicious cycle where senior marketers don’t see any meaningful value in social media. Miki noted that this problem is particularly prevalent in Japan, where few people speak English well enough to be able to benchmark what brands in other countries are doing, and as a result, Japanese social marketing has become a bit of an echo chamber.
Lola said things are different in Malaysia, where clients are more comfortable paying for strategy and listening, although on-going community management is far from being an attractive, scalable opportunity despite its potential to add value to clients’ brands.
Cristel from OMG noted that Filipinos are generally highly social anyway, and are much more likely to click ‘Like’ or follow brands than people in other cultures. As a result, social media seems to work well for many brands locally, and marketers are getting increasingly involved. Social media is popular across the population, but when it comes to people in lower socio-economic groups, social media activity is driven by interactions with celebrities and staying in touch with family members who are working overseas.
Interestingly, however, the majority of the 93% of internet users in the Philippines who already use Facebook, most still access predominantly through desktops due to the cost and patchy reliability of mobile data. This means that internet cafes are still very important around the country, although home internet access is on the increase.
We then got into a heated conversation about the need for brands to add distinct value in social media. We agreed that too many brands are still filling in content calendars, rather than understanding how the brand can actively offer entertainment, information and education to its audiences through social activities. Kate made the important distinction between ‘Liking’ a brand page, which is a one-off, versus ‘Liking’ individual content and posts, which is what brands need to strive for. If content doesn’t continue to offer value, people will quickly ignore it. In particular, as an industry, we need to take a stand on unscrupulous marketers, and the proliferation of spam.
Social media’s role in political issues is also causing concerns for marketers around the region, especially in areas like China and Vietnam where people are turning to social channels for more ‘activist’ activities. Political beliefs aside, this makes the social environment more tricky for marketers to navigate, and fears that certain (or even all) channels may be blocked continue to worry brands and agencies across the region. We agreed that open social media were preferable to highly regulated platforms, but that, just like in offline communities, some degree of protection and moderation was needed to ensure people’s safety and a welcoming environment for everyone.
In a similar way, the wide array of religious beliefs around the region also adds to the complexity for marketers. For example, if a brand wants to make a social media app for a particular religious festival, laws and cultural sensitivity may require them to create such an app for all relevant religious festivals. Marketers need to show a high degree of social, cultural and religious sensitivity when engaging with Asia’s multi-ethnic audiences.
However, we also agreed that traditional media are often a large part of the problem, sensationalising stories about social media, and focusing heavily on the negative aspects of social media behaviour. Sadly, this sensationalism often extends to the marketing trade press too, so it’s important for agencies to offer meaningful contributions to stories that help to mitigate the issues.
Cristel then made the point that too many brands focus on sales and trade, and they’re missing the ‘engaging heart’ of social. If marketers are not matching cultural context, they’re going to struggle to engage people. She contested that audiences go to social media to have a conversation with their peers about the things they care about – not to be sold products – so marketers need to offer people something to connect around that adds social value.
Hanh noted that many marketers resort to competitions for this though, which again contributed to the erosion of social value. She and Cristel both said this has led to the rise of ‘professional competition entrants’ in their markets, and sometimes whole families make a living by entering social competitions and voting for each other in order to win. Marketers and audiences alike are increasingly frustrated about this, and it’s rendering competitions less and less effective.
Cristel brought the roundtable to a fitting conclusion by noting that brands are still stuck in conversations about quantity, but the real opportunity is one of quality. Too many marketers are envious of their competitors’ “vanity scores” (e.g. Facebook Page Likes), but they’re not looking at whether the size of the community actually delivers any value. As an industry, we need to stop focusing on ‘lowest common denominator activities’ (e.g. “like this post if…”) that dilute the quality of engagement and make social media marketing far too antisocial.
If you’re looking for more insights into the diversities of social media around Asia, be sure to check out our Social, Digital and Mobile series of reports.
KakaoTalk joins the race for market share in the Philippines
The main chat app contenders in the Philippines have long been Wechat, Line, Whatsapp, and Viber. But an additional option is now available in the Philippines as KakaoTalk launches their first TV ad. The Philippines spot features Filipino singer Sarah Geronimo, together with Korean boy band Big Bang. This is KakaoTalk’s first push for the competitive chat app market in the Philippines and its first bid to gain traction in the fastest-growing internet audience in southeast Asia, according to a recent ComScore study. KakaoTalk’s launch of TV ads in the Philippines is similar to the promotions run across the region to increase it’s share in and around the region. As of last June, KakaoTalk has 100 million registered users. That number is only half the number of registered users of Line, which is perhaps the leader in the Philippines on both Android and iOS, according to App Annie’s rankings. How will KakaoTalk fare in the Philippines in the coming months is something that we will monitor closely.
Singapore’s Mig33 rebrands as a microblogging platform
As reported by Tech In Asia, Mig33 is revealing today that it’s heading towards a different direction by becoming a social “mini-blogging platform”, making it available on more platforms such as smartphones. How does Mig33 plan to stand out against its competitors such as Twitter? Firstly, a higher word count for posts – 300 characters, just over twice the amount of Twitter’s 140 characters per tweet. Secondly, by leveraging the fun and playful side of its user experience with the recent rebranding of its logo and the experience it provides. The Mig33 experience includes chats, emoticons, levels, the unlocking of badges, different site layouts and a gaming platform. Currently there are over 70 million registered users on Mig33, do you think they will be able to grow bigger in the region with their new direction?
WhatsApp leads the chat app market in India With Over 20 Million Active Users
Whatsapp has revealed that it has over 20 million active users in India right now. While it’s a ballpark figure given by WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum – it is clear that WhatsApp; despite the assault from other chat services like Line and WeChat, leads the chat app market in India. With more chat app contenders battling out in India, will Whatsapp’s introduction of walkie-talkie style voice messaging suffice to maintain its user base? Bearing in mind that competitors such as China based WeChat have incorporated this feature well over a year ago and are also actively penetrating into the India market through TV ads. Other contenders include Line with over five million registered users in India, Nimbuzz, Viber, BBM and local challengers such as GupShup. Will Whatsapp be able to hold off its competitors, only time will tell.
Changes to Facebook’s Newsfeed
As we reported last week, Facebook has made three new updates to its Newsfeed: story bumping, last actor and chronological by actor, each affecting the order in which stories appear. Story bumping means that, if a user misses any story from a friend or page, it is eligible to be bumped to the top of their feed. Facebook’s initial test into 7,000 users of the feature has shown that it leads to a 57-70% increase in the numbers of stories read, raising interactions by 5% for stories from friends and 8% from pages. Last Actor takes note of the most recent 50 people/pages with which a user interacted, giving the stories from each a slight bump in relevance, while Chronological By Actor allows users to see all the stories from any person/page in chronological order, useful for following live events and the like. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t major changes, but do seem to be aimed at an increase in engagement, as We Are Social’s Global MD, Robin Grant, told Ad Age:
Is this a sign that Facebook is so worried about decreasing user engagement that they’re changing how the news feed works to try and stem the tide?
Facebook experiments with ‘trending topics’
Hot on the heels of verified accounts and hashtags, Facebook is experimenting with another Twitter-inspired feature: trending topics. The system will be tested with a limited number of US users on Facebook’s mobile website, displaying a trend from the day at the top of the page, as shown below. If users click on this, they will see everything that their friends are saying about it, followed by posts from strangers. Only time will tell if this is introduced to all users.
Facebook to stop supporting rich media in ads
We’ve seen a lot of ad-simplifying by Facebook in recent months. This is now being taken a step further, with the removal of support for Adobe Flash and other rich mediain desktop ads, described in their updated regulations as “audio or flash animation that plays automatically without a user’s interaction or expands within Facebook after a user clicks on the ad”. Inside Facebook claim that there is a further move to do so on mobile, citing the ‘CEO of a Facebook PMD’ as their source.
Twitter partner with Datalogix to measure tweets’ effect on purchase
Twitter has recently entered into a partnership with Datalogix in order to measure the correlation between tweets and sales for consumer packaged goods marketers. This works as follows: Twitter provide the email addresses (scrambled for anonymity) of those who have been exposed to a brand’s tweets, compared with those who have not, to Datalogix, who match this information to their own purchase data. In a recent test of 35 brands across a variety of industries, it was found that those who interacted with a brand’s promoted tweets purchased 12% more of that brand’s products than the control group. Indeed, those who were simply exposed to the tweets, without even interacting, purchased 2% more, increasing to 8% for organic tweets. Users exposed to five or more organic tweets purchased three times as much of the relevant product.
Instagram has announced the latest major update to its mobile app: Instagram 4.1, citing 3 major updates to the platform. The first of these is the introduction of video for Android 4.0 users, in line with its iOS version. There’s another update to video, too: the ability to import a film from your phone’s library, regardless of when it was recorded, and trim it to the correct length. This is good news for brands who want to upload pre-recorded adverts to the network (although that’s not necessarily a good idea!). Finally, the iOS version now features an ‘auto straighten’ function, which corrects crooked photos with the press of one button.
72% of Online US adults use social networks
The Pew Research Center has found that, of all US adult internet users, 72% are now using social networks. The study, which has been ongoing since 2005, has also found that triple the number of over-65s (43%) are using social networks than were in spring 2009 (13%). Currently, 18% of US internet users are on Twitter, with 30% of 18-29 year olds using the site, amounting to the highest Twitter penetration of any age group.
‘Liking’ content makes people more likely to do the same
According to research presented in the journal ‘Science’, if you ‘like’ an article, someone else who reads it is more likely to do the same. The study, involving numerous academics from different universities, took a list of comments on a website where users submit links to news articles and added fake up or down votes, to see how this would manipulate ongoing interactions. They found that, if a piece had already been given a fake positive score, the first person reading it was 32% more likely to up vote, though there was no impact on subsequent negative votes. Interestingly, adding a fake negative vote had no effect on future votes.
The top reasons for marketers to use social media
Consumer engagement and brand lift are the two top reasons for using social media, according to a US survey of marketing professionals. Both of these were given as reasons by 67% of participants, followed in third place by ‘influencing customer behaviour’ with 61%. In fourth place was ‘positive sentiment’, down from 1st in 2012, which figured in 59% of responses.
Which brands get most Facebook engagement?
Recent analysis into the Facebook activity of the top 50 US retailers during the first half of 2013 has resulted in some interesting results. While half have seen an increase in the total volume of engagements over a six-month period, the other half saw a decrease, with only two of the top ten increasing overall. Image updates are still more prevalent than videos, amounting for 80% and 3% of posts respectively. For engagement, luxury brands are the most successful, receiving 19,469 fan actions for every post, while brands that depend on mass appeal appear at the other end of the spectrum, as shown by the graph below.
More tweets leads to increased TV viewing and vice versa
Research by Nielsen has found that there is a correlation between an increase in thevolume of tweets about a TV show and its live viewing figures – the report even goes so far as to call it a causation. In a minute-by-minute examination of 221 primetime episodes, they looked into whether an increase in viewing figures had an effect on the volume of tweets for the next 5 minutes, finding that, 48% of the time, it did. They then examined the inverse, to see how a change in tweet numbers affected the next 5 minutes’ viewing figures, noting that the same was true 29% of the time.
Porsche’s Facebook fans create limited edition 911
As part of the celebrations for ’50 years of the Porsche 911′, the automotive brand allowed Facebook fans to create a limited edition, fully customised version of the carthrough a series of votes. Now, the results are in and the community have settled on Aqua Blue metallic paintwork, white 20 inch wheels and an Aerokit package; the fully built car is now being offered for test drives at the Porsche Experience Centre in Silverstone.
General Electronic’s #6SecondScience
GE is hosting a science fair on Vine, encouraging people to submit their own videos using the hashtag #6SecondScience and tweeting/blogging the best examples. The activity, a sample of which is shown below, will be supported by influencer outreach, as well as ads on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Mashable and Buzzfeed.
HTC post Vine video teaser
Mobile manufacturer HTC has created a Vine video to tease a new product. The video shows a man, believed to be new brand ambassador Robert Downey Jr., getting out of a helicopter. Rumour has it that the clip is in reference to the upcoming HTC One Max, the next mobile handset to be released by HTC.
Domino’s Pizza celebrate innovation with #PoweredByPizza
Domino’s Pizza has created a campaign to celebrate innovation through crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Dubbed #PoweredByPizza, the brand is offering gift cards to people who pledge funds towards certain ideas that they consider ‘innovative’.
Continue from Top Facebook Pages in Asia, June 2013 [Part 1]:
NCell was again the name that deserved most attention when we examined the strength of Facebook brands in Nepal. Besides having the biggest fan base, NCell owned 2 out of the top 3 most popular posts last month. NCell’s Recharge & Wins campaign preserved the attractiveness observed in May despite reaching the closing stage. However, engaging the community with generous promotions instead of exciting content should not be the long term strategy for any brand.
Similar to NCell in Nepal, Nescafe clearly led the Facebook sphere in Philippines, both in terms of size and the content strategy. Simple messages accompanied by catchy images of the perfect meal resonated well with the audience, thus, tactically brought Nescafe’s products closer to their lives. Though the engagement rates of 1.43% and 1.15% (in the examples) were modest, they should be evaluated in conjunction with Nescafe’s huge fan base.
It’s striking that the top 5 most Socially Devoted brands in Singapore in June (according to their response rates) all worked in the telecom industry. Singtel, Starhub, and Samsung Mobile Singapore have been in the list for a long time, but the arrival of Sony Singapore in replacement of Spotlight made the observation even more convincing. According to Socialbakers, Telecom was the industry having highest response rate in Q2’12. Does it imply that Singapore’s brands were catching up with the global trend?
National theme was reflected strongly in the most successful posts in Korea last month. SK Telecom, Happy Point, and Samsung Tomorrow were the 3 brands that exploited this topical content the best. It’s also interesting to see how the subject was approached differently and still rewarded the users with the similar fulfilling results.
The highlight of Thailand in June was the falling engagement rates of the top Facebook pages. Friskies Thailand who garnered an engagement rate of 4.74% in May was the only brand that escaped this fate. Friskies’ secret weapon was the usage of lovely photos that would melt the heart of any cat lover. In a nutshell, it’s about pinpointing the interest of your target audience and staying focused!
Did anything stand out to you in this month’s Socialbakers report? Share your insights with us!