Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Taiwan’.

Five Friday Facts #80

by Haiyi Tang in News

 64.3% of Sina Weibo users watch online videos through Weibo interface
As reported by Tech in Asia, an agreement has just been made by two of China’s biggest players in social media – Youku Tudou videos will now be promoted on Sina Weibo. Whilst 76% of Sina Weibo’s 500 million registered users are actively accessing Weibo through mobile devices daily, Youku Tudou has around 170 million mobile video hits each day. The promotion will launch in July 2013. Users will be able to click on the link of the video homepage and interact with other users. Upon searching for movies and TV sitcoms through Weibo, direct links will appear that takes the user straight to Youku or Tudou streams, thus improving their overall experience of watching videos through Weibo itself. In a recent report by Sina Weibo in April this year, 64.3% of Sina Weibo users have watched online videos solely through the original Weibo interface. From the amount of video links shared on Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou views made up 47.7% and 15.3% respectively. Thus, this new agreement will bring more market share for both parties involved.

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Line targets 20 million users in Taiwan
In Taiwan, Line’s popularity is steadily increasing and they are set to reach 20 million users by the end of 2013. After succeeding the 10 million mark in January this year, Line has almost reached one half of the country’s overall potential. Kang Hyun-bin, the head of Line Plus Corp.’s business office in Japan pointed out that Taiwan is one of the top-tier markets that Line was aiming for. As Line continues to be high-ranking amongst the cornucopia of free messaging apps, more smartphone users are enjoying Line’s free functions such as free calls and its medley of emoticons at their disposal. Kang Hyun-bin has said that Line will continue its strategy to remain a free messaging app, and will continue to work with Taiwanese enterprises to host more promotional campaigns. In the meantime, Line are still aiming to expand into more new markets, as a means in which they can compete with the likes of WeChat and Kakaotalk.

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New dating platform reaches 3,000 users in Indonesia and Australia
TristUp , a platform that allows people to level up their friendships has gained significant popularity in Indonesia and Australia. Users are able to choose which friends on Facebook they want to hook up with secretly. Launched last month, it received 500 registered users in the first three days, but after one and a half weeks, the site reached almost 3,000 users with no marketing efforts. More dating features will be applied on the platform, such as a chat-like platform and mobile app. As Tech in Asia reported, the platform is now targeted at Indonesia, with focus on singles aged between 16 and 28. Yudhi Mandey, the developer of the platform, believes that TristUp can help them fill that need anonymously, and will start pushing Indonesian targeted ads within the month of June.

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More Australians access social media sites via mobile
According to a recent survey by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), Australians are becoming increasingly more social and mobile, as a direct result of social media being more available through the high penetration of smartphones. 45% of Australians are reported to log onto any given social media site at least once a day in 2013, this figure is up by 9% more than 2012. So far in 2013, 67% of social media users access these sites from their smartphones, and 35% access these sites through their tablet devices, both of which are almost double the amount compared with 2012 figures. Facebook holds its spot as the most prominent social networking site, despite traffic dropping from 97% down to 95% between 2011 to 2013. Twitter and LinkedIn have both experienced increases in usage within the same time frame. 15% of Australian social media users are using Twitter, whilst 20% are using LinkedIn in 2013. The report suggests that brands must focus on the increasing shift towards other forms of social media sites, instead of solely being focused on Facebook as their primary means of communication. Sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn that are on the rise, should be considered as important components of a brand’s marketing strategy.

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Google gaining more than 50% of revenues in mobile Internet ads
According to eMarketer, in 2012 Google took more than 50% of total revenue from worldwide mobile Internet ads. They predict that by the end of 2013, the company is set to double its revenue to $8.85 billion. In addition to Google, companies such as Facebook, Pandora, YP, Twitter and Millennial Media are the other main players within the market. Total combined revenue of the five companies previously listed only makes up about 13.3% of total world revenue. Facebook is the second largest player within the mobile market industry with revenue of $47 billion in 2012, and predicted to skyrocket by almost 333% in 2013 to make revenues of around $2 billion. Twitter is also expected to follow this growth spurt and is set to increase revenues by over 100% in 2013. Both companies have exponentially grown from a standing starting point in 2011 and are currently experiencing rapid revenue increases alongside Google. Companies such as Pandora and Millennial Media however, have suffered from a decrease in mobile market share.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #62

by Karen Wee in News

Sina Weibo launches promoted feed ads
Still trying to find ways to monetize its popular Twitter-esque microblogging site, Sina Weibo has rolled out promoted feed advertisements to its 400 million users. Known as Weibo Tuiguang, the ads will appear in user feeds and be differentiated from user posts by a grey line and a notice indicating that it’s a sponsored post. Yet to be implemented on the mobile platform, the decision to roll out on the web platform first  is an interesting deviation from the company’s declared intention to focus on its mobile platform as it seeks to monetize.  In addition to promoted feed ads, the company is exploring a diverse range of options such as e-payments and fan headline advertising to start the revenue stream flowing. It better move quickly as its rival, Tencent’s killer chat app, WeChat is fast gaining ground having registered its 300 millionth user less than a week ago and drawing Weibo users’ attention away from the microblogging service.

WeChat’s new features to include song recognition & voice chatrooms
Speaking of WeChat, the app has unleashed a beta version 4.5 update that features multi-user voice chatrooms, Siri-like voice reminders and even a song database search feature along the lines of Shazam or SoundHound. The update will allow users to set verbal reminders for themselves and to search for an unknown piece of music by shaking the smartphone. The app will stream the song along with its lyrics but  is expected to be made available only to Chinese users due to copyright issues. Word has it that the update will be made available to iPhone users first before Android users. It will be interesting to see how many users the group chatroom can host.

Japanese chat app, Line, reaches 100 million users
Fast becoming a worthy rival to WeChat, Line has just passed the 100 million users milestone. The photo below shows the user counter that was set up at Line HQ in anticipation of breaching the 100 million users mark. Though a much smaller player than 300 million strong WeChat, Line is ahead of Korean Kakao Talk’s 72 million users, in the battle for dominance in the Asian mobile messaging market. Industry watchers expect these Asian players to expand into English speaking markets this year. This would be interesting as they face off with old players such as WhatsApp and new entrants such as Facebook Messenger in the international arena.

Snoop Dogg pimps Line on Twitter
Line has tied up with popular US rapper, Snoop Dogg to help its expansion into the North American market. Boasting a range of Snoop Dogg virtual stickers that are available for free downloads, Line has been getting lots of attention through the rapper’s shout-outs on Twitter.

Line’s aggressive foray into overseas markets such as Southeast Asia and the US has been credited with helping it to hit the 100 million user mark. Interestingly, the app’s maker, NHN Japan revealed some months back that half of its then 70 million users were not from Japan. The app is expected to gain more traction in English speaking markets in 2013 while simultaneously looking to expand in China with a Chinese version, called ‘Lianwo‘.

China’s MiTalk to give WeChat a run for its money
China-born Android-based smartphone maker, Xiaomi, has struck a partnership with Taiwanese startup, Mface, to market it’s messaging app known as Miliao in Chinese (aka MiTalk in English) across Southeast Asia. The collaboration is expected to help MiTalk expand its reach to Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. MiTalk aims to register 5 million overseas users by year end. The chat app currently has 23 million registered users, a large proportion of which are presumably from mainland China. The company will be marketing its smartphones in Hong Kong and Taiwan soon and may expand into North America in the next few years.

Worldwide smartphone penetration on the up
An article by eMarketer has examined the growing smartphone market around the world. It predicts that by 2016, roughly 75% of certain markets including the US and UK, will own one of the devices. The mobile phone market is incredibly saturated, with 130% combined market penetration of smartphones and non-smartphones. As such, they argue that the coming years will see an increase in the former and a decrease in the latter, resulting in the following figures:

Facebook release Graph Search
Facebook have announced Graph Search, a new social search engine that will allow users to search for results based on what their friends like. For example, instead of just looking for a dentist, you can look for “dentists in my area that my friends like”, or even the likes of “singles in my area who like Star Wars”. We have produced a comprehensive post detailing everything you need to know about the feature here.

Facebook bring free voice calls to the US
As we’ve previously discussed, Facebook operated a trial in Canada for free voice calling over the Internet with its iOS Messenger app. Now, they’ve extended this to the US with the latest version of Messenger for iOS. Provided that both users have downloaded the app, they are able to call one another for free, either over WiFi or by using up some of their data allowance.

Instagram releases monthly active user data
After the speculation about Instagram losing users, which we mentioned in last week’s mashup, the network has decided to release data about its monthly active users for the first time. They have stated that, contrary to the rumour, they have actually seen 10% growth in the period from December to January and that the last count showed over 90 million people using Instagram monthly.

EyeEm overtakes Instagram in app downloads
Whilst this was going on, Instagram was actually overtaken by a rival photo-sharing app called EyeEm in terms of downloads, which was at one point the second most downloaded photo/video app behind YouTube. Instagram has since regained its position ahead of EyeEm, but this shows the potentially precarious position Instagram holds in the photo-sharing market.

Favouriting becoming more popular on Twitter
Over the past year, the option to ‘favourite’ a tweet has become much more popular, as the following graph shows:

This comes as a result of changes made to favouriting by Twitter in December 2011, placing the option in a much more noticeable position and making it easier to access favourited tweets. Interestingly, users are more likely to favourite an @-reply than a regular tweet, potentially showing how users are employing the function as a way of exhibiting a positive response, similar to a Facebook ‘like’.

Twitter and television
Twitter have released some intriguing statistics into the way in which people interact with television on the network. They claim that 60% of Twitter users access the site while watching TV and around 40% of prime time Twitter activity is about television. Using specific programmes as case studies, they showed how big TV events can attract an impressively high amount of online activity, such as an episode of Made In Chelsea that procured 215,220 tweets from 110,162 users, reaching a potential 124.2m users.

Twitter headers make it possible to fake verified accounts
The introduction of Twitter header images has led to an unwanted side effect for Twitter, as it is now possible for someone to fake a verified account. As you can see from the image below, it seems as though there is a verified account for a fictional creation, the children’s book character Percy Jackson. However, the blue tick that announces verification has simply been added to the background. Fortunately, there is still a way to tell the difference between verified and unverified accounts, as the word “verified” will appear when you hover the cursor over a true account.

New Myspace now publicly available
The new version of Myspace, which launched in July, is now open to the public after a period of invitation-only signups. The emphasis remains strongly on music and in particular discovering new usic, with an audio deck on each page and a variety of music-related trending stories. The main page also promotes investor Justin Timberlake’s new single. There is yet to be a formal announcement for the new launch.

Foursquare’s maps show the growth of the network
Foursquare have released a detailed map that shows the various places where people have checked in over the last three months.

As can be seen above, this shows various world hubs, but can also be used to show in more detail the areas where people like to check in within a city, such as a clear layout of the runways in Atlanta Airport. In an interview with TechCrunch, Foursquare’s data scientist, Blake Shaw discussed how having access to all this information is important for the future of the company. He stated how they are experiencing a stage of growth similar to Twitter in 2008, from a place to share information to a location for consumption of that information; that is, Foursquare intends to grow further towards being a tool for discovering new places.

Twitter tracking the Oscars
Twitter have released a tool for tracking the positive conversation around Oscar nominees in the six largest categories: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Director. They have produced a real time graph that displays positive sentiment around any of the nominees, measured as a percentage score against the average sentiment level of all tweets on the network. This is similar to a project pitting Romney against Obama during the US Presidential Election and is of interest for examining how particular events or news stories have an effect on public opinion.

Smoothie King helping with New Year’s Resolutions
It’s a sad fact that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t last a very long time. So drinks company Smoothie King have released a Facebook app called Lean Into Life, aimed at salvaging the spirit of New Year in mid-January, by encouraging users to take photographs of themselves whilst completing certain resolution-related challenges for the chance to win $100 gift cards, free smoothies or a bicycle. Fans are asked to take a photograph via Instagram and use the hasthags #SmoothieKing and #LeanIntoLife to take part in the contest.

Panera Bread Company promote ‘hidden menu’ via Social
Panera Bread Company last week sent out a tweet that announced their new ‘hidden menu’ and was met with a range of reactions from excitement to confusion. The idea is that the menu is not mentioned in store, but simply via social, meaning that in-the-know Twitter followers have to go in store and specifically request one of the protein-rich range. This exclusively-social promotion is an interesting idea and could be a very effective example for restaurant or FMCG brands.

Indy 500 campaign set to use people’s Instagram photos
An Indy 500 campaign is set to use Instagram images tagged with the hasthag #Indy500orBust. These will be placed on an interactive map, whilst users are also given the opportunity to win a VIP race experience by uploading photographs. After the controversy surrounding potential changes to Instagram’s terms of service, it will be interesting to see how many campaigns like this come about.

Bentley releasing cars with hashtag license plates
For the launch of three new models, Bentley showcased each with a license plate that displayed a hashtag of the car’s name.

The move is very similar to We Are Social’s campaign for Jaguar, where we emblazoned the model specific @sportbrake handle on the side of a prototype car. As such, it seems that we are seeing a growing trend in the automotive industry to attempt to support the launch of new vehicles with online conversation, specifically on Twitter.

The NHL’s Foursquare comeback
With the launch of a new NHL season, the league has released a Foursquare badge that can be unlocked by checking in at two games this season. Anyone who unlocks it is eligible for a 15% discount at the NHL online shop. Five separate teams have also released their own badge, which can be obtained by checking in at either a home or away game at any point in the season. Each of these qualifies fans for a separate benefit, including the change to win tickets or discounts at team stores.


Esurance Facebook campaign offers SXSW dream package
Online insurance company Esurance have released a campaign that offers fans the chance to win an all-access pass to SXSW, a $2000 hotel stay, iPad and the opportunity to create a set of videos that details the excitement behind the campaign. To win, fans must create content that displays why they are the right person to be behind the videos. The campaign taps into the technological nature of SXSW and produces a prize that is truly fit for the audience.

Volvic and We Are Social search for brand advocates on Facebook
We Are Social have produced a campaign for Volvic that asks fans to submit photographs that they feel best reflects the ‘Volcanicity’ brand. As an incentive, fans can win ‘once in a lifetime experiences’ around the theme of volcanoes, along with a camera to document them. The campaign is aimed at driving brand advocacy – Deola Laniyan, Account Director at We Are Social, said fans will:

become our community managers meaning the content that’s posted is much more likely to resonate with their peers and drive engagement.

English and Welsh High Court ruling on Facebook privacy
The England and Wales High Court has made a ruling on Facebook privacy, stating that pictures on Facebook cannot be published in a newspaper without permission, even if they are set to ‘public’. The ruling is of interest to all those on Facebook and could display a pro-user attitude to privacy by UK authorities.

Tesco’s horse play on Twitter
You’d think the last week couldn’t have got much worse for Tesco, what with their value-range beef burgers being found to contain horse meat. However, it looks as though it has, after accidentally tweeting what looked like a joke about horses. It goes to show the danger of scheduling tweets and making sure you keep a close eye on all social media channels, especially at sensitive times.

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Five Friday Facts #26

by Cai Yu Lam in News

LinkedIn acquires SlideShare
It was announced hours ago that professional networking platform LinkedIn has acquired SlideShare, a sharing platform for business documents, videos and presentations, for US$118.75 million or S$147.51 million. SlideShare users have uploaded more than 9 million presentations since it was founded in October 2006, and nearly 7.4 million presentations hosted by SlideShare have been embedded across more than 1.4 million unique domains. In March alone, SlideShare saw nearly 29 million unique visitors. We’ve already seen some form of integration between SlideShare and LinkedIn in terms of social sharing functionalities, being able to view SlideShare content from within your LinkedIn Stream, and hosting SlideShare content on your personal profile, so there’s definitely some form of fit between the two companies.

Mobile usage in Taiwan
Recent figures from mobile ad network InMobi reveal that mobile web users in Taiwan consume 6 hours of media daily on average, of which 27% is spent on mobile devices, which is more than the 24% of  time spent watching television and catching up to the 33% of time spent going online on desktops or laptops. 76% of Taiwanese mobile web users use their mobile devices while their waiting, 59% use it while lying in bed, and 40% while commuting. Interestingly, Taiwanese shoppers are less likely to use their mobile devices while shopping, with only 11% doing so. Taiwanese mobile web users are very much into social networking and entertainment, as they spend 21% of their time on their mobile devices on social media like Facebook or Twitter, and an equal amount of time on music or videos. 18% of their time on mobile devices is spent playing games12% on search for general information such as news, sports, and finance, and 11% on email.

Marketers increasingly aligning TV and online video
A recent study by video advertising company Adap.TV and DIGIDAY revealed that marketers were increasingly planning, buying and measuring TV and online video together. 49% of brand advertisers and agencies surveyed in North America believed that TV was the most appropriate adveritising channel to align with online video, while 40% disagreed and said online video should be more aligned with display advertising. 62% viewed online video as a direct complement to TV, while only 10% saw it as a replacement for TV ads. In terms of integrated planning, 48% of respondents already currently plan TV ads and video together, while another 25% are planning to do so within the next 12 months. We are bound to see a lot more marketers adopt multi-channel approaches to advertising in the next year as they recognise the importance of balancing traditional advertising with more social forms of media.

Zynga’s ‘Draw Something’ sees a decline in daily active users
Although Zynga’s recently-acquired social gaming app ‘Draw Something‘ had exceeded 50 million downloads and boasted more than 14 million daily users in early April, Draw Something has since lost 4 million daily active users in the past month alone according to AppData. In light of Zynga’s new advertising plans for Draw Something, we wonder how keen brands are to jump on board given the lost in interest in Draw Something after the acquisition.

QR code created by the mid-day shadow of the sun
Korean shopping mall Emart created an innovative QR code campaign to drive sales during lunch hours by creating a large display that formed a QR code from the shadow of the mid-day sun, and could therefore only be used from 12pm to 1pm during the day. When users scan in the ‘Sunny Sale’ QR code, they gained access to special offers, including a $12 coupon. The purchased items through the Emart application were subsequently delivered to users’ homes. Through this location-based mobile campaign, 12,000 coupons were sold, the Emart’s membership base increased by 58% from the previous month in February, and Emart saw a 25% increase in sales of the Emart mall during lunch hours.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #15

by Cai Yu Lam in News

PayPal experiments with QR code mobile shopping in Singapore
PayPal will be introducing mobile shopping in Singapore, whereby smartphone owners can buy goods while on the go using a QR code reader application. This initiative will take place at 15 subway (MRT) stations, where gifts from eight retailers at prices reduced specially for Valentine’s Day will be displayed. Smartphone owners must first download the PayPal QR code reader which allows them to scan the QR codes of the displayed products, and subsequently purchase these products by logging into PayPal or by providing their credit cards details.

Singapore is poised for such an experiment as it has a large smartphone userbase, having achieved the largest recorded feature phone to smartphone migration rate globally at 54%, and having the largest smartphone user base per capita in the world with a 90% penetration rate. It also has the infrastructure in place, with mobile 3G network and free public Wi-Fi that every citizen can register for with their mobile phone number.

Smartphones serve as entertainment guides in Taiwan
An Internet survey by Google found that most smartphone users from Taiwan use their mobile devices as a restaurant finder and travel guide. 38% of Taiwanese who responded said they use their smartphones to search for restaurants and food recommendations, while another 35% use their smartphones to seek travel information. Similarly in other parts of Asia Pacific, 66% of smartphone owners aged 18 to 29 in Singapore said they used their smartphones mostly as a food directory, followed by 55% in Hong Kong, and 40% in both Australia and China respectively.

Tencent’s mobile gaming platform
China’s Internet giant Tencent revealed that its mobile gaming platform Mobile QQ Game Hall has surpassed 200 million registered users and sees 13 million users everyday, with peak usage hitting more than 1 million concurrent gamers. It has no doubt tapped on Tencent’s weibo service, which has more than 250 million members. The current selection is still rather limited, but Tencent has claimed it will be adding more titles to its collection of casual games.

‘The Sims Social’ comes to China
Social gamers in China can soon look forward to playing The Sims Social, which was launched on Facebook last year but was unavailable to Chinese netizens as Facebook is blocked in the country. The 537 million active users on Tencent’s social gaming network QZone will be able to access The Sims Social, or Mo Ni Shi Guang in Mandarin, through an open beta on its platform soon.

China’s 254 million active microblogging users
China had 254 million active microblog user accounts by the end of 2011, up by 150.7% from the previous year. The active user activity proves just how big a part microblogging plays in China’s Internet culture. Microblogging user activity was mainly reflected by the number of user-generated content, the number of ‘retweets’ and comments, content shared among social platforms, and content sharing outside social platforms.

LinkedIn reaches 150 million users
LinkedIn has reached 150 million users, after adding more than 50 million users in the last 10 months; in doing so, it has secured its place as the professional’s social network. Asia Pacific accounts for 25 million users, with India accounting for the majority of Asian users with 13 million LinkedIn accounts, while 4 million originate from Southeast Asia. Singapore alone accounts for 700,000 users, which signals a 14% penetration.

Liking a brand has a positive purchase intent
Interesting news from eMarketer: 54% of those who like a brand on Facebook are then more likely to purchase the product.

From social media to word of mouth
Promoting a brand on Facebook means more than just buying up thousands of fans and, right on cue, Unilever have announced that it is shifting away from using social media for getting fans and instead wants to move towards engagement to drive advocacy and word of mouth.

The dinosaur in the room
Is it brands that are having a hard time evolving, or is it agencies? Just 9% of senior marketers believe traditional ad agencies have successfully joined the digital age, according to a new study.

Hey, have you seen this new video?
Just like a study released a couple of weeks ago, new research has found that viewers who watched a video were more likely to recall the featured brand when it was recommended by a friend compared to viewers who found the video through browsing. Also, people who watched a friend-recommended clip were more likely to enjoy the video and purchase the product.

Brits are top on Twitter
Nearly 40% of people in the UK use Twitter, the highest per capita usage in the world. The U.S., the Netherlands, Chile and Venezuela round out the top 5.

Should Facebook make a ‘junior’ edition?
Although Facebook requires its users to be 13, almost half of British 8 to 12 year olds lie about their age and have accounts on the site. Most of the children replied that they simply wanted a place to play games online and would join a ‘junior’ Facebook if it were created.

Adding Facebook Places to your map
Some Facebook users can now see an “Add to Map” button for business pages with brick-and-mortar addresses. This is meant to encourage more people to fill in their Timelines, but should also yield valuable information in recommending places to friends and letting businesses create more targeted ads.

Could the tap-in be the next check-in?
In its latest update for Android, Foursquare has included support for near-field communication, which would allow check-ins via a wave or a tap when you reach a location. The service has changed dramatically as it gets ready to enter its fourth year, and it’s taking notes from Twitter about getting past its ‘growing pains’.

Google launch Google+ developers page
Last Monday saw Google launch a Google+ developers page within Google+ to allow users to stay close to the latest Google+ platform news and events. The idea is for the page to act as a feedback portal for users, as well as encouraging users to join hackathons. It’s been successful thus far, as it’s already in almost 19,000 circles.

MySpace to announce one million new users
Since December, when MySpace introduced a new music player, it has added one million new users, the first increase in users in almost a year.

Pinterest reaches ten million unique visitors a month
According to comScore, Pinterest is the quickest ever site to reach ten million uniques a month. Certainly a site we’re watching closely.

Path: one to watch
Since its redesign two months back Path has added one million new users and is growing exponentially. Whilst it’s only available on smartphones – and hence it’s userbase will always be limited – the ease of use of the nascent app-cum-social network, means it’s another we’re watching closely.

Domino’s return to crowdsourcing
Domino’s has launched Think Oven, its new attempt to crowdsource feedback from its Facebook fans:

The Think Oven Facebook tab has two sections: Projects and Idea Box. Projects is where Domino’s solicits feedback on specific projects, with the kick-off project asking fans to brainstorm uniform ideas. Two visual submissions and two written submissions will each receive $500 rewards.

Idea Box is more open-ended and accepts any ideas people want to submit (although it’s safe to assume the brand’s Facebook admins can delete any offensive/rude suggestions). After all, the pizza chain’s latest product, Parmesan Bread Bites, was created by Brian Edler, a Domino’s Store Owner in Ohio. Other ideas so far including introducing rooftop gardens, better French dressing and a pizza delivery locator light.

Domino’s to trial F-commerce
Meanwhile, Domino’s in the UK are embarking on a new product launch exclusive to its Facebook fans. The Pizza chain is launching ‘boneless ribs’, a new addition to its menu of side orders. Facebook fans will be able to preview and order the dish at a promotional price for a week before the national launch. Perhaps there’ll be a domino effect from this, and it will drive long-term sales?

Control cats from your computer
A new campaign from Friskies allows users to control a series of kittens’ toys through Facebook (while real live kittens play with them). With cats, consumers and the internet combined, expect the web to go into meltdown.

New Cillit Bang Product Launched exclusively on Facebook
Reckitt Benckiser has announced plans to exclusively sell the new Cillit Bang ‘All in 1 Dish & Surface Cleaner’ household-cleaning product through its Facebook page. They also plan to invest an extra £100m in brand building across Europe.

Cadbury’s use Facebook to launch new Wispa product
After running a competition to find the Ultimate Wispa fan, Cadbury’s then let the very same fan launch the new Wispa product – Bitsa Wispa – on their Facebook Page, before running a competition all week to give the first batch of the product away.

Foster’s with Facebook Timeline app
Fosters is the first alcohol brand in the UK to develop a Timeline app, using it to showcase its exclusive comedy content. Rumours of the comedy being sweet, but mostly flat, are yet to be confirmed.

O2 surprises and dazzles with a Valentine campaign
The mobile operator O2 is rolling out plans to ‘surprise and delight’ customers with another personalised social media campaign for Valentines Day. The have created a virtual digital love nest in the clouds to deliver Twitter users messages via Youtube videos, personally recorded by non-identical twin “O2 Cupids”.

Dove creates Valentine’s Day tweet screen
Dove has erected a Valentine’s Day tweet screen in London’s Victoria station, which displays tweeters responses to questions about women and beauty. Aside from the time of year, it’s hard to see how much this has to do with Valentine’s.

Threadless link-up with Pinterest
T-shirt makers Threadless are one of the first brands to run a campaign on Pinterest: they’ve asked users to create a Valentine’s Pinboard including five Threadless products, for the chance to win an $100 voucher as well an $100 Amazon gift card.

Skoda’s impressive use of social media
A really nice story from Car Dealer Magazine, about how a tweet from a journalist about not having a car, ended up with him being a given a car for the day, as well as free lunch. It all goes to show the power of listening on social media, and then generating positive word of mouth. It’s hard to get brands to believe it can be this simple, but sometimes it really can be.

Sky News bans retweeting others, BBC bans breaking stories on Twitter
Sky News has introduced a new policy that bans its journalists from retweeting non Sky sources. It seems to miss the point of social media – about reporters being part of the wider community – and it will be interesting to see if there is a backlash from their journalists.

Simon Collister from We Are Social London highlighted just why it’s a bad move for Sky:

Sky, as an early adopter of Twitter, has taken a big step backwards. It’s easy to see where it’s coming from in terms of attempting to protect the brand from association with inappropriate personal tweets or unconfirmed news, but Sky is missing the point. The biggest damage to the brand will be that its reporters go from being ‘real people’ to official broadcast channels for Sky. This risks diminishing the range, breadth and quality of the content being produced and shared.

What will these policies mean for the individual journalists concerned? Many of Sky’s reporters understand that getting the most out of Twitter means reciprocal engagement through sharing and retweeting other users and are already flouting the new policies. If Sky journalists find themselves losing followers, authority or relevance in the increasingly networked news environment, it will be interesting to see if this leads to higher staff turnover – or a management re-evaluation of the proposed practices.

The domino effect has already been felt at the BBC, where journalists have been told not to break new stories on Twitter. The new rule, which applies to all correspondents within the corporation, reporters and producers, was announced on Wednesday, just a day after Twitter’s new ruling.

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Five Friday Facts #9

by Cai Yu Lam in News

We’ll round off this first week of 2012 with our 5 Friday Facts. Hope everyone managed to conquer that dreaded backlog amassed over the holiday break!

Social interactivity higher in China and India than in US
Forrester’s Social Technographics data shows that 80% of Indians and 76% of Chinese netizens surveyed are creators of content, as compared to a mere 24% of Americans. This means that 8 in 10 adults are blogging, publishing web pages, or uploading videos online in India, with China only slightly behind.

A billion texts sent from Kakao Talk everyday
South Korean mobile application Kakao Talk is a chat messaging service that sees 1 billion texts sent through its service everyday. Similar to Whatsapp in which users can send and receive messages inclusive of text, emoticons, photos and videos, Kakao Talk has more than 30 million members, most of which are daily active users, while 6 million are allegedly overseas users.

Groupon leads group-buying market in Taiwan
Groupon has 52.37% of market share in the group-buying industry in Taiwan, nearly twice that of its closest contender Gomaji, which has 24.2%. Groupon seems to be faring better in Taiwan than it did in mainland China, even though the entire industry shrank slightly by 0.9%.

Consumers prefer sending emails in their communication with brands
Even though brands are increasingly relying on social media to better engage their customers, it’s interesting to note that email is still the preferred channel for those who wish to communicate with a brand. A survey by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium showed that 65% of consumers surveyed would send an email, 50% would fill out a form on the company website, while 44% would call a customer service line. In comparison, 33% would post on the brand’s Facebook page, while only 12% would tweet. Of course, with the new private message function on Facebook, we might see the preference for email decline.

Social media resolutions for the new year
Posterous surveyed 2,000 Americans to discover what were some social media New Year’s resolutions they had. Privacy was the topmost agenda, with 44% of respondents wishing to create a platform to share content privately with close friends and family, while 42% of respondents wanted to be more careful about what they shared. 25% of respondents vowed to spend less time updating their social media accounts. We’re not fooled.

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