Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Tencent Weibo’.
YouTube founders have launched a Chinese version of vine, Wan Pai
ASOS system by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen has launched their newest app which is similar to Vine, Wan Pai(玩拍). Similar to Vine, Wan Pai also features 6 second video recording and sharing to Chinese social networks like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. On top of Vine’s basic app mechanics – holding on to the screen to record and letting go to pause, Wan Pai provides more editing options like adding filters and choosing to include or mute audio and many more. As a part of localization, Wan Pai has made videos to play only when users tap a video instead of letting it stream automatically when users browse videos. This seems to be considerate of Chinese users with limited 3G data plan in the country where users often experience lag. Video sharing apps hasn’t been a hit in China but will Wan Pai be the one to bring in the hype of social video sharing in the market?
Tencent may invest 15% stake in Patimas computers
According to a report by Malaysia news channel Astro AWANI, Tencent, makers of popular Chinese chat app WeChat, plan to invest another 15% of stake in Patimas Computers this week after buying 5 percent stake from the company earlier this year. The deal is with an attempt to enhance Tencent’s service in the South East Asia region. As a provider offering ICT business infrastructure and cloud services in Malaysia, Patimas Computers is expected to facilitate in speeding up the service of WeChat and Tencent’s internet service in the region. This seems in line with its’ plan of opening a new branch in Malaysia. We will need to see how these moves will help Tencent to pave a path to expand its’ presence beyond home ground.
Tencent’s WeChat revealed its’ test version of upgrade to the app
With more than 400million registered users, China’s most popular chat app, WeChat is continuing its’ path to become the best complete mobile communication and social networking app by a consistent upgrades of features. According to QQ Tech who have tried a beta version of the upgraded app, there are some interesting new features added to the app such as enhanced scanning function. Its new feature allows scanning not only products but also your surroundings to help users find anything interesting in the area. In addition to its current “shake” feature that allows users to find people near them or listen to music, the new feature extends its use to videos, identifying video by sound and giving users access to more information of the video. It’s still in beta and an official upgrade hasn’t been announced.
Social media the most common use of smartphones and tablets
Social media is the most common use of smartphones and tablets, according to Nielsen. Smartphone users spend on average 9 hours and 6 minutes on social networks per month, compared to 3 hours and 41 minutes on an iPad. The next most common behaviour is watching videos, on which smartphone users spend 1 hour and 15 minutes, with 1 hour and 11 minutes devoted to sport. iPad users spend slightly more time watching videos: 1 hour and 48 minutes, with 50 minutes worth of sport. Apps are used far more than mobile internet: smartphone users claim to spend 87% of their app/web time using mobile apps.
1 in 3 Americans own a tablet
Research by Pew has found that 1 in 3 Americans now own a tablet, in comparison with just 3% in May 2010. The devices are most popular amongst 35-44 year olds, of whom 49% own one, whilst tablet users are also more likely than the average citizen to live in suburbia and have relatively high levels of education and income. The growth of the US tablet market can be seen in the following graph:
The rise of social TV
The Council for Research Excellence, with the help of 3 Nielsen research groups and Bluefin Labs, has analysed the habits of 6,000 TV viewers and found that social TV seems to be on the rise. 1 in 10 use social media to discuss TV every day, whilst 37% do so at least once a week, with behaviours varying by the type of show. Sci-fi programmes were most popular on social, followed by sports and reality. While reality TV attracts most conversation during broadcast, scripted shows tend to do so after they are aired. Another dichotomy appears between drama and comedy; the former does best around the beginning of the series, whilst the latter tends to peak at the season finale.
Facebook gets the lion’s share of social budgets
The Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report has found that 57% of brands’ social media budgets is being spent on Facebook, compared to just 13% on each of YouTube and Twitter.
Facebook introduces highly-anticipated dock to Home
Facebook Home received a few updates last week, the most important of which was a new dock that allows you to store your favourite apps for easier access, in response to criticisms that it was missing from the original launch. Previously, users were required to go through a series of taps to open even their most frequently-used app and Facebook hopes that the increased usability will encourage more Android users to take the system on board. Other updates include the ability to send multiple photos in a single message, as well as stability & memory improvements and bug fixes.
Facebook to significantly simplify ads offering
Facebook is going to make significant changes to its ad offerings, attempting to simplify and streamline the number and types of adverts available. Facebook claims that its key goals are the elimination of redundancies, natural introduction of social context and a more consistent look and feel. The first of these means that products like Questions and Offers will no longer exist, as brands have found that it is much more efficient to use a sponsored post, simply asking a question or adding a link to outperform the respective products. Social context will be naturally included in all posts and ‘Sponsored Stories’ removed as a result, as shown in the below diagram:
Finally, ads will ‘look more consistent’, making the ad creation process simpler for marketers and hopefully creating a more visually immersive experience for users. The changes, which will reduce the number of ad types from 27 to under half that amount, are expected to be introduced gradually over the next 6 months. The move is expected to contribute to the growth of Facebook’s ad revenues to $5.6 billion this year, with roughly $1.5 billion coming from mobile.
Facebook highlighting most engaging posts in admin panel
In another move aimed at assisting brands, Facebook has begun highlighting the most engaging posts in yellow and accompanying them with a star in the page admin panel.
In addition, brand pages are being notified whenever a post performs well, allowing Facebook the option to promote. Once a post is promoted with media spend, a notification is also sent after the budget runs out, alerting admins of the extent to how well the post did and allowing them to better understand post performance.
Tumblr ad exchange ‘inevitable’
Since Yahoo purchased Tumblr for $1.1bn a few weeks back, we’ve been bringing you updates about any potential changes to advertising on the platform. Now, considering the cost of the deal and relatively low advertising revenue from last year ($12 million by most accounts, if not lower) industry professionals have claimed that it’s ‘inevitable’ that Tumblr will introduce an ad exchange. Given the success of Facebook’s FBX and Twitter’s plans to follow suit, this would come as little surprise; the question lies in how Tumblr’s audience are likely to react.
Vine launches on Android, growing faster than Instagram?
Twitter-owned video app Vine launched for Android last week, boasting a number of features from the iOS version, including the same video-creation system, Explore and Find Friends, as well as ‘Zoom’, unique to Android. Users were also assured that other features, including front face camera, search, mentions and hashtags would be released in the coming weeks.
On the day that this was announced, Vine came very close to outdoing Instagram in terms of daily Twitter shares; it did so only 2 days later, with 2.37 million shares, outdoing Instagram’s 2.14 million.
This has led to questions about the comparative growth rates of the two network. When it was launched on Android, Instagram already boasted 30 million monthly active users (MAUs), compared to 13 million for Vine. It only took Vine 5 months to release on Android, compared with 18 months for Instagram, while Vine racked up 10 million MAUs in 3 months, 9 months faster than its rival. Certainly, Vine seems to be flourishing much more rapidly than Instagram did; what remains to be seen is whether this will translate into continued success.
Keek surpasses 45 million users
Vine isn’t the only social video app witnessing rapid growth. Keek has recently surpassed 45 million registered users compared to Vine’s 13 million, of whom 24 million have arrived since the launch of Vine. On top of this, the platform has seen 667 million total visits, 12 billion offered page views, 18 million uploaded videos and 2.2 billion video playbacks. Whilst Vine is currently only available on iPhone and Android, Keek also offers a desktop and Blackberry version, with a Windows phone app on the horizon. This multi-device integration, coupled with the celebrity endorsements that bring in 20% of all viewed Keeks, has surely contributed to the app’s current success.
Foursquare trialling small-business promotion
Foursquare is trialling the ability for small businesses to promote themselves on the network with a “handful” of New York City vendors. The system, previously only available for large, national businesses, allows the promotion of a photo, review or listing, targeted by location and check-in history. Whilst this allegedly makes up ‘phase two’ of Foursquare’s magnetisation strategy, the cautious approach looks to ensure small businesses understand how to use the system, especially considering the relatively low proportion of their marketing budgets small businesses spend on digital: 3% according to a Boston Consulting Group survey.
Snapchat launches version 5.0 amid rumours of new funding
Snapchat has vastly updated its user interface, whilst adding a few new features, with the launch of version 5.0. The new photography screen, shown below, also allows for swipe integration between different parts of the app, which now include in-app profiles along with double-tap to reply and better tools for adding friends.
Meanwhile, just months after raising $13.5 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, Snapchat is looking at another round of income, this time amounting to $100 million. That would give the app an incredibly high valuation, in excess of half a billion dollars.
Zeebox launches social ‘TV Rooms’ service
Zeebox is launching a service called ‘TV Rooms’, which the company describes as “a Facebook to connect TV fans, creators and actors”. Essentially, it is a set of over 4,000 pages, on which fans can discuss TV in real time with those involved with the production of shows. The launch is set to coincide with the 100th episode of ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’, when the host of the show and three of its stars will take to the network to talk about the show with fans.
Pranksters poke holes in Durex campaign
Condom manufacturer Durex recently asked fans to decide of the city most in need of an “emergency condom delivery service”, with the winner receiving a delivery of condoms from Durex staff. However, the voting was hijacked by pranksters, who voted for Batman, a very conservative Muslim city in Turkey, to receive the prize. Unsurprisingly, this was not taken well by the residents of the town and is reminiscent of other social media voting schemes gone wrong – for example, when Justin Bieber was told to play in North Korea and Taylor Swift at a school for the deaf.
Social media and the Turkish uprising
The use of social media and Twitter in particular has soared in Turkey in line with the recent political upheaval. Indeed, there were 2 million tweets between 4pm and 12pm on Friday alone, with over 90% of the tweets on the topic coming from within the country. This is in contrast with Egypt’s use of Twitter during the Arab Spring, when it is estimated that only 30% came from inside the country. The reaction was such that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan decided to get involved; despite holding his own Twitter account with 2.5 million followers, which he updates daily, he is quoted as having said:
Right now, of course, there is this curse called Twitter, all forms of lies are there. This thing called social media is a curse on societies.
(RED) and Mashable team up to break Vine world record
(RED) and Mashable have teamed up to attempt to break the world record for most Vines posted about a single issue. In total, there were over 1,100 original posts and 2,400 RTs, amounting to a total of 129 million potential impressions, as shown in the below graph. Indeed, celebrities such as Bill Gates, Paris Hilton and David Guetta all got involved, along with news sources such as MTV, Wired and VICE magazine.
Full length Rickroll on Vine
The day that Vine was launched on Android, a 16 year old named Will Smidlein managed to deconstruct the app and bypass its 6-second rule and rickroll Vine by posting a full length video of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. The post was eventually deleted by Twitter and Smidlein apologised to the engineers for wasting their time, saying the stunt was only intended for his friends and followers. Still, a 16 year old who’s heard of Rick Astley. Well done, internet.
Sina Weibo logs 731,102 posts during the first minute of Lunar New Year
TheNextWeb recently reported that Sina Weibo announced a staggering milestone: There was an astounding 731,102 posts in the first minute of Lunar New Year, where users on the Chinese microblogging channel gathered to celebrate the year of the snake. TechInAsia also highlights that this number included an impressive 34,997 posts from the first second alone. The number also illustrates the magnitude of Sina Weibo’s growth in the past year. As TechinAsia reports, this first-minute record is particularly striking given the 481,207 posts that were logged during the last New Year, with the peak clocking in at 32,312 posts per second.
59% of top 100 brands are on Instagram, reaching 5.8M followers
According to a recent study by SimplyMeasured, 59% of the top brands have created accounts on Instagram. The social media analytics company conducted their quarterly study for the third time in February 2013. They found that this comprised an increase from 54% in November 2012, or a QoQ increase of 9%. The study breaks down the platform adoption further, to show that 55% of the top brands have active accounts–meaning they have posted photos via the photo-sharing platform. This also compares favorably, to the 49% of top brands with active Instagram accounts.
But are the top brands on Instagram being noticed? The answer seems to be a resounding “yes”, as their Instagram followers have collectively increased by 41% and engagement by 35% since November 2012. The total number of top-brand followers has increased to 5.8 million users, with 10 of the brands logging over 100,000 followers.
Sina Weibo grew 73%, passed 500 million registered users in 2012
In another report on Sina Weibo, TheNextWeb reported that China’s popular microblogging platform had accumulated over 503 million accounts by the end of last year. Sina CEO Charles Chao also revealed that daily users on the site came to a whopping 46.2 million users as of December 2012. This number expresses an 82% increase year-on-year. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Sina Weibo had only recently reached 400 million registered users late in the year, during the third quarter of 2012. TechInAsia notes, however, that growth has recently slowed down to 9% in the latest quarter. Chao similarly expressed some concern regarding decreases in usage following competitor Tencent WeChat’s growth to 300 million users in the past year. Chao stated that his concerns were ultimately mitigated by the notion that Weibo had reached a size that would inevitably keep itself going and growing–particularly given the increasing adoption of mobile web and “the formation of [an] ecosystem” around the popular platform.
68% of marketers to increase data spend, focus on social media in 2013
eMarketer reports that a majority of marketers are planning to increase spending on data, with the objective of understanding the “surge of data produced by digital interactions with customers.” As the study by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and Yesmail Interactive indicates, 68% of marketers are planning to increase spending. By contrast, 23% had planned to spend the same amount, and only 3% of the respondents planned to decrease spending on data in 2013.
The increasing interest in social media data comes from the findings that followed. When asked about the prospect of using social media data to drive campaigns, a significant portion (78%) of the respondents indicated positive interest. While 42% of respondents reported plans to integrate social media data further, 36% indicated plans to start during 2013.
200,000 users check-in through Jiepang every day
Jiepang currently has 4 million users. While this number pales in comparison to the number of users on social giants like Sina Weibo and Tencent, China’s location-based check-in app is consistently abuzz with activity. As PandoChina notes, Jiepang’s CEO David Liu stated that over 200,000 users checked-in to locations on a daily basis. The Foursquare analogue has been around since 2010 and cultivated a relatively small but strong niche following in the past two years. As of now, the highest number of check-ins stands at 150,631 for a single location–again, somewhat paltry compared to the 1 million check-ins logged by its Western counterpart, Foursquare earlier this month. TechInAsia notes that the road ahead may indeed become difficult for Jiepang, especially given the rapid growth of other social channels in China. It is noted, however, that Jiepang plans to adapt and innovate around potential obstacles by loosening the emphasis on check-ins and increasing focus on social sharing and user content. According to Liu, their revamped app will ultimately take on a Facebook-like appearance as a social network. Ultimately opening up new ways to use the app for its current and prospective users in the upcoming year.
Continuing our series of data snapshots for Social, Digital and Mobile usage worldwide, we’re pleased to share the latest numbers for the different regions around the world.
All indicators show significant growth since last year’s worldwide report, with mobile clearly the driving force for all aspects of our connected lives.
Internet penetration adds an extra 3 points year-on-year to reach exactly one third of the world’s population, posting growth of a quarter of a billion new users in the past 12 months.
Much of this growth has come from ‘developing’ nations, with Asia accounting for a significant proportion of the global growth.
Social media usage is up by almost the same volume, registering an additional 240 million new users in 2012.
However, in markets like China, the biggest shift we’ve been tracking is a change in usage patterns between different platforms, rather than growth in the absolute number of users of social networks.
Facebook continues to dominate the worldwide picture with close to a billion monthly active users, but Chinese platforms take the remaining 4 of the top 5 slots.
Sina and Tencent’s weibo offerings are clearly the biggest success stories over the past year, growing both their registered and active user bases by hundreds of millions.
Google+ has also made big gains since last year, although its 235 million monthly active users don’t quite give it enough weight to achieve ‘Global Top 5′ status. However, with more than 500 million registered users, it’s clear that Google+ has plenty more potential, and is surely one to watch in 2013.
Twitter continues its stellar growth too, passing 200 million active users a couple of months ago. The West’s favourite microblogging platform also passed the half-billion registered users milestone last year, and its popularity shows little sign of slowing.
Vkontakte continues to play an important role in Central and Eastern Europe, with the latest figures suggesting the platform has amassed just shy of 200 million registered users.
Meanwhile, the new breed of ‘Instant Messenger Plus’ platforms like WeChat (Weixin), Line and KakaoTalk look set to change the global social media landscape over the next few months, with Tencent’s WeChat already surpassing 300 million registered users.
The mobile growth story continues to impress, with more than half a billion new subscriptions activated around the world in 2012.
Mobile subscription penetration now exceeds 91% of the world’s population, and although like-for-like data are hard to come by, it seems mobile now reaches at least as many people around the world as television.
All indicators suggest continued growth throughout 2013 too, so the critical question marketers need to answer now is,
“How are we going to integrate all of these opportunities into a consistent and engaging approach that builds real brand value?“
The answers to that question will be central to our posts in the coming months here on the We Are Social blog.
Just how many Twitter users are there in China?
According to a recent study, there are only 18,164 active Twitter users in China. This is in sharp contrast to data released by GlobalWebIndex indicating 35.5 million monthly active users. The huge disparity prompted yet another study of the numbers. The latest study revealed a tiny userbase of about 8,000 active Twitter users in China out of a sample size of 43,784 people who tweeted in Chinese. The pie chart below depicts the global distribution of Chinese-language tweets according to timezone. Have you read other reports with similar figures?
China uses Weibo for quake warnings
Chengdu credits the use of Weibo for advanced warnings as being a contributing factor in reducing earthquake casualties during last week’s quake. The warning system is wired to send messages within five seconds of a shockwave being detected in an area covering 20,000 square kilometres. Emergency usage of Weibo is still in its infancy in Chengdu with less than 1,000 followers. However, with the combined population of one billion registered users on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, social media will increasingly be used as a means to provide people advanced warnings for earthquakes.
Brad Pitt’s the latest celebrity to join Sina Weibo
Hollywood star Brad Pitt is the latest celebrity to jump onto the Sina Weibo bandwagon to a warm reception from Weibo users. Within 2 hours of his first post with the cryptic message, “It is the truth. Yup, I’m coming…”, the actor’s status update received 8,000 comments, 20,000 reposts and acquired 73,000 fans for his verified account. Though Brad Pitt is not the first international movie star to join Weibo, this development is interesting because he’s supposed to be banned from entry into China due to his starring role in the 1997 movie ‘Seven Years in Tibet’. The coming days will reveal if the actor’s foray into the Chinese webosphere is part of a promotional effort for an upcoming movie or if he’s acting as a spokesperson for brands he represents.
Chinese flirting app, Momo, adds check-ins
In an effort to monetise the popular flirting app Momo, the next app update will include check-in features and user-generated listings of local points of interests in a move that challenges similar apps such as Jiepang and Sina Weibo’s ”Places”. The app will also include Instagram-esque photo filters with an intent to use the listings as a source of revenue. The new features will only be available for the Chinese version of the app at the moment as the management plans to keep the international version simple during the market penetration phase.
BitGifting allows friends to pool resources for a prepaid card gift
The days of gifts being tossed out or stuck in a storeroom because they didn’t fit the recipients’ tastes or needs may finally be over. The new BitGifting app allows users in India to send a prepaid card that can be redeemed at any outlet or payment gateway that accepts Visa cards. Users can login using their Facebook accounts or register for a free account onsite. They even have the option of pooling funds with friends for a combined gift. Gift card recipients can opt to receive a physical card or keep it virtual and activate it online after completing a form requesting for their details. The cards remain valid for 12 months after activation. Whilst the reviewer liked the clean interface and ease of use of the app, it is worthy to note that there are fees involved that were not explicitly communicated in the Terms & Conditions or FAQs. BitGifting charges the sender convenience fees while the recipient pays card issuance fees to the partner banks.
Facebook adds audio to Messenger App, tests voice over IP service
In an attempt to become a yet larger part of overall communications, Facebook have introduced voice messaging to their standalone Messenger App for iPhone and Android. Users will be able to send one another voice messages of up to one minute. More interesting is the news that a voice over IP service is being trialled in Canada, which would look to rival the likes of Skype and Voxer. Whilst these services currently have a powerful market share, the ubiquity of Facebook and subsequent convenience mean that this looks a powerful prospect.
Facebook announce changes to allow greater freedom for marketers
Facebook have announced a variety of changes this week, which will look to benefit marketers in a number of ways. Firstly, ‘flexible sentences’ have been enabled for Open Graph activity, allowing brands to alter the text that appears when someone uses their app.
This is set to be complimented by customisable headlines on adverts for pages, apps and events, which already existed for ads that led away from Facebook. This is set to look as follows:
Finally, Facebook are going to begin bundling together any API changes that will break existing code and will release them on a quarterly basis. Previously, Facebook announced these changes individually and gave developers 90 days to make any necessary changes to apps. However, this meant that changes could build up over time and end up with a new alteration needed every month. Now, all changes can be done at once, saving the time of those building for Facebook.
Forcing signups helps Google+ to 105 million unique monthly users
October 2012 figures from comScore have shown that Google+ attracted 105 million unique monthly users, up 60.9% from 65.3 million at the same time last year. This is in comparison with a 4.3% growth from 788.2 to 822.1 million for Facebook. Twitter claimed 182.9 million visitors and LinkedIn 161.9 million. However, the social network is still lagging in terms of mobile visits, with 7 million to Facebook’s 91.3 million. This rise comes during a period of forced signups from Google, with those wishing to use many of the company’s other features being forced to sign up to a Google+ account. For example, you cannot post a review on any Google service without a Google+ account. Perhaps surprisingly, this seems to have helped considerably with the growth of the social network.
Pinterest makes its first acquisition
Pinterest has this week made its first acquisition, a recipe site called Punchfork. The two year old site allows users to share images of food and accompanying recipes, as shown below:
Pinterest has long been used for sharing food and recipe related content and Punchfork’s interface is not a million miles away from the social network’s own. It seems that Pinterest is looking to go deeper into recipe sharing…
Brands marketing with temporary photo sharing apps
Brands have started using apps like Snapchat and Facebook Poke, which allow users to share a photo that auto-erases after a certain amount of time, as part of their marketing. New York Frozen Yoghurt chain 16 Handles, for example, have created a Snapchat campaign called ‘Snappy New Year’, asking customers to share an image of their purchase with the company’s Snapchat account in exchange for a free voucher.
Meanwhile, Delta Lingerie shared a video through Facebook poke. The video, which showed a model putting on the lingerie, was sent to the brand’s Facebook fans and automatically deleted after viewing. Going forward, it will be interesting to monitor how other brands attempt to market on emerging platforms like these.
Polaroid launches ‘Fotobars’, stores for printing your Instagram photos
Polaroid, once the king of instant photography, are attempting to venture into the digital age by creating stores where people can print their Instagram photos. The idea stems from the insight that, whilst many of us have hundreds of photos on our phones, few of these ever see the light of day. The company’s website says that it “offers a very easy, simple and cost-effective process to transform your favorite digital photos from your phone, computer or camera into extraordinary, cherished pieces of art”. It will be interesting to see whether people take to the idea, or if this is a desperate attempt at an appeal to a bygone age.
Hunter create Facebook campaign dependent on the weather
We’re happy announce our first campaign of the year – We Are Social has created a Facebook app giveaway, with daily prizes dependent on the ever changing British weather, for British-based Wellington boot company Hunter. Each day, fans will be asked to create and capture an image basd on the weather in order to win a prize, ranging from a pair of wellies in wet conditions to fleece socks in the snow. The campaign is based on the insight that one of the few good things about bad weather is getting to wear certain beloved winter clothes and it will be intriguing to see how fans engage with it through the coldest month of the year.
Breaking news on Instagram
To fans of UK Premier League football, it will come as no surprise to hear that Frank Lampard may not be at Chelsea next season. However, what is of interest is the way in which club captain John Terry alluded to the news on Instagram, posting an image of the two players holding the FA cup with the text: ”Devastated is an understatement. We should retire the number 8 shirt in honour of Lamps.” It is as yet unclear whether John Terry has ever won the FA cup, or was indeed present in any of the images on his Instagram account.
Social media users in China spent 884 million hours on microblogs
Resonance China reported that microblogs were by far the most popular form of social media in China during Q3 2012. A recent study by iResearch suggests that 422 million internet users are on social networking sites in China, exceeding the reach of news, search, videos and other forms of online communication. Of all forms of social media, microblogging further claimed 302 million users in Q3 2012 – the highest reach amongst Chinese social network users. Although the growth rate has slowed for microblogging platforms, users still spent 884 million hours on microblogs during Q3 2012. This number represents the highest number of hours spent on any social media platform, and also surpasses the number of hours spent on microblogs during Q2 2012.
Korean chat app KakaoTalk reaches 70 million users in 2012
TechInAsia reports that KakaoTalk recently hit its first 1,000 days since the app was launched. The Korean-made chat app commemorated this milestone by producing an infographic detailing its current user base. The insights demonstrate how the Korean-made chat app has rapidly grown its following since it launched in March 2010. The app has more than doubled its user base in the past year, and increased to 70 million users in December 2012, up from 50 million in June of this year. Interestingly, the app’s reach is growing even in Japan, where homegrown chat app Line has consistently dominated the field. According to AppAnnie, KakaoTalk’s ranking has shot up in iOS free app downloads in Japan. KakaoTalk’s growth is further highlighted by the fact that there are 27 million unique daily visitors to the app. The users produce a staggering 4.2 billion messages on KakaoTalk every day, up from 2.6 billion at the end of Q1 2012.
Asia-Pacific to top Western Europe social network ad spend in 2013
A recent report by eMarketer revealed that spending on social network advertisements will increase significantly in the Asia-Pacific region next year. According to their projections, the region will experience 48% gains, topping a prospective valuation of over $2 billion in 2013. This significant growth in spending is linked to the increasing penetration of both globally-established social networks — such as Facebook and Twitter — as well as the sheer variety of locally-established social networks, such as Tencent and Sina Weibo in China. Collectively, they represent a social media landscape that holds an abundance of potential for marketers in the Asia-Pacific region.
A study conducted by InSites Consulting in Q2 2012 also cast light on the fact that Asian SNS users are more likely to engage with brands on social media than their Western counterparts. In particular, the study demonstrates that 2 out of 3 users in China (66%), and well-over half of users in Japan (56%) follow one or more brands on social media. These numbers are particularly striking when understood in comparison to the percentage of users who follow brands in the US (53%).
The mature markets of Europe and the US will still claim a larger share of social network ad spending worldwide; however, the growth of spending is predicted to rise at a faster rate in the Asia-Pacific region. eMarketer forecasts that by 2013, Asia-Pacific’s regional share will reach 22.9%, surpassing Europe’s 22.3%. Spending per user is noted to remain low in Asia-Pacific. This may be due to the fact that some of the emerging markets are still developing their digital ad economies, and the fact that there are a hefty 616 million social network users at minimum in the region.
The lack of Facebook and Twitter in China would ostensibly represent barriers to such growth in this particular market. It is interesting to note however that the number of users on local social networks in China is still predicted to double the number of users in the US, to a total of 307.5 million by the end of 2012. As a result, ad spending in China will still experience rapid growth within the region, and even surpass the regional growth rate of 48.3% with 51.3% gains in 2013.
Twitter now has 200 million monthly active users
Twitter continues to see widespread growth in its user base, with no signs of stopping soon. A report from The Next Web confirms that Twitter has released an update, stating that 200 million active users log onto Twitter every month. This amounts to a 60 million user increase since Twitter last shared a monthly active user base, of 140 million in March of this year. Despite having a fraction of Facebook’s 1 billion users, the microblogging site has seen an impressive average growth rate of 6.6 million new users per month since March 2012.
Facebook and Pinterest trigger more offline actions than other social sites
Through a recent survey by ACTIVE Network, MarketingProfs revealed that Facebook and Pinterest were the most likely to lead its users to take some form of action offline. The survey examined the relationship between offline actions and five social sites–Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The results of the survey demonstrated that 87% of Facebook users were influenced to do something offline because of an interaction they had while using the social network. Pinterest and LinkedIn came in close behind, with 70% and 60% of users of the respective sites reporting to have taken offline action. The type of offline action these social sites triggered also varied by platform. For instance, 70% of Facebook users and 56% of LinkedIn users were prompted to make direct contact with an individual after interacting on the respective sites. 23% of Facebook users and 21% of Pinterest users made a purchase as a result of using the platform. Pinterest also fed the creativity of its users, prompting 63% of them to create something new through interactions on the site.
Indian & Indonesian users have easier access to Facebook Messenger
Last week, we mentioned that the rumour mill was buzzing about a possible acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook. Shortly after, Facebook announced that users in India, Indonesia, Australia, Venezuela and South Africa will be able to sign up for Facebook Messenger IM service with only their names and phone number. A departure from the usual requirement for users to have an email address, this development is a step in the right direction for Facebook as it seeks to woo users in countries where internet penetration is lower and users communicate regularly via text messages and Instant Messaging apps. Unfortunately, this step could be a little too late as Facebook Messenger IM app faces stiff competition from newer rivals like WeChat and an uphill battle to convert an entrenched BlackBerry Messenger userbase. The months ahead should be interesting as WhatsApp has denied rumours of an acquisition bid by Facebook.
Sina e-payments gets social with new name, WeiboPay
We mentioned 2 weeks ago about Tencent’s plans to implement an online payment service on its runaway success messaging platform, WeChat. It’s rival Sina looks set to join in the battle for the online consumer dollar with a rebranded PayPal-like platform, WeiboPay. Previously, the payment service was used to facilitate in-game purchases. The enhanced product now integrates with the newly revamped Sina Weibo platform, with possible developments to offer deals to its userbase of more than 400 million registered users.
The matrix starring China’s social networks
Much has been said of the pervasive influence of social networks in China. A recent TechInAsia report cherry picks key information from a study by IDG Capital Partners on the Chinese social network market. Presented in a matrix format, it illustrates the influence that each social network worth its salt wields in China; further segregated into user needs and interestingly, how open they are to strangers. The chart reveals Tencent’s dominance in China’s social networking scene with products like it’s older QQ IM app, new Weixin (aka WeChat) IM app, Qzone, Pengyou and Tencent Weibo occupying top spots serving different user needs.
China’s Kaixin social network launches baby photo diary app
Proud parents and baby pictures often translate into newsfeeds flooded with updates on almost every little aspect of the child’s development. Recognising the importance of these life events as its userbase matures, Kaixin is seeking to regain lost ground by launching a photo diary app named Kaixin Baby. One of China’s earliest social networks, Kaixin was superseded by larger networks such as Renren, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. Also available on iPhone, Kaixin Baby has a dedicated site which is integrated with the main Kaixin site and incorporates social elements such as inviting friends and family members to join or post from their own Kaixin account.
Nukkad, a virtual street corner in India’s SoLoMo world
Named after the Indian concept of street corner discussions on just about every topic ranging from sports to politics, the Nukkad app integrates chats, location-based socialisation, aggregates Twitter and Instagram content within the area and shopping deals. The app aggregates user generated reviews on products or stores in the area, thereby allowing other users to make educated decisions based on crowd-sourced information.
The majority of social media roles at brands are part time
A study entitled “Structuring a Social Media Team” has found that 65% of those working in social media for brands and charities do so on top of other duties. The research, whilst also found that social media budgets have not increased across most companies in 2012, displays the reluctance of many organisations to reassign resources from traditional communications to emerging media.
Facebook rumoured to be in talks to purchase ad serving platform Atlas
The social network is reportedly in talks to purchase ad server Atlas Solutions from Microsoft, potentially allowing them to close in on Google’s dominance over online advertising. The move would provide further access to user data and greater publisher connections, which could prove formidable. Most importantly, this would give Facebook a massive head start in creating an advertising network outside of their own social platform, targeted based on Facebook profile information. This comes at the same time as the news that over 2.5 million Facebook posts have been promoted, by over 300,000 Facebook pages, since the option to promote posts launched in June.
200,000 mobile apps now connected to Facebook
Facebook have released figures that display the strength of its Open Graph platform, which is now in use by 200k Android and iPhone apps. David Fisch, Director of Platform Partnerships at Facebook, discussed the numerous possibilities: “An iOS app can be a Facebook app. A mobile website can be a Facebook app. A console game can be a Facebook app. Your car, your shoes, your credit card or your toothbrush can be Facebook apps.” Whilst Facebook isn’t currently able to monetize these third-party apps, these provide a base on which the network may later look to build advertising revenue.
Facebook’s ‘subscribe’ feature set to change to ‘follow’
It’s been a big week for announcements from Facebook. One last bit of news: the ‘subscribe’ button is set to be changed to ‘follow’. The subscribe feature, which has been available to pages, or users who choose to enable it, allows ‘subscribers’ to view the activity of a page without becoming a ‘fan’ or ‘friend’. Whilst there is no planned change in functionality, the move is intended to provide an easier user interface between social networks, with users familiarised with ‘following’ others through Twitter.
Some big brands are using Facebook’s global pages
Playstation, Burger King, Swatch and Clarins have all begun using Facebook’s global pages. Users are automatically directed to the regional version of the page, often providing relevant content in their own language. However, users can access any page through a drop down menu and all are linked by their ‘like’ and ‘people talking about this’ figures.
The end of an era for Twitter and Instagram
Things are changing between Twitter and Instagram. Once allies, battling it out against the Facebook behemoth, the two are now set to face off with one another in the photo sharing wars. Twitter announced that Instagram had disabled Twitter cards functionality, meaning that users would be unable to properly view Instagram photos on Twitter. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom stated the move’s intentions: “We’ve decided that right now, what makes sense, is to direct our users to the Instagram Web site”. He added that there would be no effect on Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare. Poor Twitter.
Twitter gets (more) local
Some better news for Twitter. They’ve launched Trends in 100 more cities worldwide, including 12 in the UK. So for those of you in Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Sheffield: now’s your chance to see what’s Trending in a city near you.
Snapseed for iOS, Android and Google+
And some worse news for Instagram. Soon after their acquisition by Google, photo editing/sharing app Snapseed has now launched on Android, at the same time as making their iOS version free. Throw in Google+ integration and it we could be looking at a potential rival to Instagram. Whilst the two are currently worlds apart in terms of size, Snapseed’s functionality is certainly impressive and this is seems like one to watch.
Google+ growing as fast as Facebook?
Google+ made an announcement this week about two things: growth and communities. The first includes some intriguing figures. More than 500 million people have upgraded to Google+, 235 million are active across Google and 135 million in just the stream. This last statistic means growth of 35 million in the last 2.5 months, figures that rival Facebook at a similar size. This comes as exciting news for the often ridiculed site and may start to restore some faith in its potential as a network. The second part of the announcement refers to ‘Google+ Communities’, a new feature that allows like minded individuals to create a network wherein they can discuss their mutual interests.
Foursquare is the third most used Mobile social app
A Nielsen report has stated that Foursquare has 10.4 million monthly users, putting it third behind Facebook and Twitter in terms of monthly mobile users. Adweek have reported the news, stating that this means 42% of the 25 million of those who have downloaded the app are using it regularly. This statistic may go some way to addressing questions about Foursquare’s performance.
Foursquare makes custom events available to Venue Managers
A big new benefit for venue managers on Foursquare: they can create their own custom events. Previously, the only event availability was to do with concerts, films and sport – all only available to a limited set of partners. This increased functionality could provide a great deal of opportunity for businesses, marketers and users and it will be worth watching how this develops.
A new look for YouTube
YouTube have redesigned their user interface, introducing a ‘Guide’ that users can fill with subscriptions, allowing them to easier organise their favourite content. Other changes include the video layout, integrating “the subscribe button, social actions and video information”, plus re-positioning playlists to allow easier scrolling whilst watching a video. They are looking for feedback and will be hosting both a Google+ hangout and a Reddit IAmA in the coming weeks.
Spotify is going social
Spotify is rolling out a whole set of new features, aimed at making the musical experience completely social. The principal changes are two new tabs: Follow and Discover. The former allows you to connect with other Spotify users, from friends to artists, allowing you to obtain content you want from where you want. This will also allow artists to share new releases and tour information with their fans quickly and easily. The Discover tab will display relevant content, be that artists or playlists, based on what is already in a user’s library.
SoundCloud’s new design available to all users
The new version of SoundCloud, the music sharing site that reaches 180m people per month, with 10 hours of audio uploaded every minute, has been slowly rolled out to users over the past year. Now, the new version is becoming the norm, with new features including updated search, discovery and recommendation features and increased connectivity with other social sites, such as Facebook.
Microsoft expanding image-sharing network Socl
Microsoft’s Pinterest-style social network is now available to anyone with a Microsoft or Facebook account, having been available only to a small audience since May. They claim that the network is not intended to compete with larger platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but may be linked to future Microsoft product launches; it will be interesting to see how this aim develops.
The father of SMS – 20 years on
Matti Makkonen is known as the ‘father of SMS’ due to his idea in the 1980s for a messaging service run via mobile phones. This week, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the platform, he gave a rare interview to the BBC via text message.
Nokia release ‘Tweetsender’ tool
Nokia have come up with a reason for their users to follow them on Twitter: Tweetsender. The new app allows Nokia users to receive direct messages via Twitter whenever new updates are released for their phone. Simply follow Nokia and you will receive a DM with instructions of how to set up the feature. Authorise the app and give it details of what phone you have and you’ll start receiving up to date product news that is relevant to you.
Heineken’s ‘Bottle of the Future’
To celebrate its 40th birthday, Heineken have launched a campaign that allows fans to produce the beer’s next limited edition bottle through a Facebook app. The idea looks to celebrate the company’s past, by offering the opportunity to view and remix old designs.
Mercedes-Benz use social video to thank 9 million fans
Mercedes-Benz have reached the milestone of 9 million Facebook fans. How to celebrate? Well, they’ve produced a social video as a thank you, which displays a set of lights painting over a CLS-class car, then spelling out “9,000,000″, “FANS” and “THANK YOU”. Aw, you’re welcome.
Lexus donating to boys’ and girls’ clubs
Another automotive giant, Lexus, is giving $10 per check in to boys’ and girls’ clubs in America no matter where the check in is. If they do choose to head to a Lexus dealership, the check in is worth a whopping $20. Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing, said that they “want to create an opportunity for people to easily give back to a great cause”. It is certainly unexpected to see so large a donation offered for check ins anywhere and this is likely to see some good will heading in Lexus’s direction.
T-Mobile spreading Christmas cheer with US tour
T-Mobile and Carly Foulkes are touring the US, giving out prizes at every destination. They announce each stop on the tour with a Foursquare checkin, as well as by Facebook and Twitter. Then, the first customer to check in at each stop and show the judges wins a Samsung Galaxy Note II, a year of T-Mobile service and a MOGA game controller. The tour is set to spend the next few weeks circuiting the US, so may be at a town near you some time soon.
Diesel heading back to the 90s
It’s no secret that a lot of people hark back to the days before the Internet. Diesel are taking advantage of this, relaunching a 1993 shoe with a ‘Pre-Internet’ campaign. They’re challenging people to win a pair of YUKs by giving up Facebook for 3 days, or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for 2. The activity is supported by a set of humorous videos intended to point out how little these shoes care about tracking or wall posting.
Expedia on the hunt for Australia’s best bloggers
As part of a campaign set up by We Are Social in Sydney, Expedia are looking to find the best up-and-coming bloggers in Australia and New Zealand in five categories: Lifestyle, Food, Music, Travel and Family/Parenting. The winners, voted for on Facebook, will receive the trip of a lifetime and the status of official Expedia bloggers for 2013.
Allen Solly release Twitter powered billboard
Indian retailer Allen Solly are marking the launch of their new clothing range with a billboard powered by Twitter. The billboard shows 60 shirts, all obscuring the campaign graphic. With every tweet, a random shirt moves forward, until each one falls off, providing tweeters with a new shirt and everyone else with a view of the new collection.
Microsoft’s #DroidRage Fail
We’ve seen plenty of examples of Twitter Fails over the last year. Now, Microsoft seem to be the latest in a long list. Encouraging users to share their tales of frustration with Android phones via #DroidRage, they seem to have caused a backlash, as Android users have come to the defence of their phones, while #WindowsRage has gained some traction. Oh dear.
Homebase introduces YouTube channel aimed at driving social commerce
Homebase have produced a YouTube channel, aimed at driving sales. Videos will feature tagged products, which users can purchase by clicking on the video. The activity is being supported through integration with Facebook’s Open Graph, automatically sharing when a user has watched one of their videos.
UK’s HM Treasury’s report on Pinterest
The UK’s HM Treasury have produced a set of infographics about their Autumn Statement and uploaded them to their Pinterest account. Considering how complex budgetary data can be, this may be an intriguing way for governments to simplify and spread difficult data.
Your friendly neighbourhood social network
Finally, a markedly different use of Pinterest: law enforcement. ‘The Mercury’, a newspaper in the borough of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, has started pinning mugshots of those wanted for crimes throughout the local area. As a result, the police have seen a 50% increase in arrests.
China’s Renren launches Facebook-esque timeline interface
Facebook’s timeline-like interface seems to be increasingly adopted by various social networking platforms with the latest being one of China’s social networking sites Renren. Like Facebook, Renren users can update their status, upload photos and share a story but are given the option to switch back to the old interface should they dislike the new look. Renren users can also categorise sharing of stories into ‘work and study’, ‘family’, ‘lifestyle’ and ‘health and travel’ experiences, a feature that is expected to help increase engagement on Renren and help it to gain more users. To date, Renren has about 172 million registered users of which 48 million are monthly active users. Renren still has alot of catching up to do to compete with Sina Weibo’s extensive reach of 400 million registered users.
PaPa app gives a voice to Instagram-like photosharing
A fairly new Chinese photosharing app in town, PaPa allows users to talk, sing or record background audio to complement their pictures. Available on Android and iOS devices, the app’s main stream features a newsfeed showing friends’ recent activities. A click onto a photo enlarges it with the option to listen to a text caption. The app has third-party support for posting to Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, which has helped it to gain a few celebrity users and a tech investor, Lee Kai-fu, the founder of Innovation Works.
Komli Media inks exclusive partnership with Twitter for ad sales
Twitter’s set to offer advertising products to five Southeast Asian countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Mumbai-based digital advertising platform, Komli Media, announced an exclusive partnership allowing it to engage with advertising agencies through educational and training programs showcasing Twitter’s ad offerings. Previously only available to brands in the US, UK, Japan and Latin America, ad products such as promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends will be available in Southeast Asia via Komli Engage’s sales team.
Facebook plans to buy WhatsApp
The latest buzz is that Facebook plans to acquire WhatsApp in a bid to boost its mobile presence, especially in Asia and other emerging markets. WhatsApp has been losing dominance recently within mobile messaging-happy Asia to newer Asian-born apps such as China’s WeChat, Korea’s Kakaotalk and Japan’s Line. WhatsApp has not rolled out many new features since its launch, whilst the newer Asian apps have been rolling out more interactive features such as voice calls, video chat, social network sharing and in-app sharing that have proven very popular in emerging markets. With the enhanced social offerings, these Asian chat apps compete with Facebook within Asia – a targeted growth sector for the social networking giant. The general view of many observers is that Facebook might do better to acquire a fresher and more innovative Asian chat app rival to the comparatively slow-to-innovate WhatsApp.
Social ad spend set to double in the next four years
Advertising spend on social networks is expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2016, according to new research from BIA/Kelsey. This figure is twice the current spend of $4.6 billion this year. The majority of the ad spend will go toward display ads, but the biggest area of growth will be native social ads, such as Promoted Posts on Facebook.
Two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies are ‘failing’ on social media
The majority of companies listed on the FTSE 100 aren’t engaging effectively on social media, which could mean lower share prices, according to a new report called ‘Social Media in the City’. The report finds statistically significant correlations between strong social media performance and higher stock prices. The best performers are a diverse bunch, with Royal Dutch Shell sitting at the top of the rankings and Barclays being the only bank to breach the top 20.
More than a quarter of UK call centers unsure about adopting social media
Unfortunately for all of the people who have to deal with them, nearly 30% of call centers in the UK say they want to ‘wait and see’ whether using social media for communications is a good idea, according to a new report. Just 26% of call centers said they placed a great deal of focus on social media, and enthusiasm to adopt social media varied widely by sector, with retail on the eager side and finance and insurance sectors being the most reluctant.
Samsung turns $10 million in Facebook ads into $129 million in sales
Through targeted ad placement and well-timed conversations, Samsung was able to score $129 million in sales by spending $10 million on Facebook ads during a three-week period around Apple’s iPhone 5 launch. Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions VP revealed these impressive figures at a conference last week, and they are sure to lure in more advertisers over the holiday season.
Facebook’s mobile page ads get more color and context
Facebook knows that its future lies in its mobile success, and the network has just unveiled a new eye-catching design for its mobile ads. Instead of showing three ads at once, Facebook has whittled it down to one highly targeted ad that incorporates a Timeline-esque banner image, as well as a short description to provide more context for the recommendation. This ad redesign comes on the heels of a similar redesign for ads promoting mobile apps.
LinkedIn reveals ambitious long-term plans, introduces ads API
What will LinkedIn look like in five years? Its CEO Jeff Weiner says that he wants LinkedIn to discover gaps in skill sets in certain geographic areas, track which jobs are on the rise in the region and even change schools’ courses to better meet those employment demands. The network also wants to be able to do this within a company: to match up employees with the best-fit internal openings. But for now, it’s small steps to social domination of the employment sector. LinkedIn has made several changes to its platform recently, and the most recent is the addition of API for ads, meaning that marketing software providers can now build tools to manage ad campaigns on LinkedIn. This should make the network’s ad platform easier to use and scale.
Obama takes ‘fiscal cliff’ fight to Twitter
As Congress and President Obama are stuck in political gridlock about how to reduce the country’s deficit, the White House asked Twitter users to share their thoughts about the proposed tax changes with the hashtag #my2K, signifying the estimated $2,000 extra a family will pay in 2013 if legislation is not passed before the end of December. Inevitably, the hashtag suffered an attempted hijack by a conservative organization called the Heritage Foundation, which bought a Promoted Tweet that ran in searches for #my2K. The hashtag has now been used more than 40,000 times, but quite a few of the mentions hark back to the gridlock and criticize Obama’s plans.
adidas and Snoop Dogg ask: Are you a social media Scrooge?
How many times have you forgotten to wish a Facebook friend happy birthday? Are you ignoring friends who post on your wall? For shame. Right your wrongs by using a new Facebook app from adidas and Snoop Dogg that shows you the birthdays you’ve forgotten and the friends you haven’t responded to and lets you make amends. Snoop Dogg warns in ‘The Cautionary Tale of Ebenezer Snoop’ about what happens when you’re a bah humbug-dizzle.
Durex asks fans to swap social media shares for condoms
To raise awareness of World AIDS Day, Durex launched a campaign that asks its social media followers to share a message about the day to donate a condom. Durex unveiled the initiative on Facebook, Twitter and RenRen, a major social network in China.
Retailers get in the Pinterest spirit for the holidays
A real-world Pinterest board has been spotted at a Westfield mall in California that promotes products from the mall’s shops, as well as an actual Pinterest competition to win the items shown. Lots of retailers are jumping on board with Pinterest as Christmas draws near, including half of the top 10 UK online retailers, which have created Christmas-themed boards. New research has found that Debenhams has the highest average pins per week of these UK retailers, with ASOS and John Lewis not far behind.
Daily Mail group unveils fashion sharing site
The group that owns the Daily Mail has created a new site called ‘Today I’m Wearing’ invites women to show off that day’s outfit, share it with friends on social media and browse the photo gallery of other looks. Users upload a photo of their outfit and can then tag it with information about each item, including where they purchased it.
If you follow @mellowmushroom, it might just follow you
Never before has following someone on Twitter seemed so … literal. Follow the @mellowmushroom pizza company on Twitter, and you might get a real-life followbackfrom a person-sized mushroom.
Desperados crowdsources dance track from its Facebook fans
With German techno duo Format: B, Desperados’ Facebook fans created dance music by voting on loops, baselines and beats suggested by the pair. The final track will soon be available to download from the brand’s Facebook page.
Belling adds tweets to its 100th anniversary cake
British oven manufacturer Belling is making its 100th anniversary interactive by including its fans in the celebration. The brand used Facebook to crowdsource the top British events in the last 100 years, which are included on the anniversary cake. Also included on the cake will be tweeted birthday messages that include the hashtag #Belling100years, which will be instantly added using edible ink and paper.
Tesco Wines launches live tasting and Q&A event on Twitter
We Are Social helped Tesco Wines create a live wine tasting and Q&A session with Tesco’s Master of Wine, Laura Jewell. Through a live video stream, Laura answered questions tweeted with the #XmasWineSOS hashtag, and followers who used the hashtag were also entered into a prize draw to win a case of wine for Christmas.
The Pope signs up for a personal Twitter account
The Pope now has his own personal Twitter handle, and he’s already prepping for a Q&A session to take place on December 12. Start submitting your questions now with the #AskPontifex hashtag, which will be curated by staff at the Vatican. But it’s not just one account that he’ll oversee: His tweets will be translated into eight different languages. The Pope is no newbie when it comes to tweeting — he’s previously tweeted from the official Vatican account, which launched in June 2011, as part of an effort from the Vatican to reach a younger audience.
4chan wants Kim Jong-un for Time’s Person of the Year
4chan, long known for sabotaging online polls, is at it again, this time to pushing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the top of Time’s Person of the Year list. And Kim Jong-un flew to the top slot, beating out Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi nearly 10-to-1 with more than 3 million votes.
2012′s best social media campaigns include Heinz’s Grown Up Beanz
We Are Social is thrilled to be included in Econsultancy’s 10 best social media campaigns of the year for the work we did with Heinz on its Grown Up Beanz campaign to promote the new Five Beanz variety. The campaign reached more than 10.8 million people on Facebook, and more than 22,000 fans took our personality quiz to apply for a personalized bean.
Twitter creates exclusive page to celebrate Indian festival Diwali
India is the world’s third most socially engaged country, with its users showing a preference for Twitter over Facebook. Paying homage to the fastest growing online market in the world, Twitter created an exclusive landing page for the #Diwali hashtag to celebrate the start of the 5-day Festival of Lights yesterday. Adorned with a background image of a lit traditional oil lamp, the page streams live tweets and pictures relating to the festival. Mashing up an array of tweets about Diwali by brands, celebrities, influencers and other users, the page is a virtual smorgasbord of online sentiments and trending thoughts during the festive period.
Indian fashion label launches Twitter auction
Bombay High, an Indian fashion label, celebrated Diwali in a fun way by launching an online auction where Tweets serve as currency to fund bids. Over a period of 3 days, Bombay High will hold 2 auctions for 2 different products on a daily basis. Up for auction were some of Bombay High’s finest formal and casual wear. Users will need to connect their Twitter accounts with the microsite as only tweets posted from it will be counted as bids. Participants with the most tweets win the auction item whilst two runner-ups will receive gift vouchers.
Chinese users spent S$1.96 billion in 14 hours on Taobao.com on 11 Nov
November 11 (touted as Singles’ Day in China because of the confluence of four “1″s in the date) was a big day for e-commerce in China as over 10 million netizens flocked to Taobao.com to partake in its 24-hour half-price online shopping carnival. Sales volume exceeded last year’s figures of 5.2 billion yuan (S$1.02 billion) to hit 10 billion yuan (S$1.96 billion) at 1.38pm – achieving the sales target 10 hours early. The overwhelming volume placed strains on bank and express delivery systems as they struggle to cope with the demand. Online shopping in China presents a great opportunity for growth as it rises in popularity. With a penetration rate of only 36.5% vs 70% in Western countries like the US, the world’s largest wired nation looks poised for an e-commerce boom.
Lee Jeans gets more social to drive e-commerce volumes
Lee Jeans has embarked on a new influencer-centric brand campaign in China in an effort to drive online sales on its e-commerce platform. Named “Free Your Night Side”, the campaign engaged key online leaders, top bloggers and celebrities in a surprise live, interactive theatre event replete with 80 professional actors clad in Lee’s autumn and winter range. The influencers’ spontaneous reactions were recorded on video and shared on Lee’s branded Tudou videosharing and Weibo microblog platforms in addition to the bloggers’ own social media channels. The campaign generated alot of interest and 200,000 views within a week of releasing the 40 online videos.
Businesses that have embraced digital are more profitable
Companies that have jumped on board with digital and social media marketing and analytics are more profitable, new research from MIT has found. These companies are outperforming their less tech-savvy peers by 26% in terms of increased profits and 12% higher market valuations. Making this change often comes from digital leadership at the top, and while the banking and travel sectors are attracting top talent, retail seems to be struggling.
54% of top brands are active on Instagram
A new study has shown that more and more brands are signing up for Instagram, with 54% of the world’s top brands now active on the platform, a 35% growth since the beginning of August. MTV holds the top slot for the most followers for a brand, and its follower count stands at nearly 1 million. Starbucks, Burberry and Nike are a bit further behind but are sure to catch up with MTV soon.
24% of Brits Instagram all of the photos they share online
A new study says that nearly a quarter of Brits with smartphones are 100% faithful to Instagram when it comes to sharing their photos online, and this 24% rely solely on that platform. An impressive 96% said they share all of their photos online in some way, but almost half said they thought it was annoying when their friends posted too many photos.
Instagram rolls out user profiles on the web
Instagram has introduced web profiles for its users, the first real move away from the platform being mobile-only. The profiles look very Facebook-like, with a Timeline-esque cover photo and small square profile image. It makes sense for Instagram to use the visual cues from its parent company, but even if they look lovely, will anyone bother to visit users’ or brands’ pages on the web?
Facebook’s iPhone app adds photo filters, gifts and faster messages
Was Facebook’s Camera and Messenger apps just testing grounds? A big update has now landed for the original Facebook app, which had added the main features of Facebook Camera: photo filters and sharing multiple photos at once. That means Twitter has been left in the dust, as it was just leaked last week that the site was looking into integrating filters into its mobile apps, but hasn’t managed to do so yet. Facebook has also rolled out Facebook Gifts, which has been in beta for a few months, meaning that mobile users can buy presents for their Facebook friends through the app. Facebook has also migrated some of the features from its Messenger app into the main Facebook app, including a list of frequently contacted friends and friends who are online, which can be accessed by swiping left across the screen.
ThingLink adds interactive images to Tweets
Sometimes 140 characters isn’t enough, and a company called ThingLink has developed a way to include interactive images in tweets, that show when a user expands a tweet. Small circular tags appear dotted around an image, which then expand to a small preview window and can then click through to a site. ThingLink already has partnerships with Soundcloud, Spotify and Eventbrite, so it’s easy to click through to audio clips, events, videos or your brand’s eCommerce site. It’s still early days for this feature, but it will be interesting to see how brands use it to its fullest.
Tumblr reaches 20 billion pageviews per month
Tumblr has hit 20 billion pageviews every month, up from a still-impressive 15 billion at the beginning of this year. As the company continues to grow, its CEO David Karp says Tumblr is doing its best to maintain the balance between giving paid advertisers space and maintaining Tumblr’s close-knit community. And Tumblr does that by treating brands just like any other user, without specially-dedicated brand pages.
Pinterest launches private boards, as brands try to link sales to pins
Pinterest is still the world’s fourth largest driver of web traffic, standing above Yahoo, Bing and even Twitter. But how often do those visits mean sales? The jury is still out on that question, but eCommerce company Shopify says that Pinterest users are 10% more likely to make a purchase. On the other hand, Zappos discovered that Pinterest users spent less than visitors coming from Facebook or Twitter, even though they shared more from the site. And just in time for the year’s biggest buying season, Pinterest has unveiled ‘secret boards,’ a place to privately pin your holiday gift ideas, but users are limited to just three private boards at the moment. Will this holiday season push Pinterest to the forefront of eCommerce?
Google+’s top 100 brands have just 23 million followers combined
Brand pages have been around for about a year now, and the number of people following these pages has increased, but very, very slowly. Brand adoption of the platform has grown from 64% six months ago to 72% in this most recent analysis, and brands with more than 5,000 followers now stand at 44% of the group, up from 35% six months ago. But engagement is down from six months ago, even as the pages keep growing in followers.
Venue ratings, Facebook friend tags arrive in Foursquare’s iPhone app
Foursquare recently added a ratings system, as simple as clicking a heart or a broken heart on a venue page, which has now been incorporated into the mobile version of the app as a rating out of 10. Foursquare’s ratings take more than hearts and heart-nots into account though, and the app also looks into popularity, loyalty and tips left by users. Foursquare has also introduced a new friend tagging system that allows users to mention any of their Facebook friends in checkins, not just the ones using Foursquare. Friends will get a notification that they’ve been mentioned, increasing Foursquare’s exposure.
Getting out the vote for Election 2012 on social media
Four years ago, Twitter was a mere fraction of what it is today, and research is starting to come in about how much of an effect it has had on the elections in the US last week. The teams for First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were frantically sending out direct messages on Twitter in the hours before the end of the presidential election, encouraging their followers to find their polling stations and get their friends out to vote. Team Obama also bought Promoted Tweets and a Promoted Trend for Election Day, coming in at about $120,000 per day. New research from Pew has found that social media is one of the main tools, especially for people under 30, that people use to encourage their friends to vote. Almost half of 18 to 29 year olds said friends or family had encouraged them to vote via social media, with 34% saying they had been doing the encouraging as well.
When Election Night finally came around last week, social media went crazy, hitting a peak of 327,452 tweets per minute as news organizations started to reveal the results. Instagram users posted 250,000 Election Day photos, and President Barack Obama’s “Four More Years” tweet that included a picture of him hugging his wife was retweeted more than 680,000 times in just 24 hours. His team posted the same image on Facebook, which was liked 3.9 million times and shared 550,000 times, possibly making it the most shared image on social media ever.
Romney’s Facebook page might be losing the election worse than he did, as his former fans abandon his page in droves. Disappearing Romney’s Like counter is measuring the exodus in real time, and if you leave the page open for a few hours, you can see exactly how many fans have disappeared in that time.
Durex’s election ad on Chinese social networks goes viral
The condom brand Durex posted a funny ad on China’s Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo on Election Night in the US, and now the ad has been forwarded more than 43,000 times and got 12,750 comments. It somehow passed the corporate filters as well as the government’s, so we’ll leave the image here, but you’ll have to click through for the translation…
FedEx launches ‘Ship to Friends’ app on Facebook
The parcel company FedEx has created a Facebook app that allows users to create address labels for parcels based on their friends’ profiles, and it notifies friends when they’re about to receive a package. This isn’t much different than what FedEx’s website already offers, but integrating its services with Facebook is sure to get even more users.
ASOS creates ‘shop-able’ video
Online clothing shop ASOS has released a series of videos that feature a running stream of items as they appear in the video that can be pinned to Pinterest or added to your ASOS shopping bag in just a few clicks. Retailers have finally started realizing the amazing potential of shareable and shop-able videos, and this looks like a big trend that’s about to take hold.
Pret asks for help to feed the homeless with Foursquare badge
Pret A Manger shops in the UK are donating 5p to charities that help the homeless when Foursquare users check in or when food from Pret’s special Christmas menu is ordered. Earning the badge on Foursquare is as simple as checking into any of their stores, and the shop says it hopes to donate £300,000.
And finally (we hope): ‘Cakes Are Like Facebook’
Is there anything that isn’t like Facebook? First, it was chairs and then pools, and now apparently, Cakes Are Like Facebook. Facebook posted an update that read, “Birthday cakes are made for people to be together. They give friends a place to gather and celebrate. But too much cake probably isn’t healthy. So birthday cake is a lot like Facebook.” We hope we don’t have to make this a weekly segment, so knock it off, FB.