Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Thailand’.
Sina Weibo Is Going Public
In what could be the biggest social media IPO of 2014, Sina Weibo began the process of going public in the US on Friday. Sina Weibo is seeking to raise up to $500 million in its initial public offering and though not quite as big as Twitter, which has more global appeal, it looks like it’s trying to ride on Twitter’s strong performance following its IPO. Actually, its “selling points” are nearly identical to Twitter’s – which is interesting considering both platforms face stiff competition from messaging applications that are quickly becoming the go-to communications tools for younger smartphone owners, such as WeChat, WhatsApp and Line.
Thailand now reaches 1.5 million users
Thailand is one of the most social countries in Asia with 24 million users on Facebook and an increasing user base on Twitter. It has just reached yet another milestone on Instagram with 1.5 million users. The number of Instagram users in Thailand increased from 240,000 in 2012 to 1,551,649 in 2013. An infographic from Zocial Inc. published by TechInAsia shows that celebrities with an average of 172, 013 followers make up 0.26 percent of the app’s user-base in Thailand.
Sources of most Instagram selfies in Asia: Philippines and Malaysia
According to Time magazine’s The Selfiest Cities in the Word report (via TechInAsia), The Philippines emerged as the selfie leader in Asia followed by Malaysia. TIME counted the Instagram photos with #selfie hashtags and geographic locations for two five-day periods between January and March through the site’s API. The high selfie rate may be attributed to the growing smartphone adoption in the Philippines. In 2011, the Philippines was considered the “social capital of the world,” when Facebook became more popular than Google. Malaysia is the second country that has taken the most selfies in Asia led by its Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who was recently spotted taking a selfie with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Selfies are definitely a popular trend in Asia with Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia cities making it to the top 100 ‘selfiest’ cities list.
Twitter is testing ‘Fave People’ feature
Love Twitter but miss tweets from the people you care about the most? The “Fave People” feature that Twitter is testing now might be the answer. According to TechCrunch, the feature allows users to keep track of their favourite Twitter users in a separate timeline by tapping the star icon on their profiles. It is quite similar to “Lists” which lets you organise users into labelled groups. Looking at the initial reports, the feature seems to be useful but we have to wait and see if it will be rolled out to the wider public anytime soon. Last month, the site also started testing a major profile redesign that has a greater focus on content cards and images.
The State of Social Advertising in 2014
Socialbakers surveyed over 500 marketing professionals to better understand where social media is heading in 2014; analysing both the priorities and practices of marketers and the state of social media advertising. Remarkably, 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social advertising budget for 2014, despite the growing need to support organic reach with paid advertising.
However, most companies surveyed did invest in social advertising, at varying levels. Interestingly, Twitter appears to struggle to attract advertisers; most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.
Facebook Reveals ‘Premium’ Autoplay Video Ads
Facebook has revealed Premium Video Ads, the long-awaited marketing tool that delivers video ads right into users’ News Feeds and starts playing 15-second clips automatically; similarly to videos on Instagram. The ads will play with no sound unless the user clicks on them, in order to avoid being too interruptive. The ads will start rolling out during late April and will include the ability to target by day-part, along with measurement features supported by Nielsen and Ace Metrix.
A Streamlined Look for Facebook Pages on the Desktop
After recently announcing a redesign of its desktop News Feed, Facebook has announced that there will be a new design for Facebook pages on desktop, to be rolled out over the coming weeks, as seen in the example below.
Facebook has now notified some page admins that they can join a waitlist to have their page converted to the new design, for those extra eager to explore it. The right-side column of the timeline will show all the page’s posts, while the left will hold information about the page or business. There will also be a ‘Pages to Watch’ feature, allowing marketers to monitor pages similar to their own (i.e. competitors) and track those pages’ performances. It also appears that tabs, with images, have returned to Facebook’s new page design on the left sidebar.
Twitter’s Direct Response Pitch: A New ‘Click-to-call’ button
Brands are already using Twitter as a direct response channel, listening for and responding to tweets that mention certain keywords, hashtags or handles. This month alone, Microsoft and Airbnb launched clever real-time marketing campaigns at South by Southwest, responding directly to consumers. In an attempt to go one step further in developing its advertising capabilities, Twitter is currently beta-testing a “click-to-call” button for sponsored tweets, which would allow mobile users to engage with a Twitter ad by calling the advertiser directly. This feature could potentially help Twitter break into the local advertising market. Location-based apps like Foursquare and Google Maps already have click-to-call features in their apps.
H&R Block Taps YouTube Talent For New Social Media Record Label
According to H&R Block, a ‘tax preparation’ company, 56 million Americans will try to do their own taxes this year. The company claims that last year, taxpayers lost more than a billion dollars thanks to inaccuracies in their tax returns. H&R have decided to enlist ten up and coming YouTubers as brand ambassadors to release original songs and videos on a social record label called “Billion Back Records”, as well as using social media to build enthusiasm around getting a tax refund. H&R is also using its Twitter feed to issue challenges for the chance to win music-themed prizes like concert tickets and a guitar. YouTube, taxes, and rock n’ roll?
March Madness And Twitter Ads
For anyone not still reeling from the real-time marketing overload around the Superbowl this year, American brands are now queuing up around college basketball’s March Madness period. As NCAA teams look to beat the buzzer on-court, brands are jumping in on highly relevant promoted hashtags with a mix of pre-planned and reactive content with varying degrees of success. There are no clear slam dunks on display which raises an important question: are marketers planning their real-time strategies to deliver value to their business and consumers, or falling into the trap of jumping into conversations without a clear goal? Judging by some of the brands’ efforts there’s still a lot to learn.
David Cameron’s new Facebook likes
UK Prime Minister David Cameron found himself under scrutiny last week when it was reported that he’d invested an estimated £7,500 to increase his Facebook Like count from 60,000 to 130,000 in one month. He’s now one of the most popular UK politicians on social media (even if not in real life)…
‘Safe Badman’: Argos wins at Twitter
Argos indulged in some top Twitter bantz with a disgruntled customer. When Immy ‘BADMAN’ Bugti tweeted with a complaint about the lack of ‘da PS4 tings’ available at Argos’s Moss Side store, as well as member of staff who had ‘bare attitude’, Argos responded superbly. Its gangsta response has since been retweeted thousands of times, and left Immy satisfied. Respect, yo.
@BadManBugti Safe badman, we gettin sum more PS4 tings in wivin da next week y’get me. Soz bout da attitude, probz avin a bad day yo. LD
— Argos Helpers (@ArgosHelpers) March 8, 2014
Mobile commerce as the future growth for Line
Line generated over $330 million revenue last year alone, it shows the strong capability of chat app in terms of its return on investment. According to the COO from Tokyo office, Idezawa Takeshi, revealed that 60 percent of its revenue mainly came from games, while the rest of them were equally split between stickers and business services like official accounts and branded stickers on Line. Since chat apps have been developed, Line has successfully maintained its engagement level with users as well as increased its revenues. When cosmetic brand Maybelline launched a flash sale on Line in Thailand, it sold 500 lipsticks in five minutes, reflecting that Line not only helped the brand to amplify the impact of the campaign in Thailand, but also boosted sales in an effective way. Line intend to move towards mobile commerce and eventually launch Line Mall by March or April, as a B2C and C2C e-commerce marketplace.
WeChat received 21 million taxi rides booking in the past month
Leading chat app in China, WeChat also intends to expand its business to the e-commerce field in order to combat with Alibaba. Recently, WeChat added the function to pay for taxis in the app. According to Didi Dache, the taxi – finder app that WeChat collaborated with, the data revealed that the app has already generated 40 million registered users with WeChat’s support. There are a total of 21 million Taxi rides so far that have been booked on the WeChat app. Here are some interesting stats from 36Kr:
- Didi Dache gets an average of 700,000 bookings per day via WeChat.
- Didi Dache and WeChat’s maker, Tencent (HKG:0700), jointly dished out RMB 400 million (US$65.6 million) in ‘bonuses’ to both cabbies and riders who paid for the fare via WeChat Payments.
- February 7, a day when many people were returning home after trips to see relatives for Chinese New Year, saw a daily peak of 2.62 million taxi rides via WeChat, of which about two million were paid for via mobile on WeChat Payments.
- 100,000 taxi rides were taken via WeChat in the first nine days
We are observing this trend with chat apps opting to go for mobile commerce. Apart from that, new WeChat services (shown below) are aiming to partner with businesses and financial institutions, as part of a long-term strategic game-plan for Tencent. WeChat’s expansion into mobile e-commerce definitely reflects the stronger ambitions of the company to become a social empire in China.
LinkedIn passes 50 million users in Asia
LinkedIn has reached 50 million users in Asia Pacific. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years, according to The Next Web, there were nine countries in Asia-Pacific have more than a million LinkedIn members each. India has 24 million users, Australia has five million, China has about four million, Indonesia and the Philippines have over two million each, while Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand each have over a million users. Probably due to Asia Pacific’s large mobile penetration in the world, LinkedIn has reached 1.6 billion unique subscribers from mobile, according to the GSM association report 2013. It is revealed that LinkedIn intends to focus on mobile and has also been appealing to young professionals who contribute to a significant bulk of the workforce in Asia. LinkedIn has also made a big move in China, according to a recent WeChat update that it has integrated profiles from the network.
The importance of mobile in social is well documented; however, it seems that it is even more integral to Twitter than Facebook. Facebook sees a higher average time spent per user per month than Twitter on both desktop (6 minutes 24 seconds) and mobile (7:43), though the difference between the two formats is far more marked on Twitter. The average user spends 3 minutes 7 seconds per month on Twitter through mobile, but only 36 seconds on a computer.
Despite this controversy, a number of US sponsors have released campaigns around the event. BMW asked fans to tweet their support for the US Bobsled team that they sponsor, AT&T created an app for fans to develop a ‘USA’ chant and Visa have documented the whole thing using Vine and the hashtag #everywhere. According to We Are Social’s analysis, it is the latter who have dominated conversation around the event, with around 5,000 mentions; McDonald’s is in second place with roughly 3,700 and Coca Cola in third.
#LoveJu and the world’s first social choreography
We Are Social’s Milan office produced the world’s first ever social choreography for Italian football club, Juventus. A Facebook app dedicated to picking the winning #LoveJu design saw 3,122 entries, 4,500 registered users, 290,00 views and 18,118 votes. The winning entry is shown in the below video.
Heineken tried to get men to show their romantic side for Valentine’s Day, using the incentive of a free sponsored date. Anyone could apply for a box to be sent to their boyfriend, containing details of the date, but in order to receive the code necessary to unlock it, he’d then have to share his mushiest feelings on Instagram. Romantic? Bribery? A bit of both?
Brand on brand on Valentine’s Day
It’s an ever growing trend – brands talking to each other on Twitter. Well, Valentine’s Day saw the perfect opportunity for some set-up brand on brand action, such as the below. You can click through to this article for more examples.
Pizza Hut on OKCupid
In good news for the incredibly lonely, Pizza Hut set up an OKCupid profile for Valentine’s Day, inspired by the marriage proposals they receive on Twitter. Using the hashtag #CommitToGreatness, they’re using the profile to ask fans to propose in more creative ways, with the winner receiving free pizza for life.
Kisses (and Twitter fails) begin with Kay
Kay Jewelers released a new advert, in which a woman is so interested in her phone that a male suitor has to text her in order to present her with a new necklace. They supported this on Twitter with the hashtag #ekbwk (Every kiss begins with Kay), which was met with a nice chunk of online negativity.
The Conservative Party’s ‘Lookback’ video
Everyone’s seen them: the Facebook ‘Lookback’ videos that detail your journey on the platform, from the embarrassing things you did years ago… to the embarrassing things you do now. The UK Labour Party has released a spoof video for their rivals the Conservative party, highlighting the various mistakes they’ve made while in power. It’s probably not as embarrassing as yours, though.
Twitter increases focus on Asia
In an effort to increase global engagement and revenues, the newly-listed social media company has gone on an aggressive hiring spree in Asia. The company has reportedly staffed five key marketing and communications positions in the last two months, and is said to be currently hiring for more than 20 positions in the region.
Possible LinkedIn integration on WeChat
The upcoming WeChat update could possibly come with LinkedIn integration and an Android makeover for the popular messaging and social media app. The following screenshots from a private beta version were released on Pingwest.
LinkedIn currently has more than four million registered users in China. Analysts predict that a Chinese-language version of the professional networking platform could be released soon.
Reverse takeover lands mig33 on the ASX
The Singapore and Indonesia-based mobile social networking company, mig33, is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Australia-listed mining exploration company, Latin Gold, acquired it in a reverse takeover, which allows mig33′s shareholders to become majority owners of the combined group. Latin Gold will also take on mig33′s company name.
Wongnai, Thailand’s Yelp, grows to 1 million users
Thai restaurant review site, Wongnai, revealed that it has reached its goal of 1 million registered users since its establishment in 2010. Available both as a website and mobile app, the review site currently sees approximately 220,000 active users per month. Despite its success thus far, Wongnai has not revealed any plans to expand its services beyond Thailand.
China’s Weibo users decline while WeChat rises
The future of China’s Weibo platforms does not look promising as they have lost 27.8 million users over the past year following the Chinese government’s latest internet crackdown campaign against online rumours. However, as China’s most popular social platforms experience this dramatic fall, the number of users on instant messaging apps such as WeChat has grown by 64.4 million users in 2013 while the total number of mobile Internet users reached 500 million.
WhatsApp users double in less than a year
Private messaging’s popularity does not cease as WhatsApp reports an increase of over 200 million users since April 2013, now standing at 430 million active users as of January 2014. A staggering 50 billion messages are sent and received on the app per day.
The ongoing saga of organic reach on Facebook
Facebook threw another curve-ball this week when it revealed its latest alterations to the newsfeed. They will now show fewer text status updates from Pages, as the latest testing has shown that people are more likely to post on Facebook when they are exposed to plain text status updates from their friends rather than Pages. Facebook have been vague about what brands should do as a result, but they have recommended that when posting links, brands should use ‘link-shares’, as in this example:
Facebook is testing a mobile ad network
Rather than being content to just display ads to it’s own users, Facebook is testing showing ads to users of third party apps. Unlike previous tests, Facebook is working directly with a limited number of advertisers on its own mobile ad network rather than outside ad-serving platforms to display “sponsored content outside of its own properties”.
Watch your b-to-b-back, LinkedIn
Facebook is making room for job and b-to-b marketing as it plans to allow advertisers to start targeting users based on their employment details this March. This is expected to appeal to recruiters, placing Facebook in direct competition with LinkedIn.
Twitter lends a hand to brands and publishers
Twitter has revealed a shiny new dashboard called analytics for Twitter Cards that will allow brands and publishers to monitor how media-filled tweets perform. This dashboard will then provide companies with personalised tips to help them make more strategic decisions. These new set of tools are already being used by the likes of BuzzFeed, NBC News and ESPN.
Pinterest experiments with GIFs
GIFs may no longer appear just as static images on Pinterest, who are experimenting with a new play button that features on the bottom left of embedded animated GIFs.
Ajax helps you wipe away annoying social trolls
Scouring brand Ajax have develop a new social utility tool, ‘Social Wipes’, allowing you wipe your social slate clean. For Facebook, the tool allows you to unlike pages you’ve liked over the years. For Twitter, it scans all of your followers and people you follow for potential spam bots. Only a week old, Ajax has already helped clean up more than 200,000 page likes on Facebook and nearly 20,000 Twitter spam bots from social feeds. Oddly enough, the brand does not maintain a social presence on either social network.
JBL turns tour tweets into music
JBL has created a digital experience which transforms user tweets into a custom track generated by JBL’s Tweet Music algorithm, converting every letter, number and character into a loop of music. The popularity of the campaign is evident: in just one week of the promotion, JBL received 2,600 mentions using the @JBLaudio handle, compared to it’s typical average of 360. They have also accumulated 3,100 new followers with nearly 1,200 songs created so far. The opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Grammy Awards is no doubt having a positive impact.
Thinking of buying a DLSR? Not after this campaign…
This week We Are Social launched the “why DSLR?” campaign for Panasonic, with a series of videos featuring a bodybuilder, an owl and a duel-style shoot-out between two cameras to promote its mirrorless Lumix cameras. We Are Social will also monitor social conversations surrounding DSLR cameras found on internet forums and across social platforms and will respond to questions about DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Sarah Oliver, Account Director at We Are Social said:
Whichever stage of the purchase journey people are at – researching DSLRs on forums or searching to buy a DSLR on Google, this campaign will surface considerable and credible expert opinion with the power to change their decision.
OnePiece unveils #HackTheSale social campaign
The Norwegian clothing company OnePiece, is inviting customers to share its #HackTheSale campaign on Facebook and Twitter, to communally drive down the price of a onesie jumpsuit. Every time a customer uses the #HackTheSale app to share the campaign on either of the social networks, the price of a Lusekofte Onesie, which starts at £139, will go down.
Microsoft faces a fumble with the FTC
Microsoft didn’t know what they were in for when they signed a content deal with YouTube network Machinima. Machinima recruited YouTube creators to make videos about the Xbox One, however these console enthusiasts didn’t disclose that they were paid to promote the product. As a result, Microsoft has unintentionally disobeyed the FTC’s endorsement disclosure guidelines, which may result in intervention.
Brands’ Grammy Tweet Attempts…
The awards season is truly upon us, beginning with a bang last night with the Grammys. And, of course, that can only mean one thing; social media triumphs and disasters. Antiperspirant brands a plenty tried desperately to jump onto the Grammy conversation, but armpit puns and poor jokes fell on deaf ears. Others, such as Pizza Hut and Fitbit, tried to brazenly join in the conversations, with various jokes, ‘tips’, but alas, failed to win the hearts – or the RT’s – of the Grammy viewers.
However, some brands were right on the money. Pharrell Williams was trending on Twitter that evening, due to his questionable headgear at the awards. Restaurant chain Arby’s, whose logo looks a bit like Pharrell’s hat, was quick off the bat to tweet him just that. The tweet received over 70,000 RT’s, demonstrating the power of social if your timing is right, coupled with a genius comment.
Following on from We Are Social’s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.
It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.
These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.
These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.
The Global Picture
Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:
Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.
We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data in the report – here’s the APAC picture:
In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.
The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:
Asia-Pacific In Context
APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:
click to enlarge
Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:
However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:
It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:
It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:
- The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
- However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
- There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.
2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.
We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.
User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):
It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:
- Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
- Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
- On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.
We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.
Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).
China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.
We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:
- The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
- The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.
However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:
- WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
- WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
- LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
- Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide
We’re pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.
As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.
Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.
It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.
However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:
The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.
Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.
While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:
It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.
You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.
The Individual Country Story
We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.
Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.
In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:
Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.
Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.
However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.
The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:
It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.
However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.
We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.
East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:
As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.
Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.
Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.
Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.
Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:
Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.
We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:
As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.
The India Changes
Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:
So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.
Be sure to check back to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!
Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank GlobalWebIndex and GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.
UPDATE: We’ve amended this post, and some slides in the original report, due to a request from one of our data partners.
Sina Weibo recently launched mobile payment to compete with WeChat
To compete with WeChat’s mobile payment service launched last year, Sina Weibo has recently partnered with China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba to launch its own mobile wallet feature. Alibaba already owns the most influential payment tool in China, Alipay. With the cooperation of the two giants, it is expected that Sina Weibo will be able to compete head on head with WeChat.
China Southern Airline garners millions of WeChat users
China Southern Airline’s official WeChat account(CS5539) started in January 1st of last year. By November 11th, the account already generated over a million WeChat users. It became one of the most influential public accounts in China. The airline’s customer service platform consists of WeChat, website, SMS, and a customised mobile app together with their call centre. Within its customer service platform, WeChat is the only real- time platform that allows for one-to-one communication, providing a more personalised customer service. According to China Southern Airline, there were 9,000 members who used WeChat instead of the mobile app. At this point, the official account reached 300,000 WeChat users. Will WeChat start to grow more as a social media platform instead of just a chat app in 2014?
Social.gg identifies social media trends in Thailand
There are over 24 million Facebook users in Thailand with Bangkok accounting for more Facebook users than any other city in the world. Moreover, the fastest growing trends for last year was Facebook commerce (F-commerce) in Thailand. To harness this opportunity for brands and marketers, Social.gg has launched a tool that explores trends and hot topics on social media in Thailand. This is said to be similar to Google Trends or Twitter’s trending topics.
Mobile internet usage is massive in Western Europe
According to eMarketer, nearly half of all Western European mobile users will access mobile internet at least once a month in 2014. That figure is up from 40.0% in 2013, expected to rise to 66.0% by 2017. Scandinavia looks set to lead the way in 2014, with Norway’s figure of 63.5% in first place, followed by Denmark and Sweden.
Organic Facebook reach dropped throughout December
Analysis of the 28 day period either side of the 2nd December by EdgeRank Checker has shown that Facebook’s organic reach dropped considerably in that period. On average, organic reach dropped from 10.15% in the earlier period to 7.83% afterwards, with statuses and videos most affected, as shown by this graph:
As Facebook may well have hoped, in a separate study by Locowise, the use of paid post promotion on the platform increased throughout December. An examination of 1,000 pages found that 25% more of them were using ads in December than previously and, in 53% of the cases where organic reach had increased, promotion had also been used.
Facebook leads for social logins
Facebook remained the leader for social logins in Q4 2014 according to Janrain, with 45% of all social logins throughout the web. Google+ is not hugely far behind, with 35%, while Yahoo and Twitter follow, both on 6%.
Facebook scraps Sponsored Stories
Facebook has announced a change to its current advertising format: the network is axing Sponsored Stories. These ads, which suggest pages that a user might like based on their friends’ interactions with that page, have been controversial in the past, including a law suit accusing Facebook of misappropriating users’ likes and comments without consent. However, they’ve also been fairly successful, and are currently Facebook’s ‘simplest’ ad format, allowing first-time marketers an easy way onto the platform. You can find out more about the move in our own blog post on the subject.
Facebook acquires link-sharing Branch
Facebook has acquired link-sharing service, Branch, for a figure believed to be around $15 million. The web-based service seems to make sense as a purchase, given Facebook’s recent interest in developing the importance of news stories on the network. To quote Branch’s CEO, Josh Miller:
We will be forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests.
The acquisition also includes Branch’s latest app, Potluck for iPhone, which offers users small pieces of news, which they can discuss with friends in-app, as shown below.
Updates to ads on Tumblr
Yahoo has announced some changes to advertising on Tumblr, the platform it acquired last May. Sponsored Posts, now be known as ‘Sponsored Posts Powered by Yahoo Advertising’, can now be targeted based on gender or geolocation, and advertisers will only pay when their adverts cause some sort of action, whether that be a reblog, follow or like.
Use Gmail to message Google+ contacts
Google has updated its email service, Gmail, to allow users to email their Google+ contacts directly. Now, when a Google+ user writers a message via their Gmail account, they will see the details of their G+ contacts appear as options in the address bar, without having to know their email address. It is an opt out system, with the ability to limit those who can find you via Google+ to certain circles, or block the process entirely.
Branded Google+ ‘Helpouts’
We’ve all heard of Google+ Hangouts. Recently, the network launched ‘Helpouts’, which allow individuals, as well as five branded partners, to offer live video help to consumers, whether it be for free or at a price. Weight Watchers, for example, offer free health advice, while Sephora charge $15 for 15-30 minute beauty sessions. Three other partners are One Medical, Redbeacon and Rosetta Stone, though we may expect to see more in future.
Social at the Golden Globes
The Golden Globes used their star-studded audience to full effect last night, with a set of 360 degree Vines straight from the red carpet. Usher (below) was joined by some other A-listers, including Mike Tyson and Sean Combs.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 13, 2014
Brands were also keen to get in on the action, with some examples embedded below. L’Oreal’s tweet about a GIF hair tutorial was clearly much better than CVS’s attempt to get involved.
— L’Oreal Paris USA (@LOrealParisUSA) January 13, 2014
— CVS/pharmacy (@CVS_Extra) January 13, 2014
Cinemax creates Vine mini-series Cinemax is using Vine to promote season two of ‘Banshee’, with a complete series of 6-second Vines that reveal the hopes and fears of characters. It’s the first time that a TV programme has created a full series in this way, and will be supported by comic-book content, using the hashtag #BansheeOrigins.
— Cinemax (@Cinemax) January 10, 2014
BT’s Twitter #GuessThePrize
BT is promoting its £7.50 per month ‘BT Infinity’ sale with a Twitter competition, dubbed #GuessThePrize. Running every day from 12-4pm, users have seven minutes and 50 seconds every hour to guess what the prize might be, with options ranging from an Xbox One to Premier League football tickets.
Clorox produces some top reactive content
When a hashtag arose poking fun at the names given to American college football games, cleaning brand Clorox came up with the below. A great piece of reactive content on Twitter.
— Clorox (@Clorox) January 8, 2014
Brands hijack the Polar Vortex
A side effect of last week’s Polar Vortex was a lot of branded content. Some of it was good, some of it really wasn’t. You can decide for yourself on the below examples.
The UK government’s Facebook gaffe
Michael Gove, the UK Secretary of State for Education, was in trouble last week when a Facebook post from the Department of Work and Pensions posted advice on its Facebook page about how to look good at interviews. This may not have been too controversial, had the quotation included not come from a company owned by his wife. Gove claims to have no knowledge of the promotion; if this was a genuine mistake, it shows the importance of doing proper background checks on any social content.
The relationship between one man and a brand
Chip Zdarsky, a Canadian journalist and comic book artist, enjoys trolling brands in his spare time. Fair enough. However, when he came across the Applebee’s Barrie account, it felt so lonely that he decided to try and build a proper relationship. Naming the project Applebee’s & Me on his Tumblr, some of the results from his burgeoning friendship can be found below.