Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Weibo’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #129

by Jolene Siow in News

People in China send about 1 SMS a day, thanks to WeChat
With the rise of popular messaging app WeChat in China, people are now only sending out about 1 SMS a day. New figures released by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology show that people in China send an average of 39.8 text messages per month – or about 1.3 a day. This is despite a total of 1.26 billion registered phone subscribers. 

WeChat users in China can now transfer money to each other
In a minor iOS update, WeChat added the ability for users to transfer money to each other. This feature is limited to users in China who have tied a bank card to the app. The money transfer option is a small step in WeChat’s aims to become a mobile wallet service. It already encompasses online payments, ecommerce, an online personal finance fund, and online taxi ordering. Micro-blogging site Sina Weibo is also set to roll out user-to-user money transfers next week.

LinkedIn adds Traditional Chinese language support
Extending greater focus on its China market, LinkedIn has added Traditional Chinese to the list of languages supported on its service. The China-specific site, Lingying.com, had previously only supported Simplified Chinese. The addition of Traditional Chinese (which is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) would help it gain traction among business professionals in the mainland.

Line and its family of apps have hit 1 billion downloads
As Line celebrates its third anniversary, it revealed that its ecosystem of 63 apps has seen a cumulative total of 1 billion downloads to date. 13 of the 63 apps (other than Line itself) have passed the 10 million download mark, with Line Camera surpassing 90 million downloads. Line’s family of apps seek to become much more than just a messaging service, meetings “needs for communication, digital content, game, tools, media and more.”

Facebook launches Slingshot
Facebook has launched Slingshot, its Snapchat rival, for iPhone and Android. They even did it on purpose this time. The app allows users to share photos and videos, to which they can add text. But there’s a twist – you can only see what you’ve been sent if you share something in return.

Facebook tests auto play video for brand pages
You may have noticed auto play video ads in your Facebook News Feed, coming from brands such as Macy’s and Chevrolet. Facebook is now testing an expansion of the feature, such that videos posted to brand pages will ‘auto play’ in the same way. The videos would not be restricted to the same 15-second time limit as the current ads.

Twitter increases ROI for TV ads
A recent study has concluded that TV campaigns supported by Twitter are more effective than TV alone. The most significant figure was that Twitter-supported campaigns produce a 50% higher ROI than TV-only campaigns. The study also noted that when using Twitter, brand awareness was 6.9% higher and that households showed a 4% increase in sales compared with TV alone.

GIFs come to Twitter
Twitter now supports GIFs uploaded natively through a variety of devices, on Twitter.com, iPhone/iPad and Android. They won’t start automatically, but, as you can see below, all that’s required is a quick click of a button. Naturally, brands are getting involved already. Here are a few examples:

Yahoo to run Tumblr ads on related sites Yahoo is going to start running Tumblr’s Sponsored Post ads on its affiliated sites, including Yahoo News and Yahoo Beauty. Brands already involved include Lexus, Tide, Lipton and the Hunger Games.

LinkedIn launches Job Search
LinkedIn has released a standalone app for iPhone and iPad, called ‘LinkedIn Job Search’. What it does should be clear from the title, but there is another feature that makes it distinctly different from LinkedIn: everything is completely private. It’s US-only for now, but more markets are in the offing. Product manager, Daniel Ayele, said of the launch:

It can be hard to search for a job while you’re at your desk, not to mention the potentially awkward conversation with your current boss. Our goal is to help make this process easier for you and to help you be discreet. Everything you do within the app will be completely private and not shared with your network.

Snapchat tests public sharing, adds new filters
Snapchat has announced a couple of changes in the last week. First of all, it’s testing a Group Sharing feature, dubbed ‘Our Story’. The feature will pull together all the snaps from a particular location, such as a concert, and share them publicly as one large, user-generated Story.

Secondly, the app has added custom filters for brands, in an attempt to entice more of them to use it. Here you can see Vice’s ‘Yes We Cannes’ template.

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Yelp adds direct messaging feature Yelp users can now contact businesses directly with questions and feedback. When they do so, the business will receive an email like the below. To respond, it simply needs to reply to the email. Yelp will also give an indication of how long it takes companies to respond, unless they choose to opt out. yelp

The World Cup on social The USA seems to have taken to the World Cup, even if USMNT is no way to refer to a football team. The soccer love is showing on social, with tweets from big names, including LeBron James, Jimmy Fallon and some bloke called Barack.

The US team’s first game, a victory over Ghana, saw a high of 173,738 tweets. Delta Airlines wanted to get involved, but produced the World Cup’s first ‘Twitter fail’ by illustrating Ghana using a giraffe, an animal that isn’t native to the country. The brand ended up issuing an apology.

Other brands managed to avoid such problems when commenting on the USA vs. Portugal game yesterday. Portugal equalised in the dying seconds to leave the US needing a result against Germany – here are some of the tweets in response to the event.

Tide creates Game of Thrones infographic SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t finished Game of Thrones, it might be best to give this story a miss. Tide has created an infographic showing all of the deaths in the most recent season, receiving over 1,000 RTs and favourites.

New emoji are coming
Big news for everyone who finds it too difficult to express their thoughts and feelings using words. There are 250 new emoji coming, which should keep conversations interesting for at least 250 seconds. Easily our favourite is the ‘middle finger’ image, which can come in very useful on a Monday.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #128

by Suhaina Adam in News

World Cup hits Weibo
Weibo‘s recently launched World Cup page is live and a huge success so far – over 22 million Chinese users followed the news on Weibo on the first day of FIFA World Cup 2014! In fact, in the first two hours of the event, there were already 83 million published posts, with 3 million Weibo posts coming out of China. With the topic #world cup# exceeding a billion post views in just a day, this could potentially set a whole new Weibo record by the end of the tournament.

Hike crosses the 20 million user mark
In just 18 months since its launch, Indian messenger app Hike announced yesterday that it now has over 20 million registered users. To commemorate the special occasion, it introduced a few new features such as ‘hidden mode’ and ‘big file transfer’. The former protects private chats with a password, while the latter enables a transfer of up to 100 MB in any file format. This is a likely attempt to take on Whatsapp, which currently dominates the market with 50 million monthly active users.

Line to provide targeted ads
Japanese-based messenger app Line recently announced its partnership with US company Salesforce to offer a new service for companies to push targeted ads to the platform’s 450 million global users. In Japan alone, there are currently over a hundred companies with official Line accounts. Similar to Facebook, companies will now be able to filter Line users by age, gender and geographical location. Aside from that, users’ past purchases and browsing history can also be tracked to improve product recommendations.

Social ads are preferred by marketers
A survey of marketers by Millward Brown has found that most prefer social media ads to native and email ads. When asked which ad types met their company’s digital branding objectives, the top answer, given by 51% of respondents, was ‘social ads’, followed by native (46%) and e-mail (36%). Social ads are also more common – 77% responded that they had used them, compared to 73% for email and 68% native.

Facebook accidentally launches Slingshot
Facebook has had Slingshot, its second attempt at a Snapchat rival, in the pipeline for a little while now. Last week, it accidentally launched the app, before pulling it from the app store and admitting its mistake.

Facebook adds tap and hold video sharing to Messenger
So we have to wait for Slingshot. In the meantime, Facebook Messenger has added another Snapchat feature – tap and hold video sharing. The update is already here for iPhone and is incoming for Android.

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Facebook to target ads based on browsing history
Facebook has announced that it will use web browsing history for targeting ads on the platform. The platform will capture passive browsing information from various sites across the web, including, in future, those where its ‘like’ button is installed and, perhaps controversially, will not pay attention to the ‘do not track’ function in browsers. The network has also announced new privacy options, whereby users can click on an ad to see why it has been served to them.

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A new method for sharing video ads on Twitter
Twitter is experimenting with a new way of sharing video ads, starting with Visa and adidas. When a user types in a particular hashtag (#visa for Visa, #allin for adidas) followed by a space, they will see a paper clip prompt. Clicking on it allows the user to easily share the ad with their followers.

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Twitter to start showing weather-related adverts
Twitter has partnered with The Weather Company, so that advertisers can serve weather-specific ads on the platform. While this function has been available on The Weather Company’s website for a while, the move will now tie in with real-time social marketing, as Curt Hecht, The Weather Company’s chief global revenue officer, explained:

People experience the weather that don’t use our properties, so this enables us to connect with them elsewhere. Our clients keep asking us to go off-property.

Twitter launches website remarketing tag
Twitter has launched a tag for website remarketing, allowing advertisers to target Promoted Tweets or Promoted Accounts to internet users who have already visited their website. Any advertiser who already has a tag for conversion tracking can use the new system, while new users can create one using the Twitter ads UI.

Facebook and Twitter add World Cup features
Facebook and Twitter have added specific features for the World Cup. The former has created a World Cup hub, featuring live scores, highlights and real-time posts from friends as well as relevant players and teams. There’s also an interactive map showing the locations of top players’ fans, while users can use the ‘watching’ feature to share specific matches.

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Twitter is targeting users as soon as they sign up. New users will be able to choose which nation they’re supporting and select from a set of pre-made supporter profile pictures and cover photos. Its answer to the Facebook ‘World Cup hub’ is the #WorldCup timeline, which similarly shows relevant posts from your network alongside others deemed relevant. Hashflags are back, too: typing a specific country’s hashtag will bring up the national flag. Lovely stuff.

FIFA uses voting Twitter card
FIFA is using a Twitter card to display the results of its ‘Man of the Match’ votes after each game. It’s a pretty nifty little card, which you can click here to see, though for some reason the winner is always Qatar. How odd.

Visa looks to social for World Cup campaigns
Visa is looking to get the most out of its World Cup sponsorship with a variety of campaigns across social. It has created the ‘Teletransporter’, in which fans can add a picture of themselves to football characters to create a sharable video, as well as a number of videos, one of which is included below. The brand has also employed ambassadors to create social content on its behalf, and will be ensuring that it supports all this with strong targeting and mobile optimisation.

Coca Cola creates World Cup selfie montage
Coca Cola created a photomosaic flag for last week’s World Cup opening, made up of233,206 socially-sourced selfies from across the world, all draped across the field. Here’s James Sommerville, VP-global design at Coca-Cola, talking about the campaign.

Hyundai develops World Cup microsite
Another World Cup sponsor, Hyundai, has created a Tumblr-powered microsite dubbed #BecauseFutbol. The page is set to contain 120 pieces of original art, which site visitors can remix or use to create new artwork and share on social media. Hyundai is supporting the activity with the below Times Square billboard.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #127

by Ji Eun Kim in News

Twitter used for presidential election campaigns in Indonesia 
According to Twitter, Indonesia has nearly 20 million active users and Jakarta is the number one city in terms of the number of tweets generated (2.4% of all tweets come from Jakarta). Most of these Indonesian Twitter users are first time voters aged between 16 and 20. This demographic accounts for over one-third of 187 million eligible voters in 2014 elections. The youth population are always connected online and active on social media. In this election year alone, 42.1 million tweets related to the election were generated, up 36 percent compared to last year. Seeing an opportunity to tap into Twitter for presidential elections in July 9th, Peter Greenberger, director of political advertising for Twitter visited Indonesia to meet presidential candidates to talk about how they could use Twitter more effectively in their campaigns. Presidential contenders, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and ex-general Prabowo Subianto have 1.5 million followers and 808,000 Twitter followers respectively. We will wait to see how Twitter plays a role to shape the political landscape in Indonesia.

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Line to remove 20 gaming apps to focus on what’s working 
With 400 million registered users, Line is one of the largest messaging apps in the market. The app has indicated plans to remove one-third of gaming apps (20) from its platform. This move is geared towards focusing its resources on apps that are achieving greater success, with hopes to “further propel the service as a global gaming platform.” Gaming revenue was $143 million for its most recent quarter, through 300 million downloads worldwide. This constitutes more than 60 percent of Line’s total revenue. Therefore, it seems reasonable to halt those apps that are losing popularity. Line has promised a refund for users who have purchased the games that will cease operations. However, Line has yet to decide whether to roll out replacement gaming apps or continue with its remaining gaming apps.

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Facebook responds to organic reach questions
Facebook has released a statement explaining its decreasing organic reach, offering two key reasons: the huge volume of content on the network (a user could potentially be shown up to 1,500 stories per log in) and an attempt to increase News Feed relevance. The piece argues that they are not trying to make more money from paid ads and that fans still have a function – social context (i.e. seeing that your friend ‘likes’ an advertised page) reportedly drives 50% more recall and 35% higher online sales lift. For information on how to combat the changes, have a look at our full article on the subject.

Search ads have no measurable effect
Research conducted in the US by eBay, in conjunction with Berkeley and Chicago universities, has concluded that search ads have ‘no measurable benefit’. eBay customers were ‘unaffected by the presence of paid search advertising’, leading to questions about the medium’s future.

Facebook adds interactive video components
Facebook has added new interactive components to its standard video ads to increase their efficiency for lower-budget advertisers. The offering now includes a ‘video views’ option, allowing a company to serve ads to users more likely to watch them, such as those who have watched similar content before. It’s also now possible to add a call-to-action to a video, such as encouraging users to click through to a brand’s website.

Facebook rolls out new page design worldwide
Facebook has launched its new page design worldwide, which increases the similarity between pages and personal profiles. Admins will see a prompt to ‘take a tour’ of the changes and can then choose whether or not to make the switch. Regardless of their choice, the change will happen automatically two weeks after the tour is taken.

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Instagram adds new photo-editing features
Instagram has added ten new features and updated seven, aimed at increasing the scope for photo-editing in-app. The new options include ‘Adjust, Brightness, Contrast, Warmth, Saturation, Highlights, Shadows, Vignette and Sharpen’.

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LinkedIn updates paid profiles
LinkedIn has created a brand new image-centric profile layout, as you can see below. It’s only available to paid users for now, though – we’ll see if it’s enough to entice people currently using the service for free.

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Pinterest creates self-serve ad auction
Pinterest is following its initial ad launch by creating a self-serve auction, aimed at small-to-medium businesses. Payment will be taken on a cost-per-click basis. Don Faul, Pinterest’s head of operations, explained how the auction works:

The ultimate price over time will be determined, as all auctions are, by how much competition and demand there is.

Tinder looks to increase interactions with ‘Moments’
Tinder has launched ‘Moments’, which it hopes will enrich interactions within the app. Users can share a picture, or ‘Moment’, with all their matches, who will be given the option to ‘like’ it or not, based on the normal left/right swipe mechanic. Once someone likes your photo, you can start chatting about it. Photos will disappear after 24 hours, which we’re sure nobody on Tinder will take advantage of in any way whatsoever.

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Microsoft adds new apps to Xbox
Microsoft has announced that 45 new apps will be coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360before the end of the year. These include Vine and Twitter, the latter of which will be integrated into the console, such that users have the option to see tweets about TV content they’re watching or trending shows.

Foursquare brings ads to Swarm
Foursquare is integrating adverts into its new app, Swarm, to be served to users after they check in. So far, the ads (shown below) are set to be used by a number of brands, including Pepsi, P&G, Hennessy, Volvo and Shell.

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Hellmann’s teaches cookery through WhatsApp
Mayonnaise brand, Hellmann’s, has created an app for its Brazilian consumers named WhatsCook, a live recipe service that allows users to speak to experts or professional chefs using WhatsApp. The feature takes full advantage of the ability to send images and videos through the platform.

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Listerine is creating a World Cup newsroom
Mouthwash brand, Listerine, is sponsoring the World Cup for the first time this year, creating a campaign dubbed “Power To Your Mouth”. This will see a newsroom set up for the tournament, wherein the brand will create content for Facebook and Twitter based on events, and then bid for ads in real-time, based on which posts receive the most engagement.

World No Smoking Day Vines
Anti-smoking charity, Quit, created a campaign for World No Tobacco Day, with three different looping Vines, each displaying a different demographic group of smoker. Each one ends with the simple line “before this video starts again, another smoker will die”.

Lego embraces social video Lego has made its first foray into the world of social video, producing a Vine and an Instagram video. Each focusses around a shy ‘mixel’ named Seismo.

IHG and Coca-Cola launch Instagram competition InterContinental Hotel Group and Coca-Cola have teamed up to produce a summer campaign, which asks entrants to pitch their most creative story ideas in a 15-second Instagram video for the chance to meet Hollywood actor, Josh Lucas. IHG will support the campaign with a set of video kiosks, explained in the below video by Adweek.

Jack Daniel’s creates smartphone photo competition Jack Daniel’s is asking customers to post pictures of their summer experiences through various social sites, in fitting with a set of weekly challenges. Two prizes will be dished out each week, one chosen by judges and the other by a public vote. The campaign looks to promote Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, aimed at a younger audience than its core product. Asos celebrates an #EpicSummer with Mastercard Asos and Mastercard have joined forces to create a campaign dubbed #EpicSummer, which asks twenty-somethings to share pictures on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag. Prizes include concert tickets and an Asos shopping spree.

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Newcastle Brown Ale paying for followers Newcastle Brown Ale is continuing its ‘No Bollocks’ attitude with a campaign that offers $1 to the first 50,000 people to follow the brand on Twitter. Why? Well, why “endure the unsolicited marketing of other beer brands for free when you can endure Newcastle’s unsolicited marketing and get paid?”

Ben & Jerry’s offers ice cream for tweets Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream brand, went ‘cruising’ around the streets of Washington D.C. last week, offering free ice cream. All residents had to do was tweet the brand, telling them where they’d like the truck to stop.


Bashar Al-Assad promotes Facebook posts
Promoted posts from Syria’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, were spotted on Facebook last week. A number of people objected, including The Syria Campaign, which has demanded the network donate any money it received from the posts to Syrian children. The organisation has created the below replica of Facebook to direct people to a petition.

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The CIA launches on social
In a story that may or may not be linked to the above, the CIA has launched accounts on Facebook and Twitter. It’s taken a humorous approach, causing something of a Twitter frenzy – the account has amassed almost 600,000 followers already.

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We Are Social Asia Midweek Mashup #83

by Melissa Law in News
Weibo releases first earnings report since IPO
Chinese microblogging platform Weibo raked in a total of $67.5 million in revenues in Q1, which is a 161% increase from a year ago. Despite this, the social network made a net loss of $47.4 million in the same quarter. The company also reported a growth in users to 143.8 million monthly active users and an average of 66.6 million daily active users. Weibo made its debut on the NASDAQ stock market in April.

Kakao to merge with Daum
A merger has been announced between Kakao Corporation, the company behind South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk, and Daum Communications, the country’s second largest web portal. Through this merger, Kakao and Daum will be better equipped to compete with rivals. The reverse takeover with Daum, which is a listed company, will also allow Kakao Corporation to get on South Korea’s KOSDAQ stock market as early as October, without having to go through the usual IPO processes. The merged company will be called Daum Kakao and is valued at 3 trillion won (S$3.7 billion).

Twitter to hit nearly 400m users by 2018
Research done by eMarketer forecasts that the total number of Twitter users worldwide is set to hit nearly 400m by 2018. In addition, the marketing research firm forecasted that over 40% of those users would come from the Asia Pacific region. By the end of this year, eMarketer also expects India and Indonesia to see more than a 50% growth in users, making them the third and fourth largest Twitter populations in the world.

Facebook can automatically identify music and TV
For the last year, Facebook users have been able to share how they’re ‘feeling’, or what they’re ‘watching’ or ‘listening to’. The network has now expanded the feature, allowing iPhone, iPad or Android microphones to automatically identify music and TV programmes, which can be shared as updates using the normal ‘listening to’ or ‘watching’ format. Facebook has promised not to retain any data from the system, which is being rolled out to US users in the coming weeks.

Facebook looking to rival online dating sites
Facebook is testing an ‘Ask’ button, which allows one user to enquire into another’s relationship status. Mashable pointed out the button’s huge potential and its significance for the online dating world; with such a huge user base, Facebook could quite easily become a rival to the likes of eHarmony and match.com. The Guardian, however, was much less positive, discussing the likelihood of unnecessary pestering and oversharing.

Facebook rolls out ‘I’m a Voter’ button
During the Indian elections in May, over 4 million Facebook users clicked on a new ‘I’m a Voter’ button. As a result, Facebook is expanding the feature to the EU, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia, New Zealand and Brazil. It’s already seen success in America, too, where its launch during the 2010 mid-term elections was credited with mobilising 340,000 extra voters.

Facebook changes privacy settings
Facebook has responded to pressure and changed its default privacy settings. Those joining from Thursday will now automatically share updates with only ‘friends and family’, rather than the whole public. The change won’t affect current users, who will be prompted to perform a ‘privacy check up’.

Nielsen Twitter TV Rating to provide demographics
Nielsen’s Twitter TV Rating service now includes demographic information on tweet authors. So far, the data collected varies hugely between programmes: sport skews 79% male, reality 65% female. The youngest audience counted 98% of its members under 35, while the oldest saw 85% over 35.

Pinterest adds third party analytics
Pinterest is launching a new analytics API that will allow select partners, such as Salesforce and Hootsuite, to offer a range of Pinterest business insights. The move will not affect Pinterest’s own in built analytics tool.

adidas allows customers to ‘Instagramize’ shoes
adidas is allowing buyers of its ZX Flux trainers to customise them with their favourite Instagram photos. The process, referred to as ‘Instagramizing’, is shown in the below update from the brand.

Budweiser’s social efforts for the World Cup
Budweiser is ramping up its social efforts as official beer to the 2014 World Cup. It’s launching a ‘Rise as One’ microsite to act as a hub for various video and photo content and will also ask fans to vote for their man of the match on Twitter after each game. On site in Rio, there will be a branded hotel, which is set to include an Instagram booth and Facebook studio.

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Save The Children launches #Vlog4Good
Save The Children is looking for a new face for its YouTube channel, and is planning to find them through social. Applicants will be given one minute to explain, on video, why they should win the 12 month paid position, in which they’ll be expected to ‘reinvent’ the charity’s editorial approach for the platform.

We Are Social create social viewer for STA Travel
We Are Social has created a campaign for STA Travel, encouraging young Australians to travel domestically. The brand will host a social version of a ’3d viewer’, allowing users to create their own reel from influencers’ Instagram photos and develop a personalised Australian experience.

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Asos upset Jodie Marsh with ‘man’ Twitter comment
Online fashion retailer, Asos, upset glamour star turned bodybuilder, Jodie Marsh last week, when they used her image to refer to models who ‘look like a man’.

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Marsh took to Twitter to voice her anger, referring to the company as ‘bullies’. As a result, Asos has donated £10,000 to an anti-bullying charity and apologised to Marsh. RetailWeek analysed what the ‘fail’ means for brands, including advice by We Are Social’s own Lisa Hardy to ensure that the person in charge of responding on Twitter is adequately experienced for the role.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #121

by Jolene Siow in News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PrivacyDinosaur1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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