Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Youku’.

We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #71

by Karen Wee in News

Thailand’s Chang  takes water orders through WeChat
Chang, Thailand’s largest beverage producer that’s best known for its beer, started an official account on WeChat last week. Calling themselves “WeChang”, followers are greeted with a welcome message that provides instructions on how to use the chat app to order drinking water for home delivery. In addition to offering a quick access to customer service representatives via WeChat, WeChang also allows customers to download a set of cute Chang stickers like the ones below. The chat app is currently also used to provide China Merchant Bank’s followers access to their bank balances in China. This might herald the future for consumer conveniences such as ordering home deliveries for food or groceries.


WeChat’s BlackBerry app gets ‘look around’ feature
Months after the launch of its BlackBerry app, WeChat has released an update that allows users to ‘look around‘ for people to chat or flirt with. The update also includes other popular features such as allowing users to add friends by scanning QR codes and downloading animated sticker packs. The recent rollout brings the BlackBerry version pretty close to the chat app’s current form on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone platforms with the notable exclusion of video or voice calling. Tencent has indicated that the latter features will be made available in the WeChat for BB10 app, that is currently under development. In the meantime, Indonesian users seeking a specialized location-based flirting app can try Qute, a Tencent app that’s created just for the Indonesian market.


6 Chinese social networks observe Earth Hour
Last Saturday, people around the world switched their lights off for an hour from 8.30pm local time to observe “Earth Hour”, a movement to remind the world not to waste vital resources. 6 Chinese social media sites, Renren, Youku, QQ, Ushi, 139 and Kaixin, pledged to turn the lights off on their sites. Users were able to view their pages via a virtual light that followed their cursor. Although technically, most gadgets will not consume less power with darkened pages, the move was intended to raise awareness of the difference that the world can make with changes to their energy consumption habits.


Tencent lays out monetization plans for WeChat
Tencent, the maker of popular chat app, WeChat, will be rolling out a suite of services intended to build revenue streams that will help them monetize the app. The app will offer online-to-offline e-commerce capabilities, value-added services and games. WeChat member card holders can enjoy discounts for following specific merchants and daily deals on the official WeiTuanGou account. WeChat users will soon be able to buy special stickers and emoticons which may be sold as bundles through subscription. Gamers will also be able to play social games via WeChat in the near future.


Tribehired, Malaysian social recruitment site gets seed investment
Malaysian startup social networking-based jobs site, Tribehired, has secured a US$ 560K (about S$ 696K) seed investment from Singapore’s TNF Ventures. The funds will be applied towards expanding the team and expanding its job seeker and employer base as the company moves towards launching its services globally. The premise is simple: Using Facebook as a working platform, people are incentivized to recommend vacancies to friends while virtual resumes can be created for users of the service. The service has already attracted quite a few companies including Rocket Internet-funded e-commerce firms such as Lazada and Zalora.


YouTube hit the 1 billion a month unique users mark
Online video giant YouTube put their success into context for us last Wednesday, announcing their achievement of 1 billion unique users per month. This means “almost half of the people on the Internet visit the online site each month”. Looking specifically at Generation C (18-34 year olds), YouTube stated  that this “demographic spend 74% more time watching YouTube on their smartphones now than they were last year”. 

Facebook cover photo policy has been changed
The rule against page cover photos featuring a call to action, contact information, references to price or purchase information has been updated. Page owners now have more flexibility in terms of what they can include in their cover photo, however the no more than 20% text overlay rule still applies. The rule for cover photos and ad images are now consistent, “this is important as cover photos are beginning to be included in both organic and sponsored page-Like stories in News Feeds”.

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Facebook to roll out its new commenting system
Facebook have been testing its new commenting system since November 2012, it “includes threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first”. The new updates will be available on an opt-in basis for all pages with more than 10,000 fans. Some of the key features of the new comments are the “option to reply to a specific comment and a ranking system that takes into account positive and negative signals, and connections”. Facebook are hoping the update will improve conversation management, enhancing the fans experience and public figure profiles.


Facebook to introduce Lookalike Audiences globally
Last week Facebook rolled out Lookalike Audiences to Power Editor accounts, this is a tool which helps advertisers target similar users “to those in their Custom Audience database”. Facebook reported that Lookalike Audiences have decreased cost per action and an online retailer experienced “lower costs per checkout when the Lookalike Audience feature was in limited beta”. To create Lookalike Audiences a list of first-party data must be uploaded, such as, email, phone number or user ID to create a Custom Audience. Facebook then uses algorithms to analyse the Custom Audience and produces a Lookalike Audience based on demographics, interests and what people are talking about.

iPhone users make calls using Facebook Messenger for free
Following on from its successful launch in the US and Canada, it is now possible for iPhone users in the UK to make calls to other Facebook Messenger users for free. You simply open the Facebook Messenger app, select the person you want to call and hit the ‘I’ button.

Happy 7th Birthday Twitter
Last week Twitter celebrated its 7th birthday – In the last seven years the social network has gained more than 200 million active users who create over 400 million Tweets each day. Twitter is now considered by most to be the go platform for the “lastest news, to exchange ideas and connect with people all in real time”. To celebrate this milestone, Twitter have made a video celebrating some of the many moments on Twitter so far, and a few of the UK’s best known Twitter personalities have been shouting about why they love Twitter so much.

Britney Spears is first to reach 6 million followers on Google+ 
Britney Spears has had the highest number of followers on Google+ since November 2011, and is now the first person to reach 6 million followers. According to Starcount, Lady Gaga is hot on her heels with a mere 100,000 followers seperating them.

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Puma are paying for UGC 
German sports giant, Puma, announced they’re trialing iPhone app, Foap. The new app allows users to upload photos to the platform and sell them to brands. Puma has asked Foap users to take photos in response to ‘Missions’ for its ‘Nature of Performance’ global campaign, the UGC purchased will promote the campaign across all social media channels. The ability to “create a library of content and achieve further engagement by getting users to rate the images” in Foap is one of the reasons Puma decided to use this platform.

Friendly Twitter war between Kit Kat and Oreo
A friendly Twitter war can be fun and exciting for the brand and their followers, and this is no exception:

A Twitter user tweets her two favourite chocolate brands…

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@KITKAT respond with a game of noughts and crosses…

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To which @oreo responded very cleverly…

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Oreo triumphed over KitKat on this occasion, we’re look forward to the next round!

Capital One get savvy about social for March Madness
Financial giant, Capital One, have recruited retired ball player Charles Barkley as a spokesperson during March Madness 2013 and they’re hoping he’s going to jump on the Twitter bandwagon very soon, and understandably so as tweeting has become an important part of spokesperson deals. In the meantime they have a social media plan to see them through March Madness, cashing in on real time marketing opportunities with a newsroom-styled social media team responding to tweets whilst watching the games. Capital One understand that being part of the conversation is integral to online success, but have also invested in promoted Tweets, Facebook ads, YouTube promos, and general displays across the Internet to ensure all bases are covered during March Madness.

Press regulation to affect  all forms of media
Bloggers could be facing libel fines under the new UK Leveson deal with exemplary damages imposed if they don’t sign up to the new regulator. The updated definition of a ‘relevant’ blogger or website under Clause 29 “includes any that generate news material where there is an editorial structure giving someone control over publication”. Many see this is a negative move for a country that has had a “free press for the last 300 years”, it could impact online news sites as well as small publications and local newspapers. It has been said that the new rules are there to protect small-scale bloggers and publications and to ensure publications like Hello! magazine would be subject to regulation but a small voluntary blog would be exempt.

The UK’s 2013 Budget in terms of social 
We Are Social’s London analyst Ed Kitchingman gave us the low down on social figures during the UK 2013 budget announcements last week, and what a difference twelve months made. The 2012 budget received 138,500 tweets total, whereas the 2013 budget received 258,000, tweets in the first day. The sentiment of tweets however was overwhelmingly negative, but mainly in relation to the Chancellor himself and not the policies. #budget2013 was the top hashtag used on the day, it was tweeted 125,102 times. Here’s a look at the top 10 hashtags used throughout the budget announcement and immediately after in order of popularity:


The tweet that cost £14,268
UK parliament member Fiona MacTaggart underestimated the power of social media when she vowed to donate £1 for every retweet she received. Within the 35 minute timeframe Fiona set she received 14,268 retweets on Red Nose Day 2013. Fiona certainly wasn’t expecting the reaction she received but will live up to her word and intends to donate the full £14,268 to Comic Relief.

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We Are Social Midweek Mashup #65

by Karen Wee in News

Sina Weibo sets new record in the first second of Chinese New Year
How many Twitter-like posts did China’s Sina Weibo register in the first second of the Chinese New Year of the Snake? 34,977 posts within a second, beating last year’s record of 32,312 posts in the first second of Chinese New Year. According to Sina, 731,102 Weibo posts were made within the first minute of the Year of the Snake. This figure surpasses the 729,571 posts logged in the first minute of 2013 on the platform. Users also posted about State TV, CCTV’s 7 hour long “Spring Gala” performance using the “chunwan” hashtag, which registered 19,582,947 hits while the show was on air.

China’s SMS Lunar New Year greetings fall due to Weibo and WeChat
Sina Weibo’s record setting posts per second during the Lunar New Year period is putting a dent on the per capita rate of texting in China. While the country’s three major telcos reported that 1.16 billion Chinese New Year text greetings were sent over the weekend, the per capita rate has dropped. Beijing users sent an average of 36 SMS greetings, reduced from 42 last year. The decline was attributed to the increasing popularity of media-rich platforms such as Weibo and WeChat. WeChat’s voice greetings feature offers users a personal touch that SMS greetings cannot provide, another hammer in the coffin for old school text messaging.

Hollywood celebs engaging with Chinese fans on WeChat
Chinese-born messaging app, WeChat, is getting hotter day by day. After brands like Starbucks and Buick started engaging with the wired Chinese community on WeChat, they are joined by a new breed of users from the Western world. Hollywood celebrities such as John Cusack, Selena Gomez, Paris Hilton and Maggie Q have joined the fray. With over 300 million users and features such as voice and video chats, it’s not hard to see why these actors and singers are choosing to engage with their fans on this platform. It seems there is a growing trend for celebrities to send pre-recorded messages to their hordes of fans directing them to a sponsor’s homepage or to their latest works on video-streaming sites such as Youku, Tencent Video and Sohu Video. TV stars, such as Nina Dobrev of The Vampire Diaries fame, are also jumping onto the WeChat bandwagon. It seems these celebrities are aided by Fanstang, a service provider that syndicates material pulled from the stars’ Twitter and Facebook platforms and translating them into ready-to-post Chinese content on WeChat or Sina Weibo. Are you a fan of these stars? Scan their QR codes to follow them on WeChat.

Krispy Kreme creates social media and sugar buzz in India
Indian sweets now face competition from an iconic contender from the Western world. Demonstrating a clear understanding of India’s social media preferences, Krispy Kreme created a Facebook page a month ahead of the store’s launch in India to lure potential consumers. Sharing sneak peeks, news updates and through inviting fans to the grand opening, the page whetted the dessert-loving community’s appetite for the world famous doughnuts. The sugar glaze on this campaign was a chance for the first fan at the grand opening to win a year’s free supply of the doughnuts. The second and third fans will get 6 months and 3 months free supply respectively. The brand also reached out to consumers via Twitter shortly before the launch and organized small contests garnering winners free boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The social media campaign was a success as it created brand awareness, had regular interaction with the fan base and drove footfall to the outlet.

Facebook users taking breaks
Pew Research Center have reported that Facebook users are taking breaks from the network, with 61% of 1,006 users surveyed answering as such. Such breaks, which last from a few days up to several weeks before returning to the network, are caused by a number of factors: 21% claimed they didn’t have enough time, 10% stated a lack of interest and 8% claimed they spent too much time on the site.

62% of companies to increase social media marketing budget
The Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 Report, which surveyed more than 800 marketers, has found that 62% of those intend to increase their social media budgets, in comparison with just 35% who intend to decrease and 3% who will keep their budget the same. This conveys the extent to which social media remains a growing point of interest for marketers.

Top 100 brands show massive growth on Google’s social platforms
Over the last year, the top 100 global brands have shown a huge amount of growth on both Google+ and YouTube. 75% have established an active social presence on Google+, accounting for 20.9 million fans. This amounts to growth of 9400% in the course of the year. 16.3 million (78%) of these 20.9 million are following the top 10 brands. Thus suggesting that this growth, while remarkable, is not spread evenly. As for YouTube, 87% of the top brands have their own channel, with a total of 3.15 billion views between them.

Lego forcing management to sit social media exams
Toy manufacturer Lego are making their management sit social media exams to ensure they understand the importance of online communication with consumers. Staff will attend a day-long course ending in a practical and theoretical examination, the culmination of which sees each person post a Facebook update to the brand’s page.

Facebook rumoured to be developing smartphone tracking app
Facebook are rumoured to be in the process of developing a smartphone tracking app, which would allow users to locate nearby friends, even when the app is not open. Due to be released in mid-March, the motives behind the app may be to allow greater targeting of advertising through the information gathered about users’ locations.

Facebook trials new ‘Lookalike Audiences’ feature
Facebook has begun testing a new feature called ‘Lookalike Audiences’, which will allow advertisers to target users who are similar to those in their ‘Custom Audiences’. When an advertiser creates a custom audience by adding a set of data, they will then be able to target ads to similar users, as assessed by Facebook’s algorithms. The system is currently available to US advertisers.

Facebook set to purchase Atlas
Facebook are set to announce a deal to purchase Microsoft’s ad-serving business by the end of the week, in a deal set to be below $100 million. This is based on previous $30 – $50 million bids. In doing so, the network looks to be attempting to build its own ad stack. This means it could provide more data to advertisers about the effectiveness and return on investment of advertising within the social platform, and possibly target ads off site using Facebook user data. The move also displays another point of competition between Facebook and Google, in terms of capitalising on digital advertising as a whole.

Instagram introduces desktop feed
Instagram, which up until now has focussed on its mobile app, has in the last week introduced a desktop feed. After last year’s move to allow access to Instagram profiles from a computer, this sees a more robust move into the desktop world. It will be interesting to see how quickly users choose to access Instagram from devices other than their mobile phones.

Twitter makes updates to Search and Discover
Twitter announced several updates to their Android and iOS apps, as well as their mobile website. From now on, all content in Discover will appear in a single stream and the same will be the case for Search. You can get an idea of the functions’ feel from the image below:

Moreover, Search will now display tweets from a longer time period. Previously, only tweets from up to around a week were displayed. This is now set to increase, allowing users to locate content beyond the most recent Tweets.

Twitter ups price of ads, valued at $9.9 billion, acquires Bluefin labs
A number of stories this week have displayed the growth of Twitter in a number of areas. They have increased the price of a promoted tweet from $150,000 to $200,000, a vast increase from the $80,000 charged at launch in 2010. Since the news that some employees were selling shares at a valuation of roughly $9 billion, the last week has seen the valuation increase to roughly $9.9 billion with the sale of further shares. Both of these pieces of news bode well financially for Twitter, ahead of a mooted IPO. In terms of the network’s development in other areas, Twitter has acquired social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs. This seems a logical move, given the extent of the relationship between Twitter and television.

Pinterest seek $2.5 billion valuation
Hot on the coat tails of Twitter and their $9.9 billion, Pinterest are looking to raise new financing which would value them at between $2 billion and $2.5 billion. The network is yet to make a great deal of revenue, but does have strong connections to the retail market. It will be interesting to see how its financial future unfolds.

Snapchat raises $13.5 million
Messaging app Snapchat has raised a $13.5 million, putting an overall valuation of the company at between $60 million and $70 million. According to co-founder, Evan Spiegel, the money will be used for:

“hiring and servers, definitely. But most importantly, it allows us to remain independent and continue to grow the Snapchat community.”

Moreover, the company now reportedly sees 60 million snaps per day, displaying the rate at which users are now engaging with the platform.

Vine raises age gate to 17+ after pornography criticism
Vine, Twitter’s video sharing app, has raised its age gate from thirteen to seventeen in response to being used for the production and distribution of 6-second pornographic films. From now on, whenever users try to download or upgrade the app, they will need to confirm that they are at least seventeen.

Vimeo introduces age ratings
Video-sharing platform Vimeo has introduced three age ratings for its content: All Audiences, Mature or Not Yet Rated. When a user uploads a video, they will be asked to divulge whether it includes violence, nudity, swearing or illegal substances, upon which their content will be rated automatically. A badge will then appear next to the video when viewed by others. If those uploading videos are shown to be labelling them inaccurately, the video’s rating will be changed and may lead to sanctions if the action is considered persistent or intentional.

Saga closes social network for the over 50s over racist comments
Saga has closed down Saga Zone, intended as a ‘Facebook for the over 50s’, after receiving comments of a racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic nature. They reported receiving a particularly ‘vicious exchange’ about the Middle East, after which a number of users were banned from the network. After further consideration, they have decided to dismantle the network entirely, stating that whilst it may be okay for non-branded social networks to allow a “free-for-all”, this is not something that they wanted associated with the Saga brand. The more cynical reader might wonder if other factors were involved for the network, which had “many thousands” of registered viewers but only “low hundreds” of regular contributors.

Arby’s produce ‘fan of the week’ campaign
Restaurant chain Arby’s have produced a ‘fan of the week’ campaign to celebrate reaching 2 million fans. Anyone who uploads an image of themselves eating in an Arby’s will earn the opportunity to enter a draw to be ‘fan of the week’ and receive a $25 Arby’s Facebook page. In a nice touch, they launched the campaign by locating their 2 millionth customer, a woman named Donelle Norblom, who in 1970 received the accolade when eating at her local Arby’s. The chain rediscovered her and has created a video of her discussing her win, liking the page on Facebook and becoming the 2 millionth Arby’s Facebook fan.

O2 store fronts to display Twitter Valentine’s messages
Telecoms firm O2 have decided to scrap their normal front-of-house advertising in stores until Valentine’s day, replacing it with Valentine’s day messages received via Twitter. If you’re looking for a way to share with your loved one, tweet with the hashtag #O2Tweetheart and you could declare your love via the high street.

GLAMOUR magazine promoting new range with Google+ hangout
GLAMOUR magazine have decided to host a Google+ hangout for fans and fashion bloggers to celebrate the new range, allowing them to talk with GLAMOUR editor and members of the magazine’s fashion team. The hangout will see a discussion of fashion, as well as the opportunity to win prizes, including subscriptions, style consultations and a £1,000 shopping spree at

NASA to hold Google+ hangout from the International Space Station
Even the sky isn’t the limit for Google+, apparently. NASA have announced plans to host a Google+ hangout live from the International Space Station on the 22nd February. Two NASA astronauts and one from the Canadian Space Agency will answer questions about life on the ISS for an hour on the day, from 11am to midday Eastern Time. You can submit a question in the form of a video via YouTube until 12th February, or ask questions live via Google+, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #askAstro.

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We Are Social Asia Midweek Mashup #26

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Instagram sharing to Sina Weibo
Instagram added sharing functionalities to Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo on March 1st with their iOS 2.2 version and since then, 100,000 Instagram photos have been shared on Sina Weibo, with 50,000 users having linked their Instagram and Sina Weibo accounts together.

Sina Weibo fails to implement real-name policy
Sina, whose popular microblogging service Sina Weibo only had a little more than 19 million verified users out of its more than 250 million registered users more than a month ago, has publicly admitted its failure to fully implement the government-mandated ‘real name’ registration for microblog services in China. Even though there’s been no significant change to the volume of posting on Sina Weibo up til now, the consequences that lie ahead include the possible “termination of Weibo operations”, which will have a dramatic impact on the social media landscape of China as a whole, if it does indeed happen. Although this doesn’t seem very likely at the moment, we’ll still keep our eyes peeled for any shocking revelations.

Youku and Tudou connect user accounts
Following news of its merger on March 12, Youku and Tudou now both allow users of each platform to log-in to either video-sharing site with either their Youku or Tudou account. Currently Youku already integrates other social services into its video platform for commenting and favoriting, such as microblogging platforms Sina and Tencent Weibo, as well as social networking sites Renren and Kaixin001. We expect to see a lot more integrated features between the two video-sharing sites in the near future.

Brazil overtakes India as 2nd largest Facebook nation
Just 3 months ago, India had just surpassed Indonesia as the 2nd largest country on Facebook with 43,497,980 users compared to Indonesia’s 43,060,360 users. Today, both have been overtaken by Brazil, which now has 46,339,720 users, which reflects a pretty impressive growth of 22.24% in 3 months. Given that the major social network of choice in Brazil was still Orkut up to early 2011, the adoption of Facebook by Brazilian users has been rapid indeed.

Friendster relaunches for the Asian gaming market
Friendster has declared its latest attempt into the social networking sphere with a full-on redesign of the site, and have relaunched as a social discovery and gaming platform “combining search, content discovery and social functionalities”. Users can chat with friends via the Friendster Chat Application while playing more than fifty online games from eight different genres on the platform. The Facebook Connect function will likely make it more convenient for new users to log-in. Friendster still has more than 100 million registered members even though what exactly they were doing on the platform before the relaunch we have no idea, but it’ll be interesting to see if it can spring back to life, similar to how is trying to revive itself as a music-centric social network.

Facebook advertising revenue stalls despite strong growth
Figures from the 1st quarter of 2012 have shown that even the might of Facebook is not impervious to the advertising business cycle. Sales of $1.06 billion in Q1 were slightly down from the $1.13 billion reported in Q4 of 2011, though it’s not uncommon for marketers to tighten their belts at the start of a new year.

Even so, it’s important to emphasise how Facebook’s users remain enamoured with the site – the social network now has 901 million users, of which 526 million use the site every day.

Despite this Facebook has shown strong growth in areas beyond new users. A recent amendment to their filings for their public offering has shown that Facebook now hosts over 42 million pages and 9 million apps. Since December 31 2011 the number of pages with 10 or more “Likes” has increased by 5 million and  the number of integrated apps has increased by 2 million.

Facebook upgrades Android app
Late last week Facebook released an updated version of their Android app including updated messenger features and new shortcuts to encourage photo sharing. From the outside this seems like a direct attempt by Facebook to negate Google’s advantage on the platform. As they own the operating system Google can integrate Google+ into the phone in ways that Facebook cannot. The updated app hopes to combat this by adding new icons allowing users to access Facebook’s camera feature with ‘one tap’.

Facebook have further enhanced their Android offering by announcing that Android apps will now work the same as web apps – if you click on a link to an app from your mobile Facebook News Feed, it will now load on your Android phone (or take you to the download page if it’s not installed).

Instagram sharing on Twitter increases 20x in 12 months
The Instagram juggernaut keeps on rolling. Not satisfied with being bought for US$1 billion this month, the photo-sharing app has been taking Twitter by storm. Sharing between Instagram and Twitter has doubled in the last two months and is 20x what it was a year ago. Though some of this growth can be attributed to the new Android app, research shows that the average number of shares is also increasing. Impressive.

Facebook tests and launches a new set of features for select brands 
Facebook is testing a new button that will simplify the process through which Pages create Sponsored Stories directly from their posts. Rather than using a complex ad dashboard, the ‘promote’ button will appear on the Page publisher as well as on posts that have already gone live. The feature is aimed at small to medium sized businesses that want to promote their content but cannot afford premium products such as Facebook Reach Generator.

Facebook has also made Offers available through the API to a select number of partners. Offers are a new type of story that enables Page Owners to post coupons that fans can collect through their News Feed. Making this available through the API will allow developers to integrate the feature into their social media management systems.

In addition, Facebook have also relaunched their ‘Locations’ app to fit the Timeline layout. The app allows users to search from a company’s Page to find business locations near to them. At the moment the app is only available to select brands working with Facebook.

New Facebook Timeline apps
Christian Hernandez, Facebook’s Director of Platform Partnerships has revealed the latest set of Timeline apps to be released. JustGiving, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Sky Italy and Canal+ are among the 18 new additions to the Open Graph world.

LinkedIn launch iPad app
LinkedIn have added an iPad app to their iPhone, Android and Mobile Web products. The app has the ability to sync with the iPad’s calendar offering the user Linkedin profile data on attendees of meetings and conferences.

Google+ launch share button
Google+ have launched a share button available to publishers worldwide to add to their site. What’s interesting about it is that it stands alongside the +1 button, in case users want to share to their Circles without necessarily showing approval to a story. Particularly at a time Facebook are downgrading the importance of the share button, it will be interesting to see how this performs.

Barcelona vs Chelsea sets new Twitter record
There’s nothing like a sporting giant killing to get us all talking. Last Tuesday was no exception with Chelsea’s dramatic upset of the reigning European Champions Barcelona sending Twitter into a frenzy of excitement. The game knocked the NFL’s Superbowl off the top spot as the biggest sporting event on Twitter, peaking at 13,684 tweets per second. This demonstrates the growing use of Twitter as a way people share experiences of live events on a mass scale. live-tweeting during The Voice 
Building on the theme of enhancing live events through social media, The Voice judge was not satisfied with merely providing entertainment through the UK’s TV screens. tweeted from his judging chair during the show to provide followers with extra insight into how he was feeling about his act’s performances.

Channel 4 air live Twitter response ad
On Sunday night, in the first ad break for Homeland, the UK’s Channel 4 premiered the trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s new film. Viewers were then asked to share their thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #areyouseeingthis, with the best tweets picked out to appear in a live response ad in the next break. It was the first time ever viewers tweets have been shown in a live response ad and it worked – the hashtag was a trending topic in the UK, and the response ad worked well:

With Prometheus also teaming up with Zeebox, a dual-screen TV app, to offer a pair of Premiere tickets to one winner out of the many who watched a synchronised ad through the app, it was a successful night for the film’s promo team.

Gawker’s new commenting service
Gawker have launched a new proprietary commenting system called Burner, which is based on anonymity. What’s interesting is not so much the change itself, but the reasons behind it – namely, to disrupt commenting cliques. Removing names means that in theory, it won’t just be the same people repeatedly dominating commenting threads. Which all in all, is probably a good thing.

Elle launches Shoppable Trend Guide
Elle has launched a clever Facebook app where users can click ‘love’, ‘want’, ‘own’ or ‘buy’ on each product page. By default, all interactions with the app are shared automatically on their Facebook Timeline — so even if users don’t make a purchase, they may draw curious friends in to interact with the app. It’s a nice way of attempting f-commerce – including purchase as part of the app, rather than being the entire point of the app.

Pepsi launches global campaign focusing on social
Pepsi has launched a new brand campaign called Live For Now, which puts social at the heart of the campaign. This is partly through a ‘social media cheat sheet’, the #NOW board which pulls together the hottest stories from social media.

According to Techcrunch:

Beyond serving as a news aggregator, Singh says the site will include other features, like the ability for celebrities to pose challenges to their fans, and exclusive deals courtesy of sites like Thrillist. And naturally, the content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

But according to Pepsi, the campaign will go above and beyond the Pepsi micro-site:

As part of the “Live for Now” platform in the U.S., Pepsi will present a series of exclusive pop-up, Twitter-enabled concerts this summer featuring major music artists. Additionally, Pepsi’s first of its kind Twitter music partnership will enhance consumers’ music experiences and bring them closer to what is hot in music today.

Considering their previous success in social media, it will be interesting to see how this campaign gets on.

Kraft personally thanks 4,632 Facebook fans with music video
Apart from competition prizes, there’s very little reciprocal love from brands on Facebook. Kraft tried to change this on Tuesday. First, they posted on their Facebook Page ‘LIKE this post, and you never know what may happen’.

The post garnered over 4,600 “Likes” – with each person then thanked in a ‘Likeapella music video’:

C&A Brazil puts Facebook Likes on store hangers
Before Mother’s Day, C&A Brazil put Facebook “Like” counters on the hangers in their flagship store – and uploaded their collection to their Facebook Page. Then, whenever anyone “liked” one of the products, the numbers would update in real-time. A nice way of convincing people to purchase.

Volkswagen create innovative flipbook ad for their Facebook Page
Volkswagen have created a genius little ad on their Facebook page. Through a photo album that doubles as a flipbook you can click to watch the Volkswagen Tricari Arc drive through the desert into an urban area in a continuous loop. The ad builds on what Smart Argentina did in Twitter recently, but is the first of its kind on a Facebook page. (The comments are also worth a read).

Hasbro bully tactics create social media backlash
Toy manufacturer Hasbro have received large scale condemnation for the way they dealt with blogger Martyn Yang. The blogger, whose hobby was writing about the brand, was tricked into giving his home address so that Hasbro could press legal proceedings against him. It seems ridiculous that brands still operate in this way when a quick email or phone call would have most likely wrapped the whole situation up with a far more satisfactory result.

Paying for Tweets is  a PR disaster waiting to happen
An ABC Media Watch revelation last Monday has opened a can of worms for organisations paying celebrities to tweet for them. The Australian highlighted the negative response by the Australian public to the South Australian Tourist Board paying chef Matt Moran $750 to tweet about Kangaroo Island. We Are Social’s own Julian Ward commented on how less than a dozen tweets can create a crisis for a brand:

The total reach of potentially damaging tweets was 3,453,843 and the cost is huge but unknown at this point. By doing what they have done, what does it say about the brand? Why go so cheap and why risk so much?

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #19

by Cai Yu Lam in News

We Are Social across the pond
This week’s big news is of course that We Are Social has opened in New York, our eighth office worldwide. Those who have been following us since the beginning know that this has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to start making a difference for US based marketers.

There’s just one day left of the social media circus that is South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. That means there’s just 24 hours left for you to say hello to the We Are Social team there.

Largest Chinese video sites Youku and Tudou merge
China’s two largest online video sites Youku and Tudou have merged to form a new entity named Youku Tudou Inc. So far it seems like both sites will retain their separate brands and URLs, except they will now together claim almost half of China’s online video market share. Even though there was allegedly speculation last spring that Youku would acquire Tudou, this merge is interesting given the battle both companies have been embroiled in the past year over alleged copyright infringement

Citibank Singapore’s social credit card
To better leverage the 1.5 million Facebook users under the age of 35 in Singapore, Citibank has launched its Clear Platinum Card which allows Facebook users to ‘check-in’, win badges, gain rewards, and earn points which can then be converted into Citibank dollars through its Clear 24.7 Facebook app. Jacquelyn Tan, head of credit payment products at Citibank Singapore explained the rationale behind Citibank’s social media approach with its new credit card:

Social media focuses on one thing – the consumer and his voice. With the new Citibank Clear Platinum card, we are building on the role of the consumer’s voice in this social media space to give cardmembers the power to actively customize their own card experiences, from merchant promotions to events, for the first time in Singapore.

Yahoo!’s new lifestyle site for women in Southeast Asia
Yahoo! rolls out yet another online product in the form of Yahoo! She, an online lifestyle hub for women in Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines that will host community-generated content in addition to locally relevant content from female lifestyle publications, expert columns, polls and sponsored content. Yahoo! She is aimed at 18 to 34 year olds and is modelled after Yahoo! Shine for women in the US, which sees more than 38 million unique visitors every month.

Instagram to launch Android version, finally
Instagram‘s co-founder Kevin Systrom announced at SXSW on Sunday that the long-awaited Android version of Instagram will be released “very soon”, and is currently being tested in private beta. Systrom revealed that the Android app is fast, works well on large screens and can share photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social networks. We’ll believe it when we see it. At the same time, it was announced that the iOS version of Instagram has seen some 27 million downloads to date.

India puts Facebook on trial
This week, India begins a trial against Facebook and 11 other online services it has found in violation of its law that requires Internet companies remove any material that “seeks to create enmity, hatred” and deemed “ethnically objectionable, grossly harmful, defamatory or blasphemous” within 36 hours. Given that Facebook and the other online services have clarified that they can’t be held liable for content posted by users, we don’t expect a devastating outcome, yet this episode does signal a potential clamp down on users responsible for offensive statements made on social media in India.

Posterous is Joining the Flock at Twitter
Posterous have announced on their blog that they’re being acquired by Twitter. Twitter themselves had this to say:

Today we are welcoming a very talented group from Posterous to Twitter. This team has built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple—a goal we share. Posterous engineers, product managers and others will join our teams working on several key initiatives that will make Twitter even better.

Posterous Spaces will remain up and running without disruption. We’ll give users ample notice if we make any changes to the service. For users who would like to back up their content or move to another service, we’ll share clear instructions for doing so in the coming weeks.

CNN in talks to acquire Mashable
In other big acquisition news, rumours are making the circuit at SXSW that CNN is in talks with Mashable and could potentially acquirethe Internet media start-up founded by Pete Cashmore. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for whether the deal does indeed go through.

Facebook’s growth dwindles, Twitter still climbing
Facebook’s userbase still dwarfs Twitter’s, and its double-digit growth could only hold out for so long.

However, although Twitter’s user numbers should double by 2014, it will still have only a fraction of the users that Facebook does.

What to watch for on TV
Not sure what to watch on telly tonight? A new study says nearly 40% of Brits turn to social media to help them find the must-watch programmes of the evening. It underlines the ever-growing trend for dual-screen viewing.

Facebook’s ‘Interests’, check-in API, animation on tabs, mobile comments
Facebook now allows users to add their interests to lists, and follow collections of pages, subscriptions or friends, in a move similar to Twitter lists, but more clearly, Google+ Circles. Facebook has had an option for lists since 2007, but most of its users haven’t used the feature. With Facebook now promoting celebrity-curated lists, they’re clearly pushing the features, like they did with Questions early last year.

In the first sign of the results of their acquisition of Gowalla, Facebook also wants to become the backbone of your location data through updated APIs that will let the locations sent from other apps live as a layer on your Timeline. Check-in services will be able to pull your friend’s check-ins – from other services, perhaps – and therefore create more chance of meetups. Nice.

In an update to pages, brands can now have animations and video that play on apps and tabs without the user initiating it, a departure from pre-Timeline policy. With an animation already playing, it should be easier for brands to drive engagement.

On the mobile front, Facebook app users can now like or comment with a single click from their News Feed in the new design.

Big updates coming to Twitter brand pages
Taking a few notes from Facebook and the recent launch of Timeline for brand pages, Twitter is plotting more visual page updates for brands that are spending with the network. Although Twitter is still being hush-hush about specifics, rumour has it that soon e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes will be available directly from the site. Twitter is also continuing to improve its language options, adding Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu last week, as it continues to try and further grow the userbase.

Google exec says: Maybe you’re just doing it wrong
Google+ is no ghost town according to Vic Gundotra, a senior VP of engineering at Google. He countered the no-man’s-land claims with stats about the network’s rapid growth, trumpeting 100 million active users over 30 days. Can’t see what people are posting? Maybe it’s their privacy settings. We can’t help but be a little dubious.

On the plus side, if you do use Google+ and people +1 your content, Google is now encouraging users to say thank you. How cute.

Converting the location app Muggles
Foursquare and the like were unsurprisingly quickly adopted by dedicated tech geeks, but now Foursquare wants to reach out to the average Joe Smartphone through specials and deals. The service hopes that partnerships with ubiquitous, everyday companies, will lead non-techies to its side.

Pinterest quickly climbing the referral ranks
Last month, Pinterest overtook Twitter as a source of referral traffic to sites with the Shareaholic widget installed:

AddThis has also let readers peek into its site analytics, and, perhaps as a by-product of all this sharing, growth from Pinterest continues to skyrocket:

How long until Pinterest is up there with the likes of Twitter?

Social TV app Zeebox gains 22,000 users during ‘Dancing On Ice’
Phillip Schofield, the host of ‘Dancing On Ice’, tweeted about Zebox four times during last week’s show, and it gained 22,000 users as a result. However, Zeebox has been adding as many as 15,000 users an hour since the launch of its TV campaign anyway…

Channel 4′s new channel with schedule based on online conversation
Last week’s FT Digital Media Conference in London saw Channel 4 announce the launch later this year of a new channel – called 4seven – which will give viewers the chance to catch up on the most ‘talked about’ shows from the previous seven days. As well as traditional media, this will also include social media buzz. Considering Channel 4 say the new channel will help to increase engagement with viewers, it seems likely that programming will be strongly influenced by online feedback.

Barclaycard crowdsource credit card features
Barclaycard are trying to open up to consumers in a bid to win back their trust. They plan to do this by asking customers to name what features they would like in their new credit card – e.g. where call centres are – before actually producing the card. In addition, they’ll disclose how much profit they make from the card.

American Express: Sync. Tweet. Save.
American Express is letting customers get money off a selection of stores, by tweeting special offer hashtags from retailers including McDonald’s, H&M and Best Buy. With the mechanic to get the discount so easy – simply to retweet – it’s unclear whether this is actually any good for engagement, but it’s still an interesting step in the social commerce path.

Walgreens launch barcode redemption on Foursquare
Without wanting to get over-excited, Foursquare just beaome genuinely useful. For so long, it was nigh on impossible to redeem a special because cashiers in any large chain didn’t understand what was going on.

Now, that’s all changed. Walgreens ran a special which created a barcode on the phone screen, which could be scanned like a normal product by the cashier, and thus work together with normal checkout systems. It might seem simple but it’s a genuine game-changer as far as mobile check-in apps are concerned.

bmi launch Pinterest lottery
Pinterest is all the rage right now and marketers are keen to get involved, but bmi’s Pinterest Lottery just seems a bit 2010. They’ve created five boards featuring five different destinations, each with nine pictures on them.

Users can re-pin a maximum of six pictures, and whoever has re-pinned that pictures goes in a draw for the chance to win a free flight. The problem with this: ‘re-pin to win’ shows no real engagement with the brand – it’s like ‘RT to win’ on Twitter. It doesn’t feel very social.

Fanta hide characters in their Timeline
The launch of Facebook Timeline has obviously brought new challenges for marketers – as well as new opportunities. Fanta took the opportunity, by hiding characters on their Timeline:

On the 29th of February, Fanta posted a status update saying that the leap year day had thrown Fanta time out of kilter and four Fanta characters, Gigi, Lola, Floyd and Tristan had been brought into the past and hidden in the timeline. The first character hidden was Gigi; users were given the clues to identify the year she was in, and then had to ‘like’ an image of her to bring her back to the present.

Fanta – with their 2.6 million fanbase – asked for 1,956 likes to bring the character back, but managed just over 900. The key takeaway from this is that while there’s definitely cool stuff to be done with Timeline, it might not drive as high engagement as expected.

Heinz launch another ketchup via Facebook
Last year, our We Are Social team in London launched Heinz Limited Edition Ketchup with Balsamic Vinegar on Facebook and it went down a treat. This year we wanted to go one better, so before their new Limited Edition Ketchup went into supermarkets, we created a game where fans could either win a bottle of the new ketchup, or buy one. Without any media support, 50,000 fans played the game.

Twitterscrabble: how to promote a new product
To promote the launch of Scrabble Trickster, Scrabble have created a microsite to get people involved in the traditional board game, exclusively via Twitter.

Users landing on the microsite are challenged to write the highest scoring ScrabbleTweet from a set of 100 random characters. Once you’re happy with your entry, you can tweet it for judgment:

Mars found not guilty by the ASA
The Advertising Standards Agency published its adjudication into the celebrity sponsored tweets Mars purchased – and concluded that Mars did not need any action taken against them, as the ‘#spon’ in the fifth tweet each celeb posted was enough to make it clear that the previous four tweets were also sponsored. As crazy as this judgement seems, it sets an interesting precedent.

Newt Gingrich launches anti-Romney timeline
Newt Gingrich’s campaign last week launched a Facebook Timeline attacking fellow Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his record, particularly that he’s a liberal. Despite prominent coverage on Mashable, the Page has garnered only 1,000 likes, suggesting the Gingrich campaign might want to, ahem, give it an abortion.

Red Cross launches social media operations centre
The Red Cross have launched a social media operations centre, which should help them find victims in times of trouble and offer them help, as well as recruit volunteers.

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We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #14

by Cai Yu Lam in News

Tudou partners with Sina Weibo for seamless video-sharing
Chinese video-sharing site Tudou has introduced an enhanced video-sharing platform that will allow Sina Weibo users to upload and share videos seamlessly to and from Tudou’s website, and enable users to sync comments and discussions on both platforms. Tudou stands to benefit greatly from Sina Weibo’s 250 million registered users, especially since all Sina Weibo users that are not already Tudou members will be signed up automatically once they share content between both sites. This is an interesting development considering that many brands on Sina Weibo have chosen to establish a branded channel on Youku as it is the largest video-sharing platform, and the videos that remain on their Sina Weibo branded homepages are hosted on Youku.

Most popular video website by country
AppAppeal has mapped out the most popular video websites across the world, and YouTube has almost taken over the world except for two countries – China and South Korea.  As illustrated by the map below, Youku is the most popular website in China, ahead of its rival Tudou which has just partnered with Sina Weibo to offer a more seamless video-sharing experience. Catering to China’s 400 million online video viewers, Youku has 25.6% of the online video market in China, while Tudou has captured 14.5%. Interestingly enough, Tudou is the most popular video website in South Korea, and is ranked 4th most popular website in the country, even though it is only available in the Chinese language.

China will have 712 million mobile users by 2015
iResearch estimates that there were 338 million mobile subscribers in China by the end of 2011, and this figure would more than double to 712 million by 2015.

How brands in US and Japan embrace Twitter
An interesting study by Associate Professor Adam Acar and his students at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies discovered that although Japan has more active Twitter users than US, Japanese brands aren’t exactly capitalising on netizens’ penchant for microblogging, and are behind their American counterparts in terms of Twitter adoption. Only 60% of top Japanese brands have a Twitter account, compared to an astounding 95% of American brands, and only 41% of these brands on Twitter have tweeted in the past week, compared to 86% of American brands.

American brands also appear to be more adept at communicating with their consumers, as 78% will refer to another user by their Twitter handle, compared to 28% of Japanese brands. 31% try engaging consumers by asking questions, compared to 5% of Japanese brands.

Of course, Acar did qualify this disparity to Japan’s “culture of reservation, formality, harmony and risk avoidance”. Even so, we expect to see Japanese brands adapt to keep pace with Japan’s evolving social culture.

Facebook Files for IPO; Reveals $1 Billion in 2011 Profit
Facebook’s IPO filing this week has revealed:

  • Facebook’s total ad revenue in 2011: $3.15 billion
  • Share of revenue attributed to advertising: 83%
  • Share of revenue that was advertising at the beginning of 2010: 99%
  • Percentage of sales in the U.S.: 56%
  • Amount of revenue sourced from Zynga: 12%
  • Facebook 2011 profit: $1 billion
  • Revenue generated from virtual goods: $557 million
  • Global monthly active users: 845 million
  • Daily likes and comments: 2.7 billion
  • Likely Facebook market valuation: $75 to $100 billion
  • Mr. Zuckerberg’s ownership stake: 28.2%
  • Mr. Zuckerberg’s voting power: 56.9%

Agencies: 89% Facebook, 39% Twitter, 18% Google+
There is no doubt that Facebook will play the dominant role in 2012. 89% of agencies plan to utilize the medium for their clients in the future, with 39% using Twitter, 36% wanting YouTube and 21% choosing Linkedin, and a surprisingly high 18% for Google+.

Social networking more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol
A new study suggests that social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter are more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol. It even claims that sleep and sex may pose as stronger urges, but people are more likely to succumb to yearnings to use social and other media. The results will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science. We’ll keep you posted.

Facebook ‘likely to roll out mobile ads in weeks’
Given recent IPO filing admitting it was weak on mobile advertising, its unsurprising that its plan is to bring out mobile ads within the next couple of weeks in order to generate advertising revenues. January 2012 saw featured stories within users’ news feeds for the first time so it makes sense that mobile ads would be the next logical step forward. In December it claimed to have 425 million monthly active users using its mobile products, which is around half of its total monthly active users, and 21% growth from September’s 300 million figure.

Facebook groups get Timeline-like cover photos
Facebook groups now have cover photos which are consistent with the Timeline design – you have the options to change the cover photo but the group wall has been kept the same.

Corporate blogging declines as newer tools rule
A study on the usage of social media in Inc. 500 corporations shows fewer of them are using blogging, message/bulletin boards, online video, podcasting and MySpace and more are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Foursquare.

The platform most utilized by the Inc. 500 is Facebook, with 74% of companies using it. Virtually tied at 73% is the adoption of the professional network, LinkedIn. The use of corporate blogs dropped to 37% from 50% in 2010, as this mature tool evolves into other forms or is replaced by communication through Facebook or Twitter.

Social media tools are seen as important for company goals. 90% of responding executives report that social media tools are important for brand awareness and company reputation. 88% see these tools as important for generating web traffic while 81% find them important for lead generation. 73% say that social media tools are important for customer support programs.

Twitter opens enhanced profile page beta trial to UK brands
Twitter last week launched enhanced beta trials of profile pages to certain UK brands, with Asda, Sky, EA Sports Fifa and Cadbury the first brands given the opportunity to try out live brand pages.

Twitter and LinkedIn’s revenues: an update
With the release of Facebook’s detailed figures, it worth comparing them to those of LinkedIn and Twitter. Where Facebook made $3,150,000,000, Twitter managed a poultry $139,500,000 – over 20 times less:

LinkedIn fared little better with $154,600,000:

Google+ passes 100 million users
Paul Allen has been doing his usual research into Google+ user figures, and according to him, the site has grown by more than 10% between January 19th and February 1st, passing 100 million users. If these growth rates continues, marketers will be unable to ignore Google+.

Pinterest drives incredible referral traffic
According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, and is also showing impressive growth month-on-month:

Superbowl hits record for Tweets per second
Last night’s Superbowl broke a record for the most Tweets per second (TPS) for a sporting event. According to Twitter, the average TPS was 10,000, with the peak hit at 12,333 TPS. The way records like these keep on falling, we can only speculate what, say, the 2014 World Cup final will be like.

Something useful from Foursquare!
The Superbowl also produced something useful from Foursquare – many Americans order pizza for their Superbowl parties, and if they checked in on Foursquare, they got $5 off their order, providing they paid via American Express.

KLM launch ‘Meet and Seat’
KLM have launched Meet and Seat, a new social way of flying. Essentially, when checking in online, customers can link up their social profiles, so fellow passengers can see their interests and what they look like and choose to sit next to them accordingly. Clever.

KLM reach a million fans, release video
In more KLM news, they recently reached a million Facebook fans – and celebrated with a video from many of their staff members saying thanks. It’s really simple but it’s, er, taken off quite well.

Heineken launches Facebook app as part of wider Valentine’s push
Beer brand Heineken have launched a Facebook app as part of a wider push to make the brand appeal to younger men. The ‘Serenade’ app lets fans send one of 640 songs in 20 languages as a date invite to their Valentine. To determine what song is sent using the Serenade app, participants must answer five questions including, “who they would like to take on a date” and “why their chosen date should step out with them”. Ten out of ten.

Another hashtag campaign gone wrong
RIM, the makers of BlackBerry launched a social media campaign last week around a squad of cartoon characters called the Bold Team, together with the hashtag #BeBold. Just like the McDonalds fail of a few weeks ago, the negative sentiment towards RIM was taken up by the masses, with the hashtag abused to (somewhat) amusing effect…

Toyota spams Twitter around the Superbowl
The year is 2012. 2012, remember that. Because if in 2008 Toyota’s fail around this weekend’s Superbowl might have been forgivable, it’s not now. Essentially, they spammed everyone tweeting on hashtags around the Superbowl with tweets about winning a car. Before suspending the accounts when The Next Web pointed out how bad it was. And it really was very, very bad.

Facebook users’ views up in lights in Times Square
Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, with the 2012 US Presidential Election now just months away, a new Facebook app has been launched which tracks users emotions towards certain issues and put thems up in lights. The app, called 2012 Matters: What Matters Most will poll users, with questions in their news feeds asking them which of two issues matters more — say, the economy or the environment. When a user answers the question, the result will show up on that user’s personal news feed and on friends’ news feeds. The friends also will be prompted to take the poll.

Once the app is installed, they can rank the three issues that are most important to them and opt in to having the results, including their Facebook profile photos, broadcast on the Reuters billboards, including in Times Square.

How social media habits differ between men and women
This infographic by uSamp shows that there is a clear gap between men and women’s willingness to share information online. While women are more willing to disclose their name, they are not as keen to share personal information such as their email addresses, physical addresses, locations, and phone numbers. Women are also less willing to share brands they like, with 75.8% claiming that they would as opposed to 79% of men surveyed who would.

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