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Social, Digital & Mobile in APAC in 2014

by Abrye Redeker

By Simon Kemp, Managing Director at We Are Social Singapore.

Following on from We Are Social‘s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.

It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.

These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.

These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.

The Global Picture

Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:

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Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.

We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data for every country in APAC. You’ll find the individual country and sub-region data in the full report , but here’s the APAC picture:

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In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.

The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:

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Asia-Pacific In Context

APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:

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Internet

Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:

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However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:

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It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:

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It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:

  • The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
  • However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
  • There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.

Social Media

2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.

We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.

User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):

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It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:

  • Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
  • Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
  • On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.

We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.

Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).

China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.

We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:

  • The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
  • The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.

However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:

  • WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
  • WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
  • LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
  • Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide

We’re pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.

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As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.

Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.

It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.

However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:

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Mobile

The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.

Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.

While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:

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It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.

You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.

The Individual Country Story

We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.

Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.

In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:

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Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.

Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.

However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.

The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:

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It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.

However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.

We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.

East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:

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As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.

Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.

Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.

Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.

Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:

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Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.

We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:

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As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.

The India Changes

Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:

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India Contract Type

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So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.

Be sure to check back to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!

Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank Tom Smith at GlobalWebIndex and Matt Ablott from GSMA Intelligence for their help in providing data for these reports, and for allowing us to publish their valuable data.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #119

by Abrye Redeker

#HipsterSanta approves Sydney’s new Central Park shopping centre

#HipsterSanta has been introduced as a PR initiative to drive awareness and encourage sales at Sydney’s new Central Park shopping centre. While the campaign is supported by traditional OOH media, it is socially lead through Twitter & Instagram channels created by #HipsterSanta himself. Shoppers are encouraged to get involved on Instagram & Twitter by posting tagged photos for the opportunity to win store vouchers.

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Holler uses shock value to raise funds for charity

The rules of disruption were changed in Holler’s latest “shocking” activation to raise Christmas money for charity. Flipping the advertising model on its head, Holler let the audience become the disrupters by crowdsourcing electric shocks which were administered to several of their team members. The entire endeavour was streamed live and Holler donated $1 to The Factory for each shock that was sent. Participants were encouraged to socially share the activation to raise awareness. In only 4 hours the team was able to reach their goal of $5,500 – that’s 1,375 shocks per hour. Let’s hope they’ve recovered.

Disrupted Xmas – A live, Interactive, Installation by Holler from James Théophane Jnr on Vimeo.

Facebook introduces autoplay for videos

After testing the system for a while, Facebook has begun to introduce autoplay videos for mobile and desktop. Earlier in the week, most users on iPhone and Android received the system, which works as follows: as you scroll past a video, a preview begins to play without sound. If you don’t want to watch it, just scroll past. If you do, you can click for the full viewing experience, including audio. Later in the week, desktop users began to notice the same feature, which Facebook will be continuing to roll out to more and more users.

Facebook release tool for gauging sales

Facebook has launched a new tool for advertisers, allowing them to track users who saw a promoted post and ascertain which of these then went on to make a purchase either online or in a physical store. Retailers can offer Facebook the information they have on customers, including email addresses and phone numbers, and find out which of these have seen a promoted post.

Instagram introduces direct messages

Instagram has added the ability for users to send direct messages. A user can send photos or videos to anyone who follows them, with the two then able to converse underneath the message. If you don’t follow someone, you’ll get a notification to a ‘pending requests’ centre. Instagram announced the changes in a blog post, which included the below video.

Brands have already started using the system, too. Fashion brand Gap sent direct messages to the first 15 people to reply to a message; from these, winners were selected to receive a denim tablet case.

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Hyatt Hotels have been sending messages to their fans, too, wishing them a Merry Christmas.

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Twitter users can send images in direct messages

Twitter has introduced a few updates to its apps for iPhone and Android, including the ability to send images in direct messages. Messages are also easier to access through a tab at the bottom of the screen, while users can swipe to switch between the ‘Home’, ‘Discover’ and ‘Activity’ sections of the app. For Android only, there is now a star button next to the ‘Follow’ tab, allowing users to receive notifications for whomever they choose, whether it be a celebrity or one of their friends.

Twitter adds ‘Broad Match’ to keyword targeting

A few months ago, Twitter introduced keyword targeting, allowing advertisers to target an audience based on specific words in their tweets, or those with which they engage. Now, the network has added ‘Broad Match’, allowing them to automatically include related terms in the search. Those related words can include synonyms and alternative spellings, as shown in the below image.

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Twitter tests ‘Nearby’ screen

Twitter is experimenting with a ‘Nearby’ feature, which would allow users to see tweets from everyone in their vicinity. The below image shows how the ‘Nearby’ screen would work: it’s essentially a map, with a blue icon for the user’s location, below which there’s a timeline of nearby tweets. The locations of these tweets will be shown on the map above.

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Twitter reverses ‘block’ button change

Twitter has reversed the changes it made to the ‘block’ button very shortly after their introduction. The new system, which allowed users to RT, follow or reply to those who had blocked them, was met with widespread public disapproval, which Twitter rapidly took on board.

Google+ to serve social ads across the web

Google+ has introduced a new type of ad, called a +Post ad, which will allow brands to promote G+ updates across the ‘Google Display Network’. The ads, which will comprise the ability to +1, comment or share, should serve to greatly extend the reach of branded content on the network, as well as of the network itself.

Live streaming on YouTube

YouTube has announced the ability to live stream, which will be available to verified accounts that are in ‘good standing’. Video manager will contain a button from which account holders can begin a live stream, as well as the ability to launch a Google+ Hangout directly from YouTube.

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Kik reaches 100 million registered users

Messaging app Kik has reached 100 million registered users, and is reportedly adding 250,000 every day. The success comes partly due through its anonymity – users go by a username rather than providing their phone number – as well as ‘Kik Cards’, which are basically mobile web applications.

Dunkin’ Donuts hold Google+ Hangout

Dunkin’ Donuts has continued its social media experimentation by hosting its first ever Google+ Hangout. In it, the brand’s executive chef, Stan Frankenthaler, will reveal the winner of a $1,000 prize for a photo submission contest. The campaign, which was itself hosted via social media, asked fans to submit a photo of a recipe to either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Andy Murray gets SPOTY congrats from adidas

British tennis ace, Andy Murray, yesterday capped off a successful year by winning the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award. Playing on his reputation for blandness, adidas posted the below tweet about their star’s achievement; to date, it’s received over 13,000 retweets.

Samsung makes mistake in trying to hush YouTuber

A good rule for electronics manufacturers is not to make products that set on fire. A good rule for anyone who’s heard of social media is not to try and silence someone who’s making a complaint online. Last week, Samsung did both of those things. When YouTube user Ghostlyrich complained about his phone in a video after being asked for ‘proof’ that it was broken, Samsung issued a list of demands he’d need to abide by in order to get his phone replaced. These were to:

delete his YouTube video, promise not to upload similar material, officially absolve the company of all liability, waive his right to bring a lawsuit or other legal complaint, and never make the terms of this agreement public. A witness would also have to sign the form.

Instead of doing so, he decided to make another video, which went viral. The lesson: when people have a legitimate complaint about your product, deal with them fairly.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #113

by Rosalie Odtojan in News

Dwight Howard signature shots with adidas
Whenever sports stars come to Asia, they do an autograph session. But when NBA superstar, Dwight Howard came to Manila, adidas went all out for basketball fans to do something that had never been done before. Brilliant!

Virgin America: The Safety Video Dance
Virgin America’s #VXsafetydance video is tearing up the internet right now, with over 4 million views in just a few days. It’s interesting, and sure, people already have a lot to say about it but we’ll let you be the judge.

Facebook remains number one for social logins, Google+ making ground
According to figures from Q3 2013, Facebook’s dominance as the source of social logins to websites and mobile apps is under threat. Currently, it holds 51% of social logins, down 1% from the previous quarter, while Google+ has risen 2% to 26%. On mobile, the figures are slightly better for Facebook, with 66% to Google+’s 20%, while overall it is still way ahead in certain parts of the world.

Facebook’s Q3 figures: revenue and mobile usage up
Facebook has released its Q3 2013 figures, with impressive growth in mobile usage reflected in its revenue. In total, 48% of the network’s daily active users are now on mobile, with a total of 874 million monthly active users, compared with 819 million in Q2 or 604 million for Q3 2012.

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This growth is reflected in revenue figures, as 49% of the ad revenue now comes from mobile ads. That’s the ad revenue that makes up $1.80bn of the total $2.02bn for the quarter – a whopping 89% of all the money made by the network. The majority of this ($832m) originates in the USA & Canada, but significant growth can be seen in the graph below for all major global markets.

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Facebook admits drop in teen usage
Last week’s tune-up brought you the news that Facebook had seen a drop in relevance to US teens. Well, now the network has stepped up and admitted it. David Ebersman, Facebook’s CFO, said:

Our best analysis of youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable… [However,] we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.

This is an interesting admission by Facebook – it’ll be worth keeping an eye out on what measures they take to tackle the decline.

A more visual Twitter
Twitter announced an update this week that’s set to add colour to the network: a preview of pictures and Vine videos will now appear front and centre in tweets, rather than users having to click to see media. This opens up a whole new avenue for advertising, in that Twitter can now essentially sell display ads, a system of which some brands have already taken advantage.

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Google+: custom URLs and new hangout features
Google+ announced a couple of updates last week. First of all, it will allow custom URLs for accounts that meet three conditions. That account must be 30+ days old, have 10+ followers and have a profile picture – but good luck finding 10 real followers. On top of this, there are some changes to hangouts, which now support HD, filters, location settings (through Google maps), GIFs and SMS integration.

Michael Kors and the first Instagram ad
Fashion retailer Michael Kors posted the first ever Instagram ad to an, erm, mixed reception. Naturally, considering that it was the first ad users had ever seen on the network, it got a fair number of complaints. However, the post also saw excellent engagement, with over 150k likes compared with their normal average of around 50k. So, as almost always, there are two sides to the story – it’s worth waiting to see how quickly Instagrammers adapt to ads on the platform.

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David Beckham’s Face-book signing
David Beckham last week took part in a book signing with a twist through Facebook. Rather than directly meet fans and sign their books, he instead ‘signed’ people’s Facebook profiles, while taking part in a live Q&A.

Wendy’s #PretzelLoveStories
Fast food retailer Wendy’s has promoted its latest burger, the ‘Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich’, with a campaign named #PretzelLoveStories. Basically, they’ve created a soap opera spoof from tweets around the sandwich, which you can watch below.

Audi renews #WantAnR8 campaign
Audi has re-released its #WantAnR8 campaign, which asks users to create a virtual lap of the Sonoma Raceway track for the chance to win exclusive driving experiences. From the #WantanR8 Tumblr, fans can select exclusive footage and audio to create a virtual video lap of the Raceway, which they then post to YouTube and Twitter with the hashtag #WantAnR8 to be in with a chance to win.

We Are Social UK produce HP Sauce Movember campaign
HP Sauce is a major partner of Movember for the third year running, and We Are Social UK has produced a campaign to celebrate. Mo Bros are asked to complete a different challenge every week, each of which involves posting a Mo-related photo to the HP Sauce Facebook page via an app. For doing so, participants can win everything from exclusive Movember prizes to Mo fund top ups, all of which go towards raising money and awareness for men’s health.

Katy Perry is now the most followed Twitter user
Katy Perry overtook Justin Bieber as the most popular Twitter user last week, with 46.5 million followers to his paltry 46.49 million.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #112

by Stephanie Ryan in News

Twitter now the most important social network for US teens
Twitter has replaced Facebook as the most important social network for US teens, according to a survey of thousands. Of those questioned in Autumn 2013, 23% said that Facebook was the most important social network to them, down from 33% in Spring 2013 and 42% in Fall 2012. Twitter was most popular with 26% in Fall 2013, though that was down from 30% in the Spring, while Instagram had consistently grown over the seasons (from 12% to 17%, then on to 23%) leaving it level with Facebook in second place.

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The growth of social ad spend in Western Europe
Social ad spending is to continue growing in Western Europe, according to research by eMarketer, reaching $2.82bn by 2015.

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Facebook introduces video ads to mobile app
Facebook has introduced video ads to its mobile app, allowing them to be displayed in the mobile news feed for the first time. Currently, the feature is limited to adverts for other apps, and the videos will not auto-play. However, this could well be just the first step in the growth of video advertising on Facebook’s mobile platforms.

Instagram reveals sponsored posts
Instagram has revealed what its sponsored posts will look like, as shown below. Evidently, they’re pretty similar to normal posts on the network, but include a ‘Sponsored’ banner for clarity’s sake. For more information on the news and its implications for brands, have a look at our full blog post on the matter.

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Australian politicians finally nail social 
Social media was more important in the September 7 election than in any previous one, according to a review of Facebook performances. Politics was the top engagement group for the election year with an average rate of 20.9%, followed distantly by radio (12.73%), magazines (11.35%) and sports clubs (7.6%).  Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott were strong performers unsurprisingly, and Liberal federal director Brian Loughnane said his party devoted a much greater amount of their campaign budget to social media than ever before. The findings confirm the emergence of social media as a key campaign tool for major parties.

Hashbag helping Instagram users navigate a growing marketplace
Brookyln-based website designer Mike Bodge has created Hashbag, a site that allows users navigate the growing marketplace of buyers and sellers on Instagram. With two million people per year using the #forsale hashtag, Bodge created Hashbag to tame the ‘wild west’ Instagram marketplace. “Some people would say ‘text me’ or ‘email me’, or hit me up on WhatsApp, etc.” says Bodge. Hashbag makes all that stuff easier, bringing together a vast range of new and used products and facilitating their sale.

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Signs of success in Twitter’s IPO
Twitter’s IPO is set to be the biggest of its sort since Facebook, with the network seeking $1.4bn from the sale of 70m shares at $17-$20 each. This would lead to a $10.9bn valuation, which seems to be an intentionally low figure intended to ensure growth on day one. Indeed, financial spread betting firm IG predicts that share prices will double on the first day, with the price potentially rising to as high as $30bn. The network’s value has already trebled to £17.9bn ahead of its market debut, as ‘grey market’ traders begin to buy and sell unofficially valued stock on IG’s Index. All the signs point to a successful IPO for Twitter.

‘Sessions’ and ‘Time travel’ make Vine more flexible
Twitter-owned video-sharing network Vine has introduced two new features: ‘Sessions’ and ‘Time travel’. The first allows users to save posts for later, working on up to ten videos at any one time, while the second allows users to edit posts by moving or replacing individual shots within a video.

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The two features together combine to allow greater flexibility and quality control in the video creation process, which should be good news for brands who are willing to invest in the production of Vines.

LinkedIn’s new ‘Intro’ feature
LinkedIn has created a new feature, named ‘Intro’, which links your profile with your iPhone’s email. Once you’ve done so, you will see someone’s LinkedIn details whenever they send you an email.

Another funding round for Pinterest
Pinterest has completed another round of funding, since obtaining $200m in February, at a $2.5bn valuation. This round is even higher, with $225m coming in, amounting to a valuation of $3.8bn. As Forbes points out, Pinterest is now worth almost four times the sum that both Tumblr and Instagram sold for, $1.1 and $1 billion dollars respectively.

BBM sees 10 million downloads on iPhone and Android
BlackBerry Messenger was downloaded 10m times in the first 24 hours after its release as a free app for both iPhone and Android. Impressive initial figures, certainly, but it will be interesting to see how many of these are retained as active users.

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Ebay gets more social
Online auction house Ebay has decided to introduce a number of social features. These include the ability to curate collections, follow users, collections or interests and create a profile or, in the case of sellers, a storefront. None of these are a million miles from features offered on Pinterest – a logical move, considering that network’s close links with online shopping.

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BBC Global News partners with Twitter
BBC Global News has become the latest in a list of Twitter partners to include sponsored video clips within paid tweets. Using the platform’s ‘Amplify’ department, the newscaster is producing a set of videos labelled #BBCTrending, which will give viewers a round-up of the day’s trending news after a sponsored pre-roll ad.

Buy someone a coffee through Twitter and Starbucks
Starbucks has announced a partnership with Twitter that allows users to purchase coffee gifts for one another. After syncing their Starbucks, Twitter and credit card accounts, the gift giver simply needs to type “@tweetacoffee to” and the person’s @handle and they can send over a gift of up to $5. Visa are encouraging people to partake by offering a bonus to the first 100,000 to sync their cards: they will receive a $5 gift voucher of their own after sending their first gift.

Apple competitors buy Twitter ads for iPad launch
Every single major Apple competitor bought Twitter ads to coincide with the launch event for the latest iPad. Some of the attempts at brand jacking are shown below.

 

 

 

Tide’s Vine videos influencing above-the-line
In last week’s Mashup we told you all about Tide’s Halloween-themed Vine videos. Well, they’re taking over a huge amount of the brand’s advertising and have since been featured on TV and billboards, showing how well-constructed social content can have applications above-the-line, too.

We Are Social and Bulmers release Harvestimator
Cider brand Bulmers has unveiled its latest social campaign, created by We Are Social. Run through a ‘Harvestimator’ Facebook app, fans have to guess how many apples will fall from a tree under a variety of conditions and are entered into a draw to win weekly prizes. The introductory video, complete with West Country voiceover, is below.

Yahoo UK to create satirical cartoon from @Queen_UK
Yahoo UK is turning the parody Twitter account @Queen_UK into an animated mini-series, featured on its website. The programme, starring ex-Spitting Image actor Kate Robbins, will take its cues from tweets like the below.

 

Nissan Juke promoted by Instagram campaign
Nissan’s Juke is set to be promoted through an Instagram campaign. As detailed in the below video, users are asked to post an Instagram video; these will then be produced into an audio-visual track, which will be streamed online live from a launch event on 21st November.

Ryanair’s #GrillMOL Twitter stunt
Michael O’Leary, owner of budget airline Ryanair, took to Twitter this week in an ‘ask me anything’ PR stunt under the hashtag #GrillMOL. Using his, ahem, ‘unique’ tone of voice, he caused both amusement and ire with a flurry of tweets that included sexism and… well, mainly quite a lot of sexism. Marketing Magazine compiled a ‘best and worst’ list.

 

 

 

Guinness’s TV ads receive poor Twitter reaction
Guinness experimented with a new form of above-the-line advertising last week, taking over every ad break in ITV’s the Jonathan Ross show to post videos like the below, which discussed the drink’s effect on male bonding. They encouraged Twitter conversation using the hashtag #RoundUpYourMates, but received little positive reaction, with users describing the activity as painful and even sexist.

NHS’s Lou Reed tweet meets public disapproval
Yesterday heard the announcement of the sad news that Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed had died of liver disease aged 71. The NHS saw an opportunity to promote their own interests and posted the below tweet, which was deleted after complaints by a number of Twitter users, despite what seemed to be genuinely good intentions. It goes to show that, in times of public mourning, it isn’t just brands that can appear selfish by trying to take advantage of the situation.

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Pope Francis reaches 10 million Twitter followers
Pope Frances reached the milestone of 10 million Twitter followers across his nine accounts last week, posting the below in celebration:

 

 

It wasn’t just in Latin, though. He thanked followers across each individual account, with languages including English, Spanish and Arabic.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-up #110

by Stephanie Ryan in News

Worldwide mobile connections to reach 6.6 billion this year
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency no less, has released figures on the growth of mobile connectivity around the world. There are currently 2.7 billion people online, though increasing figures suggest that, by the end of 2013, mobile connections around the world will amount to 6.8bn. That’s a whopping 96.2% of the world’s population, even if there are some people with more than one handset.

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US smartphone and tablet use still on the up
Likewise, smartphone ownership is growing rapidly in the USA at least, according to new research. At the end of 2012, 58% of US mobile phone users had a smartphone, a figure set to jump to 74% by the end of this year and 80% in 2014. Tablet figures are slightly lower, but their growth is no less impressive: from 33% in 2012 to 52% in 2013 and 64% in 2014.

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A third of UK social media users don’t use major platforms
A recent telephone poll of 1,003 UK adults has found that one third of social media users don’t use either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn. The research points at the growth of newer networks, or potentially the revival of old ones like MySpace and Bebo, but it’s not all bad news for the traditional social powerhouses. Of those surveyed, 56% had a Facebook account, 35% YouTube and 26% Twitter.

New Facebook Insights for all
After offering a new set of insights to a select few in June, Facebook has now rolled them out for all pages. For those that don’t know, there are a fair few changes, with an entire new look to boot. Perhaps the most important is the use of simpler metrics; ‘People Talking About This’ has been broken down into a variety of individual actions including likes, tags, mentions and check ins, to allow greater understanding of how people interact with your page, while positive and negative post actions (think, for example, a like vs. hiding a post) have been collated next to one another in the interest of balance. There are also additional insights about the people who interact with your content, rather than simply those you’ve reached.

Comcast allowing viewers to ‘See It’ through Twitter
Comcast, the US TV network that owns NBC Universal, is partnering with Twitter to allow fans to instantly watch and record TV shows mentioned in Tweets. The tweets, linked to NBC’s cable schedule and its Winter Olympics coverage, will contain a ‘See It’ button. Once clicked, users will need to be signed in to their Comcast account, at which point they can carry out a number of actions, from watching on their set-top box or on a mobile device/on demand to recording it in the future and scheduling a reminder. The move shows a significant move forward in Twitter’s aim to capitalise on the chatter around ‘Social TV’ and convert conversation into viewing figures.

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Foursquare updates ads and iPhone app
There have been a couple of updates to Foursquare this week. Firstly, its promoted listings ads are now available for small businesses. Previously only for larger establishments, these ads show up in the explore feed and cost from around $1 to $7 per action. As well as aiming to increase its ad revenue, the network has released the latest version of its iPhone app, with two major changes. First of all, it now has passive real-time recommendations that push directly to the user’s phone when they are in a certain area, previously only available on Android. Additionally, the activity feed has been simplified considerably and now looks as below:

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Smirnoff release ‘Mixhibit’ app
Vodka brand Smirnoff has produced an app called ‘Mixhibit’, which allows fans to assemble tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos into a custom video with music, then upload it to social networks such as Facebook. AdAge spoke to Michelle Klein, Smirnoff’s VP for global marketing, about the app, whose title plays on the use of the brand’s drink in a variety of cocktails. She also went into some detail about the brand’s positioning within social media, as shown in the video below.

TOMS looking to raise awareness on World Sight Day
Fashion line TOMS looked to raise awareness of World Sight Day on October 10th by asking fans to take a photo of themselves wearing sunglasses in an indoor setting, then share it on a social networking site with the hashtag #BeShady. There was no competition element, with the brand instead focussing on awareness, also creating a limited edition pair of sunglasses.

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Tourism Victoria runs live ‘Remote Control Tourist’ social initiative 
Tourism Victoria recently ran a live social initiative called ‘Remote Control Tourist.’ For five days, four tourists with camera helmets acted as the eyes and ears of online viewers. The tourists’ actions were controlled by live commands from viewers over Facebook and Twitter. The tourists travelled 109 kilometres, ate 11 burgers, drank 34 coffees and gave out 203 hi-fives and hugs. Altogether, 8726 user requests were made.

Malaysia Airlines celebrate one million fans with YouTube video
Malaysia Airlines has celebrated reaching one million Facebook fans by posting a video to YouTube, featuring their social media ambassador, singer-songwriter Yuna. The brand has referred to it as part of a strategy to show that it’s “serious about social media”.

Pope Francis joins Instagram
The @Pontifex Twitter account has been such a big success that the big guy has decided to join Instagram. With over three million Twitter followers in English alone (not to mention another 180k in Latin) it’s no wonder that Papa Franciscus has decided to expand his social presences, contributing to the photo-sharing network with images of himself meeting followers of the Church, leading prayers and other papal activites.

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