Here are all of the posts tagged ‘mobile’.
Virgin Mobile Australia launches #mealforameal campaign
As part of their major integrated marketing campaign ‘Making Mobile Better,’ Virgin Mobile Australia has partnered with OzHarvest to turn the act of taking pictures of food into something beneficial for Australians. With the #mealforameal initiative, every time someone posts a picture of their food to social media and includes the hashtag, Virgin Mobile will donate to OzHarvest so they can provide a real meal to someone in need.
Jägermeister is ‘Strange But True’
Over the past month, premium spirits brand Jägermeister has been delivering their new ‘Strange But True’ positioning on Facebook. The campaign uses illustrations to depict the various characters that males identify with in their social groups. One of the main actions for social sharing is having friends “tag their mate” that identifies with one of the characters – a frugal Fox, a noble Stag, an Owl who loves to party, a Wingman or a Snow Leopard who spends too much time in his man cave. The campaign is designed to shift the thinking of Jägermeister from a drink for the end of the night to a drink made for the beginning.
Anonymous app Secret moves away from anonymity
The popular anonymous app Secret has teamed up with Facebook to make it easier for people to view popular secrets shared by their friends. In a shift that moves the app away from anonymity, Secret is rolling out two new features this week to both their Android and iOS apps called Facebook Login and Collections. Facebook Login will let users see secrets from friends, while Collections will offer a curated stream of popular secrets.
Mobile social use is up, desktop slightly down
A new comScore report has explored the growth of mobile use in social, arguing that it does not come at the expense of desktop use. Between May 2013 and May 2014, the total number of minutes spent using mobile to access social media grew from 479bn to 687bn. You might expect to see a similar drop in desktop use, but you’d be mistaken: total desktop time did fall, but only from 477bn to 466bn.
Mobile and digital budgets are up
Digital advertising budgets will this year rise 16.7% to $140.15bn, according to eMarketer predictions. Spend on mobile/tablets will see the most signficant jump, up 84.7% to $32.71bn. By 2018, digital will account for a third of global ad spend, while mobile will be 70.4% of UK digital budgets, and 67.8% in the US.
Facebook adds ‘suggested videos’ to mobile
If you watch a friend’s video in your mobile News Feed, Facebook will show you a set of suggested videos, much like the ‘Related News’ feature. This is the latest Facebook update that seeks to encourage people to share and watch videos, and TechCrunch has accordingly likened it to a TV channel.
Facebook creates ‘Out-App Purchase’ ad
Facebook has launched a new ad type: the ‘Out-App Purchase’ ad, which allows those who develop Facebook games to sell virtual goods directly through the News Feed. Currently, the unit is only available for desktop, but, should it prove effective, we may well see a move in the lucrative mobile market.
Twitter goes all out on organic reach
Twitter is backing itself as the social destination for organic reach, telling brands that they can be seen by 30% of their followers for free by tweeting 2-3 times per day. Not only that, but it has released a set of organic tweet analytics, so that brands can now see how many users viewed or engaged with organic tweets.
Pinterest updates ‘Follow’ pin
Pinterest has developed a new, animated ‘Follow’ pin to be featured on websites outside of its network. Rather than simply linking to Pinterest, the button will launch a pop-up preview of the account, featuring a selection of its pins.
WeChat launches ad platfrom
WeChat, the Chinese messaging service, has created an ad platform for brands with over 100,000 followers. Ads will only appear when users click on full-page posts from officials accounts that they already follow. Even then, the ad is not full screen, but shows up at the bottom of the page. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on how WeChat’s advertising strategy grows in the future.
The World Cup breaks social records
The World Cup is over too quickly, once again. According to Facebook, the final was the most talked-about sporting event in the network’s history, amassing a total of 280m mentions. One semi-final also managed to inspire a huge social response, as Germany trashed hosts Brazil 7-1. This was the most discussed sports game ever on Twitter, with 35.6m tweets in total. Germany’s fifth goal broke the record for global tweets-per-minute at 580,166.
— Visa (@Visa) July 8, 2014
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) July 8, 2014
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 9, 2014
— adidas (@adidas) July 8, 2014
Sour Patch Kids on Snapchat
Sour Patch Kids is to become the first Mondelez brand using Snapchat when it enlists the help of Logan Paul to run a week-long campaign. The social media star will send out Snaps from the brand’s account, detailing pranks that range from ‘sweet’ to ‘sour’.
Mercedes-Benz targets millenials on Instagram
Mercedez-Benz has launched a campaign on Instagram, dubbed #GLApacked, intending to target a younger audience. The brand has got Instagram influencers on board, each of whom has been loaned a GLA for a cross-country trip and asked to document it on the network.
4Music is searching for a vlogger
British channel 4Music is searching for its next vlogger through an online ‘Vlogstar’ microsite, sponsored by O2. Entrants need to submit a YouTube video for their chance to be the winner, who will be allowed behind-the-scenes on 4Music shoots and at gigs, producing several videos every week for the channel.
The CIA and Twitter
Last week, the CIA used the hashtag #twitterversary to answer some of the ‘top questions’ it had been asked since its launch on Twitter.
— CIA (@CIA) July 7, 2014
The above and other tweets like it have led to a debate over what the CIA’s strategy is. The humour may lead to a number of RTs, but questions have been raised about whether this helps the CIA’s chief objective: gaining trust. Indeed, this may be all the more relevant in the week when it has come to light that the activities of Twitter users were analysed by the US military in an attempt to understand how to influence people. News like this is likely to lead to increased debate about privacy, in which the CIA may want to be a major player.
Relief organisation Misereor introduces ‘The Social Swipe’
What’s the one thing people always have with them? A credit card.
To encourage donations, Misereor introduced The Social Swipe – an interactive poster that has a slit in the middle where people can insert and swipe down their credit card to make a donation of two Euros.
Swiping a credit card triggers an animation sequence that illustrates what a small donation can do to help the poor and disadvantaged. This clever activation provides people with an easy and engaging way to get involved and illustrates where their donation goes to.
Coca-Cola ‘Happiness Arcade Machine’ makes recycling fun
Coca-Cola has come up with a green initiative to get kids involved with recycling in Bangladesh called ‘The Happiness Arcade‘. In an effort to raise awareness and incentivise recycling, the brand installed six arcade machines in Dhaka that run on empty bottles rather than quarters.
In the mean time, we can all continue to look for ways to make recycling fun!
Facebook launches mobile ads Audience Network
Facebook has launched its mobile ad network, allowing developers to make money without having to sell their own ads, do their own targeting, handle measurement, or route payments.
The program will roll out over the “coming months” and will start with advertisers interested in buying app installs and engagement ads. No surprises here – Facebook will take a cut of what advertisers pay and hand the rest to the publishers.
The ads come in three formats: standard IAB banners, standard IAB interstitials, and native ad units.
YouTube adds three-second clips to all video content
Google announced a new feature for YouTube that will let creators upload a 3-second intro clip that will play before all of their channels’ videos.
To get started, channel managers need to upload the intro as an unlisted video, select “Add a channel branding intro” on the InVideo Programming Page and then choose on which videos the clip should play.
Unfortunately, Google won’t allow these intro videos to serve as ads, sponsorships or product placements.
Foursquare has introduced a new stand-alone app, Swarm
Foursquare is breaking itself to two parts: Foursquare for exploring your location, and a whole new app, called Swarm, for keeping up with friends.
The idea comes out of the two unique experiences that Foursquare users have always valued: the first, was sharing your location and finding out where your friends are; the second category became finding new places in your area, by reading reviews, viewing menus/pictures, then locating them on a map.
Bottom line: Swarm will be a map of all your friends, and Foursquare will be a map of all your places. You can sign up for the Swarm mailing list to be the first to know when it is released.
Twitter is experimenting with a mute feature in its mobile apps
Do you ever feel pressured to follow someone for work or social reasons even though their tweets annoy you? No problem, Twitter is experimenting with a mute feature in its mobile apps.
Some users of the company’s iOS and Android clients are now seeing an option to mute accounts that they follow, preventing another user’s tweets and retweets from appearing in their timeline. The user remains muted until you manually unmute them.
In essence, you won’t be seeing another person’s tweets, but they won’t know that. Everybody wins!
Vine gets a makeover – videos are now viewable to non-users
In addition to the home feed and profile view that featured on the initial version of Vine, users will now find a search bar and a set of discovery features from the mobile apps: including curated content — playlists and featured videos and features users — channels, trending tags and popular now.
Interestingly, the site is now accessible for visitors that are not logged in to the service, which will open it up to all for the first time. Like Instagram, Vine began as a mobile-only service, and it will be interesting to see how the team continues to develop the Web version with a greater focus on consuming content.
Ahead of the curve or setting the trend?
I wanted to start this week’s Tuesday Tuneup with a quick thought piece. The Social Media market place has seen some massive changes over the last year: new platforms, takeovers, rejections, new features, dropped features and more. The screen real estate is now the field of battle for some of the largest and most friendly companies in the world, and the war is taking place across every device we own.
As a mobile developer in this sphere it is always interesting for me to look behind the scenes, see the data behind these changes and look at the trends.
What’s even more interesting is looking at where Australia stands against the world. Wait… don’t panic! I promise to keep this as stat free as possible!
Let’s take a quick peek at the current world usage stats for Social Media:
Almost straight away you can see that there are big differences across all the different devices we use. For one, the desktop has a huge amount of Tumblr usage compared to the world average. Another obvious difference is that Australians are heavily dependent on Facebook on their Tablets as opposed to Pinterest.
Before we make assumptions, let’s have a look at the last 12 months in social media trends:
There has been a sharp increase of Tumblr usage on Desktop, Facebook is increasing on Mobile and Tablet and Pinterest is decreasing on the tablet.
But by all appearances, the usage stats show that Australia seems to be at the forefront of these trends or, perhaps, we are simply reacting faster. The question is why? Are we ahead of the curve, trend-setters or social media activists? I’ll leave the answer of that question up to you.
US smartphone use to reach 65% in 2014
The number of US smartphone users is growing and, according to eMarketer research, will reach 163.9 million in 2014. That amounts to 65% of all US mobile phone users, or 51.4% of the overall population. It is predicted that the number in the US is set to grow even further to 182.6 million in 2015 and reach 220 million by 2018.
Facebook dominating social on mobile
The average US smartphone user spends 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their mobile device. Of that time, 28% is taken up by social apps, up from 24% in the previous year. Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns) accounted for most of that – 17% of all smartphone hours went to one of the two social networks.
Social and email are equal for conversation volume
The latest IPA TouchPoints5 data has been released, concluding that we now have as many conversations through social media as via email; 12% of all daily conversations occur through each medium. The research also found that 49% of all adults use mobile phones for activities other than texting or talking, doing so on average for 1 hour 30 minutes per day. Unsurprisingly, younger users were more mobile: 78% of 18-24s use their phone for activities other than texting/talking; they do so for an average of 1 hour 52 minutes a day.
YouTube drives the best quality web traffic
YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn drive the richest traffic on the web, with Reddit and Stumbleupon at the other end of the spectrum. YouTube, in first place, produced an average of 227.82 seconds spent on the site, 2.99 pages per visit and a relatively low bounce rate of 43.19%.
Twitter looks to expand TV links through acquisitions
Twitter has made two acquisitions that should help expand its relationship with television in Europe: France’s Mesagraph and the UK’s SecondSync. The former works with the likes of Canal+, France Télévisions, M6 and TF1, some of France’s biggest TV channels, while the latter has used its social analytics tools to show the value of Twitter for clients in broadcasting and advertising.
Vine adds private messaging capability
Vine has introduced private messaging, allowing users to share videos and text with one another, away from the view of the public eye.
Only 24 hours after the announcement Cofounder Collin Kroll stepped down, following Dom Hoffman who stepped down in January.
I’m so proud of Vine – the team + the product. I’ll no longer be working there day-to-day as of today but will remain involved as an advisor
— colin kroll (@ckb) April 4, 2014
The cost of Instagram ads Instagram ads are being touted at a premium price tag, according to an article in AdAge last week. Discussions with several ad execs found that a month’s worth of advertising on the network could cost anywhere between $350k and $1m.
Time to look again at Google+ There have been a couple of pieces in the last week that suggest marketers should look again at Google+. First of all, a Forrester blog post revealed that, in a survey of 60,000 US adults, 22% claimed to use G+ at least once per month, the same percentage as Twitter. Also, in terms of engagement per follower, Google+ far outdoes Twitter, and is closer to Facebook, as you can see here:
We Are Social’s Cristina Forlani also argued in favour of the network. She pointed out its value as an analytics tool and looked to rebut unhelpful comparisons with Facebook. She also mentioned the huge SEO benefits of a platform linked to the world’s most popular search engine.
YouTube pushing stars with TV adverts YouTube is planning a TV ad campaign to promote some of its biggest stars, after agencies requested a further push to merit their clients’ ad spend. The adverts will feature three YouTube celebrities with over one million subscribers each: make-up artist Michelle Phan, beauty/fashion vlogger Bethany Mota and baker Rosanna Pansino. The below ads will be seen on New York Subway trains.
Line surpasses 400 million users Line, the Japanese messaging app, has surpassed 400 million users, meaning that it’s added 100 million in roughly five months, as shown in the graph below. Not only that, but these new users seem to really be taking to the service; on 21st March, over 10bn messages were sent in a single day.
WhatsApp processes 64bn messages in one day If you thought Line’s 10bn messages were impressive, WhatsApp can do even better, processing 64bn messages in one day. The figure accounts for 20bn messages sent and 44bn received; the disparity in the figures occurring as a result of group messaging.
new daily record: 20B messages sent (inbound) and 44B messages received (outbound) by our users = 64B messages handled in just 24 hours. — WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) April 2, 2014
Skype growing among millennials Skype now has 300 million users and is experiencing strong growth among younger demographics, according to the company’s advertising General Manager Lovina McMurchy, who claimed that the platform now reaches 24% of 18-24 year olds worldwide. She said:
While other companies have seen interactions with younger users decline, Skype has seen positive growth numbers in recent years.
Imgur receives $40m in funding Tech venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested $40m in Imgur. The image sharing platform has traditionally rejected all outside funding while waiting for the ‘right fit’, as CEO and founder Alan Schaaf discussed.
We got along right off the bat. We were actually bouncing off interesting ideas in where to take the product. They actually made sense, which was out of left field.
adidas promotes World Cup with brazuca adidas is promoting its World Cup sponsorship by creating online content from the point of view of the official competition ball, named brazuca. The product has its own blog and Twitter pages, while a set of video clips will look to produce a ‘ball’s eye view’ of the competition and involve some of football’s biggest names, including Xavi, Manuel Neuer and Dani Alves.
adidas offers free cleats to one US football team Another adidas promotion in the last week will offer free American football cleats to one US high school team. The sportswear brand hopes that the teams will naturally spread the word about the competition by asking friends to vote, as it’s only other high school footballers who can do so. To ensure that this remains the case, the brand is using Chirpify, which will automatically respond to anybody using the hashtags #adizero and #vote, asking them to provide information that can prove their identity.
Zappos offers style advice through Instagram Zappos, an online fashion retailer, is offering free style advice through Instagram. When someone posts a selfie with the hashtag #NextOOTD, a ‘professional image specialist’ will analyse their posting history and suggest a Zappos product that might suit.
Marc by Marc Jacobs seeks ad stars in social Marc by Marc Jacobs is searching for the star of its latest advert on Twitter and Instagram. You can enter simply by posting a picture alongside the hashtag #CastMeMarc, as in the below examples.
The ‘Breakfast Wars’ go viral If you’ve been reading the last few tuneups, you’ll remember that Taco Bell has been promoting its breakfast menu pretty fervently. The latest addition to the campaign is a set of ads that poke fun at McDonald’s, in which real life Ronald McDonalds give rave reviews of the Taco Bell product. The main video has received over two million views on YouTube.
McDonald’s were quick to respond, though. The below Facebook post, at time of writing, has received over 8,000 likes and almost 2,000 shares.
KFC uses social celebrity endorsement in China Fast food chain KFC is struggling in China, with sales falling 13% from 2012 to 2013. To address this, the brand has recruited five major celebrities, each of whom will represent a new menu offering in social and compete with one another for likes. Celebrity endorsement has long since been a staple of Chinese marketing – it will be interesting to see how this social version works out.
Presidential selfie was a publicity stunt by Samsung A recent selfie with Barack Obama, posted by David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, was a planned publicity stunt by Samsung. The brand equipped its brand ambassador, known as Big Papi, with a Samsung phone, hoping that the opportunity might present itself, as it did.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
However, the White House was unhappy with the above tweet, stating that it objected to the president’s image being used for commercial gain. Ortiz has since denied that he was paid for the photograph.
Cole Haan gets in trouble with the FTC
Footwear brand Cole Haan, has got itself in trouble with the FTC after a Pinterest competition that asked users to post pictures of their favourite shoes with the hashtag #WanderingSole. According to the FTC, the competition hashtag was not sufficient disclosure, though it’s worth noting that the brand received a letter and not an enforcement action.
Celebs join Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to stop calling girls ‘Bossy’
Sheryl Sandberg said in Lean In that we shouldn’t call girls “bossy” and that “When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy.” A year since her topical book was released, she’s rallied the support of some famous ladies to come together and support LeanIn.Org’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. Co-sponsored by the Girl Scouts, the digital campaign encourages women and men to post #BanBossy messages to social media, helping encourage girls to be opinionated without fear of pushback. Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Condoleezza Rice, Jane Lynch and other high-profile women joined the chorus with Sheryl in YouTube video.
“I’m not Bossy,” Beyonce announces. “I’m the boss.”
Mark Zuckerberg also showed his support for the campaign on Facebook last night.
Vimeo’s on demand service turns one & gets some updates
Vimeo’s new updates to it’s on demand serviced have been announced this week at SXSW to coincide with it’s first birthday. Updates include a new launch of “collections” where viewers can now discover videos batched together in common themes and related hobbies as well as new browsing experiences. Vimeo is also investing heavily in it’s Audience Development Program to offer financial support to video creators who have raised over $10,000 on crowdfunding platforms or been accepted to certain film festivals.
Facebook Page organic reach keeps falling
Further evidence has arrived of a decrease in the organic reach of posts from brand pages on Facebook. An analysis of 106 country-level brand pages found that average organic reach dipped from 12.05% in October 2013 to 6.15% in February this year; for the 23 pages analysed with 500,000 fans or more, the equivalent decrease was from 4.04% to 2.11%. If you’re concerned about this change, then read our recommended approach to dealing with the issue.
Facebook redesigns desktop News Feed
Facebook has made a number of changes to its desktop News Feed. After an unpopular dramatic overhaul around a year ago, the social network has played it fairly safe, with a new design that includes different iconography, larger photos, fresh fonts and the presence of story cards, along with a large search bar at the top of the page. The redesign is being pushed out gradually – if you haven’t got it yet, here’s what it looks like:
Facebook Messenger launches on Windows phone
Facebook has launched a version of its Messenger app for Windows phone. The service, which has been available on iPhone and Android for some time, has a 4.5 star rating from users.
Twitter ad revenue increases
Twitter’s ad revenue increased by 110% to $664.9m in 2013. The growth came as a result of a higher number of ads, although the cost of these ads actually fell throughout that time – by 18% in Q4 2013, or 67% for the whole of the year.
Foursquare location data being used to target ads
Foursquare is bulking up its ad offering by partnering with Turn, an ad targeting firm. This will allow the use of Foursquare’s location data in the serving of ads on mobile and desktop, by anonymously matching user email addresses with web cookies.
eBay launches Pinterest-inspired ‘Collections’
eBay has added ‘Collections’, a Pinterest-style social feature, to its UK site. Collections, which has been available in the US since last year, allows users to collect sets of items that they want and display them in groups.
Getty allows images to be embedded for free
Stock image site, Getty, has added an embed feature, which renders around 35 million images free for non-commercial use. The move, which could radically alter the way in which stock images are used, looks to tackle illegal image use. When an image is embedded, it will automatically appear with full accreditation.
Mondelez partners with Facebook
Confectionery giant Mondelez has announed a ‘global strategic partnership’ with Facebook, amounting to a 52-country ad deal that includes the USA, UK, France, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Gulf States. Mondelez’s VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Bonin Bough, commented:
For the first time, we’ll be able to incorporate Facebook at the core of our media investment plans. This isn’t just about having a social-media strategy; it’s about digitizing our entire approach to communications.
adidas launches #fastorfail
Sports brand adidas has launched a game inspired by football star Lionel Messi, dubbed #fastorfail. Fans are given the opportunity to play from his perspective, making a number of decisions in an attempt to arrive at Rio for the World Cup. As social media buzz around Messi increases, the pace of the game gets faster for the user.
Peugeot’s #KickItToBrazil is definitely nothing to do with the World Cup
Automotive brand, Peugeot, has launched a campaign dubbed #KickItToBrazil, in which the brand will transport a football around 30 different countries, before ending in Brazil on the eve of the World Cup. This is, of course, in no way related to the World Cup (Hyundai and Kia are the official partners). Fans will be able to track the ball’s progress on Facebook and Instagram.
Oreo make real-time cookies at SXSW
This weekend, thousands of revellers (including some of the We Are Social crew) flocked to Texas for the annual South by Southwest festival. Oreo is helping feed attendees by producing 3D-printed cookies, the flavours of which change depending on what’s trending on Twitter at the time.
Airbnb comes to the help of SXSW
Airbnb got in on the action at SXSW by trawling Twitter for those in need of help at the festival and coming to their rescue with more than 100 ‘rewards’, ranging from providing a pair of cowboy boots to furnishing a whole apartment within two hours. This isn’t a new idea for Airbnb, which says it conducts this kind of social media listening and responding all year, usually dishing out five to 10 rewards a week. But it’s certainly put the company in the good books of SXSW attendees over the last few days.
Vanity Fair gets professional on Instagram
Vanity Fair added a touch of social media class to its star-studded Oscars party. The fashion magazine hired Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger to, in his own words, “capture a little of the glamour of Oscar night in a timeless yet modern and accessible way” by taking quirky celeb pictures for Vanity Fair’s Instagram channel. The results were as expected: beautiful people looking even more beautiful. Here’s a particularly good example of a dapper Samuel L Jackson.
Following on from We Are Social‘s hugely popular Social, Digital and Mobile Worldwide in 2014 report from last week, we’re very pleased to share an even more detailed look at the online landscape around the Asia-Pacific region.
It also turns out that a week can make a big difference when it comes to online data; in the past 7 days, and with the help of some of the 200,000 people who’ve viewed our Global report, we’ve found some even fresher stats to the ones we published in last week’s report.
These new discoveries have had a particular impact on India’s stats, where figures for internet users have changed from 151 million to 213 million. Internet figures for Indonesia have also almost doubled, to 72.7 million.
These changes have had a significant impact on the regional and global totals too, so we’ll begin with a refreshed look at the stats from the very top.
The Global Picture
Following revisions to a number of countries, the number of worldwide internet users now exceeds 2.64 billion, representing global penetration of 37%:
Following our report last week, we also received a number of queries regarding the difference between mobile subscriptions and actual mobile users, so we’re delighted to be able include a new chart comparing the two in this report.
We’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at GSMA Intelligence for this, and they’ve been kind enough to let us share this valuable data 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:
In order to understand the context in which people use mobile devices, it’s also important to understand how people pay for their subscriptions (contracts), and whether they have access to potentially faster mobile data connections.
The chart below offers more detail on both these areas, detailing how many people have pre- vs post-paid contracts, and using 3G as a proxy for the likelihood people could access faster internet if they chose to take out a relevant mobile data plan:
Asia-Pacific In Context
APAC is home to almost 3.9 billion people, accounting for just under 55% of the total world population. The region hosts just under half the world’s Internet users, and 52.2% of the world’s active social media users:
click to enlarge
Although internet user data for a number of countries around the region hasn’t been updated as recently as we’d hoped, APAC has still shown impressive growth in recent months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 150 million new users since our previous report in October 2012 – many of which were in India and Indonesia:
However, internet access is still far from a universal reality around APAC, and penetration rates in some countries remain surprisingly low:
It’s interesting to see how the average number of hours spent on the internet varies around the region too, both in terms of desktop / laptop access, as well as the time spent on the mobile web:
It’s important to note that the figures in the chart above are based on claimed time spent on the internet, rather than on actual traffic. This has two important consequences:
- The data will, in part, reveal the story that people choose to tell about their internet use, rather than the exact number of minutes they spend connected
- However, in a similar way, this ‘claimed’ data helps to avoid over-counting internet usage when someone is connected to the internet, but not actually making use of it (e.g. the browser is open in the background while someone works on another, non-internet related application).
- There may also be some variations across cultures in what people consider ‘internet’ access. For example, someone who streams music through a service like Spotify for the whole day may not consider this ‘time spent on the internet’, even if we could argue the opposite is also true.
2013 was an impressive year of growth across almost every aspect of the social media world in APAC, with chat apps in particular seeing stunning growth thanks to platforms like WeChat, LINE, and Kakaotalk.
We’ve chose to focus on social networks for this report’s data though, as they continue to offer the greater opportunity for marketers.
User figures and penetration rates for social networks still vary hugely around the region, but the overall trend is definitely upwards (note that MAU stands for Monthly Active Users):
It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:
- Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by a commercial entity on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
- Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). In many emerging markets – particularly places like Indonesia or Myanmar – mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet use. People accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted, however, meaning social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
- On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight skew in the data, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.
We’ve also changed the way we report user numbers in this year’s report compared to our previous report in 2012, and we now only report monthly active user numbers (MAUs) for any given platform. This ensures a more reliable and actionable data set, and ensures organisations using the data have the most up-to-date picture of people’s preferences and behaviour throughout the region.
Facebook’s MAUs continued to grow across the region over the past year, adding 54 million by January 2014 in Asian countries alone (excluding countries in Oceania like Australia and New Zealand).
China’s Qzone added 25 million MAUs too, meaning that overall growth around the region is somewhere in the region of 80 million new active users – almost 10% growth year-on-year.
We opted not to include chat apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, LINE and Kakaotalk in this year’s analysis for a couple of reasons:
- The way that people use these platforms remains largely one-to-one, so they offer less of an obvious mass engagement channel for brands compared to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Weibo (although we recongise that this is changing, especially with tweaks to WeChat’s platform);
- The companies who operate these platforms tend not to publish monthly active user figures, and where they do, they aren’t broken down by country, making it very difficult for us to attribute usage by country.
However, for handy reference, the global user figures for each of the region’s largest chat apps are as follows:
- WhatsApp: 400 million monthly active users worldwide
- WeChat (Weixin): 270 million monthly active users worldwide
- LINE: 300 million total registered users worldwide
- Kakaotalk: 130 million total registered users worldwide
We’re pleased to offer time spent on social media for many of the region’s larger economies too, thanks to some great data from GlobalWebIndex’s Active Usage: Time Spent study, which they’ve kindly allowed us to share. You can find out more about this study here.
As with the time spent on the internet chart above, this data is based on claimed usage rather than actual traffic information. This again means that data may be coloured by the story people wish to tell about themselves, but at the same time, it also helps to avoid over-counting time where people have social media open in the background.
Based on our qualitative research, many people keep social networks open throughout the day in a distinct browser tab or tool like Tweetdeck, but do not necessarily spend all that time actively engaging with the platform itself, so the data above should be used in conjunction with traffic-based numbers (where available) to paint a multi-dimensional picture of people’s behaviour.
It’s interesting to explore the above chart in the context of the societal norms of each country too; it appears that the time spent on social media is determined as much by a nation’s culture as it is by the speed or ease of internet access. In many countries where fast internet access is still a luxury, people still spend many hours engaging with social media, highlighting once again that social media are playing a huge part in the growth and evolution of the online landscape in APAC.
However, to enrich this story, it’s worth looking at the infrastructural elements too. Mobile devices play a huge role in Asia’s social media scene, so we’ve added an extra data set to this report to illustrate mobile social access in more detail:
The number of mobile subscriptions in APAC continue to grow steadily in the past 15 months, with Asian countries alone adding more than 200 million new subscriptions since our previous report in October 2012.
Although it’s likely that some of these new subscriptions constitute second subscriptions (e.g. an additional contract for work or personal use), the importance of mobile devices even in the region’s less developed nations highlights the critical role mobile plays in people’s daily lives in APAC.
While it can be tricky to identify the exact number of people accessing the internet through mobile devices, we have identified reliable data for two important indicators that offer valuable insights: mobile broadband subscriptions, and people accessing social media through mobile devices:
It’s particularly interesting to note that the proportion of the population accessing social media through a mobile device is much higher than the penetration of mobile broadband, suggesting that many people continue to access social media through slower mobile connections.
You’ll find this data broken down for each country around the region in the full report.
The Individual Country Story
We’re delighted to announce that we now have social media and mobile data for every Asian country, as well as 4 key nations in Oceania.
Major additions to this year’s report are North Korea and Myanmar, and although the numbers aren’t likely to challenge China’s position as the dominant digital player in the region, it’s very exciting to see how online media are helping to open up some of the world’s most secretive nations.
In particular, Myanmar – or Burma, if you prefer – has surprised us with the sheer speed of growth, particularly when it comes to social media. From a country where Facebook was technically blocked barely 12 months ago, this Southeast Asian country now boasts well over 1 million Facebook users, and is still growing at an impressive rate:
Despite these impressive numbers though, this still represents a social media penetration of just 2% in Myanmar, so there’s clearly plenty more potential for growth as the country continues its journey towards a fully open approach to the internet.
Even mobile subscriptions struggle to reach double-digit penetration, while the internet – albeit based mostly on fixed-line figures – languishes at just 1%.
However, 2014 looks like a promising year for Myanmar’s online landscape, and we’re looking forward to plenty more good news from them in the months to come.
The story in North Korea remains less clear; with the internet still officially blocked in the world’s most reclusive nation, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what’s going on. However, Facebook themselves state that they now have 8,200 users within the North Asian state, 4,600 of whom access through mobile devices:
It’s unclear how many of these users are actually North Korean citizens though, and we suspect that a significant proportion may be foreign nationals based in the country.
However, the fact that it is even possible for these people to access Facebook from within North Korea represents a step forward compared to the situation this time last year, so we’ll take that as a glimmer of hope for 2014.
We’ve also included data for Timor-Leste, which, although still small in absolute numbers, represents another reason for optimism, given the young country’s recent history.
East Timor’s social media population in particular is growing steadily, with 6% of the population – or 76,000 people – using Facebook at least once in the past month:
As with many emerging economies, the numbers for internet usage in Timor-Leste are far lower than those for social media, mainly because it’s harder to measure the exact number of people accessing the internet.
Many people still access from shared devices in internet cafés or in places of work, and data is often collected by surveys that have taken quite some time to gather, analyse and publish.
Social media figures such as those made available by Facebook are almost real-time though, offering a more up-to-date and accurate picture of the online landscape within these fast-evolving digital ecosystems.
Excitingly, mobile phone subscriptions have already surpassed 50% penetration in Timor-Leste too, meaning many more people now have the opportunity to connect to the internet as soon as affordable mobile data plans become available.
Alongside figures for Australia and New Zealand, we’re also pleased to present some initial figures for Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Both nations play an important role in understanding the broader picture across Pacific nations, and the stories their data snapshots tell reveal some interesting insights:
Fiji already demonstrates relatively strong internet and social media penetration figures, surpassing the regional average in both areas.
Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea still has plenty of potential for growth, with barely 4% of the population using Facebook in the past month. However, with mobile subscription penetration of 42%, it’s clear that Papuans have an increasing digital opportunity, and we’re confident these figures will all grow considerably during 2014.
We’re also pleased to share statistics on mobile social behaviour for all 30 countries in this study, ensuring marketers have a solid understanding of the opportunities to engage their audiences in a variety of settings and contexts – here are some example stats for Indonesia:
As mobile increasingly becomes our predominant means of accessing online services and content, it’s likely that Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in defining the future of the online landscape.
The India Changes
Finally, given the major changes in internet user numbers since last week’s report, here’s how the individual country situation looks today:
So there you have it – another week, another bumper collection of stats. Do get in touch if you’d like some help making sense of these numbers, or turning them into part of an actionable strategy.
Be sure to check back to our blog for more updates in the coming weeks too – given how quickly the data seems to be changing, it’s clear 2014 is going to be another vintage year for online growth. We’re already looking forward to next year’s APAC report!
Sources for all the above data are listed in the full report. We’d especially like to thank 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.