Here are all of the posts tagged ‘social media’.

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #135

by Paul Napier in News

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:

Current Social Media Share

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:

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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.

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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Only 24 hours after the announcement Cofounder Collin Kroll stepped down, following Dom Hoffman who stepped down in January.

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: Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 12.06.40

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.

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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.

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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.

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. Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 14.51.26

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.

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.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #133

by Michael Bramley

TV Twitter ratings come to Australia

Nielsen has announced that it will launch Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings in Australia in the second half of this year, making it the third market to get the service. The TV metric, based entirely on Twitter data,  will measure the total activity (Tweets, Unique Authors) and reach (Impressions, Unique Audience) of TV-related conversation on Twitter, allowing networks, agencies and advertisers to measure, understand and act on these conversations. This move reflects the growing importance of the second-screen experience, with Nielsen’s Australian Connected Consumers Report 2014 showing that 44% of the online population of Australia participates in social TV. The launch is also a significant marker for Twitter, which will celebrate its 8th birthday this year and the one year anniversary of its first employee in Australia this month.

Global Marketer Week takes place in Sydney

The WFA’s Global Marketer Week has begun, with a number of events from the likes of Google, Unilever, Diageo and adidas. Simon Kemp, MD of We Are Social Singapore, is presenting his latest research on inspiring brand stories, with a panel including senior executives from the likes of Unilever, Fiat and Kimberly Clark.

Eat the Tweet

One of the most interesting things to come out of SXSW this year was the combination of buzzwords – social media and 3D printing. Dubbed the “Trending Vending Lounge,” Oreo’s vending machines print out customised cookies based on trending Twitter conversations. Users were able to choose from a set of hashtags, each of which had a unique flavour and cream colour combination, supposedly chosen by an algorithm that measured sentiment. The cookie fans then were able to watch their cookie being built in just more than one minute, using 3D printing technology.

“Nothing comes between me and #mycalvins”

Calvin Klein is asking people to send them selfies in their underwear – and spreading them on the internet. However, unlike a spurned lover, that seems to be the point. To promote their latest range, the company has reached out to the public to Instagram pics of themselves in the iconic waist-banded underwear and are (thankfully) curating them in the #mycalvin gallery. The initiative kicked off with posts by influencers and celebrities, including Miranda Kerr, Fergie and Trey Songz, the first of which reported 1 million fan interactions and an audience of over 50 million users in under 24 hours. The campaign takes advantage of the brand’s history of models posing in underwear, having featured Christy Turlington, Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg (among others) in the 80s and 90s, adding value to the nostalgia factor with a technological and social twist. With almost 3,000 posts tagged #mycalvins, this campaign is proof that it takes very little for some people to get their kit off.

Time spent on digital increasingly outdoing television
The time US adults spend using mobile phones has surpassed that spent watching TV for the first time, with averages of 151 minutes and 147 minutes per day respectively, according to research by Millward Brown. In China, people spend an average of 170 minutes a day on their phones, more than double the TV time, and people in Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and Vietnam also spend more time on their phones than Americans. Interestingly, eMarketer sources show that mobile accounts for significantly less time than TV, though for the first time digital as a whole has overtaken TV. This study concludes that US adults spent five hours and nine minutes every day on digital media, compared with four hours and 31 minutes in the previous year:

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The UK’s figures are slightly behind: in 2013, TV accounted for more time than digital. However, this is set to change in 2014, when digital will account for three hours and 41 minutes of the average adult’s day, compared to three hours and 15 minutes of television. Of this digital time, non-voice usage of mobile phones will account for one hour and 49 minutes.

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Instagram photos with faces get more likes and comments
Research conducted at Georgia Tech has found that Instagram photos that contain faces are 38% more likely to get likes and 32% more likely to be commented on. Saeideh Bakhshi, a researcher on the study, attributed this to a human urge to see the faces of others, and found it interesting that this translated into an online context.

Google releases ‘Android Wear’ software
Google has made its ‘Android Wear’ software available to developers, in the hope to gain traction in the smartwatch market. The video below shows off some recent advances in the field.

Forrester argues that Facebook is failing marketers
A blog post from Forrester Research has argued that ‘Facebook Is Still Failing Marketers’. Having made a similar point last October, the piece’s author points to low organic reach, discontent amongst brands and fears over fake fans as reasons to concentrate social efforts on other platforms.

Facebook growing its share of mobile ad dollars
The mobile ad business is growing fast. Up by 105% in 2013, it is forecast to exceed a value of $31.5bn this year. Google remains the biggest player, though its market share is decreasing due to the rapid rise of Facebook as a mobile advertiser. With just 5.4% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, Facebook’s share increased to 17.5% in 2013 and is set to grow to 21.7% in 2014.

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Facebook games are hugely popular
According to new statistics, Facebook gaming is an incredibly popular part of the network. Roughly 375 million people (a quarter of the network) play Facebook games each month, and 735m referrals are sent every day. The most popular game? You guessed it. Candy Crush, of course.

Share Facebook albums with a limited selection of friends
Facebook launched v8.0 of its app for the iPhone and iPad recently, with an interesting new feature: users can now share photo albums with ‘only these friends’. Users can already do this for photos and status updates, despite it being reported that this feature, too, was brand new.

TED takes over category on Facebook Paper
TED took over the whole ‘Ideas’ category of Facebook’s standalone news feed app, Paper, last week. The move was in line with the TED 2014 conference and sees Facebook looking to source high quality content for Paper.

The difficulty of Twitter for brands
Last week, we marked Twitter’s 8th birthday with a piece by our very own Emily Hawes, who discussed the development of Twitter as a social network. She pointed out some of its difficulties, highlighting a slowing user growth and decrease in timeline refreshes. She attributed these in part to confusion felt by new users, as well as weaker relationships than on other social networks. This comes at the same time as research that suggests that 30.6% of brands are still unconvinced of Twitter’s value as a marketing resource: 45.1% of brands cited their greatest challenge as “measuring ROI and results”, followed by “building an audience” (42.1%) and “engagement” (36.8%).

Twitter trialling new features, may drop @replies
Twitter is testing a number of new features this week, including the potential ofdropping the well-recognised @reply. The change is included in the alpha version of Twitter’s new Android app and it’s believed that this may be part of a wider move across the network.

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Naturally, the move has led to debate about the effects across Twitter. We Are Social’s co-founder Robin Grant spoke to The Drum about the issue, saying:

Since inception Twitter’s been making changes to try and make the platform less confusing. Recently, these developments have picked up even more pace, perhaps as a result of its recent first earnings announcement, where attracting and holding on to new users was flagged as an issue for the platform.

Yesterday’s news that Twitter is experimenting with phasing out @ replies completely won’t be popular with loyal Twitter users – change never goes down well, especially to something as fundamental as the @ reply.

Many see this as one of Twitter’s key differentiators, and the new Twitter tests look more like what happens when you tag people in Facebook posts. But with Twitter’s current focus clearly tuned into keeping new users engaged, rather than placating its existing community, it’s unlikely the prospect of short-term protest will disrupt its long-term plans.

In addition, two more features are being tested. First of all, a new reach figure will allow you to ascertain how many people actually saw your tweets. This should prove useful for brands’ analytics, though Twitter may end up regretting the decision to show people how few followers are seeing each tweet. The second feature, ‘fave people’, allows users to siphon off a select set of contacts and view their tweets in a separate stream.

Twitter pulls #Music app
Twitter has pulled its #Music app from the app store. Existing users have until 18th April with the app, which hoped to make the most of the popular topic of conversation on the network. That one goes down as a failed experiment.

Pinterest looking to grow revenue and users
Pinterest is planning to introduce adverts, with a huge asking price of $1m to $2m per ad. Evidently, the network is aiming its offering at premium brands, though no date has been announced for their launch as yet. This isn’t the only recent move aimed at revenue driving, either; the network is launching ‘Gift boards’, curated entirely from buyable items, which it hopes will raise further money from e-commerce.

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The network is also looking to expand into new markets and is now available in four additional languages: HindiGreekHungarian and Romanian.

Vimeo buys Cameo
Video-sharing platform Vimeo has acquired Cameo, the mobile, cloud-based app that that aids in shooting, styling and sharing short films. Kerry Trainor, Vimeo’s CEO, said of the move:

Vimeo is committed to empowering all creators, and the ubiquity of HD camera phones is driving the largest wave of video creation ever seen. What we love about Cameo is that it gives even novice video-makers the power to create beautiful, well-crafted videos.

We Are Social launches evian on Snapchat
We Are Social UK has been working with evian to bring the water brand to Snapchat, in a campaign which shared exclusive content from evian’s latest ad ahead of its official release. You can see the trailer for the video below. It’s even got a baby Spiderman.

Carlsberg brings happy hour to Instagram
Danish beer brand Carlsberg is offering half price beer to Instagram users in exchange for Instagram photos. Dubbed ‘Happy Hour 2.0′, the campaign asks users to share an image with the name of the venue and #HappyBeerTime (whatever that may be), thus benefitting the drinker, the bar and the brand.

Not your average pitcher of Heineken

Taco Bell promotes its new breakfast menu
US fast food chain Taco Bell is launching a breakfast menu, and promoting it by sending pre-paid ‘burner’ phones to 1,000 influencers and dropping others in secret locations revealed to Twitter followers. These phones will be sent challenges by the restaurant, which can be completed by posting to Instagram or Twitter. They are also capable of phoning Taco Bell HQ. You know, just for a chat.

Nivea Men signs Jamie Redknapp up for Facebook campaign
Soccer pundit Jamie Redknapp stars in Nivea Men’s latest Facebook campaign, appearing in a fictional show named ‘Redknapp’s Grassroots Round Up’. The programme takes the form of humorous, scathing reviews of amateur soccer, into which Facebook users can insert pictures of their friends, while selecting particular insults.

Selfies on The Voice UK
Will.i.am, one of four judges on BBC’s The Voice UK, has been taking selfies during live filming. In doing so, he creates an interesting second-screen experience, whereby fans can consume the same content from two different platforms simultaneously.

‘No make up selfies’ create Cancer charity windfall
As you may well already know, a number of selfies appeared on Facebook this week, taken by women without makeup, in aid of Cancer Research. Two separate Guardian articles discussed the key issues that the meme highlighted: the first pointing out the huge windfall that the campaign had produced for a worthwhile charity, the second arguing that this only came about after it was initially ousted as an empty gesture.

The effect of Turkey’s Twitter ban
The Turkish government banned citizens from using Twitter last week, in an attempt to prevent the spread of dissent. However, users initially found straightforward routes around the ban, including a quick and easy change to a device’s DNS. In fact, data that We Are Social released to the press has shown that the ban has pushed the number of Tweets in Turkey to record numbers, as Robin Grant discussed with CNET:

The main effect so far of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s Twitter ban seems to have actually been inspiring more people to tweet. Banning Twitter is clearly a counterproductive move that will ultimately have the opposite effect to that intended. The Internet was designed to route around obstacles like PM Erdogan, and its users will continue to find ways to do so.

It appears people in Turkey are enjoying the challenge, tweeting via text message, through an anonymous VPN, by changing their DNS — and it seems even those who may have had little interest in tweeting before are now getting involved. As numerous politicians all over the world have discovered to their detriment in the past, it’s not clever to pick a fight with social media. It’s not one they’re likely to win.

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune-Up #131

by Gillian Collison

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

APAC mobile contract type

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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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apac global share

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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 #121

by Gillian Collison

Social media updates from passengers stranded in Antarctica

Some of the 74 passengers currently awaiting rescue on Russia’s MV Akademik Shokalskiy have been keeping family and friends updated via Twitter, Vine, Youtube, Google+ and Skype. Passengers Alok Jha and Laurence Topham, who are journalists with The Guardian, as well as Chris Turney, a professor and leader on the expedition have been posting about penguin sightings, cake availability and the rescue attempts thus far. You can follow all the action of their adventure at #spiritofmawson.

 

Myer’s Boxing Day website crash causes social media backlash

As shoppers flocked to grab post-Christmas bargains both in-store and online,  Myer’s woes continued with their website crumbling under heavy traffic leaving many frustrated customers with this message:

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Many initially took to Twitter and Facebook to express their dismay:

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However, fans of Myer on Facebook were quick to defend their social media team and thanked them for their continued updates and polite responses. As of the 31st of December, Myer’s website is still closed. CEO Bernie Brookes has announced extra discounts and exclusive online offers once the site is back up and running.

Is Facebook ‘dead and buried’ to European teens?

Research into the behaviour of European teens aged 16-18 has found that Facebook is becoming less and less important, as the demographic moves towards the likes of Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. The key reason given for the shift is the desire to stay away from their parents, which could prove severely costly for the network. Daniel Miller, lead anthropologist on the research team, put the situation in no uncertain terms:

For this group Facebook is not just falling, it is basically dead, finished, kaput, over.

However, some have looked to cast doubt on the research. The BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, has argued that the sample groups are too small: for example, the above quotation comes simply from examination of UK teens aged 16-18. He also states that Miller gives too much weight to interviews, arguing that there is no reason why a small sample group of teenagers professing their love for Twitter should prove that teens are leaving Facebook ‘in their droves’.

Further research has shown that, across all groups from age 18 upwards, Facebook is still the most popular of all social networks. A report into UK social media users found that 18% of over-65s were on Facebook, a leap ahead of the 6% on second-most popular site YouTube. The same study also showed the continued popularity of the network with 18-24 year olds; the question is how Facebook copes as its audience begins to age.

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The extent of Facebook’s organic reach decline

A string of studies have shown there to be a vast decrease in organic reach since Facebook’s announcement at the start of this month. One piece of research into 21 large brand pages found an average dip of 44.3%, with one page experiencing a decline of 87.8%. This had an impact on engaged users too: a 34.5% decrease, on average. Edgerank Checker also examined the changes, analysing one week either side of the 2nd December. Their research showed a dip in reach of 21%, from 9.4% to 7.5%, with status updates suffering the worst.

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Facebook is the top social network on smartphones

Facebook has been crowned the most popular social network on smartphones in 2013, on a list that also includes YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook was in fact the most popular app of all, with a monthly audience of over 100 million and a year-on-year increase of 27%. Perhaps surprisingly, Instagram came three places higher than Twitter; its 7th place was supported by a monthly audience of 32 million and 66% year-on-year growth, compared to Twitter’s figures of 30.8 million and 36%.

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Foursquare’s passive smart phone tracking

Foursquare is extending its data capabilities through constant, passive tracking of smart phone locations. This functionality, necessary to power its ‘passive notifications’ feature that tells users about nearby places, is providing the network with further data to sell to advertisers.

Coca Cola’s #ReasonsToBelieve

Coca Cola are focussing on positivity in their latest campaign, dubbed ‘Reasons To Believe’. As well as the video ad shown below, they are supporting the activity with the hashtag #ReasonsToBelieve on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, through which the brand is asking fans to share their own acts of kindness.

Mastercard’s #PricelessNewYear

Mastercard is asking its social media communities to share their ‘priceless moments’ from 2013 using the hashtag #PricelessNewYear. The best will be shown on billboards in New York’s Times Square during this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Smart Car USA call for selfies on Twitter

Smart Car USA are encouraging their Twitter followers to share a selfie using the hashtag #smartwrapme. Winners will then see one of the cars dressed up, inspired by their own looks.

 

Leica selling cameras through Instagram

German optics company Leica is enabling fans to purchase its latest camera, the Leica C, directly via Instagram. Users will need to register with Arco, a startup that enables purchasing through the network, then follow the @Leicabrasil account, which will be uploading a number of photos taken with the camera. Fans can then simply comment ‘purchase’ on any of these in order to buy the product for themselves.

LinkedIn’s top 25 skills for getting hired

LinkedIn has produced some analysis of the skills that got people hired in 2013: at number one, it’s social media marketing. In fact, tech skills form a huge part of the top 25: numbers two and three are ‘mobile development’ and ‘cloud and distributed computing’ respectively.

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