Here are all of the posts tagged ‘tumblr’.
Home-grown social media startup Spring.me to launch on Australian Securities Exchange
With the hope of encouraging social media users to expand their circle of friends and begin interacting with other like minded folks, Australian social media startup Spring.me is entering the final stage of it’s capital raising campaign by launching on the ASX. The collection of sites and apps, aimed at “online-all-the-time” social media users, aims to encourage users to expand their circle of friends through the sharing of questions and answers. Spring.me already boasts 5 million regular users since its launch in September last year, so it’ll be interesting to see how the social media startup fares in the coming year.
Facebook now available through Tor
Security conscious Facebook users can now sleep easier at night with the announcement that the site is now available to access through Tor, software that allows for supposedly safe and anonymous web browsing. Previously, users accessing the social networking site through Tor encountered a range of issues, including being locked out of their accounts, because of the way it routes connections across the world.
A mixed financial week for Facebook
Imagine you’re a Facebook investor, and you hear that you’re about to be taken on a roller coaster. Great news, right? WRONG. This roller coaster means share price fluctuation throughout the week. First of all, the network announced impressive Q3 figures and share price hit an $81.16 high. MAUs have risen to 1.35 billion from 1.317 billion in Q2, while mobile MAUs have jumped from 1.07bn to 1.124bn in the same period.
Total revenue increased by over 50% for the sixth consecutive quarter, rising by 59% to $3.2bn.
Meanwhile, also for the sixth consecutive quarter, ad revenue increased by over 60%; this time, Facebook posted figures of $2.96bn, a 64% increase from Q2. Mobile accounted for 62% of ad revenue.
Investors saw the figures and everybody was happy. Hooray! Sadly, Facebook then announced that costs have risen dramatically in 2014, and revenue is expected to slow in Q4. Share prices dropped as a result, slumping by almost 10% before settling around the $73 mark. All in all, we’ll give the week a score of 6/10.
The first video ads hit Instagram
Who’s in the house? Instagram video ads are in the house! Well, on the network. Anyway, Instagram has launched its premium, 15-second autoplay spots with a selection of partners, including Banana Republic, Disney, CW Flash and Call of Duty.
Twitter’s revenue increases, even as user growth slows
If you liked the story about Facebook’s share prices, you’ll LOVE this. Twitter’s had a mixed week, too: its revenue continues to show strong growth, despite disappointing user figures. Q3 total revenue increased 114% year-on-year to $361m, of which ad revenue accounted for $320m (85% from mobile). In the same time, though, the platform added just 13 million monthly active users, compared with 16 million in Q2.
Investors weren’t impressed and the share price dropped by 10%, making Twitter’s week slightly worse than Facebook’s. 5/10.
Tumblr to roll out autoplay videos
It’s been a big old week for fans of autoplay video adverts. Hot on Instagram’s heels, Tumblr has announced that it will launch a similar service, starting tomorrow. It’s limited to a set of partners at the moment (isn’t it always?) but will be open to everyone by mid-November. So far, the lucky punters include Lexus, Universal Pictures, JC Penney and Hulu.
LinkedIn posts strong Q3 figures
We hope you’re enjoying these Q3 reports. LinkedIn is up next, and it’s been a good three months. Total revenue is at $568m, of which ad revenue accounts for $109m – a 45% year-on-year increase. Sponsored updates have been the biggest success story – they make up 31% of ad revenue, and have been described by CEO Jeff Weiner as the “fastest growing business in LinkedIn’s history”. We’re giving LinkedIn an 8/10, making it the proud recipient of the prestigious ‘We Are Social Q3 figures of the week award’.
Disqus to begin advertising
Disqus, which operates the comment sections on 3m websites, has started targeting adverts within its service. It’s mining data about what people post and where to target the ads, which will look like normal comments apart from the word ‘sponsored’.
Taco Bell is @totallynothere
Social media’s no stranger to the odd meltdown. Taco Bell went someway down that path last week, deleting all previous social content to create a ‘blackout’ and promote its new app.
— Taco Bell (@totallynothere) October 28, 2014
A risky strategy, but it seems to have paid off in the short term. After 24 hours, 75% of Taco Bell restaurants had processed at least one mobile order. We’ll see if that continues in the longer term, and keep an eye out for any return to social media.
Epix launches on Vine
TV network Epix is celebrating its fifth birthday (happy birthday). Don’t hold out for any cake, though, the party plan is to launch on a new channel: Vine. The network has partnered with 10 influencers to create Vines around different films. Each makes sense on its own and they join together to create a larger story, which will be shared on YouTube, TV and, most excitingly, THIS MASHUP.
Samaritans Radar searches Twitter for suicide triggers
Samaritans has created an app to help Twitter users find out if anyone they know is posting potentially worrying tweets. The service, named Radar, automatically picks up certain phrases, including ‘depressed’ and ‘tired of being alone’. The charity plans to keep updating its algorithm as time goes on, with the hope of avoiding false positives. At the moment, it’s not the best at noticing when someone might be joking.
Brands get spooky on social for Halloween
Today, dressing up as a zombie and giving sweets to children would be seen as something of a faux pas. On Friday, though, everyone wanted a piece of the Halloween fun, and, as always, brands were no exception. Here are a few examples of social content – though we can’t promise that all of it quite hit the spot.
— Converse (@Converse) October 31, 2014
— Tesco (@Tesco) October 31, 2014
Even the clouds are in costume. Happy Halloween. pic.twitter.com/MEJrNGlJw0
— Delta (@Delta) October 31, 2014
— CENTURY 21 (@CENTURY21) October 31, 2014
Chevrolet shows how to deal with Twitter mocking
While trying to present a Chevrolet-sponsored baseball trophy, the company’s representative had something of an awkward moment. With lines like “It offers class-winning and -leading, um, you know, technology and stuff”, it was only a matter of time before he became the talk of Twitter. (He’s known as #ChevyGuy, if you must know.) That could have been pretty awkward for the automotive brand, but Chevy showed that it knows how social works. It embraced the awkward.
— Chevy Trucks (@ChevyTrucks) October 30, 2014
Pringles wants you to kick your own goals this FIFA World Cup
Just when you thought brands were done with kicking off World Cup-themed campaigns, Pringles has launched ‘pringoooals’ which will have their Facebook fans kicking goals of their own.
With the support of Sydney FC, Pringles has created an application for its Facebook community so that die-hard football enthusiasts and part-time fans alike can attempt to score their own ‘Pringoooals’.
Facebook launches Slingshot
Facebook has launched Slingshot, its Snapchat rival, for iPhone and Android. They even did it on purpose this time. The app allows users to share photos and videos, to which they can add text. But there’s a twist – you can only see what you’ve been sent if you share something in return.
Facebook tests auto play video for brand pages
You may have noticed auto play video ads in your Facebook News Feed, coming from brands such as Macy’s and Chevrolet. Facebook is now testing an expansion of the feature, such that videos posted to brand pages will ‘auto play’ in the same way. The videos would not be restricted to the same 15-second time limit as the current ads.
Twitter increases ROI for TV ads
A recent study has concluded that TV campaigns supported by Twitter are more effective than TV alone. The most significant figure was that Twitter-supported campaigns produce a 50% higher ROI than TV-only campaigns. The study also noted that when using Twitter, brand awareness was 6.9% higher and that households showed a 4% increase in sales compared with TV alone.
GIFs come to Twitter
Twitter now supports GIFs uploaded natively through a variety of devices, on Twitter.com, iPhone/iPad and Android. They won’t start automatically, but, as you can see below, all that’s required is a quick click of a button. Naturally, brands are getting involved already. Here are a few examples:
Is there something on our cheek? http://t.co/MqyQYAFckr
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) June 18, 2014
— Forever 21 (@Forever21) June 18, 2014
If anyone needs us, we’ll be admiring all the GIFs in our timeline. This is truly the GIF that keeps on giving. http://t.co/xnCpgIs6QD
— E! Online (@eonline) June 18, 2014
Yahoo to run Tumblr ads on related sites
Yahoo is going to start running Tumblr’s Sponsored Post ads on its affiliated sites, including Yahoo News and Yahoo Beauty. Brands already involved include Lexus, Tide, Lipton and the Hunger Games.
LinkedIn launches Job Search
LinkedIn has released a standalone app for iPhone and iPad, called ‘LinkedIn Job Search’. What it does should be clear from the title, but there is another feature that makes it distinctly different from LinkedIn: everything is completely private. It’s US-only for now, but more markets are in the offing. Product manager, Daniel Ayele, said of the launch:
It can be hard to search for a job while you’re at your desk, not to mention the potentially awkward conversation with your current boss. Our goal is to help make this process easier for you and to help you be discreet. Everything you do within the app will be completely private and not shared with your network.
Snapchat tests public sharing, adds new filters
Snapchat has announced a couple of changes in the last week. First of all, it’s testing a Group Sharing feature, dubbed ‘Our Story’. The feature will pull together all the snaps from a particular location, such as a concert, and share them publicly as one large, user-generated Story.
Secondly, the app has added custom filters for brands, in an attempt to entice more of them to use it. Here you can see Vice’s ‘Yes We Cannes’ template.
Yelp adds direct messaging feature
Yelp users can now contact businesses directly with questions and feedback. When they do so, the business will receive an email like the below. To respond, it simply needs to reply to the email. Yelp will also give an indication of how long it takes companies to respond, unless they choose to opt out.
The World Cup on social
The USA seems to have taken to the World Cup, even if USMNT is no way to refer to a football team. The soccer love is showing on social, with tweets from big names, including LeBron James, Jimmy Fallon and some bloke called Barack.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 16, 2014
The US team’s first game, a victory over Ghana, saw a high of 173,738 tweets. Delta Airlines wanted to get involved, but produced the World Cup’s first ‘Twitter fail’ by illustrating Ghana using a giraffe, an animal that isn’t native to the country. The brand ended up issuing an apology.
— theScore (@theScore) June 17, 2014
Other brands managed to avoid such problems when commenting on the USA vs. Portugal game yesterday. Portugal equalised in the dying seconds to leave the US needing a result against Germany – here are some of the tweets in response to the event.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) June 23, 2014
— Listerine Global (@ListerineGlobal) June 23, 2014
The US team is, at least, doing better than its English equivalent. This side of the pond, we’ve resorted to a meme about Phil Neville’s boring commentary. Anything’s better than thinking about how we’ve done.
— Jobsite UK (@JobsiteUK) June 16, 2014
MLS gives its players superpowers
The Major Soccer League is looking to use the World Cup to promote domestic American soccer, and is using its Vine account to do so. It has asked its followers to choose the superpowers of seven different players and created representative art.
San Francisco 49ers create digital rewards system
As ‘soccer’ spreads across the States, there’s still time for a little of the old ‘football’. The San Francisco 49ers have created a digital rewards system, where fans can collect ‘yards’ for completing activities such as liking the team on Facebook, following them on Twitter, or watching videos and reading certain articles. The points can then be redeemed for prizes.
Tide creates Game of Thrones infographic
SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t finished Game of Thrones, it might be best to give this story a miss. Tide has created an infographic showing all of the deaths in the most recent season, receiving over 1,000 RTs and favourites.
— Tide (@tide) June 16, 2014
New emoji are coming
Big news for everyone who finds it too difficult to express their thoughts and feelings using words. There are 250 new emoji coming, which should keep conversations interesting for at least 250 seconds. Easily our favourite is the ‘middle finger’ image, which can come in very useful on a Monday.
Facebook releases new insights tool
Facebook has launched a new Audience Insights tool, which gives US users of ad manager access to information about people on the network. Advertisers can gain access to demographics, page likes, location/language information, Facebook usage and purchase activity for three different groups: all Facebook users, those connected to a brand’s page/event or members of a ‘custom audience’. The tool is said to reach our Australian shores in coming months.
ZOOSH & Chur Burger have teamed up to celebrate National Burger Day
The beloved Surry Hills burger joint, Chur Burger, has recently joined forces with ZOOSH mayo and dressing brand to create specialty burgers & salads. If you visit the store on 28 May and use hashtags #ZOOSHfoods & #National BurgerDay then you’ll be rewarded with a savoury surprise!
Facebook Poke App, no longer a thing
The Snapchat competitor, Facebook Poke App has been officially pulled from the iOS app store. Despite Facebook’s efforts to rival Snapchat (or buy it for $3 billion cash!), the app never seemed to attract many users… outside of Zuckerberg family Christmas party.
Worry not pokeaholics, the original Facebook feature is still alive and well on the main platform. Creepers rejoice!
Instagram ads are doing well
Instagram adverts, available to 15 brands for the last six months, have been showing impressive results (according to data from the site itself). Taco Bell have seen a 29 percentage point gain in ad recall and promoted posts often saw 400% higher engagement on promoted posts than organic. During a month-long campaign, the fast food chain’s fan base jumped 45%. Hollister, too, saw success: an ad recall lift of 32 percentage points.
Twitter mute button, finally a thing!
Of course you love your mum, and following her on Twitter is generally fun… except when she’s live tweeting #SBSEurovision while you’re trying to catch up on industry news. Now you can simply mute the conversations you’d rather not be a part of. The user can’t tell if they’ve been muted and you can unmute at anytime. Score, thanks Twitter!
Language targeting on Twitter
Twitter has introduced targeting by language for Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, in an attempt to serve more relevant adverts to its users. So far, it includes 20 different languages. Here’s how it works in Spanish:
Tumblr adds blog editor to mobile app
Tumblr has added a built-in blog editor to its mobile app, which allows users of iPhone, iPad or Android to customise the look and feel of their profile.
The Verge spoke to Tumblr CEO, David Karp, about the move. He discussed the importance of creativity and individuality across the web:
The draw to the internet for me was this idea that it was a space where you could really create an expression of yourself — an identity that you’re really, truly proud of.
It’s no surprise that brands have already started to embrace the changes. Notable examples include American Express, Lipton, Axe and L’Oreal.
LinkedIn adds language targeting features
LinkedIn has launched two new features, both aimed at helping companies reach people across different markets. The first, language preference targeting, lets a company specify which users will see an update, based on their chosen language. The second, personalised page feeds, is very similar: when a user clicks on a company’s page, they will see only the updates intended for them, once again identified by language settings.
Pinterest is still overwhelmingly female
A study into 50,000 random Pinterest users has concluded that 92% of pins are made by women, while 84% of those who were users four years ago are still active. The study also analysed the most popular categories for pins by female users, who made up 80% of the entire network’s user base. The top three were, in descending order: food & drink, DIY & crafts and home decor.
Sony launches World Cup social broadcast channel
Sony has created a ‘social media broadcast channel’, dubbed ‘One Stadium Live’, to bring together online conversation around the World Cup. The mobile-first platform finds posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, before grouping them together based on their relevance to one another.
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.
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.