Location-based services increasing in popularity
The Mobile Life Study by TNS discovered that more than 60% of users worldwide who don't already use location-based services (LBS) want to. Currently, nearly 20% of mobile users are using LBS, with 22% using these services to find friends who are nearby, 26% using them to find restaurants and entertainment venues, 19% checking public transport schedules with LBS, and 8% using them to book a taxi. In particular, the use of LBS in developed Asia is greater than the rest of the world. In the past three months, 45% of smartphone users in developed Asia have used their phones to purchase or research for something they have bought, compared to 21% of smartphone users globally. Smartphone users from developed Asia are also more receptive towards location-based mobile advertising compared to the rest of the world. More than 30% would be interested in mobile advertising if it was related to something they were interested in, 28% wouldn't mind if it was promoting a deal near their current location, and 25% would be interested if it was something they were already searching for. This signals the opportunities for location-based marketing that marketers can capitalise on.
LinkedIn opens office in Hong Kong
Professional networking platform LinkedIn has opened it 9th APAC office in Hong Kong to better serve its 471,000 members, with a focus on running initiatives to attract new sign-ups as well as market its various premium services such as Hiring Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions to firms. LinkedIn released a snapshot of its users in Hong Kong - "Management Consultants" is mentioned 10,853 times in users' profile titles, "Public Relations" is mentioned 3,812 times, while "Fashion Designers" is mentioned 958 times in Hong Kong.
Hispanics in US more active on social media than average American
According to a recent Nielsen report, Hispanics in the US are highly active on social media. In February 2012, Hispanics increased their visits to social networks and blogs by 14% from a year ago. Compared to the average US adult Internet user, Hispanics are 25% more likely to follow a brand and 21% more likely to post links, articles, videos and websites. They are also 17% more likely to build or update a personal blog.
Increasing usage of tablet devices for purchasing decisions
A study from Local Corporation revealed that US consumers are increasing their use of tablets alongside their desktop and laptop PCs. 80% of all tablet owners surveyed said they used their tablet to research and purchase products, with 23% doing so in conjunction with using their desktop or laptop PCs. 50% of respondents used a tablet device to research products prior to a store visit, 43% use a tablet device to research products before making purchases on the computer, and 29% use a tablet device to research purchases during a store visit, a finding that should be particularly revealing to retailers who wish to better target consumers and improve their in-store experience through mobile devices. In particular, 19% of tablet users also used their mobile phones to research and make purchases.
StumbleUpon reaches 25 million users
Discovery and recommendation engine StumbleUpon hit 25 million users earlier this week, and saw a growth of about 1 million users every month since October 2011. Its active user base spend about 7 hours every month hitting the Stumble button, and around 20% of the 1.2 billion Stumbles made every month are made on mobile phones. StumbleUpon is responsible for referring more traffic to websites than any other social network in the US, and has more than 75,000 advertisers. At the moment, it has plans to create international versions of its own discovery engine as only 15% of Stumblers are currently based outside of North America, a potential development we can look forward to here in Asia.