Five Friday Facts #16


Social messaging disrupts SMS
This is a clear example of a disruption that has shaken a mammoth industry. According to technology analyst firm Ovum, mobile operators lost an estimated US$14 billion or S$17.54 billion in short message service (SMS) revenues in 2011, all thanks to the advent of social messaging, which took away 9% of SMS revenue.  Social messaging refers to the likes of mobile messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, but even iMessage on the iPhone and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) are threatening to replace SMS. Whatsapp reached a milestone in October 2011 when over 1 billion texts were sent in a single day. SMS may not become obsolete anytime soon, especially for mobile users holding on to feature phones, but we won’t be surprised if the number of SMSes sent declines year-on-year.

China’s mobile payments growth
Data from iResearch points out that mobile payments in China would have reached 48.14 billion yuan or S$9.61 billion by the end of 2011, which indicates an impressive 149.4% growth from the previous year. Mobile payments are expected to exceed 200 billion yuan or S$39.94 billion by the end of 2013. China has shown willingness to drive market adoption of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which would enable phones to become mobile wallets, so we would expect the target of 200 billion yuan to be hit given the 987.58 million mobile users in China as of January 2012.

Social network users in emerging markets
Social network users from emerging markets seem more likely to interact with brands on social networks. 31% of users from Brazil, 27% from India and 23% from China think that social networking sites are a good source of word-of-mouth information on brand experiences, as opposed to 18% from the US. Furthermore, 23% of users from Brazil, 22% from China and 21% from India would share brand information and experiences on online social networks the same way they would with friends and family in reality, compared to 11% of US users. It’ll be interesting to see how these sentiments change as social networking use continues its growth in Asia, such as with India taking over the number 2 spot from Indonesia as the second largest nation of Facebook users.

LinkedIn hits 1 million users in Indonesia
We’ve recently reported on LinkedIn’s growth in Asia, and now LinkedIn has reported surpassing 1 million registered members in Indonesia. The professional social network has seen more than 200,000 new registered members since introducing language support for Bahasa Indonesia. Its user base has increased by 25%, compared to to 5.5% Facebook has achieved in the same period. Interaction on the service has similarly increased, with the number of LinkedIn groups in Indonesia doubling to more than 700.

The battle between two Internet giants
Google briefly owned a 2% stake in Baidu for 2 years before selling it off in 2006 with the creation of, which at the moment only accounts for 11.1% of China’s search query market share, while Baidu dominates 83.6%. Out of 64 billion search requests made in China, 53.5 billion are made on Baidu. This infographic by Digimind neatly sums up how both Internet giants are competing in China’s online search space.