Five Friday Facts #19


Mobile gaming app ‘Draw Something’ is on a roll
OMGPOP‘s mobile app Draw Something is only 5 weeks old and has already amassed 20 million downloads, of which 12 million are active users. Shortly after it first launched, it was already downloaded more than 1.2 million times within 10 days. Altogether, users have produced more than 1 billion drawings, and 3,000 pictures are drawn every second as of March 11th. CEO Dan Porter says the allure of the game is its social nature; that it requires two people to play, which makes it a lot more engaging. One reason why it has seen so much reach is because of the shareability of the content – players want to show off great (and terrible) photos their friends have created. Porter’s next goal is to take down Zynga’s ‘With Friends‘ franchise. Let’s see how long it takes for that to happen. A few months maybe?

Sina Weibo’s real-name registration woes
At the moment, Sina Weibo’s real-name registration online counter shows that it has only a little more than 19 million verified users, certainly not anywhere near the 300 million registered users it has. With the deadline looming on March 16, Sina’s expectation that 60% of its users will register their real names and verify their accounts before the deadline appears to have been far too optimistic. The implications of its reduced user base could really hurt Sina Weibo as brands might now think twice about using it as a social media platform for engagement, especially since the user base has now shrunk dramatically. Where the penetration rate used to be nearly 60% of China’s Internet population, the current number of verified Sina Weibo users accounts for a mere 3.8%.

China’s mobile-only Internet population
According to research company On Device38% of China’s Internet population are mobile-only users, with the country’s rural population actually driving an annual 8% increase in mobile-only Internet usage in 2011. This could of course be attributed to the lack of infrastructure in rural areas that thereby prompts mobile-only use of the web from the get go, instead of starting off with personal computers. 45% of those surveyed for the report don’t have access to a computer, 16% feels it’s easier to use than a computer, 14% say it’s cheaper, and 8% think it’s faster. Feature phones dominate China’s mobile-only Internet population, where 75% own feature phones compared to 25% that own smartphones.

Social media in travel
A video by Digital Visitor citing research from EyeforTravel captures the social media landscape in the travel industry100% of travel brands surveyed had a Facebook brand page, up from 82% in February 2011, while 75% had Twitter accounts, up from 64%. 50% of these travel brands had generated direct bookings from social media, with 20% using mobile for direct sales. The number of direct bookings made via mobile devices increased by 30% in Q3 of 2011. As a result, 61% of those surveyed are expecting to increase their investment in social media in the next 3 months. For more insights, check out the video below.

How social sites make money
This infographic from USBundles shows how some of the most popular social media platforms have become successful and sustainable businesses. Most are still relying on ads to drive revenue, in particular 77% of major social networks, while only 10% are in pursuit of new revenue channels.