Five Friday Facts #35


Rakuten adds ‘pin it’ buttons to its sites
Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce site, has added ‘Pin it’ buttons across three of its services – the country’s largest shopping site Rakuten Ichiba which is also global, international hotel booking site Rakuten Travel and Japanese-focused Rakuten Recipe. We reported earlier in May that Rakuten invested $100 million in visual storyboarding site Pinterest to allow for images and content to be shared on pinboards. This commitment is the start of a strategic partnership that will expand beyond Japan, to the 17 other markets Rakuten operates in. Pinterest’s popularity has surged over the last year, with statistics showing that its traffic grew by more than 6,000% over the final six months of 2011 registering an estimated 11.7 million visitors in January of this year.

Japan government has second highest number of Twitter user info requests
Inspired by Google, Twitter released its own Transparency Report this week. Statistics showed that Twitter received more government requests for user information in the first half of 2012 than it did for all of 2011. 80% of all user information requested came from the US, which accounts for 679 requests. While most countries had less than 11 user information requests as shown below, it was a surprise to see Japan registering 98 requests which is 12% of all government requests that came through to Twitter.  Twitter has announced that it will be publishing updates on this report twice a year. 

Facebook tab engagement down 53%
With the launch of Timeline, studies have shown that Facebook tab engagement is down by 53%. Redesigning the page’s timeline greatly altered its appearance but also the function of brand pages.  The way fans interact with tabs, now known as Facebook apps, which point you to the different content at the top of the page was impaired by this change. Findings from studying 500 Pages with more than 10,000 fans each revealed  that there was a sharp decline in tab engagement in March when all Pages were forced to convert to Timeline. The following chart from PageLever illustrates the plummeting tab engagement:

The reasons are speculated to be that the tabs are less visible in the Timeline layout and that brands are not able to set a default tab for non-fans to land at. What this means to brands is that they will have to spend more resources into providing content that goes on their wall than content that goes into their tabs.

Google+ celebrates its first birthday
When Google+ was launched last year, it was seen as yet another social networking site. However, the plan was not to provide for another platform to share pictures and stories but rather to bring together all the Google products. It also soon became clear that the platform served as a business networking tool apart from just a social networking perspective. In three months of its launch, there were 43 million people using it. As of June 2012, the site has 250 million accounts with 150 million active users to the page. It didn’t take long before celebraties got on board with Britney Spears becoming the first user to hit 1 million circles. In light of Google+’s  one year anniversary, The Next Web produced an extensive article on the progress of the social networking site. In doing so, it also revealed the top 10 brands on Google+ as shown below:

If Circles are equated to Facebook Likes, Coca-Cola for example had more than 40 million Likes on Facebook at that time whereas Google+ only had 326,000 Circles. There is no question that there is a lot of catching up to do for Google+ in this space.

Summer Olympics as the first ever Socialympics
The social media community today isn’t what it was during the Beijing Olympics four years ago. With London 2012 Olympics looming closer, here are some numbers to show you the change that has happened in the last four years that has resulted in some naming this year’s Games as the first ever Socialympics.

The most popular social networking site Facebook grew from 100 million users to a publicly traded company with now an active  900 million users between 2008 and 2012. This growth has obviously probed the need to revamp the International Olympic Committee (IOC) social media policies so as to allow the organisers to be actively part of the conversations. However that comes with strict restrictions on the use of content, hence Socialympics dos and don’ts for brands have also been laid out. There are several official websites to keep you in the know of the events, out of which the Olympic Athletes’ Hub that has 2.8 million Facebook Likes allows you to connect with over 1,000 athletes in real time chats and participate in the Hub community with fellow sports enthusiasts. The official Facebook page has close to 2.9 million Facebook Likes whilst Google+ has had over 377,000 users on the London 2012 Google+ page in their circles with many posts receiving well over 50 comments and +1s. The Twitter integration for Olympics is an exciting one which has @London2012 and @Olympics accounts with more than 700,000 followers and 900,000 followers respectively and growing by the day.

However, apart from the huge volume of #London2012, #olympics  hashtags and the Twitter Lists  that are available, there are also automated results for all sports at the Olympics. The social media realm in the Twitter space is bound to invite a great number of sharing in terms of Retweets resulting in an extensive global reach. The United States Olympic Committee has also chosen to use a YouTube channel due to the platform’s reach, and it plans to upload 5 to 10 videos per day to showcase their team’s efforts. Socialympics is about to create a milestone in the history of social media for the reach it will have, impressions it will create and just the sheer number of interactions that will take place across the globe.