Five Friday Facts #38


Sina Weibo comes to the rescue at Beijing floods
Last weekend, Beijing experienced one of its worst storms in more than 60 years. According to the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time, more than 70,000 residents were evacuated and at least 37 people died. Over the widespread flooding, it was local microblogging service Sina Weibo that helped mitigate the damage done by the failed sewers. FutureGov Asia Pacific reported that there were more than 8.8 million Weibo messages about the flooding situation over the 24 hour period. Beijing Fire Bureau published about 70 updates during the disaster and forwarded many messages from individuals to relevant authorities. FutureGov reported that 100 students were rescued from a school after an alert was sent out on Weibo and 400 people in the same district were evacuated thanks to that information. Notably, more than 520,000 Weibo messages about picking up stranded individuals were recorded over the weekend. Social media certainly has a big role to play in disseminating information in times of crises.

Yahoo returns Indonesian check-in service Koprol to its founders
Koprol, the location based service based out of Indonesia that was acquired by Yahoo in 2010, has now made a 360-degree journey back to its founders after Yahoo agreed to return ownership of the name, domain and all associated intellectual property and trademark back to it. Last month, Yahoo announced  closing the service for good which brought anxious fans reacting to the news on Twitter with a #savekoprol hashtag. The one-time Foursquare rival had 1.5 million users in 2011 and showed promising growth in the region as 80% of its user base came from Indonesia, and the rest from neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Vietnam. The team was close to releasing Koprol 2.0 right before Yahoo’s decision put an end to the service. Now with the set transfer to Barito Labs, it is time for one of Indonesia’s largest startup to revive itself.

Global social media revenue to hit S$21.1 billion this year
Gartner reported that global social media revenues are due to hit S$21.1 billion in 2012. Last year, the industry recorded S$14.8 billion in revenue and are collectively enjoying a larger growth this year. According to the study, majority of this revenue for social channels come from advertising and gaming. While advertising is the primary contributor of income to this rapidly developing industry, social gaming returns are anticipated to contribute a large sum of  S$7.8 billion this year. A longer term forecast that Gartner made in June suggested that social media would be worth some S$42 billion by 2016.

Instagram soars to 80 million users
The nearly two year old photo sharing and filtering service Instagram celebrates its 80 million users today. The red hot property of Facebook also announced that nearly 4 billion photos have been shared on the platform. This news comes less than three months after announcing its last milestone of 50 million users, which goes to show that the app has managed to increase its user base by more than 10 million users on average per month. The remarkable milestones Instagram have set demonstrate the growth of the ‘mobile revolution’ and we expect to see a lot more impressive mobile developments in future.

TripAdvisor gets more social
TripAdvisor was an early adopter of user-generated content that provided a platform for travel-related reviews and opinions, and engaged customers on an interactive forum. It has been working closely with Facebook to make the site a friendlier recommendation engine and a savvy mobile app for travelers. In April this year, it merged its TripAdvisor and ‘Cities I’ve Visited’ apps into one single app that allowed for greater engagement on Facebook. In addition to joining Facebook’s Open Graph, the company also revived its Local Picks app, allowing locals to rate their own restaurants in their neighborhoods. In June alone, TripAdvisor had 32 million users on Facebook making the app the second most popular Facebook app according to AppData.