We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #39
Sina Weibo launches discussion forums
Challenging China’s popular Tieba discussion platform run by the nation’s largest search engine Baidu, microblogging service Sina Weibo has launched its own forum called ‘Weiba‘. Following Sina’s extended features – Tumblr-like blogs and social gaming – Sina Weibo has diversified once again with Weiba. However, with the discussion forum, Sina has a bigger responsibility in terms of censorship just as Tieba did when it had to take down some of its forums earlier this year. Weiba is open to all 350 million Sina Weibo users where they can hold discussions on niche subjects from the Olympics to Technology in more than 140 characters. The page emulates a Bulletin Board System (BBS) with Twitter-like functionalities by allowing users to ‘follow’ forums and post discussions.
Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office on Sina Weibo
The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office are an active user of social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in reaching out to the English-speaking audience. Their presence on Twitter and Facebook were particularly well received over last year’s earthquake. The Japanese media has reported that the Prime Minister’s Office have now decided to establish a presence on popular Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo to reach out to the Chinese-speaking audience. Posting on the account has yet to officially begin but a welcome note was left on the URL as shown below (translated):
To our Chinese friends, hello! The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office has opened a pilot Sina microblog. We will soon officially begin. We hope it can become a window through which our Chinese friends can come to understand information from the Prime Minister’s Office.
This is not the first time foreign politicians have taken to Sina Weibo to reach Chinese audience. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who actually speaks Chinese joined Weibo in April this year while politicians from Victoria, Australia Ted Baillieu and Daniel Andrews jumped onto the platform back in March.
China’s e-commerce giant gets social
China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba is hoping to win over its hundreds of millions of online shoppers to its new social network app Laiwang. Though the network is late to the social media scene in China, it has a leverage with its focus on online shopping. Rather than ‘retweet’ options such as in Weibo and Twitter, the Laiwang app calls for interactions such as ‘get togethers’ which is a collection of mentions that look like a micro-forum as shown on the right-hand corner below. The app has yet to tap on the online shopping aspect and cater to e-commerce, brands, or Taobao shopping; at the moment it looks like yet another social media platform.
Indian operator Bharti wants a slice of Google and Facebook’s revenue pie
India’s telecom giant Bharti has called the situation “unfair” that Facebook, Twitter and Google, who account for nearly 40% of its overall data traffic, reap the revenue of the infrastructure that the network operator provides. This argument isn’t new but Bharti, which has 250 million subscribers, are amongst the more explicit ones.
YouTube bus tours India streaming Olympic games
The YouTube bus hits the streets of India where there is no internet connection. Google India announced that the bus will be streaming the Olympic games, and educating the people on how they can watch it online and be part of the online community if they have access to a decent internet speed. The YouTube bus initiative also aims to educate the public on India’s history in the games – quite literally bringing localised content to their doorstep.
The best and the worst of the ‘Social Games’.
Danny Boyle’s extraordinary Opening Ceremony in London attracted nearly 10 million tweets inside five hours. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, saw his post re-tweeted over 10,000 times. But the social focus of the Games is not receiving positivity from all quarters: The IOC has reportedly requested that spectators only send urgent texts and tweets after data-networks were overloaded during the road-cycling which resulted in poor Radio coverage.
After round one of the ‘Socialympics’ CocaCola appears to be leading the way when it comes to brand performance with (our client) adidas also proving to be very successful. EDF are demonstrating the most potential. Is all this engagement postitive? Not necessarily. In fact, much of the engagement is in response to criticism.
In a more sinister event, the Greeks saw their Olympic squad reduced from 105 to 104 before the Opening Ceremony when an entirely tasteless tweet from Voula Papachristou ruined her chances of competing.
Voula is not the only one to have been expelled through racism on Twitter however. Switzerland’s Michael Morganella was also expelled for a tweet which “discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people” said Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli.
Facebook inches towards 1 billion active users
Facebook has just posted its Q2 earnings release with some pretty amazing growth figures. The number of monthly and daily active users has nearly doubled since this time just two years ago, but what has really skyrocketed is the number of monthly users on mobile, which has increased 3.5 times since 2010.
And of those 955 million active users, Facebook says 85% of them are creating content, which has a rather broad definition, but includes everything from uploading a photo to clicking ‘Like’ on a brand’s page. These numbers all show that Facebook’s userbase is massive, but also pretty massively engaged.
Facebook tests ‘Subscribe’ button for pages
Facebook could expand its ‘Subscribe’ button that we’ve seen on personal accounts. This button allows users to get updates from the page without actually liking it. No word yet on how ads can be targeted differently to likers vs. subscribers, and page admins cannot see how many users are subscribed.
Facebook’s Recommendations Bar emerges from beta
When a user reaches the end of a story, this plugin dishes up new articles for readers and asks them to comment on or like the story. The plugin has already been integrated into Mashable, Wetpaint, and The Mirror, as Facebook continues to extend its “frictionless sharing” across more of the web; however, the site did shy away from making this a social reader app and thought this format would fit with more apps and websites.
LinkedIn enters the Office
LinkedIn has announced a partnership with Microsoft to make it easier to see your contacts’ LinkedIn activity as you’re e-mailing them. Called the ‘Outlook Social Connector’, the feature will show what your contacts are talking about, their photos and contact information, all without leaving your inbox. While this is a good move from LinkedIn, it’s seems a little late in a world where a lot of people are using Gmail and Rapportive.
Instagram hits 80 million users, but Twitter pulls API
That’s a 30 million increase since April, thanks to its Android app and integration into Facebook’s Open Graph. Despite that, Twitter has pulled its API, as it continues to tighten down on where it can be used (and recently pulled it from LinkedIn as well). Users will see in the latest update that they can no longer find people they follow on Twitter on Instagram.
Google+ populating the ‘ghost-town’.
Nine months ago Google+ was the laughing-stock of the social world but Google seemed strangely relaxed about the situation. It seems that their confidence was well-placed. ComScore has revealed that the number of unique visitors to Google+ has increased by 66% in the last 9 months with over 110 million non-US visitors in June. Statistics also appear to be showing a Facebook plateau.
On the right Path?
New Path users will now be able to import all Instagrams, Foursquare check-insand Facebook statuses in a move that is likely to attract far more interest to the app.
Social gets serious in the Premier League.
After continuous reprimanding of Premier League players in the 2011-2012 season thePremier League has responded to the request of the Clubs to provide guidelines for Social Media activity:
Advice is offered on the endorsement of brands, goods and services, while confidential information about team selection, injuries or tactics is prohibited from being disclosed on social media.
Whilst giving the players a clear outline of their Social behaviour it also shows that the Premier League are taking the use of Social Media seriously.
The Weather Channel has demonstrated how most websites can embrace social to become more personable with their audience. After connecting The Weather Channel with Facebook, the site will let visitors know about any severe weather that might be affecting their friends in other locations. The Weather Channel is also attempting to tap into Open Graph to make the site actions, such as the love or urgh features, more shareable.
Intel ‘Musical-ises’ your life.
After the success of Intel’s first major Facebook campaign, they are back with a song and a dance. ‘Me The Musical’, after gaining permissions, charts your Facebook history and builds a musical of your life in an impressive new campaign.
Gala Bingo uses social data to find best celebrity match for campaign
Gala Bingo chose Peter Andre to front its website relaunch campaign after using a social audience indexing tool to look at the desired Gala Bingo fan and then look at a celebrity that over-indexed on that particular demographic.
McArthurGlen Group brings We Are Social on board.
Our Pan-European reputation has encouraged McArthurGlen Group to appoint We Are Social to oversee the 21 current Facebook pages and new social strategies in the UK, Germany, France, Greece, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. The first major project for We Are Social will be the launch of the McArthurGlen Spring/Summer campaign.
‘Twitter Bomber’ has the last laugh
28 year old Paul Chambers has won a high-court appeal over convictions for tweeting his girlfriend suggesting he would ‘blow-up’ Robin Hood airport – It was a joke. This is just another in a long line of trials involved ill-judged tweets and although it has progressed to a ridiculous stage, it is another warning to ‘think before you tweet’.