Five Friday Facts #41


Sina Weibo experiments with new social credit card
Sina Weibo together with China Merchants Bank is entering a new experiment to introduce social credit cards. According to the report from Sina to TechRice, the new cards will include several features targeted at Weibo users. Sina introduced DaRen last year as a user verification program, in its attempt to establish a real-identity social network. There are already 4 million DaRen users, out of which 90% are active daily. The new card, which is expected to be released in late August, will be tied to Sina’s DaRen.The credential system requires users to have real-name verification by the Chinese government, a minimum follower count, and to be connected with a mobile number. The card will have the owners’ Weibo URLs printed on the front and will allow users to participate in reward systems to receive ‘hyper-targeted offers’. More interestingly, customers will also be able to provide real-time feedback to businesses by sending Weibo messages as they make their purchase. Sina is not the first to issue a social credit card, in fact, social networking site Renren embarked on this initiative last year and in the west, LivingSocial partnered with Chase recently to do the same.

India has the highest Facebook ad click-through rate
Campaign Asia reported the results from a study undertaken by Kenshoo, which examined Facebook ad impressions and clicks across 100 countries worldwide. The firm’s dataset spans across 65 million Facebook ad impressions and 20 million Facebook ad clicks over a one year period from March 2011 to February 2012. The study declared that Mexico is the best country for Facebook advertisers as it has the lowest average cost-per-thousand (CPM) at US$0.069, generating the most effective rate for ad impressions. India recorded the highest average click-through rates with 0.05% of its Facebook users clicking on a Facebook ads, with Italy and Mexico following closely behind. The study also measured the average exposure rate (percentage of the entire desired target audience) of Facebook ads across the markets and noted that India had a 45% exposure rate, coming in second to Turkey. Favourably, India’s average cost per click stood at a low US$0.33, making it feasible for marketers to take advantage of the already connected mass.

Emerging Asian markets are top video destinations
Video viewing is an integral part of the online experience for netizens worldwide. ComScore recently revealed that emerging markets in Asia are the top destinations for video viewership. Vietnam reportedly has the highest number of unique online video viewers with 89.8% of its web population watching up to 137.4 videos on average each. Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia saw 82.7%, 79.7% and 66.9% reach respectively. YouTube, which is introduced as ‘Google Sites’ in the chart below, drove the largest viewership across all the four markets. Noticeably, Facebook is also in the top 10 online sites that drive unique viewership. Apart from photos, videos continue to be one of the most engaging means for brands to connect with people on social media.

Middle East shows healthy social media adoption and growth
Latest statistics from the Dubai School of Government highlight that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are continuing to see healthy adoption in the Arab region. Egypt has the highest number of Facebook users in the region with nearly 11 million users while the UAE sees the highest Facebook penetration rate, reaching more than 40% of the populationGrowth wise, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have seen more than 1 million new Facebook users since January 2012, while Turkey and Djibouti are the only two countries to see a fall in members in the last six months. Like the majority of the world, Facebook is the leading social network in the Middle East; however, LinkedIn outperforms Twitter across many of the Arab countries. LinkedIn reaches 12% of the population while Twitter only reaches 3% of the region.

More brands joining Instagram
Instagram has seen a remarkable growth in the first half of 2012  going from 15 million users in early 2012 to 80 million in July, a 400% increase in just seven months. The company that Facebook acquired for US$1 billion is quietly seeing adoption from a number of top brands. According to a study conducted by Simply Measured, 40% of the brands listed in Interbrand’s Top 100 have established their presence on Instagram. MTV has the highest number of followers of more than 810,000 while Nike has the greatest engagement with the highest number of Likes and Comments – 6,339 and 135 respectively.