We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #40


Baidu and Sina team up on mobile search and content
China’s largest search engine Baidu announced its new partnership with microblogging service Sina Weibo to swap mobile and cloud-based search across their platforms. The companies are planning to share datasets to create a ‘better, richer mobile browsing experience’ for users. The partnership will include search and content integration as the Baidu Cloud initiative will pre-install the Weibo app. While neither Facebook nor Twitter have granted Google access to their data, Baidu and Weibo joined forces in March to provide real-time microblog results making Baidu far more social than Google. Baidu has almost 80% of search market share in China, whilst Sina Weibo has emerged as a powerful social force with its 300 million users. This collaboration is sure to achieve synergy depicting one of China’s most impressive growth stories.

A fancier Facebook reader app from Japan
Tokyo’s Wondershake, a startup known for its remarkable Japanese location-based app, has recently introduced a new iPhone app called Cake the Reader. Cake the Reader is a Facebook reader app that allows you to browse and comment on your Facebook Newsfeed. Within two days of its launch, the app had hit the third spot in Japan under the social networking category. It is commended for its impeccable smoothness when you flick through posts and switch between pages.

Baidu fires employees arrested for deleting forum posts for cash
Three Baidu employees were arrested for accepting bribes to delete posts on the Baidu TieBa forum service. Baidu acknowledged that it had dealt with such cases before but this was the first time that the police were involved. Global Times reported that tens of thousands of yuan were involved in this particular incident. However, details of the forum thread were not revealed.

China’s own Olympic Tweet scandal
China gets its own Olympic tweet scandal as Kaifu Lee, Chinese web celebrity and ex-Google China head, attacked the US swim coach on his much-followed microblog account.  Lee posted Team USA swimming coach John Leonard’s personal information on Sina Weibo after Leonard questioned Chinese swimming sensation Ye Shiwen’s legitimacy following her record-breaking performance. Lee has since deleted the post but it went out to his 15 million Weibo followers and received 14,000 ‘retweets’ and 4,800 comments.

F-commerce sales set to exceed £3 billion in the UK by 2015
Although just 4% of British consumers made a purchase on Facebook this year, new research shows that 40% would consider buying on Facebook if the experience were similar to shopping at an online store. That means that shopping on Facebook could account for 6% of online sales over the next three years. So far, this model has worked best for small businesses, but we’re interested to see whether f-commerce comes back in vogue for big brands.

Facebook introduces more targeting tools for Page posts
Facebook has started to add post targeting options for age, gender, ‘Likes’ and more, and this new suite of tools is meant to be rolled out to all pages over the next few weeks. The new list of target options is extensive, but the targeting will apply only to updates in the newsfeed, meaning that friends of fans who don’t meet the target’s criteria can still see the post when a friend ‘Likes’ or comments on it. Page admins are already able to target updates by language and location, but these additional features will help reduce noise and make posts more relevant to different audiences.

Page admins can no longer mark comments as spam
In a controversial move, Facebook has changed how page admins must deal with spam. Instead of being able to mark it as such, admins now only have the option to delete the comment outright and then report it or ban the user. Previously, admins could “hide” the comment as spam, but it would still appear for the user who left it while remaining invisible to other users. It’s hard to see how this is anything but bad news for community managers.

The ‘Like’ as loyalty
Why Facebook users decide to ‘Like’ a company could be shifting away from being enticed by discounts and deals and instead moving towards using the thumbs up as a loyalty card or a stamp of approval. According to new research, nearly 60% of Facebook users in the US who were surveyed responded that they ‘Liked’ a company page because they had shopped at the location or had purchased the product.

Twitter stakes its future on Cards
Twitter has recently revoked API access to some big names, including LinkedIn and Instagram, leaving startups fearful of what the future holds if Twitter continues on its one-track mission towards “consistency”. But Twitter wants its future to lie in what it’s calling ‘Twitter Cards’, the tech behind the expanded, multimedia tweets we’ve seen from the likes of The New York Times and The Huffington Post. But the issue with Twitter Cards is that they don’t appear on third-party apps, derailing the consistency that Twitter is so striving for. Instead, Twitter wants developers to build apps inside Twitter, making it something more akin to Facebook’s Open Graph. But how far will Twitter deviate from its simple 140-character stream as we know it? Only time (and the cards) will tell.

Retailers test out Foursquare’s new ads
Foursquare launched its first ad product last week, and Whole Foods, JCPenney and a handful of other US retailers have jumped on board. The offers range from the mundane (don’t think I’d go out of my way for a free croissant, Whole Foods) to the appealing, like $15 off a $75 purchase at Old Navy. View the whole gallery of ads here.

Who’s at the top of the social Olympics leaderboard?
London 2012 has been billed as the ‘Social Games’, and now we’re here to score it as such. Let’s find out who has been winning the gold online.

Believe it or not, the bumbling Mr Bean got the largest number of mentions during the Opening Ceremony, somehow beating out David Beckham, James Bond, the French announcements and Americans being confused by the NHS.

Opening Ceremony

Twitter lit up with activity during the men’s cycling time trial on Wednesday, and the event generated an amazing 240,000 tweets, with 117,000 tweets naming Team GB’s gold medal winning cyclist Bradley Wiggins personally. Wiggins’ follower count jumped up 17% in just 24 hours after he won the gold, and there were about 12,000 tweets per minute about him at the end of his race, more than during the shootout between England and Italy in at Euro 2012.

Twitter’s reaction was a little slower than Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint on Sunday, and Twitter’s reaction peak was 33 seconds after his 9.63-second victory last night. Bolt racked up 1.5 million tweets, with second place finisher Yohan Blake getting just a fraction of the coverage.

The top Olympic athletes and country’s team pages are showing just how much fans are chatting with them and about them on Facebook. Engagement scores have passed what is typically seen for fan pages of their size. The national teams’ pages seem to be the main place to natter about the Games, most likely because of the number of unofficial or dormant pages for some of the athletes.

London 2012′s pool camera jumps into Twitter
Can’t stop watching the swimming? You don’t have to. Twitter feeds have been created for some of the cameras around the Olympics, which then tweet images directly from the events. The feeds give you a good laugh, and they already have thousands of followers and climbing.

Olympians rebel against IOC’s social media regulations
London 2012 is living up to its ‘Social Games’ billing, but not for everyone. Some US athletes are leading an online uprising against Rule 40, which prohibits them from talking about their sponsors on social media if they aren’t official sponsors of the Olympics, even if they are automated tweets, like runner Leo Manzano’s accidental tweet from his Nike+ app.

Tom Daley’s Twitter troll is arrested
A 17 year old was arrested in Weymouth after he harassed diver Tom Daley because of his fourth place finish in the Olympic men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event. Several of Daley’s followers got the story trending and even started a Twitition to try to get the harasser banned from Twitter.

Martin Schoeller goes on Instagram duty
The New Yorker has handed over control of its Instagram account to Martin Schoeller, a photographer for The New Yorker, as the first in a series of guest takeovers. Schoeller will be covering the Twins Days Festival in Ohio, which is apparently the world’s largest gathering of twins, where he’s shooting the final portraits for his upcoming book.

Tourism Australia creates a Facebook travel of friends’ advice
Tourism Australia has developed an app that shows your Facebook friends where you’ve checked in and what photos you’ve taken so that they can play virtual travel assistant for your next trip Down Under. The app is a cool integration of Facebook and Google Maps and shows how we don’t leave social media behind when we go on holiday.

Funny-man employee hits MLB Twitter accounts
Major League Baseball franchises fell victim to a suspected hacker last Thursday when a series of highly offensive posts were made public. The New York Yankees were the first prey with a tweet that Derek Jeter was about to have sexual reassignment surgery. This then progressed throughout the day with five other accounts being targeted. It was later discovered that the culprit was a rogue MLB employee.

Vodafone Australia’s  ‘social media expert’ has a bad day at the office
Here’s another one to file in the “forgot the internet was public” folder. Vodafone Australia employee Arthur Kotsopoulos has been suspended pending an investigation into a series of aggressively derogatory tweets about fellow staff and customers. Arthur, who had given himself the title of Vodafone’s ‘social media expert’, reeled off racist and sexist posts before suggesting that anyone failing to understand him would get a “pimp slap backhand”.