We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #56


WeChat to implement payment services in 2 months
Tencent has confirmed plans to launch payment services on WeChat, and will integrate the chat app with a PayPal-esque service within the next two months. This highly anticipated development offers greater money making opportunities for the company as retailers will be encouraged to sign up and advertise via the WeChat platform. WeChat’s Asian competitors such as Line and Kakao Talk monetise by offering ads and opt-in marketing to brands with registered accounts and updates users on promotions. Although WeChat doesn’t offer advertising at the moment, it has already signed up top brands such as Starbucks and Nike. WeChat has been enjoying strong growth outside of China, especially within the Southeast Asian region with the service hitting 1 million users in Malaysia in 5 months.

Hootsuite adds Simplified Chinese & Renren support
Showing strong commitment to making headway into China’s internet community, Hootsuite has added support for Simplified Chinese language and Renren, China’s Facebook equivalent. Adding to its existing Traditional Chinese support and integration with microblogging platform Sina Weibo, Hootsuite looks set for a competition with Hubblr, a rival social media management tool for the Chinese market.

Burpple offers Foursquare-ish discovery & friend finding features
A Singapore-born app for food lovers, Burpple users can now discover restaurants and tips posted by other users close to their location via the Explore feature. That’s in addition to friend finding features via Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, address book entries and location. As you may recall, we mentioned in September that the app syncs with Instagram and supports Japanese language. The company is further improving the user experience by organising its data in an intuitive manner – showing what other users have eaten and liked – thus helping the user make a decision on what to eat at the restaurant they’re at. This gives the app yet another one up on platforms like Foursquare and Yelp. Declining to reveal user figures, the company said that users have posted 150,000 ‘food moments’ – Instagram-esque photos with title, comment & location. The app is fairly popular in Asian markets such as Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan. With the app’s integration with Tencent’s WeChat, Burpple is expected to gain more mileage amongst Chinese users.

Snapdish secures investment from Digital Garage
Could this be a food fight of the app variety? A Japan-based developer has secured funding from Digital Garage (an early Twitter and Path investor) for Snapdish, a mobile app for food lovers. iOS and Android users can share photos and descriptions of food and drinks on Snapdish as well as Facebook, Twitter and China social network Renren. While details of the deal weren’t revealed, it is worthy to note that Snapdish has registered 600,000 downloads and more than 1.5 million shared photos. The app monetises by working with beverage brands in Japan for branded marketing though the company is still exploring alternative methods of generating income.

Sina Weibo updates NGO platform
In addition to enterprise weibo accounts, Sina provides for public interest and charity groups via its Gongyi platform which has just been overhauled. The intuitive interface makes it easy for visitors to donate money or specific items, volunteer, participate in charity auctions or retweet messages from NGOs and other nonprofits to help generate attention and potentially more donations in the process. The site encourages giving with a leaderboard that ranks users who earn points through donations and other charitable activities. To help protect users from scams, registration is available only to verified users.

Alcohol brands see highest engagement on Facebook
Alcohol brands score the highest marks for engagement on Facebook, with the average post engagement rate sitting at 0.40%, according to new research by Socialbakers. Engagement with automotive pages on Facebook came in a close second. Interestingly overall engagement for all pages has increased 2-3x since the first quarter of the year.

Facebook says it’s ‘way too soon’ for F-commerce for luxury brands
Facebook’s director of retail says luxury brands should wait for Facebook to launch the ‘want’ button before they dive into F-commerce, which should be coming next year. So far, only a handful of UK brands have created Facebook stores for their products, but Facebook has made its payment platform more robust, especially for gifting and gaming.

Facebook adds photo sync to iOS
Some Facebook users can now sync their iPhone photos to a private album in real time, a feature already available on Android and also seen on Google+. Facebook will store up to 2 GB of photos, which can be synced via Wi-Fi or 3G. Facebook has tried to make it clear that these photos will remain private until users are ready to share them. Facebook has posted about the feature in its Help Center but hasn’t yet rolled it out to all users.

More tweets from retailers mean more purchases from Twitter users
Twitter users who see tweets from retailers are more likely to visit their online shops and to make purchases, according to new research from Twitter and Compete. And the more tweets users see, the more likely they are to visit a retailer’s website and click ‘Buy.’ Twitter users who see these tweets visit a retailer’s online shop with a higher intent to make a purchase, meaning that high-quality and frequently posted tweets can help drive sales.

Tumblr breaks into top 10 sites in the US
Tumblr is now one of the top 10 sites in the US, and now has a global audience of 170 million. The graph below says it all. Bravo, Tumblr.

Foursquare’s paid ad platform still waiting in beta
Foursquare announced a platform for paid ads four months ago, but it looks like the company wants to get it exactly right before rolling it out to more brands. The feature is still in beta, and it’s not looking like it will be available outside of the small test group of 20 before the holiday season. CEO Dennis Crowley has stayed tight-lipped about all of the details, but in an interview, he describes Foursquare’s ads as a combination of Promoted Tweets and Google Adwords and says that the powerful Explore button is a strong indicator of footfall for brick-and-mortar stores.

Amazon announces brand pages
It looks like Amazon is ready to do what Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter have been slow to integrate: tying purchases into a social platform. We all know Amazon as the go-to online retailer, but the site has now added Timeline-esque profiles and images, shoppable photo galleries and a feed of status updates for brands who are selling on the platform. Amazon is also providing analytics for brands to see reach, post views, how many people considered buying a product and how many did click ‘Buy.’ Brand posts are limited to 140 characters, but at the moment can be cross-posted only to Facebook, not to Twitter.

Sephora attributes its online success to early adoption
From early on, makeup retailer Sephora has been quick to integrate digital into  all of its marketing efforts, including Instagramming Halloween looks from in-store staffers and offering their Facebook fans a sneak peek into Black Friday deals before they went live on the day. The brand also recreated its online shop in April to coincide with the launch of its page on Pinterest, and the photos and Pinterest-integration show how important digital is to the company’s DNA. Read the full interview for more juicy details.

TV ads for Halo 4 include real gamers from Facebook page
The popular video game series Halo has created a Facebook app to recruit gamers with the promise of being featured in a series of TV ads being aired in the UK, France, Germany & Spain. This campaign is a fantastic way of tying social into other platforms, and we’re sure more will soon be in the pipeline for other brands.

Heinz Beans go to battle
We’ve helped Heinz Beans create a new Facebook app that’s sure to keep you entertained for hours. Grab a friend or start a Battleship-esque match with a fellow fan of the page to splat their beans on toast. May the best bean win!

7 For All Mankind’s new Facebook apps plays Santa for fans
Have you started making your Christmas list? Decide which item you want most from 7 For All Mankind, and you could win it in a new Facebook app that We Are Social has created for the brand. The app lets the brand’s Facebook fans browse the collection and then pick the piece at the top of their Christmas lists that they’d like to win. Christmas comes only once a year, but for these fans, it might just come a bit more often.

British boxer wears Twitter handle into the ring
Boxer Ricky Hatton went back to the ring for the first time in three years, this time donning a pair of shorts with his Twitter handle. And he’s setting a record of sorts by doing so, as he becomes the first UK athlete to compete in a major live televised sports event wearing his Twitter handle. This is sure to drum up his already-dedicated fan base whose tweets of support using the #RickysCorner hashtag have been posted around his gym for motivation.

Guardian exposé says Wonga employee is harassing MP on Twitter
Follow the Twitter trail: A Twitter user named ‘Daniel Sargant’ called MP Stella Creasy, a prominent anti-payday loans campaigner, “mental,” “nuts” and a “self-serving egomaniac,” and an investigation traced the Twitter account to a Wonga employee, the payday loan giant. It looks like the same IP address was also used to change Wonga’s Wikipedia entry to remove some ‘unfavorable’ comments about its deal to sponsor Newcastle United. Wonga has since apologized and claims these were the actions of a ‘junior employee.’