Five Friday Facts #58


Social media users in China spent 884 million hours on microblogs
Resonance China reported that microblogs were by far the most popular form of social media in China during Q3 2012. A recent study by iResearch suggests that 422 million internet users are on social networking sites in China, exceeding the reach of news, search, videos and other forms of online communication. Of all forms of social media, microblogging further claimed 302 million users in Q3 2012 – the highest reach amongst Chinese social network users. Although the growth rate has slowed for microblogging platforms, users still spent 884 million hours on microblogs during Q3 2012. This number represents the highest number of hours spent on any social media platform, and also surpasses the number of hours spent on microblogs during Q2 2012.

Korean chat app KakaoTalk reaches 70 million users in 2012
TechInAsia reports that KakaoTalk recently hit its first 1,000 days since the app was launched. The Korean-made chat app commemorated this milestone by producing an infographic detailing its current user base. The insights demonstrate how the Korean-made chat app has rapidly grown its following since it launched in March 2010.  The app has more than doubled its user base in the past year, and increased to 70 million users in December 2012, up from 50 million in June of this year. Interestingly, the app’s reach is growing even in Japan, where homegrown chat app Line has consistently dominated the field. According to AppAnnie, KakaoTalk’s ranking has shot up in iOS free app downloads in Japan. KakaoTalk’s growth is further highlighted by the fact that there are 27 million unique daily visitors to the app. The users produce a staggering 4.2 billion messages on KakaoTalk every day, up from 2.6 billion at the end of Q1 2012.

Asia-Pacific to top Western Europe social network ad spend in 2013
A recent report by eMarketer revealed that spending on social network advertisements will increase significantly in the Asia-Pacific region next year. According to their projections, the region will experience 48% gains, topping a prospective valuation of over $2 billion in 2013. This significant growth in spending is linked to the increasing penetration of both globally-established social networks — such as Facebook and Twitter — as well as the sheer variety of locally-established social networks, such as Tencent and Sina Weibo in China. Collectively, they represent a social media landscape that holds an abundance of potential for marketers in the Asia-Pacific region.

A study conducted by InSites Consulting in Q2 2012 also cast light on the fact that Asian SNS users are more likely to engage with brands on social media than their Western counterparts. In particular, the study demonstrates that 2 out of 3 users in China (66%), and well-over half of users in Japan (56%)  follow one or more brands on social media. These numbers are particularly striking when understood in comparison to the percentage of users who follow brands in the US (53%).

The mature markets of Europe and the US will still claim a larger share of social network ad spending worldwide; however, the growth of spending is predicted to rise at a faster rate in the Asia-Pacific region. eMarketer forecasts that by 2013, Asia-Pacific’s regional share will reach 22.9%, surpassing Europe’s 22.3%. Spending per user is noted to remain low in Asia-Pacific. This may be due to the fact that some of the emerging markets are still developing their digital ad economies, and the fact that there are a hefty 616 million social network users at minimum in the region.

The lack of Facebook and Twitter in China would ostensibly represent barriers to such growth in this particular market. It is interesting to note however that the number of users on local social networks in China is still predicted to double the number of users in the US, to a total of 307.5 million by the end of 2012. As a result, ad spending in China will still experience rapid growth within the region, and even surpass the regional growth rate of 48.3%  with 51.3% gains in 2013.

Twitter now has 200 million monthly active users
Twitter continues to see widespread growth in its user base, with no signs of stopping soon. A report from The Next Web confirms that Twitter has released an update, stating that 200 million active users log onto Twitter every month. This amounts to a 60 million user increase since Twitter last shared a monthly active user base, of 140 million in March of this year. Despite having a fraction of Facebook’s 1 billion users, the microblogging site has seen an impressive average growth rate of 6.6 million new users per month since March 2012.

Facebook and Pinterest trigger more offline actions than other social sites
Through a recent survey by ACTIVE Network, MarketingProfs revealed that Facebook and Pinterest were the most likely to lead its users to take some form of action offline. The survey examined the relationship between offline actions and five social sites–Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The results of the survey demonstrated that 87% of Facebook users were influenced to do something offline because of an interaction they had while using the social network. Pinterest and LinkedIn came in close behind, with 70% and 60% of users of the respective sites reporting to have taken offline action. The type of offline action these social sites triggered also varied by platform. For instance, 70% of Facebook users and 56% of LinkedIn users were prompted to make direct contact with an individual after interacting on the respective sites. 23% of Facebook users and 21% of Pinterest users made a purchase as a result of using the platform. Pinterest also fed the creativity of its users, prompting 63% of them to create something new through interactions on the site.