We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #57


China’s Renren launches Facebook-esque timeline interface
Facebook’s timeline-like interface seems to be increasingly adopted by various social networking platforms with the latest being one of China’s social networking sites Renren. Like Facebook, Renren users can update their status, upload photos and share a story but are given the option to switch back to the old interface should they dislike the new look. Renren users can also categorise sharing of stories into ‘work and study’, ‘family’, ‘lifestyle’ and ‘health and travel’ experiences, a feature that is expected to help increase engagement on Renren and help it to gain more users. To date, Renren has about 172 million registered users of which 48 million are monthly active users. Renren still has alot of catching up to do to compete with Sina Weibo’s extensive reach of 400 million registered users.

PaPa app gives a voice to Instagram-like photosharing
A fairly new Chinese photosharing app in town, PaPa allows users to talk, sing or record background audio to complement their pictures. Available on Android and iOS devices, the app’s main stream features a newsfeed showing friends’ recent activities. A click onto a photo enlarges it with the option to listen to a text caption. The app has third-party support for posting to Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, which has helped it to gain a few celebrity users and a tech investor, Lee Kai-fu, the founder of Innovation Works.

Komli Media inks exclusive partnership with Twitter for ad sales
Twitter’s set to offer advertising products to five Southeast Asian countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Mumbai-based digital advertising platform, Komli Media, announced an exclusive partnership allowing it to engage with advertising agencies through educational and training programs showcasing Twitter’s ad offerings. Previously only available to brands in the US, UK, Japan and Latin America, ad products such as promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends will be available in Southeast Asia via Komli Engage’s sales team.

Facebook  plans to buy WhatsApp
The latest buzz is that Facebook plans to acquire WhatsApp in a bid to boost its mobile presence, especially in Asia and other emerging markets. WhatsApp has been losing dominance recently within mobile messaging-happy Asia to newer Asian-born apps such as China’s WeChat, Korea’s Kakaotalk and Japan’s Line. WhatsApp has not rolled out many new features since its launch, whilst the newer Asian apps have been rolling out more interactive features such as voice calls, video chat, social network sharing and in-app sharing that have proven very popular in emerging markets. With the enhanced social offerings, these Asian chat apps compete with Facebook within Asia – a targeted growth sector for the social networking giant. The general view of many observers is that Facebook might do better to acquire a fresher and more innovative Asian chat app rival to the comparatively slow-to-innovate WhatsApp.

Social ad spend set to double in the next four years
Advertising spend on social networks is expected to reach $9.2 billion by 2016, according to new research from BIA/Kelsey. This figure is twice the current spend of $4.6 billion this year. The majority of the ad spend will go toward display ads, but the biggest area of growth will be native social ads, such as Promoted Posts on Facebook.

Two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies are ‘failing’ on social media
The majority of companies listed on the FTSE 100 aren’t engaging effectively on social media, which could mean lower share prices, according to a new report called ‘Social Media in the City’. The report finds statistically significant correlations between strong social media performance and higher stock prices. The best performers are a diverse bunch, with Royal Dutch Shell sitting at the top of the rankings and Barclays being the only bank to breach the top 20.

More than a quarter of UK call centers unsure about adopting social media
Unfortunately for all of the people who have to deal with them, nearly 30% of call centers in the UK say they want to ‘wait and see’ whether using social media for communications is a good idea, according to a new report. Just 26% of call centers said they placed a great deal of focus on social media, and enthusiasm to adopt social media varied widely by sector, with retail on the eager side and finance and insurance sectors being the most reluctant.

Samsung turns $10 million in Facebook ads into $129 million in sales
Through targeted ad placement and well-timed conversations, Samsung was able to score $129 million in sales by spending $10 million on Facebook ads during a three-week period around Apple’s iPhone 5 launch. Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions VP revealed these impressive figures at a conference last week, and they are sure to lure in more advertisers over the holiday season.

Facebook’s mobile page ads get more color and context
Facebook knows that its future lies in its mobile success, and the network has just unveiled a new eye-catching design for its mobile ads. Instead of showing three ads at once, Facebook has whittled it down to one highly targeted ad that incorporates a Timeline-esque banner image, as well as a short description to provide more context for the recommendation. This ad redesign comes on the heels of a similar redesign for ads promoting mobile apps.

LinkedIn reveals ambitious long-term plans, introduces ads API
What will LinkedIn look like in five years? Its CEO Jeff Weiner says that he wants LinkedIn to discover gaps in skill sets in certain geographic areas, track which jobs are on the rise in the region and even change schools’ courses to better meet those employment demands. The network also wants to be able to do this within a company: to match up employees with the best-fit internal openings. But for now, it’s small steps to social domination of the employment sector. LinkedIn has made several changes to its platform recently, and the most recent is the addition of API for ads, meaning that marketing software providers can now build tools to manage ad campaigns on LinkedIn. This should make the network’s ad platform easier to use and scale.

Obama takes ‘fiscal cliff’ fight to Twitter
As Congress and President Obama are stuck in political gridlock about how to reduce the country’s deficit, the White House asked Twitter users to share their thoughts about the proposed tax changes with the hashtag #my2K, signifying the estimated $2,000 extra a family will pay in 2013 if legislation is not passed before the end of December. Inevitably, the hashtag suffered an attempted hijack by a conservative organization called the Heritage Foundation, which bought a Promoted Tweet that ran in searches for #my2K. The hashtag has now been used more than 40,000 times, but quite a few of the mentions hark back to the gridlock and criticize Obama’s plans.

adidas and Snoop Dogg ask: Are you a social media Scrooge?
How many times have you forgotten to wish a Facebook friend happy birthday? Are you ignoring friends who post on your wall? For shame. Right your wrongs by using a new Facebook app from adidas and Snoop Dogg that shows you the birthdays you’ve forgotten and the friends you haven’t responded to and lets you make amends. Snoop Dogg warns in ‘The Cautionary Tale of Ebenezer Snoop’ about what happens when you’re a bah humbug-dizzle.

Durex asks fans to swap social media shares for condoms
To raise awareness of World AIDS Day, Durex launched a campaign that asks its social media followers to share a message about the day to donate a condom. Durex unveiled the initiative on Facebook, Twitter and RenRen, a major social network in China.

Retailers get in the Pinterest spirit for the holidays
real-world Pinterest board has been spotted at a Westfield mall in California that promotes products from the mall’s shops, as well as an actual Pinterest competition to win the items shown. Lots of retailers are jumping on board with Pinterest as Christmas draws near, including half of the top 10 UK online retailers, which have created Christmas-themed boards. New research has found that Debenhams has the highest average pins per week of these UK retailers, with ASOS and John Lewis not far behind.

Daily Mail group unveils fashion sharing site
The group that owns the Daily Mail has created a new site called ‘Today I’m Wearing’ invites women to show off that day’s outfit, share it with friends on social media and browse the photo gallery of other looks. Users upload a photo of their outfit and can then tag it with information about each item, including where they purchased it.

If you follow @mellowmushroom, it might just follow you
Never before has following someone on Twitter seemed so … literal. Follow the @mellowmushroom pizza company on Twitter, and you might get a real-life followbackfrom a person-sized mushroom.

Desperados crowdsources dance track from its Facebook fans
With German techno duo Format: B, Desperados’ Facebook fans created dance music by voting on loops, baselines and beats suggested by the pair. The final track will soon be available to download from the brand’s Facebook page.

Belling adds tweets to its 100th anniversary cake
British oven manufacturer Belling is making its 100th anniversary interactive by including its fans in the celebration. The brand used Facebook to crowdsource the top British events in the last 100 years, which are included on the anniversary cake. Also included on the cake will be tweeted birthday messages that include the hashtag #Belling100years, which will be instantly added using edible ink and paper.

Tesco Wines launches live tasting and Q&A event on Twitter
We Are Social helped Tesco Wines create a live wine tasting and Q&A session with Tesco’s Master of Wine, Laura Jewell. Through a live video stream, Laura answered questions tweeted with the #XmasWineSOS hashtag, and followers who used the hashtag were also entered into a prize draw to win a case of wine for Christmas.

The Pope signs up for a personal Twitter account
The Pope now has his own personal Twitter handle, and he’s already prepping for a Q&A session to take place on December 12. Start submitting your questions now with the #AskPontifex hashtag, which will be curated by staff at the Vatican. But it’s not just one account that he’ll oversee: His tweets will be translated into eight different languages. The Pope is no newbie when it comes to tweeting — he’s previously tweeted from the official Vatican account, which launched in June 2011, as part of an effort from the Vatican to reach a younger audience.

4chan wants Kim Jong-un for Time’s Person of the Year
4chan, long known for sabotaging online polls, is at it again, this time to pushing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the top of Time’s Person of the Year list. And Kim Jong-un flew to the top slot, beating out Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi nearly 10-to-1 with more than 3 million votes.

2012′s best social media campaigns include Heinz’s Grown Up Beanz
We Are Social is thrilled to be included in Econsultancy’s 10 best social media campaigns of the year for the work we did with Heinz on its Grown Up Beanz campaign to promote the new Five Beanz variety. The campaign reached more than 10.8 million people on Facebook, and more than 22,000 fans took our personality quiz to apply for a personalized bean.