Five Friday Facts #61


WeChat surpasses 300 million users in January 2013
Tencent’s WeChat has recently announced an astonishing milestone, that it has officially surpassed 300 million registered users. TechInAsia reports further that the CEO of Tencent, Pony Ma, has confirmed the staggering user base of the chat app. This number is particularly impressive given the fact that WeChat was released less than two years ago, and is a relative newcomer in the field. It has established a dominating presence since it was first released on January 21st 2011, as shown by TechInAsia’s graph below.

WeChat has clearly gathered a considerable following in the past year. It’s only been four months since the chat app announced a user base of 200 million users; since then, it has continued to add an average of 25 million users per month. Pony Ma is quoted as attributing the considerable growth this year to the fact that WeChat (known as Weixin in China) went global, with an English version of the chat app in April 2012.

Instagram has 90 million monthly active users
The Next Web reported that Instagram has recently announced the size of its monthly active user base for the first time, and it consists of 90 million users. This number demonstrates that the Facebook-owned social channel has bounced back since last December, when the popular photo-sharing app weathered considerable backlash over a change in their privacy policy, that suggested the company would reserve the right to sell user photos posted on the platform. This monthly active user base is in contrast to the 100 million total users reported in late 2012. Instagram has announced that users post an impressive 40 million photos per day. Equally impressive is the fact that Instagram users add 8500 likes per second, and post comments at a rate of 1000 per second. Mike Krieger, a co-founder for the photo-sharing app, also made a separate announcement that the rate of user likes shot up to a staggering 10,000 likes per second during ‘peak times’ of the day.

44% of travelers in Asia are inspired by social media
A recent report by eMarketer suggests that social media is an influential force for travelers in the Asia-Pacific region. A study conducted in October 2012 by Redshift Research indicates that 44% of travelers in the region sought advice and inspiration on social media while planning their journey. This percentage is contrasted to the percentage of US and EMEA travelers, whose numbers hovered at 18% and 14% respectively.

While the gap is most significant in the category of travel destinations, it is important to note that APAC travelers are consistently more likely to use social media across the board, that is, with respect to all categories relating to leisure travel.

eMarketer further notes that the method of social media use also differs across global regions. 57% of travelers in the Asia-Pacific region turned to internet reviews, compared to 38% of US travelers and 33% of travelers from EMEA. It is interesting to note, however, that all three categories of social media use (internet reviews, online travel forums and Facebook) remained popular in that order, from most popular to least popular across all regions.

The top six reasons followers decide to un-follow brands
A recent survey by marketing house Performics cast light on the top reasons followers choose to un-follow brands on social media. As Resonance China notes, 49% of the participants responded that they had never stopped following a brand. While 18% responded that they had never liked or followed a brand, 32% indicated that they had un-liked or un-followed a brand on social media before.

Out of those who stopped following brand(s), 49% of them responded that it was because the brand posted content that was irrelevant to them. While the relevance of brand posts was the most popular reason, 38% of respondents also indicated that brands that post too frequently could also lead them to un-follow the brand. The third reason follows close behind, with 35% of respondents claiming that they un-followed brands because their expectations were not met by brand content. 22% cited a difference in values, and 18% un-followed a brand because they were already following too many.

Young Japanese adults show preference for Twitter, Facebook
TechInAsia reported on a recent study that suggests there is growing interest in Twitter and Facebook, particularly amongst young adults on social media in Japan. The survey specifically focused on the 19-20 year old demographic, and asked respondents to indicate their preferred social media platform. The results showed that 42.5% of participants used Twitter the most, while 16.9% chose Line and 13% chose Facebook as the preferred social media platform.
The poll also shed light on differences between male and female respondents. Twitter’s popularity was much higher amongst female participants, claiming more than half of the female vote (51.5%). By contrast, 31.6% of male respondents voted for Twitter as their preferred platform. TechInAsia further notes that the study cast light on growing interest in Facebook as well, as 41.3% of the participants said they would be interested in trying Facebook in the future.