Five Friday Facts #67


420 million Chinese netizens access web via mobile phone
The number of internet users in China has soared in the past year. As Resonance China reports, the number of netizens reached 564 million in 2012, and promises to hit the 600 million mark soon. What’s particularly striking, though, is the fact that many of these internet users are using their mobile phones to go online. The number of people using mobile web hit 420 million in 2012, up by 64.4 million from 355.6 million users in 2011. This also means that almost 3 out of 4 netizens, or 74.5% are mobile web users in China. On the other hand, internet access via PC stands at 70.6% of netizens. Resonance China reports that this is the first time that mobile internet access has exceeded the number of people going online through PCs.

100 million monthly active users on Instagram
TechCrunch reports that popular photo-sharing app Instagram has reached 100 million monthly active users worldwide. This significant milestone came soon after the platform had announced 90 million MAU just last month. These numbers may seem small in comparison to the 1 billion users on Facebook, the social giant that acquired Instagram for 1 billion US dollars (S$1.24 billion) during 2012. Even Instagram’s competitor Twitter announced twice that number in users, reaching its 200 million milestone in December last year. What’s impressive about Instagram’s 100 million though, is the fact that it’s just over 2 years old. Ever since its launch in October 2010, Instagram users have posted a total of 4 billion photos; currently, it sees 40 million photos posted to Instagram each day. It seems like brands are jumping on the bandwagon, as many global companies are starting to adopt the platform, increasing their existing social media presence on Instagram as well.

In South Korea, smartphone penetration at 78.5%, up from 38% in 2011
A recent report by eMarketer indicates that the number of smartphone and tablet users soared in South Korea during 2012. Based on a survey by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), the findings suggest that the penetration rate for smartphones in particular skyrocketed from 38% in 2011 to 78.5% by December 2012. The highest percentage of users with 97.4% penetration are in the 20-29 age bracket.

eMarketer notes that the survey did exclude individuals who were over 60 years old, the least likely demographic to adopt smart devices. Given the aging population of Korea, this exclusion seemingly skews the numbers toward the perception of a higher adoption rate. Nonetheless, the huge jump amongst all of those surveyed still exceeds an average increase of 40% from 2011, proving to be a real eye-opener on its own. The penetration rate of tablets also indicated a considerable jump from 3.1% in 2011 to 7.5%, with the highest increase amongst 20-29 year olds (from 5.8% in 2011 to 13.5% in 2012).

Line hits 1 million user mark in Vietnam
According to a recent report by TechinAsia, popular chat app Line has passed 1 million users in Vietnam. The Japanese mobile messaging service had only recently surpassed 100 million users worldwide, with over half of the user base located in Japan. The chat app has weathered significant competition lately, from regional and global competitors such as Whatsapp, Tencent’s WeChat (called Weixin in China), and KakaoTalk out of Korea. While Line’s global user base is impressive in its own right, it faces tough competition from WeChat’s 300 million users, and KakaoTalk with over 70 million users worldwide. What makes Line’s milestone in Vietnam particularly impressive, then, is the fact that it is far exceeding the performance of these global competitors in this market. Granted, WeChat was reported to have a rough road ahead in the Vietnamese market, given the existing political tensions between China and Vietnam. KakaoTalk’s reach into Vietnam has also shown relatively slow growth, with reports of roughly 150,000 users on the Korean chat app (UPDATE: TechInAsia reports that KakaoTalk has just reached 1 million users in Vietnam as well). In Vietnam, the main global competitors for Line are Viber and Whatsapp. The Vietnamese messaging service Zalo also stands as a competitor, with over 700,000 users and predictions that it will hit 1 million users within a month.

98% of recruiters use social media to find talent in US, Canada
eMarketer reports that an increasing number of recruiters are using social media to find talent. In a recent survey of recruiters and executives conducted by recruitment software company Bullhorn, a whopping 98% of participants responded that they had used social media to find talent last year. As eMarketer notes, this is a slight but significant increase from the 94% reported in 2011. Most of the increase stems from LinkedIn, as 97.3% of recruiters reported using the professional networking platform in 2012.

The use of social media for recruitment is far from a fad, however, as many of the respondents predicted that social would become even more integrated with their jobs in 2013. While 82.6% of the participants indicated plans to increase LinkedIn usage, other platforms were also on the docket of social recruiting: 38.3% plan to increase their focus on Twitter while 37.4% intend to increase the time spent on Facebook in 2013.

The most effective platform was reported to be LinkedIn, as 93% of the respondents indicated that they had used LinkedIn to successfully place a candidate during 2012. While Facebook and Twitter came in second and third respectively, Facebook’s 17% candidate placement is a slight decrease from the 19% reported in 2011. Meanwhile, Twitter’s 13% in 2012 is a slight increase from the 11% recorded in the previous year.