Five Friday Facts #69


WeChat downloads up by 3000% in Indonesia
According to a recent report by Daily Social, WeChat has met an unprecedented level of growth in Indonesia. The increase is attributed to a TV advertisement that introduced the Chinese chat app’s launch in the market. Japan’s chat app Line had recently claimed the top spot on Google Play’s rankings; however, WeChat’s recent surge in popularity has bumped Line down to second as WeChat quickly overtook the first place spot. Whatsapp ranks third on Google Play’s top downloads, while KakaoTalk has been knocked out of the top 50, to 52 amongst free apps on mobile platforms. While a majority of WeChat’s users are based in China, Daily Social notes that the app has gained in excess of 300 million users in the past two years. In terms of the total number of downloads, WeChat still tips its hat to Whatsapp and Skype; though it is important to note that WeChat is also amongst the newest chat apps around, having only launched domestically in 2011. Equally important is the fact that “WeChat” was the result of a rebranding in 2012, that introduced languages beyond Chinese, such as English, Russian and Indonesian to name a few. As WeChat becomes increasingly accessible on a global scale, it will surely become an increasingly intimidating contender for both local and global chat apps to face.

3.2 billion accounts registered on Chinese social media sites
In China, the growth rate of social media has been unprecedented to say the least. The latest figures indicate that there are roughly 597 million active social media users in China. These social media users are also using multiple platforms; Citing an infographic via Go Globe, TechInAsia reported that these users have also registered a total of 3.2 billion accounts across the top 10 social platforms in China. Overall, more than 9 out of 10 internet users in China are on social media (91%)–a surprisingly large margin in comparison to the 67% of netizens on social media in the United States. Go Globe‘s infographic also indicates that social sharing increased by 60% in 2012, and 9 out of the top 10 social media sites have at least 100 million registered users. The largest demographic of Chinese netizens on social media belongs to the bracket of 26- to 30-year-olds (30%), followed by 31- to 35-year-olds (21%) and 19- to 25-year-olds (19%).

On Facebook, videos have double the engagement of YouTube videos
Socialbakers recently reported that brands were more likely to reach fans through videos posted to Facebook rather than YouTube. The data indicated that brands still prefer to post videos on YouTube; the sample presented a distinct bias for the video-sharing platform, with 4,731 videos posted on YouTube, compared to 554 Facebook videos. Facebook’s engagement rate for brand videos came out to an average of .22%, more than double YouTube’s engagement rate of .10%. Socialbakers notes that this may be because Facebook videos can be directly streamed from the mobile news feed, whereas YouTube links are redirected out of mobile apps. Facebook videos saw 10 times more viral reach than YouTube videos as well. It is interesting to note, however, that both kinds of videos were met with similar levels of interaction types, with 77% likes, 16% shares and 7% comments.

57% of Sina Weibo statuses are empty
Citing a recent study conducted by Hong Kong University, China Internet Watch demonstrated that Sina Weibo users are not nearly as active as you might think. The survey was based on a random sample of 30,000 users, and indicated that 57% of the Weibo timelines were completely blank. Although there are reportedly 503 million registered users in total as of December 2012, this data whittles the number of Weibos with at least one post to a mere 220 million. China Internet Watch also notes that the survey’s data is extrapolated to reveal that only 30 million users are likely to publish at least one unique post in a given week, potentially challenging Sina’s assertion that there are 46.2 million daily active users on the microblogging platform.

Traditional media ad spend declines, marketing budgets shift to digital in US
A recent report by eMarketer indicated that  traditional media ad spend was continuing to decline as more marketers increased focus and spending on digital media. Based on a survey of US marketers in February 2013 (as commissioned by the American Marketing Association, and conducted by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business), the findings confirm the downward trend in spending on traditional media. Indeed, this decline is neither steady nor subtle; while August 2011 had seen a promising increase of  1.3%, marketing spend quickly turned around to decline by .8% in February 2012. The rate of decline accelerated rapidly, to show that marketers had decreased traditional media spending by another 2.7% in February 2013.

eMarketer notes that this decline in traditional media is in favor of increasing spend on digital media. Interestingly, the changing ratio of spending on traditional and digital media differ considerably by sector and industry category. The highest growth in digital spending goes to business-to-consumer brands in the product category; while traditional ad spending will decline by 0.6%, digital spending will increase by a significant 14.6%. B2Cs in the service category will also see an increase of 10.4% on digital media spend. Interestingly, they will also decrease traditional media spending the most across sectors, reporting a negative change of 5.4% over the next 12 months.