We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #81


YouTube founders have launched a Chinese version of vine, Wan Pai
ASOS system by YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen has launched their newest app which is similar to Vine, Wan Pai(玩拍). Similar to Vine, Wan Pai also features 6 second video recording and sharing to Chinese social networks like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. On top of Vine’s basic app mechanics – holding on to the screen to record and letting go to pause, Wan Pai provides more editing options like adding filters and choosing to include or mute audio and many more. As a part of localization, Wan Pai has made videos to play only when users tap a video instead of letting it stream automatically when users browse videos. This seems to be considerate of  Chinese users with limited 3G data plan in the country where users often experience lag. Video sharing apps hasn’t been a hit in China but will Wan Pai be the one to bring in the hype of social video sharing in the market?


Tencent may invest 15% stake in Patimas computers
According to a report by Malaysia news channel Astro AWANI, Tencent, makers of popular Chinese chat app WeChat, plan to invest another 15% of stake in Patimas Computers this week after buying 5 percent stake from the company earlier this year. The deal is with an attempt to enhance Tencent’s service in the South East Asia region. As a provider offering ICT business infrastructure and cloud services in Malaysia, Patimas Computers is expected to facilitate in speeding up the service of WeChat and Tencent’s internet service in the region. This seems in line with its’ plan of opening a new branch in Malaysia. We will need to see how these moves will help Tencent to pave a path to expand its’ presence beyond home ground.

Tecent Patimas investment

Tencent’s WeChat revealed its’ test version of upgrade to the app
With more than 400million registered users, China’s most popular chat app, WeChat is continuing its’ path to become the best complete mobile communication and social networking app by a consistent upgrades of features. According to QQ Tech who have tried a beta version of the upgraded app, there are some interesting new features added to the app such as enhanced scanning function. Its new feature allows scanning not only products but also your surroundings to help users find anything interesting in the area. In addition to its current “shake” feature that allows users to find people near them or listen to music, the new feature extends its use to videos, identifying video by sound and giving users access to more information of the video. It’s still in beta and an official upgrade hasn’t been announced.

WeChat upgrade

Social media the most common use of smartphones and tablets
Social media is the most common use of smartphones and tablets, according to Nielsen. Smartphone users spend on average 9 hours and 6 minutes on social networks per month, compared to 3 hours and 41 minutes on an iPad. The next most common behaviour is watching videos, on which smartphone users spend 1 hour and 15 minutes, with 1 hour and 11 minutes devoted to sport. iPad users spend slightly more time watching videos: 1 hour and 48 minutes, with 50 minutes worth of sport. Apps are used far more than mobile internet: smartphone users claim to spend 87% of their app/web time using mobile apps.

1 in 3 Americans own a tablet
Research by Pew has found that 1 in 3 Americans now own a tablet, in comparison with just 3% in May 2010. The devices are most popular amongst 35-44 year olds, of whom 49% own one, whilst tablet users are also more likely than the average citizen to live in suburbia and have relatively high levels of education and income. The growth of the US tablet market can be seen in the following graph:

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The rise of social TV
The Council for Research Excellence, with the help of 3 Nielsen research groups and Bluefin Labs, has analysed the habits of 6,000 TV viewers and found that social TV seems to be on the rise. 1 in 10 use social media to discuss TV every day, whilst 37% do so at least once a week, with behaviours varying by the type of show. Sci-fi programmes were most popular on social, followed by sports and reality. While reality TV attracts most conversation during broadcast, scripted shows tend to do so after they are aired. Another dichotomy appears between drama and comedy; the former does best around the beginning of the series, whilst the latter tends to peak at the season finale.

Facebook gets the lion’s share of social budgets
The Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report has found that 57% of brands’ social media budgets is being spent on Facebook, compared to just 13% on each of YouTube and Twitter.

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Facebook introduces highly-anticipated dock to Home
Facebook Home received a few updates last week, the most important of which was a new dock that allows you to store your favourite apps for easier access, in response to criticisms that it was missing from the original launch. Previously, users were required to go through a series of taps to open even their most frequently-used app and Facebook hopes that the increased usability will encourage more Android users to take the system on board. Other updates include the ability to send multiple photos in a single message, as well as stability & memory improvements and bug fixes.

Facebook to significantly simplify ads offering
Facebook is going to make significant changes to its ad offerings, attempting to simplify and streamline the number and types of adverts available. Facebook claims that its key goals are the elimination of redundancies, natural introduction of social context and a more consistent look and feel. The first of these means that products like Questions and Offers will no longer exist, as brands have found that it is much more efficient to use a sponsored post, simply asking a question or adding a link to outperform the respective products. Social context will be naturally included in all posts and ‘Sponsored Stories’ removed as a result, as shown in the below diagram:

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Finally, ads will ‘look more consistent’, making the ad creation process simpler for marketers and hopefully creating a more visually immersive experience for users. The changes, which will reduce the number of ad types from 27 to under half that amount, are expected to be introduced gradually over the next 6 months. The move is expected to contribute to the growth of Facebook’s ad revenues to $5.6 billion this year, with roughly $1.5 billion coming from mobile.

Facebook highlighting most engaging posts in admin panel
In another move aimed at assisting brands, Facebook has begun highlighting the most engaging posts in yellow and accompanying them with a star in the page admin panel.

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In addition, brand pages are being notified whenever a post performs well, allowing Facebook the option to promote. Once a post is promoted with media spend, a notification is also sent after the budget runs out, alerting admins of the extent to how well the post did and allowing them to better understand post performance.

Tumblr ad exchange ‘inevitable’
Since Yahoo purchased Tumblr for $1.1bn a few weeks back, we’ve been bringing you updates about any potential changes to advertising on the platform. Now, considering the cost of the deal and relatively low advertising revenue from last year ($12 million by most accounts, if not lower) industry professionals have claimed that it’s ‘inevitable’ that Tumblr will introduce an ad exchange. Given the success of Facebook’s FBX and Twitter’s plans to follow suit, this would come as little surprise; the question lies in how Tumblr’s audience are likely to react.

Vine launches on Android, growing faster than Instagram?
Twitter-owned video app Vine launched for Android last week, boasting a number of features from the iOS version, including the same video-creation system, Explore and Find Friends, as well as ‘Zoom’, unique to Android. Users were also assured that other features, including front face camera, search, mentions and hashtags would be released in the coming weeks.

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On the day that this was announced, Vine came very close to outdoing Instagram in terms of daily Twitter shares; it did so only 2 days later, with 2.37 million shares, outdoing Instagram’s 2.14 million.

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This has led to questions about the comparative growth rates of the two network. When it was launched on Android, Instagram already boasted 30 million monthly active users (MAUs), compared to 13 million for Vine. It only took Vine 5 months to release on Android, compared with 18 months for Instagram, while Vine racked up 10 million MAUs in 3 months, 9 months faster than its rival. Certainly, Vine seems to be flourishing much more rapidly than Instagram did; what remains to be seen is whether this will translate into continued success.

Keek surpasses 45 million users
Vine isn’t the only social video app witnessing rapid growth. Keek has recently surpassed 45 million registered users compared to Vine’s 13 million, of whom 24 million have arrived since the launch of Vine. On top of this, the platform has seen 667 million total visits, 12 billion offered page views, 18 million uploaded videos and 2.2 billion video playbacks. Whilst Vine is currently only available on iPhone and Android, Keek also offers a desktop and Blackberry version, with a Windows phone app on the horizon. This multi-device integration, coupled with the celebrity endorsements that bring in 20% of all viewed Keeks, has surely contributed to the app’s current success.

Foursquare trialling small-business promotion
Foursquare is trialling the ability for small businesses to promote themselves on the network with a “handful” of New York City vendors. The system, previously only available for large, national businesses, allows the promotion of a photo, review or listing, targeted by location and check-in history. Whilst this allegedly makes up ‘phase two’ of Foursquare’s magnetisation strategy, the cautious approach looks to ensure small businesses understand how to use the system, especially considering the relatively low proportion of their marketing budgets small businesses spend on digital: 3% according to a Boston Consulting Group survey.

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Snapchat launches version 5.0 amid rumours of new funding
Snapchat has vastly updated its user interface, whilst adding a few new features, with the launch of version 5.0. The new photography screen, shown below, also allows for swipe integration between different parts of the app, which now include in-app profiles along with double-tap to reply and better tools for adding friends.

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Meanwhile, just months after raising $13.5 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, Snapchat is looking at another round of income, this time amounting to $100 million. That would give the app an incredibly high valuation, in excess of half a billion dollars.

Zeebox launches social ‘TV Rooms’ service
Zeebox is launching a service called ‘TV Rooms’, which the company describes as “a Facebook to connect TV fans, creators and actors”. Essentially, it is a set of over 4,000 pages, on which fans can discuss TV in real time with those involved with the production of shows. The launch is set to coincide with the 100th episode of ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’, when the host of the show and three of its stars will take to the network to talk about the show with fans.

Pranksters poke holes in Durex campaign
Condom manufacturer Durex recently asked fans to decide of the city most in need of an “emergency condom delivery service”, with the winner receiving a delivery of condoms from Durex staff. However, the voting was hijacked by pranksters, who voted for Batman, a very conservative Muslim city in Turkey, to receive the prize. Unsurprisingly, this was not taken well by the residents of the town and is reminiscent of other social media voting schemes gone wrong – for example, when Justin Bieber was told to play in North Korea and Taylor Swift at a school for the deaf.

Social media and the Turkish uprising
The use of social media and Twitter in particular has soared in Turkey in line with the recent political upheaval. Indeed, there were 2 million tweets between 4pm and 12pm on Friday alone, with over 90% of the tweets on the topic coming from within the country. This is in contrast with Egypt’s use of Twitter during the Arab Spring, when it is estimated that only 30% came from inside the country. The reaction was such that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan decided to get involved; despite holding his own Twitter account with 2.5 million followers, which he updates daily, he is quoted as having said:

Right now, of course, there is this curse called Twitter, all forms of lies are there. This thing called social media is a curse on societies.

(RED) and Mashable team up to break Vine world record
(RED) and Mashable have teamed up to attempt to break the world record for most Vines posted about a single issue. In total, there were over 1,100 original posts and 2,400 RTs, amounting to a total of 129 million potential impressions, as shown in the below graph. Indeed, celebrities such as Bill Gates, Paris Hilton and David Guetta all got involved, along with news sources such as MTV, Wired and VICE magazine.

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Full length Rickroll on Vine
The day that Vine was launched on Android, a 16 year old named Will Smidlein managed to deconstruct the app and bypass its 6-second rule and rickroll Vine by posting a full length video of Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. The post was eventually deleted by Twitter and Smidlein apologised to the engineers for wasting their time, saying the stunt was only intended for his friends and followers. Still, a 16 year old who’s heard of Rick Astley. Well done, internet.

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