We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #90


Maaii is challenging WeChat, line and Viber in Southeast Asia
The rapid increase in number of chat app users in Southeast Asia has seen many chat app providers wanting to be a part of the competition. Maaii, a Hong Kong-based mobile chat app, is one such upcoming competitor in Southeast Asia. Similar to Wechat, Line, Viber and Skype, Maaii allows users to make free or low cost phone calls, chat with friends, create group chats, share news and send voice messages. The app was launched in Thailand in July. Chris Lewis, VP of operations at Maaii, has ambitions of expanding the app to more markets in Southeast Asia. According to TechinAsia, the app became the number one overall free app on iTunes Thailand, receiving 500,000 downloads within 24 hours. The app has seen over 1,500% growth in usage for both IM and voice calls in Thailand since July. Compared to other chat apps, Maaii has also quite impressive performance in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries, as Maaii has ranked number one on the iOS app stores. Will Maaii be a challenge towards chat app giants like WeChat and Line?

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Can WeChat surpass Whatsapp in Singapore?
Since WeChat launched its 5.0 version, users have been actively discussing the new features across all the social media platforms in China. Currently, WeChat already reached 100 million overseas users. This shows that Messi’s endorsement has already brought a powerful impact on WeChat. As Southeast Asia is the core market of WeChat’s global expansion, Singapore is a crucial market for the company. With aggressive promotions of WeChat in Singapore, the app surpassed Line to become the second popular mobile chat app in the market. However, Whatsapp has remained the number one social networking app on iTunes Singapore as many Singaporeans still prefer to use Whatsapp rather than WeChat. According to Tencent’s Q2 2013 financial report, WeChat now had nearly 236 million monthly active users.

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Facebook has 82 million active users in India
As reported by TechinAsia, with the expansion of Facebook in Asia Pacific, the platform now has 82 million active users in India,  6.6% of the country’s population. Among the impressive number of Indian Facebook users, 62 million of them access Facebook via mobile devices. Since India has surpassed Indonesia in number of Facebook users, it is now the second largest market after US for Facebook. According to Facebook’s Q2 2013 report, Facebook has a total of 339 million monthly active users in Asia. Furthermore, around 219 million monthly active users access Facebook solely on mobile. This will definitely be another new challenge for Facebook and Facebook Messenger to compete with the chat app giants in Asia.

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Facebook launches active user metrics amongst impressive June figures
Facebook has released various active user figures from June in the last week, starting with an announcement that the network now receives 101 million daily mobile users in the US, or 142 million throughout the entire month, compared with respective figures of 128 million total DAUs and 179 million total MAUs. UK figures display 33 million monthly active users and 24 million daily active users, with respective mobile figures of 26 million and 20 million. The announcement of these figures can be considered a sort of advertising push for the platform’s new monthly DAU/MAU metrics, launched for desktop and mobile last week.

Social media the tactic most marketers plan to increase
A survey of marketing professionals conducted by the CMO Council has found that 70% plan to increase their social media activity in the coming year. This is the highest figure of any, followed by mobile with 69% and video with 64%.

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How to alienate consumers using social
eMarketer has reported on the best way to alienate consumers using social media, with ‘poor spelling or grammar’ the chief offender. Of the 1,003 people surveyed, 42.5% cited this as a reason, followed by the 24.9% who cited forced salesmanship and the 12.8% who thought posts were too frequent. Responses differed slightly by gender, too, as shown in the below table.

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Facebook testing PayPal competitor
Facebook is trialling a system that allows users to make purchases on mobile apps using their Facebook login information, considered to be a direct competitor to PayPalif it goes ahead. The system will be trialled with one partner, a flash sale site called Jack Threads, to start with, though Facebook denies the direct competition angle:

We continue to have a great relationship with PayPal, and this product is simply to test how we can help our app partners provide a simpler commerce experience. This test does not involve moving the payment processing away from an app’s current provider.

However, that’s not the only question Facebook need to answer. With issues in the past around privacy, it will be interesting to see if users are willing to hand over financial details to the network.

Facebook mobile pages add restaurant and TV features
Facebook has added a couple of features to its mobile pages by partnering with OpenTable and Rovi. The former sees users able to book a table directly through a restaurant’s Facebook page, available across North America for OpenTable customers. The latter adds listings to US primetime TV and movie pages, which will provide information on the time, channel and a short description. The restaurant addition in particular sees Facebook look to take on the likes of Foursquare in the localised social market and it will be interesting to see how the two features perform.

Facebook allow targeting for page-created events
It is now possible for Facebook page admins to target who sees a story in their News Feed about the creation of an event. The feature, which works based on seven categories (Gender, Relationship status, Educational status, Interested in, Age, Location and Language) will look as follows:

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Twitter trialling display box of what TV is trending
Twitter is now testing a box with some users that shows what TV shows are trending on the network. Currently available for a limited number of iPhone/iPad users, it’s unclear if the feature will be rolled out further. If so, it can be considered another significant part in Twitter’s strategy to link itself ever closer with TV viewing.

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LinkedIn introduces University pages
LinkedIn is looking to gain traction with the younger market by introducing University pages. Students can examine different notable alumni, view the career paths of alumni from different courses and begin networking with potential employers with a similar educational background.

Sina Weibo exceeds 50 million daily active users
China’s answer to Twitter, Sina Weibo, announced that it had 54 million daily active users in June 2013, up 8.3% since March. This represents strong growth for the network, though Sina itself admits a dip in the time spent on Weibo, as a result of competition from Tencent’s WeChat.

WeChat owners Tencent miss profit estimates
Tencent itself has been pushing spending on marketing its WeChat service to such an extent that it missed analyst estimates on profits; year-on-year, its net profit rose 19% from 3.1 to 3.68 billion yuan ($601 million), short of the 3.9 billion-yuan average of six analysts’ estimates. This was in large part due to a big money deal to secure footballer Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador.

Gap taking over Tumblr’s ads for a day
High street fashion retailer Gap will be taking over all of Tumblr’s ad offering for a single day, filling the space with content created by fans. Dubbed ‘Back to Blue’, the campaign will ask fans to create a piece of content about what blue means to them; the four winners will be used as Tumblr ads.

Twitter ad packages for MTV VMAs
Viacom and Twitter are teaming up to sell packages of ads on Twitter to MTV Video Music Award sponsors, during the ceremony itself. The move looks to take advantage of the increase in conversation during the event – think talking points like Kanye West storming Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech – and follows in the footsteps of similar deals Twitter has struck with sports broadcasters, TV networks and publishers from ESPN to the BBC.

Barclaycard US launch #LiketoLove Facebook campaign
Barclaycard US is planning a set of social media activations over the coming months, the first of which comes under the name #LiketoLove. This takes the form of a Facebook campaign, in which fans are asked to post a photo, along with a post explaining what they ‘Like to Love’, for the chance to win a customised daily and weekly prize.

Natwest uses Vine to promote student account
In line with the upcoming academic year, British bank Natwest is using Vine to promote its student account. It is encouraging fans to #beuniproof with a set of hints and tips on saving money. Some examples of the Vines can be seen here.

We Are Social and Jaguar celebrate modern Britain
We Are Social has produced a campaign to celebrate Jaguar’s new F-TYPE, asking people to celebrate what makes modern Britain great with the hashtag #YourTurnBritain. Stretching across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, the activity takes on multiple strands, including video content from BAFTA award winning director Anthony Wonke, plus a photo submission competition using the aforementioned hashtag. Watch the video below to get a feel for the campaign.

Aer Lingus put Twitter handle on jet
Irish airline Aer Lingus has moved to make flying a more social experience, including its Twitter handle on one of its jets. Part owned by Ryanair, Aer Lingus’s move comes just months after Ryanair owner Michael O’Leary referred to social media users as “halfwits”. Slightly mixed messaging, then.