We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #106

Secret Santas in India gather for gift exchanges via Twitter
A Twitter activity that started humbly within the confines of Mumbai has seen itself spreading slowly yet steadily into other parts of India as users come together to celebrate the spirit of giving and receiving. To keep the tradition of anonymous gift-giving going and inspired by online Secret Santa exchange run by Reddit, 32-year-old Mumbai business man Parekh kicked off the idea three years ago with Twitter friends. Bringing it online meant that there won’t be a clash in schedules for many, making it convenient and allowed users to extend their gift-giving beyond just friends and family. From an intimate number of 185 participants back in 2010 to a whopping 900 users today, the activity has also steadily extended to Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and the UAE.

French men behind Skimbl help restaurants in China track customer service quality
Three French guys starting up a business in China is not a common sight. But their aim of helping restaurants track and manage customer service levels soon proved useful and crucial for the service industry in China. Founded by Louis Chaffard, Skimbl is a service that consolidates all sources of online customer feedback for restaurants and provides interpretations of the feedback via customized reports, helping restaurants audit the service quality in their outlets. Learning the importance of listening to clients the hard way, Chaffard dived straight into work by gathering insights and feedback from 50 to 60 companies and learning about their pain points in the food business. After much work, Chaffard found a solution for these businesses and converted 53 restaurants to become paying customers of the service. Now, clients use Skimbl’s reports as a service quality index. For a foreign start-up making its way through the highly challenging business environment in China, Skimbl has many hurdles to overcome — but Chaffard’s insistence on listening to customers and providing them with solutions may just see it conquer a niche in the market.

APAC marketers and advertisers need to look into Asian mobile market 
In an article discussing the potential of mobile marketing in Asia, brands have been encouraged to think beyond common marketing channels associated with mobile marketing. Paul Gage, Regional Planning Director of Iris Worldwide feels that while the mobile market in Asia has immense opportunity  for brands to tap into, ‘bad planning and fewer people with proper experience in the discipline’ is the reason why there has not been a real value to the end customer within the mobile context. A joint study by Yahoo and Mindshare yielded statistics that were clear; Asia has a strong mobile-user rate and consumers spend more time on their smartphones today than ever before.

Facebook introduces autoplay for videos
After testing the system for a while, Facebook has begun to introduce autoplay videos for mobile and desktop. Earlier in the week, most users on iPhone and Android received the system, which works as follows: as you scroll past a video, a preview begins to play without sound. If you don’t want to watch it, just scroll past. If you do, you can click for the full viewing experience, including audio. Later in the week, desktop users began to notice the same feature, which Facebook will be continuing to roll out to more users.

Facebook release tool for gauging sales
Facebook’s new tool for advertisers, allows them to track users who saw a promoted post and ascertain which of these then went on to make a purchase either online or in a physical store. Retailers can offer Facebook the information they have on customers, including email addresses and phone numbers, and find out which of these have seen a promoted post.

Instagram introduces direct messages
Instagram has added the ability for users to send direct messages. A user can send photos or videos to anyone who follows them, with the two then able to converse underneath the message. If you don’t follow someone, you’ll get a notification to a ‘pending requests’ centre. Instagram announced the changes in a blog post, which included the below video.

Brands have already started using the system too. Fashion brand Gap sent direct messages to the first 15 people to reply to a message; from these, winners were selected to receive a denim tablet case.


Hyatt Hotels have been sending messages to their fans, wishing them a Merry Christmas.

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Twitter users can send images in direct messages
Twitter has introduced a few updates to its apps for iPhone and Android, including the ability to send images in direct messages. Messages are also easier to access through a tab at the bottom of the screen, while users can swipe to switch between the ‘Home’, ‘Discover’ and ‘Activity’ sections of the app. For Android only, there is now a star button next to the ‘Follow’ tab, allowing users to receive notifications for whomever they choose, whether it be a celebrity or one of their friends.

Twitter adds ‘Broad Match’ to keyword targeting
A few months ago, Twitter introduced keyword targeting, allowing advertisers to target an audience based on specific words in their tweets, or those with which they engage. Now, the network has added ‘Broad Match’, allowing them to automatically include related terms in the search. Those related words can include synonyms and alternative spellings, as shown in the below image.



Twitter reverses ‘block’ button change
Twitter has reversed the changes it made to the ‘block’ button very shortly after their introduction. The new system, which allowed users to RT, follow or reply to those who had blocked them, was met with widespread public disapproval, which Twitter rapidly took on board.

Google+ to serve social ads across the web
Google+ has introduced a new type of ad, called a +Post ad, which will allow brands to promote G+ updates across the ‘Google Display Network’. The ads, which will comprise the ability to +1, comment or share, should serve to greatly extend the reach of branded content on the network, as well as of the network itself.

Live streaming on YouTube
YouTube has announced the ability to live stream, which will be available to verified accounts that are in ‘good standing’. Video manager will contain a button from which account holders can begin a live stream, as well as the ability to launch a Google+ Hangout directly from YouTube.

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Kik reaches 100 million registered users
Messaging app Kik has reached 100 million registered users, and is reportedly adding 250,000 every day. The success comes partly due through its anonymity – users go by a username rather than providing their phone number – as well as ‘Kik Cards’, which are basically mobile web applications.

Samsung makes mistake in trying to hush YouTuber

A good rule for electronics manufacturers is not to make products that set on fire. A good rule for anyone who’s heard of social media is not to try and silence someone who’s making a complaint online. Last week, Samsung did both of those things. When YouTube user Ghostlyrich complained about his phone in a video after being asked for ‘proof’ that it was broken, Samsung issued a list of demands he’d need to abide by in order to get his phone replaced. These were to:

delete his YouTube video, promise not to upload similar material, officially absolve the company of all liability, waive his right to bring a lawsuit or other legal complaint, and never make the terms of this agreement public. A witness would also have to sign the form.

Instead of doing so, he decided to make another video, which went viral. The lesson: when people have a legitimate complaint about your product, deal with them fairly.