Midweek Mashup #82

News
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US-based chat app Tango to penetrate the Chinese market
According to The Next Web(TNW), Tango, a US based chat app has gained a 215 million investment from Alibaba last March with plans to penetrate the Chinese market this year. The aim is to target users that are looking for different experiences to the current market leader WeChat.

One differentiation will be a service called ‘Channels’, which will be soft launching in July, it allows users to subscribe to content providers to get content in various formats such as video, audio, animation and movies. Another service that will be rolling out for testing is similar to ‘Google Helpouts’ where experts like doctors are connected to users all over the world via video calls to provide their expert opinions. Tango also seeks to figure out a perfect way to integrate mobile, social and e-commerce experience, leveraging a partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba. Can Tango compete with the number one Chinese chat app WeChat and establish prominence in China?

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China’s CCTV blames WeChat for misinformation and false advertisement
WeChat has done it again, with regards to misinformation and false advertisement circulated through the platform. China’s state-run CCTV covered stories on how the WeChat was used to allegedly misinform the public. Topics are mostly health and food safety issues such as “how microwaved foods, home electrical appliances, and durian all cause cancer.” CCTV claimed that these false information are initiated by marketers attempting to sell a product that is promoted as “a solution to the issues”.

More importantly, the program blames WeChat for letting these marketers spread such information. With the strong censorship in the country, WeChat has been the channel of choice for the Chinese to speak freely. However, like any other social media channel, WeChat is not a place free from rumors and false information, which is a natural side effect of social platforms allowing a freedom of speech. (But we don’t worry too much because misinformation is usually self sorted out by collective knowledge of users.) It’s a question whether a platform deserves to take a blame for letting false information circulate and whether it is right to filter them out to keep the space “clean”.

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Facebook is preparing to open a sales office in Beijing
According to Bloomberg, Facebook is preparing to open an office in Beijing. Although a timeline or specific location is not yet confirmed, it’s enough to show that Facebook has a bigger plan for China other than servicing Chinese companies marketing audience worldwide. In fact, Facebook has been making small steps to grow its business in China.

For example, Facebook is “the number one way” for Fashion e-store exporter Wholesale Dress to target users beyond the domestic market and some internet brands like Alibaba and Baidu leveraged on Facebook’s technology to build their data centers. However, Facebook has not yet tapped its social purpose in China, which is the core value of the platform. It will be interesting to see how Facebook will grow in the market and change the social landscape in the country.

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Facebook releases new insights tool
Facebook has launched a new Audience Insights tool, which gives US users of ad manager access to information about people on the network. Advertisers can gain access to demographics, page likes, location/language information, Facebook usage and purchase activity for three different groups: all Facebook users, those connected to a brand’s page/event or members of a ‘custom audience’. The tool will be available outside of the US within the coming months.

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Instagram ads are doing well
Instagram adverts, available to 15 brands for the last six months, have been showing impressive results (according to data from the site itself). Taco Bell have seen a 29 percentage point gain in ad recall and promoted posts often saw 400% higher engagement on promoted posts than organic. During a month-long campaign, the fast food chain’s fan base jumped 45%. Hollister, too, saw success: an ad recall lift of 32 percentage points.

Language targeting on Twitter
Twitter has introduced targeting by language for Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, in an attempt to serve more relevant adverts to its users. So far, it includes 20 different languages. Here’s how it works in Spanish:

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Tumblr adds blog editor to mobile app
Tumblr has added a built-in blog editor to its mobile app, which allows users of iPhone, iPad or Android to customise the look and feel of their profile.

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The Verge spoke to Tumblr CEO, David Karp, about the move. He discussed the importance of creativity and individuality across the web:

The draw to the internet for me was this idea that it was a space where you could really create an expression of yourself — an identity that you’re really, truly proud of.

It’s no surprise that brands have already started to embrace the changes. Notable examples include American Express, Lipton, Axe and L’Oreal.

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LinkedIn adds language targeting features
LinkedIn has launched two new features, both aimed at helping companies reach people across different markets. The first, language preference targeting, lets a company specify which users will see an update, based on their chosen language. The second, personalised page feeds, is very similar: when a user clicks on a company’s page, they will see only the updates intended for them, once again identified by language settings.

Pinterest is still overwhelmingly female
A study into 50,000 random Pinterest users has concluded that 92% of pins are made by women, while 84% of those who were users four years ago are still active. The study also analysed the most popular categories for pins by female users, who made up 80% of the entire network’s user base. The top three were, in descending order: food & drink, DIY & crafts and home decor.

Sony launches World Cup social broadcast channel
Sony has created a ‘social media broadcast channel’, dubbed ‘One Stadium Live’, to bring together online conversation around the World Cup. The mobile-first platform finds posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, before grouping them together based on their relevance to one another.

Yahoo searches for José Mourinho’s #Special1s
Yahoo is looking to get involved with this summer’s football fever, offering fans a chance to win a training session hosted by Chelsea manager, José Mourinho. The competition is being hosted on the #Special1s Tumblr, while fans can submit a video to impress Mourinho by using the hashtag on Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine or, of course, Tumblr. Here’s the man himself looking very happy about it all.

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