We Are Social Asia Tuesday TuneUp #124


KakaoTalk has 140 million registered users
KakaoTalk has recently announced its registered users and revenue for 2o13. As reported previously, Line has over 350 million registered users, and WeChat has grown to 355 million monthly active users. Clearly, these two chat apps are giants in the Asian market dominating the industry through its massive user base. However, KakaoTalk also revealed that the company hit $203 million revenue in 2013, which is a 4.6 times growth in comparison with 2012. The chat app’s total registered user is at 140 million with over 426 games on its gaming platform. Although the strong figures showed a good performance of KakaoTalk in 2013,  the company’s revenue and user base still falls behind Line and WeChat.


Will Instagram replace Foursquare with Facebook places? 
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, we noticed that some users were talking about the small changes made on Instagram. For example, when they want to tag a photo to the location,  it appeared to have replaced with recommended Facebook Places “location names”, where users had access to the Foursquare list previously.  It can be seen as a test to experiment the result of migrating Instagram users to Facebook’s place database. However, some users pointed out that Facebook’s place data set is missing many popular places, and hence, some of users would still prefer to use foursquare instead of Facebook places. Apparently, this argument seems to be debatable, because Facebook still has quite strong database and it has been significantly improved over the last twelve months. Let’s keep our eyes on it.


Brand posts receive more engagement on Instagram than other networks
Forrester recently conducted research into engagement rates across social networks. Analysis of 3m user interactions on 2,500 brand posts across seven different networks found that, for six of those networks examined, the rate came out at under 0.1%. Instagram was a clear outlier, with an average rate of 4.21%.

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There is undoubtedly a short-term opportunity on Instagram. However, this may well disappear as brands begin to crowd the platform.

Facebook launches mobile ad network
At last Wednesday’s f8 conference, Facebook launched a mobile ad network that allows advertisers to reach Facebook users in other mobile apps. Users can be targeted by interest, likes and demographic information, or retargeted through Facebook’s ‘Custom Audiences’. Ads take three forms: banners, native and interstitial, each of which is shown below.


The social network discussed the benefits of its new product in a blog post:

Facebook ads work because they’re personal, relevant and easy to measure on both desktop and mobile. The Audience Network brings these same powerful features to additional app-based mobile experiences, giving marketers even more scale for their Facebook campaigns.

Adweek was quick to produce an overview of the ad network, which explains the available ad types, relevant publishers and targeting/retargeting capabilities. The piece also references how ads can include two types of link: a self-explanatory ‘app install’ or a deeper link, which can push users to any part of the app. For example, a retailer may target someone who abandoned their shopping cart and direct them to their app, showing their incomplete purchase.

Facebook improves video metrics
Facebook is looking to improve how page admins can monitor the success of videos. Previously, it was possible only to see how many users started to watch a video. Now, admins can establish not only the exact number of times a video was viewed, but also the duration of those views, the number of unique views and the level of audience retention.

Facebook launches AppLinks
In another f8 announcement, Facebook launched AppLinks, which allows users to move from one Facebook mobile-integrated app to another using Parse, which eliminates the need to log in via a mobile browser. Ilya Sukhar, CEO at Parse, said of the move:

This gives you everything you need to publish, discover and navigate to deep links on mobile on any platform. … I hope this is the direction that mobile takes for the future. This is how the web works, and it’s awesome. Let’s keep it awesome.

So awesome. How very Silicon Valley.

More detailed app permissions on Facebook
Facebook has announced that it’s giving users more options about what information they hand over during login or when providing app permissions. We’ve got a ‘before and after’ shot below, which displays some of the details. Users will also be able to log in anonymously, though this ability is still in beta. The new look is being rolled out over the coming weeks.


Facebook updates Messenger app
Facebook has released the newest version of its standalone Messenger app, with two key updates. Users can now take and share photos using an in-app camera and share any videos from the camera roll. Here’s how it all looks.


Facebook rolls out Business Manager
It’s time for some more Facebook news (we’re nearly done, promise). The network has launched Business Manager, a management tool for advertisers. It includes tools for ad accounts, pages, apps and permissions all in one place. So far, it’s only available to a few lucky partners in the US, but it’s expected to be rolled out further in the coming months.

Twitter’s stock price falls due to slow user growth
Twitter’s stock price experienced a slump last week, after the announcement of the network’s figures for Q1 2014. It actually outdid expectations for revenue ($250m vs. $241.47m), but monthly active users increased to 255 million from 241 million in the previous quarter, in contrast with an expected 257 million. We Are Social’s Leila Thabetspoke to Marketing Magazine about the results:

Despite a 119% increase in revenue, a user growth of just 6% over the previous quarter is clearly not the breakneck pace the market expects from a fast-growth social platform. Revenue is obviously important, but the big issues remain user growth, monthly active users and engagement, with a slow-growing user base making engagement even more critical.

Twitter permits one-click video ads for all
Twitter has rolled out its one-click video ads to all users, as opposed to just Amplify partners. Tweets like the below, part of Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ campaign, would previously have appeared as a link to YouTube.


Vine adds mobile features to desktop site
Vine has updated its desktop site to incorporate many of its mobile features. These include a ‘featured’ section, channels, trending tags and ‘popular’ Vines. This is all publicly accessible without logging in; TechCrunch has described it as a ‘Six-Second YouTube’.


Promoted Pins can be purchased with keywords
Pinterest is allowing Promoted Pins to be purchased targeted against keywords, such that users see them when searching – a potential stray into Google’s search territory.

Snapchat introduces ‘Chat’ feature
Snapchat has announced a major update to its app – the ability to chat live with another user with either video or text. To begin a conversation, simply swipe right on a user’s name within the app. Naturally, all messages are deleted when the conversation ends, unless either party chooses to take a screenshot.

The move couldn’t come soon enough, according to We Are Social’s Amaury Tréguer in B&T:

The new features offered by Snapchat are pretty basic compared to the offerings of competitors such as WhatsApp and Skype. It was about time to bring the chatting option to Snapchat. However, I still believe that this update is a smart move as it will allow the platform to attract a new breed of users (probably more grown-ups and less into sexting).

School kids seem to be pretty excited about it, too. One teacher claimed that, during 16 years in the profession, nothing had ever distracted a classroom more. No wonderbrands are keen to get in on the act. Karmaloop, an e-commerce brand, is giving potential customers a behind-the-scenes look at their office, while a spokesperson for Taco Bell has expressed an interest in using the feature very soon.

Foursquare performs mitosis (sort of)
Foursquare has announced plans to split itself in two with the launch of a new app, Swarm, which focusses purely on check-ins. The main app will become the location for search, discovery and reviews, while Swarm (shown below) will host the social features. Users will no longer be able to check in on the main app.

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Amazon and Twitter partner for social commerce
Online retail giant Amazon has partnered with Twitter, allowing users to add items to their online carts by using the hashtag #AmazonCart when replying to a tweet that contains an item they’d like the purchase. The move, detailed in the below video, looks exciting. However, a couple of different problems have been highlighted. There is the issue that other brands may look to ‘hijack’ the hashtag by placing ads against it, a potential route for Amazon’s rivals. Moreover, Digiday has just produced a piece that suggests people aren’t in the mood to shop when on Twitter, pointing to campaigns like Starbucks’ ‘Tweet a Coffee’, which had only limited success.

Maker’s Mark hosts reddit competition
Bourbon brand Maker’s Mark has been using reddit in its marketing, with a competition themed around the Kentucky Derby. It asked reddit users to suggest whisky-themed horse names; the most inventive were used in a home page takeover last Friday.

Kenco’s eight-hour improvised Twitter singalong
Kenco is inviting its Twitter fans to an ‘improvised singalong’ on Wednesday 7th May (tomorrow). Improvisational comedy troupe ‘The Noise Next Door’ will respond to tweets that contain the hashtag #brightenmyday using improvised songs for a whole eight hours, from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

Birds Eye opens social pop-up
Ever thought there aren’t enough food snaps on Instagram? You’re in luck! Birds Eye is promoting its Inspirations range with a pop-up restaurant that only accepts Instagram photos as payment. Instagram users need simply post a picture, accompanied by the hashtag #BirdsEyeInspirations, to the mobile app in order to receive a free meal.

Coldplay host worldwide treasure hunt through Twitter
Coldplay have hidden hand-written lyrics sheets from their latest album, Ghost Stories, in libraries around the world. The band are posting clues to the lyrics’ whereabouts on Twitter, which is probably the most exciting thing they’ve ever done.