We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #174


Myanmar’s MySQUAR eyes Aim flotation in a fortnight

MySQUAR, Myanmar’s only social media platform in the local language, is raising about $2.5 million to build a local-language business of messaging applications and online games, and hopes to float on the Alternative Investment Market in a fortnight. Nearly 700,000 Burmese citizens already use its MyChat app, and that could be more than 1m by December if all goes to plan.


Blood4Life – One of Indonesia’s Longest Running Social Campaigns
In 2009, when her mother fell ill, Valencia Mieke Randa found herself spending a lot of time at the hospital. Randa’s mother desperately needed blood transfusions, and Randa recalls that it could sometimes take up to three days to find a donor.“There are millions of people who wish they could do good, but they don’t know how. At the hospital, they cry for help but don’t know who to turn to.”

That’s when Valencia started using her social media networks to campaign for blood donation and to find voluntary blood donors, who today has more than 80,000 followers on her Twitter account Blood4LifeID.

While a platform connecting those in desperate need of blood with those who can easily donate may sound almost like a lucrative business idea, Randa is keeping her efforts strictly non-commercial.

“People used to ask me if I am doing this for the money,” she says. “But no way. Blood has to be free. A patient has to pay IDR 250,000 (US$19) per bag to the Red Cross. This covers screening the blood for contaminants and diseases.. Each and every bag has to be tested,” she explains. “Our work is all voluntary, we don’t get government support or funds.”

Facebook launches Instant Articles

Last week, Facebook introduced a new product to its arsenal called ‘Instant Articles’, which lets major news companies publish stories directly to the platform. The feature means users don’t have to click out and wait for websites to load, instead third-party content is natively hosted in the app’s news feed and articles can load up to ten times faster than before. So far, nine publishers have signed up, including NBC News, The New York Times and Buzzfeed.  Instant articles are a way for these publishers to tap into Facebook’s huge audience, but there are concerns about who will keep the ad revenue.

FB Instant article

Facebook introduces ‘call’ button
More than 40 billion companies worldwide have Facebook pages. Now, the social network has made it easier for people to get in touch with them on their mobiles by introducing a new ‘call’ button, allowing users to tap to call businesses directly from an ad. Facebook has called the offering ‘local awareness ads’, created explicitly to benefit local businesses.

Facebook takes on the second-hand goods market
In a potential bid to rival the likes of eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist, Facebook is testing tools to make buying and selling goods within the platform much easier. The ‘all sales groups’ option shows items available for purchase across all groups a user belongs to. The platform has also begun to improve search tools to make it easier to find potential purchases within the app.

Facebook sales

Snapchat launches Discover messages
Back in January, Snapchat launched the Discover feature which houses content from media companies such as CNN, Comedy Central and Vice. But since its launch, the feature has seen a decline in viewership. So, in an attempt to revive it, Snapchat has introduced Discover messages. The update lets you send clips taken straight from Discover to friends via a private message, users can also overlay their own drawings and text to the videos.

Starbucks creates branded GIF content
Starbucks has jumped on the mobile messaging trend, by creating 21 ‘subtly’-branded GIFs for users to share with friends. They launched the content on mobile app Popkey, which accesses a smartphone’s built-in keyboard allowing users to find and send the GIFs.

starbucks 2
starbucks 3

WWF lets you tweet emojis to donate
WWF has created the #EndangeredEmojis campaign, which lets users donate money every time they use one of 17 animal emojis. WWF launched the campaign via a tweet last week asking users to ‘opt-in’ to the service by agreeing to donate 10p every time they use any of the featured emojis in a future tweet.

Just tweet for a pizza with Domino’s Also following the emoji trend is Domino’s, who have made ordering your favourite takeaway as simple as sending a tweet. All US consumers need to do to take advantage of the ‘tweet-to-order’ service is send out a pizza emoji and tag @Dominos. It’s a first for the restaurant industry and definitely the sign of things to come for consumer convenience. At the very least, its going to make my drunk pizza orders a lot easier.