We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #209
US is approaching UK levels of smartphone use
The number of US smartphone users is growing and, according to eMarketer research, will reach 163.9 million in 2014. That amounts to 65% of all US mobile phone users, or 51.4% of the overall population, meaning that the US is catching up with the UK, where 53.7% of the population are smartphone users. The number in the US is set to grow even further to 182.6 million in 2015 and reach 220 million by 2018.
Facebook dominating social on mobile
The average US smartphone user spends 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their mobile device. Of that time, 28% is taken up by social apps, up from 24% in the previous year. Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns) accounted for most of that – 17% of all smartphone hours went to one of the two social networks.
Social and email are equal for conversation volume
The latest IPA TouchPoints5 data has been released, concluding that we now have as many conversations through social media as via email; 12% of all daily conversations occur through each medium. The research also found that 49% of all adults use mobile phones for activities other than texting or talking, doing so on average for 1 hour 30 minutes per day. Unsurprisingly, younger users were more mobile: 78% of 18-24s use their phone for activities other than texting/talking; they do so for an average of 1 hour 52 minutes a day.
YouTube drives the best quality web traffic
YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn drive the richest traffic on the web, with Reddit and Stumbleupon at the other end of the spectrum. YouTube, in first place, produced an average of 227.82 seconds spent on the site, 2.99 pages per visit and a relatively low bounce rate of 43.19%.
Twitter looks to expand TV links through acquisitions
Twitter has made two acquisitions that should help expand its relationship with television in Europe: France’s Mesagraph and the UK’s SecondSync. The former works with the likes of Canal+, France Télévisions, M6 and TF1, some of France’s biggest TV channels, while the latter has used its social analytics tools to show the value of Twitter for clients in broadcasting and advertising.
Vine adds private messaging capability
Vine has introduced private messaging, allowing users to share videos and text with one another, away from the view of the public eye.
The cost of Instagram ads
Instagram ads are being touted at a premium price tag, according to an article in AdAge last week. Discussions with several ad execs found that a month’s worth of advertising on the network could cost anywhere between $350k and $1m.
Time to look again at Google+
There have been a couple of pieces in the last week that suggest marketers should look again at Google+. First of all, a Forrester blog post revealed that, in a survey of 60,000 US adults, 22% claimed to use G+ at least once per month, the same percentage as Twitter. Also, in terms of engagement per follower, Google+ far outdoes Twitter, and is closer to Facebook, as you can see here:
We Are Social’s Cristina Forlani also argued in favour of the network. She pointed out its value as an analytics tool and looked to rebut unhelpful comparisons with Facebook. She also mentioned the huge SEO benefits of a platform linked to the world’s most popular search engine.
YouTube pushing stars with TV adverts
YouTube is planning a TV ad campaign to promote some of its biggest stars, after agencies requested a further push to merit their clients’ ad spend. The adverts will feature three YouTube celebrities with over one million subscribers each: make-up artist Michelle Phan, beauty/fashion vlogger Bethany Mota and baker Rosanna Pansino. The below ads will be seen on New York Subway trains.
Line surpasses 400 million users
Line, the Japanese messaging app, has surpassed 400 million users, meaning that it’s added 100 million in roughly five months, as shown in the graph below. Not only that, but these new users seem to really be taking to the service; on 21st March, over 10bn messages were sent in a single day.
WhatsApp processes 64bn messages in one day
If you thought Line’s 10bn messages were impressive, WhatsApp can do even better, processing 64bn messages in one day. The figure accounts for 20bn messages sent and 44bn received; the disparity in the figures occurring as a result of group messaging.
new daily record: 20B messages sent (inbound) and 44B messages received (outbound) by our users = 64B messages handled in just 24 hours.
— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) April 2, 2014
Skype growing among millennials
Skype now has 300 million users and is experiencing strong growth among younger demographics, according to the company’s advertising General Manager Lovina McMurchy, who claimed that the platform now reaches 24% of 18-24 year olds worldwide. She said:
While other companies have seen interactions with younger users decline, Skype has seen positive growth numbers in recent years.
Imgur receives $40m in funding
Tech venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested $40m in Imgur. The image sharing platform has traditionally rejected all outside funding while waiting for the ‘right fit’, as CEO and founder Alan Schaaf discussed.
We got along right off the bat. We were actually bouncing off interesting ideas in where to take the product. They actually made sense, which was out of left field.
adidas promotes World Cup with brazuca
adidas is promoting its World Cup sponsorship by creating online content from the point of view of the official competition ball, named brazuca. The product has its own blog and Twitter pages, while a set of video clips will look to produce a ‘ball’s eye view’ of the competition and involve some of football’s biggest names, including Xavi, Manuel Neuer and Dani Alves.
adidas offers free cleats to one US football team
Another adidas promotion in the last week will offer free American football cleats to one US high school team. The sportswear brand hopes that the teams will naturally spread the word about the competition by asking friends to vote, as it’s only other high school footballers who can do so. To ensure that this remains the case, the brand is using Chirpify, which will automatically respond to anybody using the hashtags #adizero and #vote, asking them to provide information that can prove their identity.
Zappos offers style advice through Instagram
Zappos, an online fashion retailer, is offering free style advice through Instagram. When someone posts a selfie with the hashtag #NextOOTD, a ‘professional image specialist’ will analyse their posting history and suggest a Zappos product that might suit.
Marc by Marc Jacobs seeks ad stars in social
Marc by Marc Jacobs is searching for the star of its latest advert on Twitter and Instagram. You can enter simply by posting a picture alongside the hashtag #CastMeMarc, as in the below examples.
@MarcJacobsIntl I’ve got what it takes!! #CastMeMarc pic.twitter.com/E0mhPOEZtY
— Josh Crews (@joshuacrews) April 2, 2014
@MarcJacobsIntl #CastMeMarc pic.twitter.com/fp92qkeA2l
— FiremansWomanKM (@firemanswomankm) April 3, 2014
The ‘Breakfast Wars’ go viral
If you’ve been reading the last few mashups, you’ll remember that Taco Bell has been promoting its breakfast menu pretty fervently. The latest addition to the campaign is a set of ads that poke fun at McDonald’s, in which real life Ronald McDonalds give rave reviews of the Taco Bell product. The main video has received over two million views on YouTube.
McDonald’s were quick to respond, though. The below Facebook post, at time of writing, has received over 8,000 likes and almost 2,000 shares.
KFC uses social celebrity endorsement in China
Fast food chain KFC is struggling in China, with sales falling 13% from 2012 to 2013. To address this, the brand has recruited five major celebrities, each of whom will represent a new menu offering in social and compete with one another for likes. Celebrity endorsement has long since been a staple of Chinese marketing – it will be interesting to see how this social version works out.
Presidential selfie was a publicity stunt by Samsung
A recent selfie with Barack Obama, posted by David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox, was a planned publicity stunt by Samsung. The brand equipped its brand ambassador, known as Big Papi, with a Samsung phone, hoping that the opportunity might present itself, as it did.
Big Papi, Big Selfie. RT @DavidOrtiz What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama pic.twitter.com/3I7ckLjquf
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 1, 2014
However, the White House was unhappy with the above tweet, stating that it objected to the president’s image being used for commercial gain. Ortiz has since denied that he was paid for the photograph.
Cole Haan gets in trouble with the FTC
Footwear brand Cole Haan, has got itself in trouble with the FTC after a Pinterest competition that asked users to post pictures of their favourite shoes with the hashtag #WanderingSole. According to the FTC, the competition hashtag was not sufficient disclosure, though it’s worth noting that the brand received a letter and not an enforcement action.