We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #292

Weibo reaches 100 million Daily Active Users
Sina’s social network Weibo has announced large year on year growth figures, reporting it has now reached 100 million Daily Active Users. The majority of these users are located in China, with just 3% lying outside of the country.

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WhatsApp scraps subscription fee
It has been announced by WhatsApp founder, Jan Koum, that the subscription fee for the app is to be removed. Usually, WhatsApp is free for the first year and then 99 cents per year after that. In order to survive without this income, WhatsApp is now exploring how it can connect businesses with users, like parent company Facebook.

Facebook is testing a new in-app browser
A new Facebook browser is being tested among a small group of iOS users. The browser, which opens within the Facebook app when you’re looking at external links, allows users to search within it, bookmark pages and see how popular an article is (I know I certainly don’t run my eyes over anything with less than 2 million reads). The only thing it’s currently lacking is an option to open more tabs. Welcome to Facebook California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!

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Twitter’s new product – turning everyday fan tweets in ads
Twitter is developing a new ad product, which is based on what they’re calling a “brand enthusiast gallery”. It collates brand-related tweets put out by everyday users which advertisers can then choose to promote. Twitter would DM selected users and ask for their permission before using their tweets and the idea is that they would be seen as trusted voices by other consumers on social media.

Periscope videos are now auto-playing on Twitter
Live streaming app Periscope has racked up 100 million live broadcasts since March last year and it’s set to get even bigger. Twitter users will now be able to see Periscope live streams auto-playing in their Twitter feeds as they would with Gifs and videos on the platform. You’ll still have to download the stand-alone app if you want to broadcast your own live stream, but if you want to see me scrubbing my toilet while eating fried chicken, that’ll be going live tonight at 8.

Twitter polls – 1.7 billion votes cast so far
Twitter is very pleased with the reaction to its poll feature, which was launched in October and has seen 1.7 billion votes cast. They’ve now also announced that users will be able to decide whether a poll stays live for any amount of time between five minutes and seven days. Question is… will you go out with me? Yes/No/Maybe?

Snapchat closes in on Facebook for video views
It has been reported that people are now watching 7 billion videos per day on Snapchat – wowza. It’s hot on the heels of Facebook, which last reported that its users watched 8 billion videos per day on both desktop and mobile. This massive figure has been largely attributed to the new-ish ‘Stories’ feature which lets users broadcast a series of snaps for their friends to view over a 24 hour period. The 5-year old company is valued at $16 billion dollars, mainly based on the fact that it has such huge scope to make pure wedge through advertising, now there are so many eyes on it. Snapchat plans to up its advertising ante by improving targeting through analysing what people are looking at on its Discover channel and monitoring what people search for outside the app, as well as improving measurement of ad success for brands.

Emojis for ad views in Kik’s creative ad-tech offering  
Messaging app Kik, which claims to have 40% of US teens amongst its members, has come up with a creative way to incentivise its users to watch ads on the platform. In return for tuning into ads or playing branded games on Kik, users will be rewarded with Kik Points, with which they can buy emojis and other Kik content. The move is intended to make Kik’s advertising “a welcome component to the user experience.”

New CEO, new growth strategy for Foursquare
Foursquare Labs’ founder Dennis Crowley is handing over the Chief Executive Officer reins to Jeff Glueck, formerly the company’s Chief Operating Officer – and Glueck has a significant task on his hands. Foursquare, which allows people to search and discover local destinations, raised $45 million in its last equity funding round, and it now plans to hire 30 new people for sales and engineering functions, amongst others, as it looks to reposition its business and turn around falling valuations.

New social platform is Peach-y
Last week marketers went nuts for Peach, the new social platform with a Facebook Messenger-style interface and an impressively quick presence from brands like Asos and Vice. One of the most active brands on the platform so far has been dictionary publishers Merriam-Webster, which has been sharing regular posts on the platform such as their ‘Word of the day’. Jesse DeWitt, digital director of language learning products at Merriam-Webster explained why they’re already Peach-obsessed when they don’t yet have an Instagram or Snapchat account:
Visual storytelling is a real problem for us… Obviously, we are so heavily associated with words. It’s not like we have this great library of assets we can draw from like a magazine might have. It’s been an impediment in using Instagram or Snapchat. Peach has nice built-in commands that give you a quick and easy way to post something visual.

Despite this praise, Peach is already slipping down the app charts, so whether it will manage to hold on to its new-found fame and become the next Snapchat (rather than the next Meerkat), remains to be seen.

Toyota uses targeted Facebook ads in new campaign
Toyota has created over 100 short video clips featuring James Mardsen aka Cyclops, which it will target to Facebook users based on their hobbies. Using the interests listed in people’s profiles, Toyota will use three different video clips, combined to make a single ad that’s relevant to the viewer. Unless, like me you haven’t updated your hobbies since 2010… and in fact, the taxidermy obsession was just a phase.

Land Rover launches #Hibernot pt. 2
Land Rover is back with a £2 million sequel to its Hibernot campaign, which encourages people to keep exploring during the winter. The eight part series which plays out on Instagram shows a couple making the most of the limited light (ha! Not like that naughty!) and will be targeted to be shown at a time of day which correlates with the time it is in the films.

HP partners with influencers in latest campaign
HP has been working closely with influencers such as Olympic gymnast Samantha Peszek and New York City ballet dancer Allison Holker to create content to engage millennials. Its series of online films highlight how the subjects use their HP notebooks to perfect their awe-inspiring performances, instead of using them for watching this hamster eat a burrito, which is basically the main role of my laptop.

Everlane starts a private Instagram account for new products
The luxury online apparel brand Everlane is creating a private Instagram account which will run alongside its main Instagram account (which currently has 204K followers) for releasing new products and gauging the crowd reaction more closely. The account will accept anyone who tries to follow it (as long as they’re not a spambot) and it will be capped at 100 new followers a day.

Brands mourn the loss of David Bowie
Following the very sad loss of David Bowie last week, art, music and fashion brands, amongst others, were quick to pay homage to the icon. Here’s some of the best.

Brands bring on the lols for #BlueMonday
It’s hashtag #BlueMonday and after a weekend of eating only beige food and drinks topped with cream on the slopes of the Italian Alps, I’d say the majority of We Are Social employees are feeling it. Here are some brand tweets to cheer us up, I’ve picked out my favourite funny ones.