Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Facebook’.

Social, Digital, Mobile in Bangladesh

by Simon Kemp in News

Bangladesh is one of Asia’s giants, with a population of more than 160 million.

This ranks the country 8th in the world in terms of population size, ahead of Russia, Japan and Mexico.

Goldman Sachs also includes Bangladesh in its ‘Next Eleven’ economies, indicating that the country has a high potential to be one of the world’s biggest economies in the coming years.

However, many Bangladeshis still live on less than US$2 per day, and UNICEF reports that 50% of the country’s population lives below the international poverty line.

Despite these economic challenges, however, use of online media continues the stellar growth that we highlighted in last year’s report.

Internet use in particular has jumped exponentially, and according to figures from Bangladesh’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, users now stand at nearly 30 million across the country.

Critically, 94% of these users access the internet via mobile devices, the vast majority of which are feature phones.

This puts internet penetration in Bangladesh at 18%; that’s a huge leap from last year’s reported figure of just 1% (although that figure did not include mobile internet users).

However, perhaps the most staggering finding in this report is the fact that this figure is lower than the number of people who have no access to any media whatsoever.

Findings from Nielsen (cited here) indicate that 32 million Bangladeshis still have absolutely no access to media – 10% more than those who have access to the internet.

Much of this relates to economics; many Bangladeshi families still can’t afford a television, and an hour’s internet access in an internet café in Bangladesh costs the equivalent of 70% of the average daily income, putting the web well beyond the means of most citizens.

Perhaps for this reason, social media use in Bangladesh remains relatively low too, currently standing at just 2% penetration.

However, Facebook is adding a new user in Bangladesh every 20 seconds, and it’s likely that initiatives from some of the country’s telcos offering ‘free’ access to Facebook will help to boost user numbers well beyond the current 3.3 million in the coming 12 months.

There’s an obvious business benefit to this approach for the telcos too; almost half of Facebook’s users in Bangladesh are aged in the lucrative 18-to-24 age group.

More importantly, mobile subscriptions in Bangladesh continue to grow at a staggering pace, with the total now exceeding 100 million.

This means that penetration already sits at 63%, but this looks set to pass two thirds of the population in just a few months, with the country’s operators registering more than 50,000 new subscriptions every single day in the first 6 months of 2012.

And with a new mobile subscription activated on average every 2 seconds in Bangladesh, the country should easily add another 10 million subscriptions to its tally before the middle of 2013.

With growth like that, we’ll be putting Bangladesh in our ‘Digital Next Eleven’ as well.

The sources for all the stats can be found at the bottom of each slide in the SlideShare deck above. You can download a high-res PDF of this report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in India

by Simon Kemp in News

Today’s #SDMW report focuses on one of Asia’s most exciting markets: India.

With the world’s second largest population, India holds huge potential for marketers from all over the world.

The country’s 1.2 billion inhabitants have embraced social, digital and mobile technology too, and India’s online ecosystem offers some truly startling numbers.

To start with, here are the top headlines:

  • India has 137 million internet users – more people than the total population of Japan.
  • More than 60 million people in India use social networks – equivalent to the total population of Italy
  • India is home to a staggering 934 million mobile subscriptions – equivalent to more than 13% of the world’s entire population

Despite these impressive numbers, however, internet penetration in India remains quite low, with just 11% of the population having used the internet.

The country’s 137 million users still put India in 3rd place on the global rankings by number of internet users though, and this number is continuing to rise by at least 1.5 million users per month.

Moreover, with 56% of India’s population aged below 30 – and a new child born in the country every 2 seconds – it’s clear that India’s digital journey still has plenty of potential for growth.

Indeed, India is the fastest growing online market in the world, and internet usage grew by more than 40% in the year to July.

Indian netizens also appear to spend a considerable amount of time online each day – up to 8 hours each – which adds extra weight to the basic user numbers.

These users spend plenty of money too; The Times of India reports that Indian youth will spend more than US$9 billion on mobile internet activities in 2012 alone. That’s more than the GDP of the Bahamas.

Social Networking continues to be the main driver behind much of India’s increased online activity, although social media penetration in India remains remarkably low at just 5%.

Facebook continues to dominate India’s social media landscape with more than 60 million active users, and the world’s most popular platform show no signs of slowing either, adding a new Indian user every single second.

With social networking use expected to grow by more than 50% in 2012, it’s likely that these numbers are also on the conservative side; estimates from eMarketer and Global Web Index both put Indian social networking users above 75 million.

Interestingly, 60% of India’s Facebook users are under 25, with barely 12% over the age of 35. They’re still predominantly male too, with barely 3 female users in every 10 on Facebook.

More than half of India’s social media users purport to use more than one social platform too, with Google+ claiming the second largest user base at around 50 million.

Twitter and LinkedIn are also popular amongst Indian netizens, with each claiming more than 15 million users.

YouTube has particular appeal for Indian audiences too, with 20 visitors every single second. Each month, almost 56 million visitors from India consume more than 4 billion videos – 25% of them via mobile devices.

And it’s mobile usage like this that’s leading the charge towards the future.

With almost 1 billion mobile subscriptions, India’s mobile market is second only to China’s.

Critically, more than one third of these subscriptions are from the rural areas that are home to 69% of India’s population.

Many of these rural areas still lack fixed communication infrastructure (mobile subscriptions outnumber fixed line telephones 30 to 1), so mobile holds the key to India’s evolving digital world.

Tellingly, there are already more than 50 million mobile internet users across the country, but this 36% of users accounts for more than 50% of national internet use.

Smartphone use is also picking up quickly in India, and the nation’s 27 million smartphone users each spend an average of more than 40 days every year using their phones – roughly 16% of their waking lives.

With numbers like that, it’s clear to see why we’re excited about India’s digital future too. We’ll see you there.

The sources for all the stats can be found at the bottom of each slide in the SlideShare deck above. You can also download a high-res PDF of this report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in Laos

by Simon Kemp in News

Today’s #SDMW report investigates the social, digital and mobile ecosystem in Laos.

Laos is one of Asia’s poorer countries, with average income hovering just above US$3 per day.

Two thirds of the population lives in one of the Laos’s 9,119 rural villages, and more than one third of the population is below the age of 15.

Official figures indicate that internet penetration in Laos remains relatively low, at just 8% – almost 3½ times lower than the Asian average.

However, these figures are from late 2011, and we estimate that the real number of internet users in the country is now much higher than the 527,400 reported by the country’s Ministry of Post & Telecommunications last December.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from Facebook indicate that at least a quarter of a million people in Laos use social networks, accounting for around 4% of the total population.

Critically, the number of Facebook users in Laos has jumped 64% in the past 6 months, with approximately 581 Laotians signing up to the network every day – that’s a new user every 2½ minutes.

The number of mobile subscribers in the country has also shown impressive growth since our last report at the end of 2011, with well over 1.5 million new mobile subscriptions delivering a jump of 43%.

Mobile penetration now stands at 83% of the population, up from 60% in our last report, with nearly 5½ million subscribers nationwide.

However, use of 3G services in Laos remains low, with estimates indicating that penetration is still less than 0.5%.

3G use has grown by almost 100% in the past 12 months though, and the ITU expects penetration to reach almost 20% within the next 3 years.

This has particular significance for Laotians, as it will bring internet services within reach for a far greater proportion of the population.

Access to infrastructure has been one of the biggest barriers to increased use of digital media in the country: according to data from Laos’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, fixed line telephony services still reach less than 4% of the population, and fewer than 25,000 people had signed up for an internet service provider by March 2012.

Indeed, more than one third of internet activity in Laos originates from mobile devices, and with desktops and laptops still beyond the means of most of Laos’s citizens, mobile internet access holds the key to online growth.

The good news is that 3G services already reach 80% of Laos’s population, and the government has a plan in place to extend this still further over the coming months.

Moreover, 4G services are already available in Laos’s capital, Vientiane, making Laos only the second country in ASEAN to offer such services after Singapore.

We fully expect that access to these advanced mobile networks will deliver impressive growth in all areas of Laos’s online ecosystem during 2013.

All data sources are at the bottom of each slide. You can download a high-res PDF of the report here.

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Social, Digital and Mobile in Vietnam

by Simon Kemp in News

Following the launch of our regional Social, Digital and Mobile in Asia report last week, today we’re delighted to launch our series of reports into individual countries.

The first of these reports covers one of Asia’s most exciting markets: Vietnam.

With a population in excess of 90 million and an economy that grew by 5.4% in the 3rd quarter of this year alone, Vietnam represents a huge opportunity for brands all over the world.

The country’s social, digital and mobile landscape is evolving at an astonishing rate too, with internet users in the country increasing by 5% since our last report on the country at the end of 2011.

Key figures in this new report include:

  • Almost 31 million internet users, representing penetration of 34%;
  • More than 8.5 million social media users, but penetration of just 9% shows plenty of potential for more rapid growth;
  • A massive 129 million mobile subscriptions, representing penetration of 139%;
  • 19 million mobile internet users, equating to penetration of around 21%.

As the figures above suggest, feature phones still dominate Vietnam’s mobile landscape, but smartphone use is definitely on the rise.

We also noted a reduction in the number of mobile subscriptions since our last report, but given that subscription penetration still sits at around 139%, this likely reflects a consolidation towards a single active subscription per user rather than a drop in mobile use.

However, the most dramatic change in the country’s digital landscape this year has been the shift in power in social media. Just 12 months ago, there were only 2.9 million Facebook users in Vietnam; today, there are more than 8.5 million – a growth of almost 200%.

Startlingly, data from Facebook itself suggests that the network’s user base in the country has grown by 500,000 in the past 2 weeks alone. This data is backed up by Facebook metrics experts SocialBakers, who present the following impressive chart:

Although sudden increases like this are more likely to reflect a correction in Facebook’s data than an actual single-day change, these new numbers are still significant.

We’ve also heard anecdotal reports that some of Vietnam’s restrictions on Facebook have been lifted recently, so Facebook’s recent growth may genuinely have been quite dramatic, as local netizens realise they have easier access to the world’s most popular network.

It’s not just the speed of this growth that’s important though.

Up until last week (and indeed as we reported in our regional report just a few days ago), the leader in the country’s social media scene was local network Zing, which claims around 8.2 million users.

Although these latest official user numbers for Zing are a few months old and actual users may have increased since, it appears that Facebook has taken the number 1 spot in Vietnam, meaning it may be another step closer to its quest for world domination, as this revised version of our Social Network Map of Asia shows:

Intriguingly though, there is evidence to suggest that interest in Zing has also picked up again in the past few days, as the Google Trends chart below highlights. Note the sharp uptick towards the right-hand side, which shows that Zing is currently experiencing its greatest volume of search traffic for the past 12 months:

We’re still waiting to hear back from a representative at Zing for more up-to-date user numbers, but either way it seems that Vietnam’s social scene is certainly hotting up.

And given that almost 4 in 5 social media users in Vietnam have ‘Liked’ or follow a brand in social media, we’ll be paying close attention to where things progress in the coming weeks and months.

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Facebook acquires Instagram: Reaction

by Dan Goodswen in News Google+

Instagram + Facebook

The world is waking up to the news that Facebook has acquired mobile photo sharing platform Instagram for a cool billion dollars.

Here is a round up of the reactions from around the webs;

Mark Zuckerberg makes the announcement on his Facebook page;

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

You can read his full statement here.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom breaks the news via Twitter

The tweet linked through to the Instagram Tumblr where Systrom had posted an official statement;

It’s important to be clear that Instagram is not going away. We’ll be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network. We’ll continue to add new features to the product and find new ways to create a better mobile photos experience.

The Instagram app will still be the same one you know and love. You’ll still have all the same people you follow and that follow you.You’ll still be able to share to other social networks. And you’ll still have all the other features that make the app so fun and unique.

We’re psyched to be joining Facebook and are excited to build a better Instagram for everyone.

You can read the full statement here.

TechCrunch highlights how Facebook has made way for Instagram;

This is a really big departure from the way Zuckerberg has historically run Facebook as a single product. He has always been insistent that everything feed back into Facebook itself.

Keeping Instagram as a separate product and brand is reminiscent of what Google has done with keeping YouTube and Android as separate fiefdoms within the company following their acquisitions.

The website has also remade their logo in honour of the acquisition. You can read the full article at TechCrunch.

Quora weighs in
Over on Quora the techsperts have been sharing their views. Ryan Charles, former head of mobile at Zagat, said;

If you’ve read The Facebook Effect, you’ll understand how pivotal photo sharing was to Facebook’s growth. The ability to tag a user in a photo was also a tremendous social and viral mechanism for Facebook.

Instagram could easily become a baked in component of a Facebook mobile OS and the team understands how to build a mobile community from the ground up.

Tech commentator Robert Scoble shared his views on the $1bn price tag;

Today Facebook has NO revenues from mobile. None. That’s amazing, since so many people, hundreds of millions of us, use Facebook on mobile clients.

Instagram will let Facebook develop a new kind of Open Graph advertising. One where Facebook will be able to offer mobile developers a lot of money in return for opening their apps up to Open Graph.

Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are slobbering over this new potential revenue stream, so having lots of VC buy-in (they just got a nice payday) will be very important.

Imagine that Benchmark now “asks” all of its member companies to support such a new advertising scheme? This could result in billions of revenues for Facebook and member companies.

The Guardian highlighted the negative sentiment the deal has garnered;

Instagram and its various analogues have created a legion of smartphone users who are quite literally uploading billions of damaged images into the public record.

Make no mistake, you aren’t an artist. If you were an artist, you wouldn’t be using Instagram in the first place. You certainly wouldn’t be using a filter as a crutch.

At the end of the day, that’s what Instagram filters are: a crutch, a misguided replacement for a properly composed shot and a decent sensor.

Chris Zeigler, writing at The Verge

The precedent is worrisome, though, if it means every time a startup encroaches on one of Facebook’s presumed strengths it will need to take out its pocketbook to defend its turf. That’s hardly a robust justification for a lofty valuation.

Robert Cyran at BreakingViews

Twitter explodes
The most vocal outrage has been reserved for Twitter, with everyone from journalists and tech bloggers to Instagram users venting about the deal;

The strangest part of the deal
The Atlantic and Quora also picked up news that Instagram had sealed an extra $50m in funding only last week;

As a former entrepreneur myself, my sense is that there’s no way Instagram would have knowingly shrunk it valuation slice if they knew a potential sale was imminent.

It’s more likely that either the Facebook deal floored them, or that they were using the latest round of venture funding to show off their accelerating valuation to Facebook.

Matthew O’Brian at The Atlantic

It seems clear that closing the investor round helped Instagram improve its negotiation position/valuation with Facebook. Instagram (closed) a big round that gave it enough money to stay independent for a long time while growing the company.

At that point, Facebook’s only option was to go big or go home.

Muhammad At-Tauhidi on Quora

Instagram reacts
The existing users of the network reacted both with hubris and humour to the news;

We are still gathering our thoughts here at the We Are Social office, and will be posting them on the blog shortly.

In the mean time, tell us; is this the end of Instagram? Does this change anything? Let us know in the comments.

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