Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Twitter’.

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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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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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #55

by Jaime Novoa in News Google+

Americans of all ages turn to the Internet to get their news
A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that the Internet is the main source of news for 41% of American adults, surpassing newspapers and getting closer and closer to the power of television as a news source. This data confirms a trend that has been visible for at least ten years – that more and more adults turn to the Internet for both national and international news.

But what’s particularly interesting – and new – is that the research shows that in 2010, the 18-29 demographic used the internet as its main source for catching up on the news, ahead of TV:

Corporate Blogs are still relevant
A survey covered by eMarketer shows that nearly a quarter of Fortune 1,000 companies have a corporate blog. The survey examined the reasons these companies maintain blogs:


MySpace to limit their international operations
Things aren’t exactly rosy for MySpace at present. The company, which was acquired by News Corporation in 2005 for US$580 million, is set to limit its international operations by announcing a major restructure, according to The Telegraph.

After layoffs that took place a few months ago, MySpace’s international presence extends simply to offices in London, Berlin and Sydney with roughly 150 employees combined. But with this evening’s news that much of the London office will close – leaving just a ‘skeleton’ staff – it’s clear that they’re not really backing the relaunch of the site; indeed, what’s far from clear is what the future of MySpace actually holds.

LinkedIn to go public in 2011?
According to Reuters, the social networking site LinkedIn plans to go public in 2011, although a spokesman for the company said “an IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider” in the future.

However, news from Silicon Alley Insider doesn’t bode well – they claim that LinkedIn’s ads are not working at all well for marketers, with examples of ads with an average cost per click of $14.89 and very small conversion rates.

Facebook’s revenue figures and 750 million photos over NY weekend
This has been one of the stories of the week. Is Facebook valued too high or even too low? There are opinions across the spectrum, but what is clear is that its business is generating huge revenues. According to documents distributed by Goldman Sachs, Facebook generated $1.2 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2010 and is expected to keep growing in the next fiscal year.

Talking of years, this one started well for Mark Zuckerberg and co, with almost 750 million photos being uploaded to the site over the New Year’s weekend.

Twitter starts 2011 with a new record
That’s right. Even though we are only 10 days into 2011, Twitter has already started making headlines and breaking records that seemed unbreakable. As published on the Twitter Blog a few days ago, minutes after midnight in Japan on January 1st the company set a new record with 6,939 Tweets sent per second.

This is partly because of the huge growth in mobile for the company – Twitter CEO Dick Costolo revealed at CES that 40% of all tweets come from mobile devices, up from 20-25% a year ago.

To see how Twitter was affected by the New Year, just look at Twitter’s visualisation of how it was slowly brought in around the world.

Why is Quora growing so fast?
Quora, the Q&A service created by Facebook’s former CTO, was founded in June 2009. But it wasn’t until recently that it started gaining traction in the online world and making the rounds of Twitter and several very important blogs. So, why did it take the site more than a year to become “popular” as it doubled its normal activity in the month of December?

Sysomos tried to address this by pointing out the associated spike in social media mentions (especially on Twitter), but also confirming the importance of TechCrunch in the site’s growth.

In spite of the huge number of new registrations, at We Are Social the jury is still out on Quora – with some finding it useless, a point epitomised by this satirical site.

Citibank goes to Twitter
Banks, over the years, have been reluctant to get involved in social media. But at least Citibank has decided to give it a try and start responding to those not happy with their service on Twitter. The man behind the account? None other than Frank Eliason, the who ran the famous @Comcastcares account.

‘Foursquare’ your meal and win a dinner for two
Remember the new photo support that was added to Foursquare in recent weeks? Well, Olive Valley, a restaurant in Brooklyn, has seen an opportunity and has started the first foursquare-based photo contest. Customers are encouraged to take photos of their meals and share them via Foursquare’s check-in system. The best ones that are submitted will win a dinner for two.

Ryan Babel charged for Twitter post
In what is to our knowledge a first, Ryan Babel has been charged by the FA for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb in a Man United shirt on Twitter, following Liverpool’s defeat to Man United in the FA Cup 3rd round. This was in spite of later removing the post from Twitter. But it’s hard to sympathise with Babel when it was his dive which meant Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League in 2008. What’s the Dutch for ‘what goes around, comes around’?

Where did all the spam go?
According to the BBC, spam e-mail levels have been falling dramatically since August, and especially since December.

There is no certain explanation for this unusual situation, but experts agree that this does not mean spam is over – spammers might well simply be targeting new services, such as Twitter and Facebook…

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Users are growing (up) on Twitter

by Stefano Maggi in News Google+

According to recent research by Sysomos, Twitter users have changed. Not only have they grown in numbers: they’ve grown up and have a more mature approach to Twitter.

It’s a collective acquisition of behaviours and uses that shows clearly Twitter is headed towards more engagement and more interaction between people (and brands, too).

A few insights from the research:

  • Many have understood the importance of trust: the use of Twitter “bios” to tell people about their identity has increased (31% to 69%);

  • Relevance is also important: having a detailed name helps to show a there’s a real person behind the account. Detailed user names have increased (33% > 73%);

  • Differentiation is becoming one of the main challenges in social media, and attributes like location or website URL help develop it. Both these parameters have been communicated by many more Twitter users than last year;

  • The number of users has increased, but also the average number of followers has grown, proving that new accounts are interacting well, learning from more experienced people;

What do you think about Twitter’s change? Do you feel its users are growing up and have a more effective approach to networking and conversation?

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #46

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Social media research task force formed
Big news last week from the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, who established a task force to “address the many ethical and methodological issues developing in the wake of social media research’s emergence”. CASRO cites the “unique and complex issues” associated with social media research regarding privacy, disclosure, and the proper handling of data as the driving force for the move. As you’d expect, we see this as an essential step for the industry and we’ll be following developments closely.

Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream

Now, you’ve surely seen this headline many times before. But a recent report by eMarketer estimates that:

34% of US companies will use a blog for marketing purposes this year, a proportion that will continue to grow to 43% by 2012.

The study points to a variety of blogging benefits, such as “communications, lead generation, customer service and brand marketing” driving this trend.

Twitter as stock market predictor
Studies have previously found a link between buzz on Twitter and a movie’s success or failure at the box office, but new research from Indiana University is believed to be the first to study Twitter and Wall Street:

Researchers at a US university found they were able to predict the rise and fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average with near 90 percent accuracy several days in advance by analyzing messages on Twitter.

Researchers measured the ‘collective public mood’ by looking at more than 9.8 million “tweets” from 2.7 million users of the micro-blogging service during 10 months in 2008.

It’s a pretty amazing finding, and one that I imagine will have some social media specialists out there trying to replicate so as to reap the rewards on the stock market. And with an average 90 million Tweets now being sent per day, I wish them well.

We’ll however be trying to emulate the work of Economist-turned-advertising executive Jason Harper, who has developed a “Velocity and Acceleration” model to predict sales results, based on online conversations.

Foursquare Hits 4 Million Users AND outer space
Location-based mobile game Foursquare has passed four million users, according to co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley. The service hit the 3 million mark a mere 50 days ago, in August 2010. According to GigaOm, this rapid growth can be explained by Foursquare beginning to “see a network effect — the more people sign-up, the faster it grows.”

Bets on when it will hit 5 million?

Meanwhile, one user is worth noting: Doug Wheelock (Astro_Wheels). He’s a Space Station Commander at the International Space Station, and the first to checkin on Foursquare from space. He was also the first person to unlock a new NASA Explorer foursquare badge. Eat your heart out Neil Armstrong.

The checkin is a part of a larger tie up between Fourtsquare and NASA:

Earthbound users will be able to earn the badge when Wheelock returns to earth in late November by following NASA and checking in at their recommended locations. The locations eligible for the badge are all related to the history of spaceflight, like the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL or the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Foursquare tips have been left at each location, making this a pretty cool partnership and a ‘great way for NASA to connect with a younger generation’.

Journalism on Twitter – two different takes
A well-publicised Twitter gaff by a Washington Post staffer last week prompted an internal memo to be sent telling all journalists “not to answer critics from Post-branded Twitter accounts or to use their personal accounts to ‘speak on behalf of the Post’.”

The memo was sent after a controversial guest article was published in the wake of a number of suicides by US teenagers who were bullied for being gay. The article, which argued that homosexuality is a mental health issue, was met with complaints via Twitter and blogs. A post staffer tried to defend the publishing of the article, which only fueled more controversy.  The tweet was later described by the Post as “misguided both in describing our rationale for publishing the piece and as a matter of practice.”

But, while the Post is trying to discourage the use of branded Post accounts to answer critics, The Guardian is taking a slightly different position to social media with their new guidelines.

The Guardian encourages their staff members to participate in conversations about the Guardian’s content, to present facts and embrace reader’s additional knowledge.

Which? launches first online community
Independent consumer rights group Which? has launched its first online consumer rights community, called Which? Conversation aimed at promoting debate around “technology, travel and transport, home and energy and money.” Which? Writers and guest bloggers will be contributing to the community, and the group intends to use it to keep their ‘finger on the pulse of the issues that really matter to consumers’.

Customers Asked to Share Handy Uses for Vaseline
Just in time for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly’s 140th birthday, the company launched new packaging as part of a wider social media campaign to ask customers about the many ways they use the product “other than its original intended purpose.”

The promotion is being conducted on a dedicated Vaseline Facebook page and on Twitter, and the 140 best use cases will be compiled into a video montage by the brand to share with others. I’m not sure I’d want to be the moderator for that competition.

And there’s more – all entrants will automatically be entered in to a sweepstake having the chance to win a limited edition jar of Vaseline, covered in Swarovski crystals. Which answers the call from millions of male consumers for a jar of Vaseline they can finally leave in plain sight…

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