DON’T FORGET ABOUT WECHAT: China-based mobile messaging app WeChat showed incredibly strong growth outside its native market in the second half of last year. 78 million mobile and tablet users outside China used WeChat on a monthly basis (MAUs) in the fourth quarter of 2013; marking a 375% increase over the number who did so just two quarters prior.
The new data is based on a GlobalWebIndex survey of 40,000 Internet users worldwide (excluding China) aged 16 to 64.
We estimated that WeChat had approximately 297 million MAUs worldwide in November. Therefore, we can estimate WeChat’s MAUs outside of China to be roughly 26% of its total monthly active audience.
For comparison, the percentage of Internet users who used Snapchat on a monthly basis increased 54% between the second and fourth quarters of 2013. Snapchat now has a reported 30 million monthly active users, which makes it about one-tenth the size of WeChat’s non-China audience.
RUSSIA SEARCH ENGINE PARTNERS WITH FACEBOOK: Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia (with 60% market share), will begin showing real-time, related Facebook posts within its search engine results. Bing is currently the only other major search engine that includes Facebook posts in its results. We know that Google Search rankings correlate highly with well-performing content on Google+ and Facebook, but the search engine only considers it a factor when sorting content; there is no social search feature.
Yandex’s indexing of public posts on Facebook will be limited to users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey — which combined, covers “tens of millions” of Facebook users. (TechCrunch)
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FACEBOOK COULD LAUNCH A NEWS READER: Facebook is reportedly launching a news reading service for mobile devices called “Paper,” according to Re/code. The service will either be a standalone app, or a “web experience suited to mobile devices.” Similar to Flipboard, Paper will aggregate news from publishers and content from social media.
So, how will this new product help Facebook? Our initial reaction is that Paper sounds a lot like a testing environment for Facebook’s news feed. Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president of product, is heading up the effort, and he has been very outspoken about campaigning for the “ideal” news feed that is part of every user’s daily morning ritual. However, an intended redesign of the news feed last March was cut short of a major rollout, when usage stalled among a test group of users. Facebook is likely still debating internally about the future of the news feed. (Re/code)
JELLY APP — ONE WEEK IN: Jelly, the new question-and-answer app from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, had a fairly strong first week. According to RJMetrics:
- More than 100,000 questions were asked on Jelly in its first week.
- However, only 25% of questions posed by users received an answer.
- The most commonly asked question referred to identifying something in an image.
- One of the 50 most-asked questions was: “What brand is this?”
Usage will likely fall after the initial launch buzz wears off. However, if Jelly is able to scale over the long term, early usage indicates that its data could help bolster image recognition technology, particularly as it relates to brands (such as identifying a brand’s product in an image). (RJMetrics)
TUMBLR ADDS USER MENTIONS: Tumblr, the visual blogging platform owned by Yahoo, has rolled out user mentions that allow users to refer to other profiles using the “@” symbol before their username. A notification will appear inside the user’s activity page when their profile is mentioned using this convention. Other major social Web properties, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram already have user mention functionality in their posts. However, adding this feature does show that Tumblr is serious about becoming a more intimate communication channel. Furthermore, this new feature will also help smaller brands monitor their sentiment on the platform, since they are notified when mentioned. (The Verge)
YOUTUBE IMPROVES COMMENT MANAGEMENT: YouTube launched a new comment management tool for users who have uploaded a video to the platform. The backstory here is that among the changes that came with the Google+ integration with YouTube, comment notices became alerts, rather than messages a user would receive in her YouTube inbox. The new YouTube comment management tool appears better than both comment systems that precede it. Video managers can now respond to and moderate comments from one page, in addition to toggling between comments on a channel that are pending approval. This will help save time for popular channel managers. (YouTube Blog)
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