In this week’s roundup of key digital marketing news: figures released by VK suggest that the Russian social network’s competitors have few unique visitors; apparel and grocery online shopping lead in APAC; tourism inbound to China at $51 billion USD; product ratings appear in European Google search results; and Mark Zuckerberg announces Aquila, a solar-powered connectivity drone.
VK is the undisputed king of Russian social networking, and though alternative networks exist with tens of millions of users, statistics released this week at i-COMeference 2015 make for interesting reading. VK, in conjunction with media analyst group TNS Russia, has found that in 2014, second place network Odnoklassniki had only 4.3 million unique users (those using only Odnoklassniki). Around 34.6 million of its users also have VK accounts.
Further to this, the analysis showed that this pool of unique users has been rapid shrinking – in December 2012, 9.3 million used Odnoklassniki alone. VK, has seen steady growth in the same time period (11.3 to 13.6), and though Facebook’s total audience doubled between 2013 and 2014, the platform still only has 1.4 million unique users. VK was also found to be ahead in terms of time spent engaged per day – 43 minutes per day on average, versus 37 for Odnoklassiki and just six for Facebook.
Apparel, groceries and personal care products head up a list of the top product categories purchased digitally in Asia-Pacific, according to research by comScore for UPS. 59% surveyed said they had purchased clothing, 45% groceries and 43% personal care products. Purchases from a three month window were surveyed, leading to relatively low numbers of respondents who had purchased mobile devices and other consumer electronics (18% and 17% respectively).
The research, conducted in October 2014 in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, mirrors research earlier in the year that suggested that two-thirds have purchased apparel online. eMarketer has estimated that 537.2 million people in the APAC region will have made at least one digital purchase in 2014.
Inbound tourism to China in 2013 reached $51.646 billion USD, making the country the fourth biggest destination worldwide, according to the China Tourism Academy. South Korea heads up the list of travellers to China, with 4.1 million people arriving in a single year. Japan (2.7 million), the United States (2.1 million), Russia (2 million) and Malaysia (1.1 million) round out the top five. The figures do reveal that growth is negative in the number of tourists from America, Europe and Oceania, whoever. Increases in numbers from Asia and Africa have been witnessed.
Ratings on product listing advertising were introduced to Google.com last September, and Google is now rolling these listings out on Google.co.uk, Google.fr and Google.de with more locales promised in the coming weeks. Google will show aggregated five-star ratings based on rating and review data for specific products next to product listing adverts, provided that advertisers share all their product reviews with Google directly, or via a list of approved third-parties.
Product listing advertising is usually located in a box at the top of the search engine results pages and shouldn’t be confused with the seller ratings usually found in more conventional paid advertising.
Facebook’s collaboration with international mobile phone companies, Internet.org, aims to bring access to five billion unconnected people through new connectivity technologies. On Thursday 26 March, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed a design for an automated solar-power drone, Aquila, capable of flying for months at a time and providing wireless internet while 60,000 feet above the ground. Zuckerberg’s statement also mentions “satellites and lasers” in development at Facebook’s Connectivity Labs (the statement contains no mentions of moon bases and hollowed-out volcanoes, however).
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Russian Adventure (Matryoshka) photo by Flickr user Neil Bates
Durian: A formidable foe photo by Flickr user Douglas LeMoine
The Tourist Pullers photo by Flickr user timquijano