In this week’s update: Africa attracts interest from the Far East; digital aids Ecuador earthquake recovery; Bing states a quarter of all searches are now voice and internet users in Brazil favour WhatsApp and Facebook for messaging.
Africa has been increasingly attracting interest from China and Hong Kong. Leading Chinese mobile browser, UC Browser has launched in the market. Alibaba announced they had seen “potential growth in Kenya with the rise of smartphone shipments in the country”. According to Capital Business, Kenya has a total of 37.8 million mobile subscribers with almost 40 per cent of them using smartphones. Alibaba’s UC browser will provide millions with faster browsing speeds. This week also saw Hong Kong based lifestyle devices brand, Zuri, roll out its brand of smartphones in the Kenyan market. CEO Vikash Shah states “East Africa represents a significant growth opportunity with demand for smartphones increasing across the region.” Zuri aims to provide customers with smarter, simpler and stronger ways to realise the full potential of the connected world.
After last month’s devastating Ecuador earthquake, Facebook once again activated their Safety Check feature, allowing survivors to notify their family and friends of their safety. Movistar and Skype also offered support by offering free calls with Airbnb waiving its service fees for those affected by the disaster and checking in April 21 – May 14 2016. Airbnb are also offering urgent accommodation for those stranded by the Ecuador earthquake. Airbnb’s disaster response feature allows hosts to offer their space for free and connect with those in need.
Speaking at Search Insider Summit last week, representatives of Bing stated that a quarter of all searches performed on Bing are voice searches. Representatives also shared that voice searches are becoming longer, falling between six and 10 words, compared to the average 1 to 3 words for text searches. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa all rely on Bing for their voice search queries.
In an article featured in The Drum, Chloe McKenna and Damien Robert of Oban International, discuss the challenges of voice search for international brands. They discuss the need to consider regional language variations and the importance of localising for specific groups of people, not merely languages. Motivations behind the global rise in voice search? 43% of respondents surveyed stated it is quicker than going on a website or using an app with 28% stating it is a more accurate way of searching.
Research conducted by Ilumeo and Nova/sb shows that nearly 100% of internet users in Brazil use WhatsApp, more than any other messaging app or service. Almost nine in 10 of those surveyed also said they use Facebook Messenger. Apps also used amongst respondents include Skype (50%), Twitter (30%) and Snapchat (13%). According to eMarketer, about 34% of Brazil’s population uses mobile messaging apps. And the good news? Over half of smartphone messaging app users surveyed state they would be open to receiving ads in exchange for free messaging apps.
R1105166 by Flickr user shuets udono
IMG_0711 by Flickr user Juliana-Mesquita