Foursquare’s iOS update released today marks a significant milestone in the location-based social network’s reinvention as a local search engine, but its Chinese counterpart Jiepang suggests another tack the company could have taken to address users’ lack of enthusiasm for checking in to local businesses.
Where are all the cool kids from the Netherlands hanging out online? Hint: it’s not Facebook. This snack-size infographic shows which regional social networks are popular in different parts of the world.
The Chinese government has blocked Google+ and other Google products while the Communist Party holds its 18th Party Congress in Beijing. In addition to users in China receiving an error message when they attempt to access Google-owned sites, foreign website owners will not be able to track Chinese visitors through Google Analytics. Our Google+ analytics tool, GPlusData, showed a drop-off in the number of posts on the social network beginning on November 8, when the congress began.
Renren, the “Facebook of China,” has added a new friend. Chuanfu Wang, a manufacturing executive who was named BusinessWeek’s Star of Asia in 2003, will replace Ruigang Li as an independent director on the company’s board. His appointment follows a wave of partnerships between the social network and smartphone manufacturers on Renren-enabled devices.
It’s easy to assume that America is the hub of world social media — especially considering the origins of Facebook — but the truth is that recent surveys of Chinese Internet users have shown that 95% of them use social networks, putting it on track to become the biggest social media savvy country in the world. Sites like Qzone, Renren and Kaixin 001 have taken off like wildfire in the country. Part of their eager appetite could be due to the fact that China is notorious for controlling state media, so the idea of a network where you can express your own views is very attractive.
Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email.
A Facebook Smartphone in 2013? (Los Angeles Times)
Can a Facebook smartphone solve the social media company’s mobile problem? Just one week after Facebook’s less-than-stellar IPO comes news that the social network is beefing up its engineering staff in the hopes of releasing a Facebook smartphone by 2013. GigaOM Does it make any sense for Facebook to build its own smartphone? Some argue that this would be a natural extension of the social network’s strategy. The Next Web But the tech world consensus is that it would be a nightmare for Facebook if it got into the mobile hardware game. A Facebook phone, which has been rumored for quite some time, could be one of the only ways for the company to not only control the experience of its mobile users, but properly iterate and hack out a better mobile experience overall. The New York Times This would be Facebook’s third effort at building a smartphone, said one person briefed on the plans and one who was recruited. In 2010, TechCrunch reported that Facebook was working on a smartphone. The project crumbled after the company realized the difficulties involved, according to people who had worked on it. AP Social media sites and blogs have lit up after eagle-eyed viewers spotted a surprise cameo by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, in a Chinese TV documentary about the country’s police force. The documentary by CCTV was part of a series on Chinese police and high-tech crime-solving methods. Read more
After years of fierce competition, online video giants Youku and Tudou are joining forces to create a single service to be called Youku Tudou Inc. in a deal estimated to be worth over $1 billion.
Pinterest continues its surge as it grows in the Asia Pacific region. The site has attracted millions of users in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The site faces a large host of competitors internationally, including a recently launched Chinese clone from Renren. The site seems to be surpassing all expectations — when will the growth taper off?
China’s dammed Internet wall is common knowledge — Chinese users are blockaded from looking at Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other sites that their government doesn’t allow. With all that pressure building up, though, the dam seems to have had a small crack, and it led to Obama’s Google+ page.
Renren, after a pretty tough couple of months that’s seen the stock come down from an IPO of between $12 and $14 to around $5 today, has joined other Chinese stocks in some of their best rallies of the year. Renren CEO Joseph Chen pointed out that mobile demand is boosting the user numbers. This could mark a revolution in the way Chinese users use the social network — mobile has always been a popular form of networking in the East, as proved by the Japanese social networks GREE and DeNa.