Global Marketing News – 2nd November 2015
Global growth slows for leading social platforms
Both Twitter and Line have seen big slowdowns in their user numbers.
The micro-blogging site Twitter now has 307 million monthly active users, an increase of just 3 million users on the previous quarter. This amounts to a year-on-year increase of just 8%, down from 12% the previous quarter.
Most of its growth was from foreign markets, with user numbers in the US remaining largely stagnant.
The Asian social messaging app Line also saw sluggish growth, with 212 million monthly active users, an increase of just 10 million in the last 6 months. In contrast, rival WhatsApp gained 100 million new users in the same time period.
Line also saw an increase in the proportion of users from its four core markets of Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan, meaning that it is failing to attract users from new emerging smartphone powerhouses such as India and Brazil.
Best and worst countries for internet freedom named
Research by Freedom House has revealed the best and worst places in the world for internet freedom.
Unsurprisingly, China was the worst place in the world for internet freedom, followed by Iran, Syria, Ethiopia and Cuba.
North Korea, where the entire internet is banned to ordinary citizens, was not included in the survey due of a lack of data, but is presumably the only country with a worse internet freedom record than China.
Common forms of internet censorship in these countries include blocking entire websites, blocking access to specific content about human rights, and blocking messages from being sent on social media if they are critical of the government regime.
On the flipside, Iceland was the best place in the world for internet freedom, followed by Estonia, Canada, Germany and the US.
Baidu launches ecommerce site Baidu Mall
Baidu has formally launched its ecommerce site Baidu Mall.
Speculation around the online sales platform first started in April this year, with the actual launch only happening recently, and with minimal media coverage – possibly following the failures of Baidu’s two previous attempts at cracking the ecommerce market.
The Chinese ecommerce market is dominated by local giants Alibaba and JD, so Baidu Mall has taken a different approach and appears to be targeting the high-end goods market, rather than directly challenging its rivals in the mainstream ecommerce market.
Baidu has also recently invested an undisclosed amount of money in the imported goods ecommerce app Bolome, prompting rumours that Baidu Mall was working to attract foreign retailers to its platform.
Recent research by the China Internet Network and Information Centre revealed that Chinese online shoppers perceive foreign retailers as having better quality products.
Baidu is most well-known for its search engine of the same name, which is the most popular in China with a market share of around 60%.
Skyscanner embarks on global expansion plan
The Scottish travel price comparison company Skyscanner has opened three new offices as part of its international expansion plan.
The new offices are located in Hungary, Bulgaria and England and are focused on engineering and mobile.
Skyscanner is choosing to focus on mobile after it saw a staggering 77% increase in the number of mobile visitors in the last year.
Skyscanner currently has 35 million monthly users from all over the globe and generates an annual revenue of £93 million.
It recently made headlines after entering into a partnership with the search engine Yahoo Japan in an attempt to crack the lucrative Japanese travel booking market.
Printivo launches in Nigeria
And finally, an online printing company that wants to become the Vistaprint of Africa has launched in Nigeria.
Printivo allows users to create and order printed flyers, business cards, stationary, bags and mugs online, with the company shipping the finished products to anywhere in Nigeria.
Printivo’s founder Oluyomi Ojo saw an opportunity in the market when he realised that Nigeria had a non-existent online printing market, something that made ordering prints particularly difficult for small businesses.
With an estimated 17 million small businesses in Nigeria, Ojo hopes that that Printivo will help to fill this niche.
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