Global Marketing News – 14th September 2015
Instagram opens up global opportunities for advertisers
The image-centric social network Instagram has introduced three major changes to its ad platform in order to attract advertisers.
It has expanded its ad platform to 30 new countries, including India, South Korea and Mexico, and has announced that it will be available worldwide from the end of the month.
Small-to-medium sized businesses will also be able to use the Instagram ad platform, which was only previously available to large businesses.
It has also extended the maximum length of a video ad from 15 seconds to 30 seconds, and introduced landscape rectangular capabilities. Previously, video ads had to be square.
The introduction of longer, horizontal video means that advertisers can now use the same ads for TV and Instagram, reducing video production costs for advertisers.
It has also improved its calls-to-action options, which now allow advertisers to link to an external site outside of Instagram.
Google lowers minimum price for apps in India to 10 Rupees
Google has lowered the minimum price for apps in its Google Play store in India to just 10 Rupees, equivalent to 10p.
The previous minimum app price for Google Play apps had been 50 Rupees.
Google hopes that this reduction will help encourage more Indians to download apps from the app store, and thus also encourage developers to create apps for the Indian market.
The Indian smartphone market is one of the fastest growing in Asia, with smartphone shipments to the country increasing by a staggering 44% last quarter.
This is not the first Google-related news to come from India in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the Indian Competition Commission (ICC) accused Google of unfairly promoting its own services in its search results at the expense of competitors.
Alibaba sees fall in sales
The Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has seen its sales decrease, despite user engagement remaining high on the site.
The fall in sales is thought to be due to lack of consumer confidence due to the Chinese financial market crash and country’s ailing economy, rather than a sudden reduction in the ability of Chinese consumers to spend.
Alibaba has also seen a fall in its gross merchandise volume. This is partly due to Alibaba’s crackdown on counterfeit good, however, so will ultimately make the site “more sustainable and competitive in the long-term.”
Alibaba hopes that spending will pick up again on Single’s Day, which falls in November and is traditionally the busiest online shopping day in China, similar to Black Friday in the US. Last year, Single’s Day brought in sales worth over 9 billion US dollars for the Chinese ecommerce giant.
Social networks key to advertising in Latin America
Social networks are the key channels for display advertisers targeting Latin America, according to research by comScore.
The study looked at where online display ads were placed in April 2015 in Latin America and found that social media was the top category across all countries.
In Mexico, 54% of all online display ads were placed on social media, with the figure remaining high in Argentina and Brazil where they accounted for 42% and 38% of all online display ads respectively.
The popularity of social media as an advertising channel makes sense when looking at the popularity of social networks in Latin America.
Almost 240 million people are estimated to go on social media at least once a month in Latin America, around 96% of all internet users.
Braille smartwatch developed for the blind and visually impaired
And finally, the South Korean tech company Dot has developed a Braille smartwatch for blind and visually impaired users.
The smartwatch uses bumps which rise up to display 4 characters at a time at a variety of speeds which can be changed depending on how quickly the user can read Braille.
The smartwatch connects to the user’s smartphone using Bluetooth and can display whatever the user asks for when they make a voice command, from text messages to social media feeds.
The device costs 280 US dollars, much less than the large, PC-based alternatives that have been the only things available for blind people until now, which typically cost 10,000 US dollars.
The first 10,000 smartwatches will be sold in the US later this year.
There are around 285 million blind or visually impaired people worldwide, meaning there is plenty of demand for blind technologies, a relatively untapped market.
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