Immanuel Simonsen

Twitter Sees Global Growth Thanks To SMS Only Users

Global Marketing News – 6th May

Twitter is to Enlarge Its User Growth Figures by Including SMS-only Users

The social networking giant is reflecting new audience trends by including a new group when calculating its number of active users.

‘SMS fast followers’ are users who only access Twitter through text messages. This appears to be a growing trend in emerging markets such as India, Brazil and Indonesia where feature phones are still popular and smartphone users can’t necessarily afford data access.

As numbers in developed markets like the UK and the US level out, these emerging markets are becoming a growing source of new users and Twitter has been investing heavily in an attempt to improve the fast follower experience.

It recently purchased a missed-call marketing service that lets users receive tweets direct to their mobiles.

By counting these users, the Twitter audience will automatically grow; in fact in the first quarter of 2015 there were 6.4 million SMS- only users, a figure that takes the grand total of Twitter users up to 308 million from 302.

Alibaba encourages merchants to focus on mobile shoppers

The online market place, Taobao, recently announced its strategy for targeting mobile users.

Its owner, the Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba, says that mobile shopping is evolving at such a rate, it is expected to exceed 70% by the end of 2015.

Last year, sales from mobile devices accounted for 42% with half of that traffic coming from recommendations via online communities and social media.

In response to this, Taobao recently launched a service that aims to simplify the online shopping process, enabling sellers to connect with buyers through Weibo, the Chinese social media network.

This focus on social media reflects the growing role it has in driving traffic to the site, as mobile traffic from the company’s own search engine is in decline.

Mobile Purchases are to Account for a Third of UK Retail Ecommerce Sales

Retail sales in the UK are set to reach £60 Billion this year, according to an estimate by eMarketer, with a third of these sales taking place on a mobile device.

This growth will place the UK in the number one spot for ecommerce sales share, with its share of online retail sales hitting just over 14%. It is closely followed by China at 12%, with the US lagging behind at just 7%.

This increase is thought to be driven by shoppers using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to shop online.

The predicted growth for mobile retail sales alone is expected to reach nearly £20 Billion by the end of this year, climbing to a staggering £37 Billion by 2019.

Tablets in particular seem to be a popular choice for online shopping and retailers are responding to this by making sure their sites and apps are easy to use and responsive.

Yandex is Improving Real-Time Bidding Opportunities in Russia

After acquiring the adtech company, ADFOX, last year, the Russian search engine is extending its digital ad network.

Yandex is hoping that the improved service and technology will help further develop its real-time bidding, with an increase in clicks and impressions, something that has previously been hindered by strict advertising regulations.

Instagram has banned the eggplant symbol

Instagram has banned the eggplant symbol from its newly unveiled service that allows users to search for photos using emojis.

It claims the image violates its community guidelines when it is used to tag lewd or offensive photos, something that happens quite frequently.

Instagram recently had to clarify its stance on nudity and update its guidelines accordingly.

While the eggplant emoji can still be used on photo captions, any search for it results in a ‘no tags found’ message.

Fortunately, the gun, the syringe and the corn-on-the -cob emojis are still fully functioning, as are the peach and banana.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

Immanuel Simonsen

Immanuel Simonsen

Research Manager at Webcertain
As the Research Manager of multilingual web marketing agency Webcertain, Immanuel heads up the company’s global market research activities and large content marketing projects. He is the author of several reports and guides, including ‘The Essential Guide to Rel-Alternate-Hreflang’ and ‘The Webcertain Global Search and Social Report 2013’. Apart from being a tutor at the International Marketing School -- teaching online marketing professionals on business opportunities around the globe -- Immanuel is a regular speaker at the International Search Summit, a leading event series dedicated to multilingual search and social media marketing.

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