social media

The opinion polls say the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gaining support. The bookies agree. And now the social media gurus are chiming in too.

The latest monthly report from Simplify360, the Texas-based social business intelligence company, shows the opposition party dominating the online debate. Continue reading »

We have heard all about India’s political parties turning to social media to campaign. But given limited internet penetration, wouldn’t telephone be a better way to connect with the masses?

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), widely recognised as leading the pack on technology as well as opinion polls, seems to think so. They have launched an interactive phone line that allows people to “speak” to prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, on a handset. Continue reading »

Slowly but surely Mumbai’s billboards are being filled with large, stern faces that gaze down ominously at passersby.

One picture of Rahul Gandhi, undeclared candidate for the incumbent Congress party, is emblazoned with the words: “Mein nahi, hum” (Not me, us). Even away from the streets in the confines of your sitting room, turn on the television and you might chance upon an advert by Tata Tea which encourages women to vote, making a symbol out of the black spot that will mark the forefinger of every voter in just a few weeks. Continue reading »

India ElectionsSome 3.6m internet users got an unexpected surprise to mark the Indian festival of Holi yesterday: a personalised Twitter message from aspirant Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The move was a neat gimmick, and part of a wider pattern in which Modi’s opposition BJP, in particular, have been making innovative use of social media as India’s poll battle plays out. Continue reading »

Last week, beyondbrics wrote about the use of social media in campaigning for this year’s Indian elections. Online networks have become an important route to young and urban voters and a useful source of information on the public debate.

But while politics may only just have caught on, India Inc has been using social media to manage communications for some time. Continue reading »

From Google Hangouts with overseas citizens to online political debates organised by Facebook, Indian politicians have turned to social media to woo voters ahead of this year’s general election.

Political parties generally look to Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns for ideas about online electioneering. But is that a sensible model? Or could innovative, local strategies be more effective in the world’s largest democracy? Continue reading »

As Twitter’s IPO cranks into action, there is one big question that is puzzling beyondbrics and many others: where are the non-US users based?

In its SEC filing, Twitter admitted that “users outside the US constituted 77 per cent of our average MAUs [monthly active users] in the three months ended June 30, 2013″. Just who are the 77 per cent? Continue reading »

Saudi Arabia’s clampdown on instant-messaging and free call companies from Skype to WhatsApp and Viber has riled the very people it needs on side right now: young people.

In the Gulf kingdom, where men and women who are not related are forbidden from fraternising in public, instant messaging and the ability to call for free – outside the purview of parental bill payers – is an outlet many have become used to. No wonder restricting the services is going down badly. Continue reading »

We Brazilians are a peaceful lot – too much, so some might say. While we are proud of our pacific ways and they are widely praised abroad, some level of activism and willingness to protest is needed to “keep the bastards honest”, as the saying goes. Now, after years of silent compliance, it seems there’s a generation ready to take to the streets again with the rise of the student bus fare protest movement in São Paulo and other cities in recent weeks. Continue reading »

By John Paul Rathbone and Jude Webber

It took three years, two months and one day for the billionth tweet to be fired off after Twitter began operations in 2009. Now 400m tweets are sent every day, and the figure is rising. But how to monetise that growth? Step forward Latin America, the first big region in the world targeted by Twitter when it decided to roll out its advertising platform last year. Continue reading »

Indian companies are – finally – learning the value of social media.

In the past few years, businesses in the country have begun using social media as a central, planned part of their marketing strategy with proactive efforts and an allocated budget, a new report by Ernst and Young has found. Continue reading »

Given that South Korea has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, one would expect its leading companies to treat the subject with the utmost sensitivity. So it is surprising to see a recent promotional video for Hyundai Motor using it as the basis for a comic skit.

 Continue reading »

India is the land of wisen business leaders and octogenarian politicians. But it is also a country with more than 70m users of social media; a nation buzzing with youngsters active on the net.

Can India’s leaders keep up with the kids? Continue reading »

Stock pickers might want to make sure that they are following the Twitter feed of Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister.

Those who do would have received a tweet late on Monday afternoon to the effect: “My intuition tells me that [treasury minister Mikolaj] Budzanowski will soon have important information re the price of gas in Poland.” Those in the know tied that comment to the ongoing talks that Poland was conducting with Russia’s Gazprom about lowering the price that Poland pays in its long-term contract. Continue reading »

Common wisdom has it that when it comes to the web, China goes its own way. For big western sites there are China equivalents: for Google, there’s Baidu. For Facebook there’s Renren. For eBay, there’s Alibaba. And for Twitter, there’s Sina Weibo. Isn’t there?

In terms of numbers, yes. China has over 300m users on the Sina Weibo service – Twitter is banned in China. But hang on. According to a recent report, the most active users of Twitter worldwide are in… China. Not the US. How come? Continue reading »