echelon 2010: bigger, better, bolder

Countdown begins for echelon 2010 (formerly known as unConference Singapore). And tomorrow is the last day for early-bird registration for Asia’s leading web technology event, taking place in Singapore from June 1st to 2nd 2010. This year event is bigger, in terms of number of participating startups and speakers, better – format and bolder – breadth of content. Confirmed speakers include @ (Founders Fund), @ (Creative Commons), @ (Mozilla) and Ming Yong (Social Wok, winner of TC50 ’09 Demopit). Social gaming, cloud computing, enterprise 2.0, location-based and social media are the key focus of this year’s event (full agenda here). A total of 50 startups will be showcasing their products at the event and ten product launches during the Startup Launchpad session. Registration here.

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105,779,710 users and new estimates of Twitter users in Asia

At Chirp, Twitter revealed its total registered users – 105,779,710. With this ‘official’ figure, let’s take another stab at estimating total Twitter users in Asia. This is a revised estimates to the previous posting, Twitter in Asia, by Country. The estimates now is based on the ‘official’ total registered Twitter users and Twitter population’s percentage breakdown, by country (source: Sysomos).

During Chirp, co-founder @ also revealed that 75% of Twitter traffic comes from outside So, Fred Wilson’s argument that “Twitter ecosystem is about 3x” seems to apply. However, comScore’s estimate of 60 million unique visitors at may be way off! The use of the 60-million figure in my previous estimates resulted in inflated estimates of Twitter population in Asia.

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Enter the Echelon starring cool web startups and thought leaders in Asia. Coming soon

enter the echelon 2010Unconference Singapore is now called echelon. The annual web technology event, organized by the e27 gang, features mind-boggling combination of conference, panel discussions, pitching sessions and exhibitions. This year, topics to be covered include social gaming, cloud computing, location-based services, social networking, social media and socialTV.

Last year, I particularly enjoyed trolling the exhibition area for startups, which featured 30 awesome startups – iTwin and SocialWok – both went on to be featured on TechCrunch50 2009; iTwin, one of TC50 Finalists and SocialWok, winner of Demopit – Malaysian startups (Elevyn and Foldees), and others include Klout, eJamming Audiio, Fame, Orsiso, ThoughtBuzz and PieceHunters. The Startup Pitches session was great too and last year’s featured 8 startups – Countspin (US), iTwin (Singapore), Frenzoo (Hong Kong), Human Network Labs (Singapore), Socialwok (Singapore), Genkii (Japan), among others.

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Facebook in Asia: Total Users and Age Groups [Latest STATS]

See the latest report: Facebook in Asia: A Growth Story in 2011

Facebook marked its 6th anniversary on February 05 2010 with a population of 400 million users. On February 11 2010, the social network hit another milestone – more than 100 million people actively using Facebook on their mobile phones. Today, there are over 3 billion photos being uploaded to Facebook each month and more than 500,000 active applications on its Platform. And recently, FastCompany magazine named Facebook, as the World’s Most Innovative Company 2010.

These days, 70% of Facebook users are from outside US. In Asia, Facebook is fast becoming the one the region’s leading social networks. Indonesia has the fourth highest number of Facebook users in the world, after US, UK and Turkey. With 18.9 million users, Indonesia is well ahead of Philippines, the country with 10.5 million Facebook users (refer to table below). This is followed by India (6.8 million), Taiwan (5.8 million) and Malaysia (5.1 million). In terms of penetration rate, Hong Kong has the highest “Facebook users per country population” rate in Asia, at 39%, followed by Singapore (38%), Taiwan (25%), Malaysia (18%) and Philippines (11%). The total Facebook users in Asia is 59.6 million, or about 15% of the global Facebook population.

Facebook Users in Asia, by Country
(as of March 01 2010)
No. Country Estimated Total Users* % of Population^ % of Total Online Users#
1 Indonesia 18,943,640 7.88 63.15
2 Philippines 10,518,420 11.44 43.83
3 India 6,829,340 0.58 8.43
4 Taiwan 5,808,940 25.21 38.36
5 Malaysia 5,094,600 18.00 30.14
6 Hong Kong 2,769,900 39.26 56.78
7 Thailand 2,525,280 3.96 15.68
8 Singapore 1,895,580 38.01 56.25
9 Pakistan 1,803,860 1.07 9.75
10 Japan 907,540 0.71 0.95
11 Vietnam 761,260 0.89 3.47
12 Bangladesh 748,440 0.46
13 South Korea 510,560 1.02 1.36
14 Sri Lanka 483,340 2.39 41.54
  TOTAL 59,600,700    
* Total Users from / ^ Total Population from / # Total Online Users from The World Factbook (CIA)
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Twitter in Asia: Total Users, by Country

According to Sycomos latest report on Twitter, Asian countries constitutes about 7.74% of the Twitter unique users worldwide. Indonesia topped with 2.34% of unique users, followed by Japan (1.47) and India (0.97). On a global perspective, more than half of Twitter unique users (56.59%) are located in the US and followed by UK (8.09), Brazil (6.73), Canada (4.36) and Australia (2.63). This is based on analysis of active 13 million unique users, between Oct 16 2009 and Dec 16 2009.

comScore reported the total global unique users of has reached 60 million. However, Fred Wilson argued that “Twitter ecosystem is about 3x” Twitter ecosystem refers to all interactions with Twitter APIs, via the plethora of third-party Twitter apps i.e. Tweetdeck,, Facebook, iPhone apps, etc.

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Southeast Asia Is The Epicenter of Mobile Web: Opera Report

mobile webAccording to the latest Opera Mobile Report, Southeast Asia experienced the highest annual growth for mobile web usage. Opera is tracking users of Opera Mini, its browser for mobile. The latest November 2009 report shows Southeast Asia led in every category of growth, in terms of page view (575%), unique users (362%) and data transfer (580%). Worldwide, Opera Mini users jumped to 41.7 million in November 2009, from 16.4 million last November.

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Don’t Know Much About RoyalPlaza on Scotts Hotel But I Think They Serve Good Tweets

logobigSome companies get its right when it comes to conversing on Twitter. I’ve never experience the hospitality of the RoyalPlaza on Scotts hotel in Singapore. But on Twitter, I’ve some pleasant ‘conversations’ with @royalplazatweet. Late one night a few weeks ago, I tweeted RoyalPlaza to obtain its room rates. Shortly, I received a Direct Message from the hotel asking me for more details e.g. check-in date and duration of stay.  The next morning, the hotel tweeted me again with their best promotional rate. I’m pleasantly surprised by its fast responses.

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A Walled Garden for Singles-Only Named Eteract

EteractEteract is a social app for singles and positioned itself as an online activities site for singles. Eteract provides a social platform designed and refined for singles to find their love match and interact with one another in a safe and fun virtual environment. In contrast, social networks like Facebook, Friendster and MySpace provide laissez-faire context for social interactions.

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A Glimpse into the Future of Location Guide

gothereGoThere is a location-based search engine with mashup, user-generated contents fusion. Launched in May 2008, the Singaporean start-up mashes together Google Maps and location information to create a highly informative, interactive and intuitive web service.

At its core, GoThere is about giving direction and enabling social discovery. To request for direction between two locations, enter ‘from’ and ‘to’ place names query to search. The search returns include instructions on how to ‘efficiently’ reach the intended destination (with estimated time and cost), using public transportation and roads.

Search Interface of GoThere

You can also search for a specific location and GoThere will pinpoint it on the map with place details. You can either search for a place name (eg. Hard Rock Cafe) or a generic term (eg. cake). GoThere map is embeddable on any website; users can interact with the embedded map to get information such as car park rates, bus routes and comments on retail outlets.

gothereProbably, one of its cool features is its interactive location marker. Move the marker to a new spot on the map and new directional information will be displayed, on the fly!

GoThere also enables user-generated contents. You can edit details about a particular place such as address and associated tags and also rate it and add your feedback. Users are encouraged to share, geotag and review their favorite locations. With these contents, other users get to discover recommended cool places in Singapore.

Location Guide 2.0

GoThere aims for simplicity and speed and I think they’ve succeeded on both fronts. In the words of co-founder Toh Kian Khai, “We understand the importance of the user experience. We want to keep the interface simple as we ourselves are obsessed with speed; we want our users to get their results in the shortest possible time.”

Besides city dwellers, it’s an indispensable web tool to aid tourists in their exploration of Singapore. its repository of rich directional information is particularly impressive. For GoThere, the more locations tagged and reviewed by users, the more valuable are its service. With richer and expansive contents, this location-based web search service will one day becomes a perfect substitute for paper-based location guidebook / map.

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