A Green Day-esque song played on Hitz.fm radio this morning, titled Through My Window (click to play), with artist name undisclosed but DJ @rudyculously mentioned a website address, EveryoneConnects.net. On the website, there’s not much information except the MP3 file of the song (available for free download), together with the song lyric. Its “What’s the Buzz?” box is displaying Twitter updates stream. Also, there are links to its Twitter, Facebook and Friendster profile pages. And this phrase is seen at the bottom of the page, “Everyone Connects is about getting people to communicate & collaborate because when everyone’s connected, anything is possible.”
Some 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.
There are now more than 1 million users of Facebook in Malaysia. Friendster said there are 2.2 million active Malaysian users on its social network. Now, what about Twitter? In December 2008, TwitterFacts estimated a total of 3,429 Twitter users in Malaysia. I believe the number has increased since then.
Let’s look elsewhere for hints, clues and indications. WeFollow, a user-generated Twitter Directory by Kevin Rose, where users self-tagged to a set of 3 keywords to describe themselves. There are only 274 users who tagged themselves to ‘malaysia’ but I’m quite sure the figure doesn’t reflect the current total Malaysians on Twitter.
TwitterCounter and Twitter Grader directories also offer listing of Twitter users by country. Unfortunately, Grader only list Top 50 users whereas TwitterCounter limits its listing to 10,020 profiles, per location. TwitterCounter says it is tracking 3.9 million unique Twitter users and yes, a search of ‘malaysia’ returns 10,020 Twitter usernames.
There are two ‘live’ directories, which are indexing Twitter users – TwitDir and Twellow. At the time of this posting, TwitDir has a total of 4,013,391 accounts and 2,231 of them with ‘Malaysia’ within their location detail. Twellow called itself Twitter Yellow Pages and it categorizes Twitter users into various categories, based on bio details. Currently, there are a total of 6.6 million Twitter profiles in its database. At the time of this posting, a search of ‘malaysia’ yields a total of 7,766 accounts.
Twitter just unveiled its new public homepage design and search box is the highlight.
In the beginning, Twitter is “a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”. Over times, with its through-the-roof population growth rate, Twitter is becoming useful for discovering ‘what’s happening right now’ and ‘what people are saying about…’ With even larger user base of say, 1 billion users, it will becomes the ‘Pulse of the Planet.’ In short, Twitter is now a web utility to share information and also, search what people are talking about and sense what’s happening right now.
Facebook with 250 million users and these users are sharing over 10 billion photos. YouTube is streaming 1.2 billion videos a day, worldwide. The number of worldwide unique visitors of Twitter catapulted from 19 million in March 2009 to 32 million in April 2009 and each day, Twitter users are generating roughly 18 million updates. And according to comScore, social networking penetration rate worldwide was 65% in the month of May 2009, or 734.2 million Internet users across the globe accessing at least one social networking website during the month.
Malaysians love Social Networking too
There are about 16 million Internet users in Malaysia and IDC Research projected Malaysian Internet users will reach 20.4 million by 2012. In March this year, the number of Facebook users in Malaysia surpassed the one million mark. Recently, a brief survey by YouthSays, Malaysia’s largest youth community website with over 160,000 members, showed 95% of a total of 900 respondents have Friendster’s account, 90% with Facebook and 38% with Twitter (This survey was presented at the recent Malaysian Media Congress 2009).
In Malaysia, the social networking penetration rate was 66.6% in December 2008 (see Table below), behind only to Singapore (74.3%) and South Korea (68%).
Foldees, the on-going greeting cards contest website, just released its latest feature, @ddress Directory. With @ddress, it is now possible to send Foldees greeting card without knowing the recipient’s mailing address. Also, anyone can receive printed cards from online friends or admirers, without revealing personal information like mailing address.
Exora, the newly launched MPV by Malaysian carmaker Proton, has two ‘voices’ on Twitter – @ProtonExora and @YouWillBeAmazed. The former is managed by Proton with first tweet dated April 13 2009; the latter is an unofficial voice and started on April 29 2009. To date, the ‘unofficial’ one has more of Updates and Followers.
Maxis Communications Bhd, Malaysian’s largest mobile communication provider, yesterday announced the launch date of iPhone 3G in Malaysia. Leading up to the announcement, Twitterville is abuzz with chats on its pricing plans and other issues.
If you’ve missed the fun on Twitterville yesterday with #iphonemalaysia, here the Top 5 interesting ‘moments’ of Maxis iPhone 3G Pre-Launch Day, spotted on Twitter (and elsewhere on the Web).
UPDATE: This post became the Most Read article in a week, with over 11,000 views, at SocialMediaTODAY.
Twitter is now the third most popular social network, behind Facebook and MySpace (Compete, 2009). A year ago, it has over a million users and 200,000 active monthly users sending over 3 million updates per day (TechCrunch, 2008). Those figures have almost certainly increased since then. With the torrential streams of Twitter updates (or tweets), there’s an emerging demand to sieve signals from noises and harvest useful information.
Enter Twitter Analytics, or simply just Analytwits (in the tradition of Twitter slang). These analytics tools are growing in numbers; even Twitter is developing them.
Besides Twitter Search, the following 8 Analytwits are some of the more useful web applications to analyze Twitter streams. Each of these tools serve specific purpose. They crawl and sift through Twitter streams; also, aggregate, rank and slice-and-dice data to deliver some insights on Twitter activities and trends. There’s no single best analytic tool available but use in combination, they can extract interesting insights from Twitter streams.
Skittles candy from Mars has taken its brand to a level where many brands have not gone before. Instead of delivering controlled brand messages on its website, it is transforming the site into a navigator for its social media universe. Particularly impressive is its home page shows chatter about ‘skittles’ on Twitter Search. In such laissez-faire environment, real-time updates streaming on Twitter Search can be both positive and negative mentions.
This list offers a glimpse of some of the more interesting use of Web 2.0 by Malaysian brands. It is created after sifting through hundreds of social media ‘initiatives’ listed on the Social Media Malaysia. However, as with any list, there are limitations and this one is no exception. Some of the shortfalls are:
- Investigation is based on initiatives listed on the Social Media Malaysia.
- No ‘scientific’ measurement is used to derive the ranking.
Caveats aside, the list is a baby step towards a better understanding of the use of Web 2.0 in businesses in Malaysia and hopefully, can inspire more Malaysian companies use them more creatively.