Facebook’s Asia Pacific ad director joins Spotify

SunitaKaurFacebook is growing in emerging Asian markets, but the company is now without the advertising director for its Asia Pacific division. AllThingsD and AllFacebook reported Tuesday that advertising director Sunita Kaur has left Facebook and joined Spotify in a similar role.

Kaur will become Spotify’s director for Asian markets and work from the Singapore office, a few months after popular music application launched in major Asian areas such as Hong Kong and Singapore. AllThingsD notes that Kaur will be in charge of Spotify’s growth in these areas, as well as sales. Spotify didn’t indicate to AllThingsD where its future growth plans are.

According to AllThingsD, Kaur worked with Facebook for the past 2 1/2 years as the company’s leader in Asia, helping Facebook expand into the region and handling sales. Prior to working for Facebook, Kaur handled similar duties for Forbes, Time Inc., and Microsoft Advertising.

Photo courtesy of AllThingsD.

STUDY: Facebook use growing in emerging Asia

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Facebook growth may have tapered off in the U.S., but it is booming elsewhere in the world. A recent study by Jana shows that Facebook users in emerging Asian countries such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines check the site constantly from their phones.

Jana polled more than 2,000 Facebook users in those countries, asking them about their usage and whether or not they’d use Facebook more often in the future.

When asked how often they check Facebook, more than 50 percent of people surveyed in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines said they do so more than 5 times per day.

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‘Facebook for Every Phone’ page hits 200M Likes, more than double No. 2 page on site

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Facebook for Every Phone,” the official page for Facebook’s feature phone application has become the first page on the social network to surpass 200 million Likes, according to our PageData tracking service.

The page was created in August 2011, and back in June 2012 it was the first page to surpass the 100 million Likes mark. It’s still the only page to have done so. By comparison, the No. 2 page on the social network is its official community page, “Facebook,” with 87 million likes. YouTube holds the No. 3 spot with 70 million Likes.

Facebook for Every Phone is a native mobile app compatible with more than 3,600 different Java-enabled feature phones. The growth of the app’s fan page is an indication of how many of the social network’s mobile users are on feature phones. Facebook for Every Phone users are given the option to Like the page when they first log in to the app, a company spokesperson told us in April last year.
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China’s Renren social network copies Facebook Timeline

Chinese social network Renren is rolling out a new profile that clearly copies the design and features of Facebook Timeline.

Since launching in 2005, Renren has always maintained a close look and feel to Facebook, from News Feed to profiles to mobile. The company also followed Facebook’s path from being only for students to available for everyone, as well as opening its platform to third-party developers. With Timeline, it seems that the similarities are more than surface level. Facebook UI engineer Stefan Parker, who worked on Timeline, said in a public comment on his profile, “It’s done exactly the same, floats, capsule balancing, everything. Even runs into scrolling perf issues when you load enough in and scroll while it balances.”

Facebook is currently blocked in China, and last week Facebook’s North Asia Director Jayne Leung told conference attendees in Hong Kong that the social network has no plans to expand into the country. In the meantime, Renren is continuing to grow, though its engagement numbers are not as strong as Facebook’s. Renren reported 45 million monthly active users in Q2, which is only 27 percent of its 162 million total activated users.

Renren’s timeline design began rolling out last month, though it is still in beta and not available to all users. As seen in photos from a promotional page about the new product, the social network has copied Facebook features such as cover photo and life events. Renren also created a Pinterest clone this year.

Interestingly, another Chinese social network L99.com was recently reported to be considering a suit against Facebook for infringing on its own timeline design apparently launched in 2008. L99.com CEO Xiong Wanli claims to have video evidence that Mark Zuckerberg attended a lecture he gave at Stanford where he unveiled the timeline layout.

Facebook Roundup: IPO, Taiwan Data Center, Yahoo, Zuckerberg, Sandberg, Mobile and Translate Button

Proposed Law May Affect Facebook IPO – Legislation was introduced in the Senate this week that could result in the delay of Facebook’s IPO. A long-standing finance rule requires that companies with 500 or more shareholders make their finances available to the public (typically prompting companies to also make their stock available to the public). Facebook had accumulated many shareholders from distributing stock to employees and from its shares being bought and sold on private exchanges. The new rule would up the minimum threshold to 2000, presumably giving Facebook more leeway to decide if and when it will make its financial information and its shares public.

Could Yahoo’s Patents Hurt Facebook’s IPO? – Forbes has a piece this week that compared Yahoo’s extensive IP portfolio as potential revenue to Facebook’s ads-centric revenue approach, speculating that whoever owns that IP could charge licensing fees to Facebook.

Facebook Not Planning Taiwan Data Center – Facebook is not set to open Asia’s largest cloud data center in Taiwan, at the Central Taiwan Science Park, contrary to a widely republished article.

Mark Zuckerberg Officially Visits Harvard – The Atlantic gave an overview of Harvard University’s newspaper, The Crimson’s, coverage of Mark Zuckerberg while he attended the school.

Facebook COO to Interview NJ Gov – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is set to interview New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, taking questions from users in an online town hall Monday. Note that Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the Newark New Jersey school system. [Image Via Facebook]

Vitrue’s Social Mobile User Engagement Report – Vitrue released a report this week looking at social engagement with brands via mobile devices. Some interesting results included negative engagement with punctuation marks, short posts get more engagement, images improve engagement and weekends are when the most mobile interaction occurs.

How Well Does the Facebook Translate Button Work? – Lexiophiles compiled a brief analysis of how accurate Facebook’s translate button is.

Facebook Careers Postings: Asia, Data Centers, Sales, Marketing and More

Facebook added a few jobs in its South Korea and Tokyo offices this week, in addition to a few posts added to its Careers Page and LinkedIn feed for data center positions, plus a bunch in sales, account management, marketing and a few engineering jobs.

Posts added this week on Facebook’s Careers Page:

  • Data Center Construction Manager (PRN)
  • Data Center Lease & Site Selection Analyst
  • Small Business Marketing Associate
  • Software Engineer, Network
  • Account Manager – Online Sales Operations Tokyo
  • Client Partner (Seoul)
  • Client Partner – Tokyo
  • Internet Marketing Analyst
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Intern Program Coordinator (Contract)
  • Recruiter – Contract (Dublin)
  • Technical Program Manager – Platform Security
  • Network Engineer (BBE)
  • Account Manager – Direct Sales (New York)
  • Account Manager – Direct Sales (Toronto)
  • Account Manager – Online Sales Operations (Seoul)
  • Associate, Ad Operations – Dutch (Dublin)
  • Associate, Ad Operations – French (Dublin)
  • Associate, Ad Operations – Polish (Dublin)
  • Associate, Ad Operations – Spanish (Dublin)
  • Associate, Ad Operations – Swedish (Dublin)
  • Associate, Ad Operations – Italian (Dublin)
  • Manager, National Sales, Global Marketing Solutions (Austin)
  • Manager, Italian or Spanish Online Sales Operations (Dublin)
  • Account Manager – Dutch (Dublin)
  • Analyst, Online Sales Operations – German (Dublin)
  • Marketing Analytics Associate

Jobs posted by Facebook on LinkedIn:

Who else is hiring? The Inside Network Job Board presents a survey of current openings at leading companies in the industry.

Bing Powers New Facebook Page Post Translation Tool

Facebook today announced the launch of a new translation tool powered by Microsoft Bing Translate that lets users select to view Page posts in their native language. Page admins can select to show only machine translated posts, or they can select to allow Facebook users to submit their own translations. If these community translations receive approvals from other users, they’ll replace the machine translation. Currently, all Pages have been automatically opted in to allowing both machine and community translations.

Many brands are building international fan bases for their Page, so the option to have their posts translated means they’ll be able to better engage these foreign audiences, driving more engagement and clicks to their content. While not always perfectly accurate, the free translation tool is much cheaper and faster than having a human translate, geo-target, and publish localized versions of their posts.

Currently, the Translate button only appears to users with their language set to Korean, Japanese, Russian, Taiwanese and Chinese-Hong Kong. If Facebook and Bing roll the feature out to other popular languages or allowed it to be applied to ads as well, it could become an important driver of international growth and business for all Pages. One day Bing translation could also be applied to user posts to allow people to communicate across language barriers and form more international friendships.

The launch of this feature follows tests of a machine translation option for user comments on Page posts that we spotted last month. While comment translation is not part of the Bing tool’s rollout, it shows the potential for user content to receive translation in addition to Page posts.

In the past, Facebook has worked with Microsoft to power its own internal search and to augment Bing.com search results with Like counts from a user’s friends and the Facebook population at large. More recently, Bing Maps was integrated into the new Timeline profile as well as Facebook Places. Facebook has been successful with translation in the past, originally crowdsourcing translation of the site’s interface in many languages, and later extending the crowdsourced translation tool to Facebook apps and Connect-integrated sites.

All Pages Have Been Opted In to Translation

To configure the Bing translation tool, admins can go to the Edit Page interface and select the Your Settings tab. They’ll then see a Translations From section where they can enable translations by machine; machine and community; machine, community, and admin, or they can disable the feature.

By default, Pages are set to allow machine and community translation. In most cases, admins will at least want to allow machine translations. Community translations may be more accurate, but admins will have to remember to moderate the translation submissions.

Once enabled, users with their Facebook language set to one of the feature’s current language will see a “Translate” button besides the Like, Comment, and Share buttons beneath that Page’s posts. When clicked, the text of the Page’s post will change from the language it was originally written in to the user’s selected language.

According to the Help Center, Admins will also see a “Manage Translations” link underneath their Page posts. From here they can approve or delete community-submitted translations or add their own. If admins find someone trying to submit objectionable content or spam as a translation, they can quickly block them from their Page and from submitting translations to other Pages as well.

Facebook already offers geographic and language targeting in the Page post publisher. This allowed Pages to manually translate their updates and publish them to the corresponding segment of their fans. This was a lot of work, though, especially since there is no way to hide a post from certain countries or languages. Some third-party Facebook Page management tools offer translation services, but now all Pages have access to a free, easy, and instantaneous translation tool.

Until now some brands have opted to create different Pages for each country, and assigned a team to translate the brand’s primary Page’s updates and publish them locally. This required a complicated management hierarchy that Facebook and third-parties are only beginning to support through corporate/local Page management tools. The Bing Translation feature will reduce the need to set up localized Pages because a central Page’s updates can be read by audiences that speak a different language.

Translation Could Further Facebook’s Mission

With international fans now able to read the updates of Pages the Like in a language they better understand, Pages should see their posts receiving more Likes, comments, and clicks from these audience segments. This could help brands boost the return on investment on their Facebook marketing spend. Facebook could also get brands spending more on international advertising if it offered automatic translation of ads into the native languages of the users they target.

Still, the most potentially meaningful prospect of the Bing translation tool is how it could facilitate international friendships. If Facebook’s goal is to make the world more open and connected, what better way than allowing users to share with the whole world regardless of the language they speak.

Featured Facebook Campaigns: Craftsman, Unilever & Zynga, American Express and El Pollo Loco

Charity, branded gaming, purchase selection and free food were part of the ways brands engaged customers on Facebook this week. We’ve excerpted two of the campaigns below. You can see the full week’s coverage in the Facebook Marketing Bible, which also includes detailed breakdowns of dozens of other featured campaigns by top-performing brands and businesses on Facebook.

Craftsman’s Public Park Rehab Project

Goal: Engagement, Product Purchase, Network Exposure, Charity

Core Mechanic: A photo contest that allows users to encourage their network to vote for their photo.

Method: Essentially this photo contest asks users to submit a photo of a park in their area that could use some revamping. Whichever park wins will receive a $10,000 makeover, the user who uploaded the photo will receive a set of Craftsman tools, and there will be runner-up prizes of tools as well. Once a user completes the contest entry, they may publish a story to the stream.

Impact: The Craftsman Page has 496,900 Likes so far, but the contest is not Like-gated, thus the company is losing out on potential growth to their Page with this contest. Though users must return to the Page to vote for the entries, the only real viral component of this contest is the publishing of a feed story upon entry, which is optional.

Unilever’s Lux Featured on FarmVille Chinese

Goal: Network Exposure, Product Purchase, Brand Loyalty

Core Mechanic: Unilever’s Lux brand launched a FarmVille Chinese tie-in.

Game: Within FarmVille Chinese, users will have the chance to wherein to beautify their farms with Lux limited edition beauty products. Users then are rewarded with virtual currency they can use to redeem for beauty crops inspired by the company’s products, such as a cooling mint tree, apricot or cherries.

Method: Within the game users who interact with Lux’s icon, actress Shu Qi, are rewarded for doing so. This gives users the incentive to interact with the company’s product within the game, thus making the product placement an integral part of the gaming experience.

Impact: According to AppData, FarmVille Chinese has about 850,000 MAU; thus, product placement within this app is guaranteed to reach a wide audience.

How are top brands in the industry designing their Facebook marketing campaigns? See the Facebook Marketing Bible for detailed breakdowns of dozens of Featured Campaigns by top-performing brands and businesses on Facebook.

Facebook Roundup: China, Paul Adams, Video Calling, Badgeville, Don Dodge, and More

China Will Not Invest in Facebook – China’s Investment Corp is not set to invest in Facebook stock, according to a report, since the CIC sees the company as overvalued.

Facebook’s Paul Adams Blogs About Google, Book – Paul Adams, Facebook’s current Global Brand Experience Manager Paul Adams and Google’s former Senior User Experience Researcher wrote a blog post where he addressed why he left Google, why his book “Social Circles” was blocked by Google, his upcoming book “Grouped” and his current work on advertising at Facebook.

Facebook Denies Stealing Video Call URL – A company that had its own video calling service, Samuday Web Technologies, is claiming that Facebook shut down it’s video chat app and it’s URL facebook.com/videocalling so it could launch their own product at that address. Facebook’s comment on the issue via ZDNet was:

“The app was disabled by an automated system for a policy violation that was not related to the URL of the app,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “The developer’s appeal was manually reviewed; the violation was confirmed, and the appeal was denied. Two months after the initial disabling of the app, Facebook acquired the URL.”

Badgeville Raises $12M in Series B – Badgeville, website gamification platform which we wrote about previously, raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, bringing their total funding to $15 million. The company also added Tim Chang of Norwest and Tom Peterson of El Dorado Ventures to their board. For more on the company’s ongoing changes, check out this infographic.

Facebook Says Sponsored Stories Perform 2x Better Than Standard Ads - David Fischer, Facebook’s Vice President of Advertising and Global Operations told Fast Company that its Sponsored Stories ad unit that converts user behaviors into sidebar ads perform, on average, two times better than it’s standard ad unit, and that there hasn’t been significant user backlash.

Don Dodge Helps Users Export Facebook Friends to Google+ - Google’s Don Dodge wrote a blog post this week that walks Facebook users through how to export the email addresses of their friends using Yahoo! mail and then import them to Google+. The guide to the migration process could fuel tension between the two web giants, and Facebook may look to shut down exporting through Yahoo! to protect itself from Google’s new social network.

TripAdvisor Acquires Where I’ve Been - TripAdvisor, developer of several Facebook apps including the once massively popular Cities I’ve Visited, has acquired fellow travel experience sharing app Where I’ve Been. The acquired app once had over 116,000 daily active users but since November it has plummeted to just 3,000 DAU.

AT&T Begins Selling HTC Status Phone with Facebook Button – The HTC Status is the first mobile phone with a dedicated, physical Facebook button for sharing currently viewed content or one’s locations. The device’s carrier, AT&T, is now accepting pre-orders for the Status.

Announcements:

SortPrice Adds Flash Sales Features to Facebook Platform Ecommerce Suite - SortPrice, an ecommerce tool set for websites with Facebook integrations, has added a new flash sales feature to its product. It allows clients to list specific products at a discount for limited time, and displays users a countdown to the end of the sale.

ShortStack Provides Free Services to Pages Under 2K – ShortStack’s “Surprisingly Free” plan offers the company’s tab design apps and non-database driven widgets free to businesses with anywhere from 100 to 2,000 fans. This includes the ability to run contests and sweepstakes, create landing Pages, play videos, display a photo gallery, show reviews, and integrate online shopping and blogs inside a tab.

AlertSite Reports Facebook is Fastest Social Network – AlertSite reported its results from the Q2 Web Performance Index, noting that Facebook’s fastest response time was .7 seconds, replacing YouTube as the most reliable social networking site.

 OneRPM Launches MP3 Facebook Ecommerce Solution for Musicians – This week, OneRPM debuted its Facebook ecommerce tool for musicians. It allows them to sell music from their Facebook Page, accept payment within Facebook or through PayPal, and gain fans through Like-gates.

Facebook Roundup: Credits, Deals, Hacker Hire, TV, Hulu, Lawsuits, and Thailand

Facebook’s Upcoming “Awesome” Announcement Could Be Video Skype – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted to reporters that a big announcement was set for next week, specifically, something “awesome.” A press event has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 6th. Some sources and the invite to the event suggest that Facebook might unveil a video chat system built in partnership with Microsoft’s Skype. Other possibilities include Facebook’s leaked mobile photos app, it’s iPad app, or the Music Dashboard.

Antitrust Complaint Filed Against Facebook Over Credits – Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group, has filed an antitrust complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding Facebook’s Platform currency, Credits. Their complaint is that Credits is an “anticompetitive” virtual currency that could drive up prices of virtual goods.

Facebook Deals Coming to Three More Cities – Facebook tell us it is expanding the beta test of its prepaid coupon service Deals from its initial five cities to include Charlotte, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. Facebook says early feedback from businesses has been positive, though we haven’t seen much adoption in San Francisco.

Facebook Hires Hacker – Facebook hired George Hotz, the guy who jailbroke the iPhone. He’s now helping Facebook create its iPad app.

Photos From Facebook’s New Office – Gawker published photos from Facebook’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, which the company plans to start moving to soon. The gallery depicts an open office floor plan similar to the current Facebook HQ’s design.

Facebook Pitches Social Program Guide to Media Industry – Facebook’s SVP of Strategic Partner Development Andy Mitchell spoke at at the PromaxBDA conference, telling media industry representatives about how a television program guide that showed what a viewer’s friends watch could get people to watch more.

Hulu Botches Facebook Connect Integration –  A error in how Hulu implemented a Facebook login system on its video site caused people to become logged in to the accounts of other users. Hulu claims responsibility for the problem and says no highly sensitive information was exposed. The site will remove the Facebook integration temporarily before trying another implementation.

Facebook Scores in Ownership Lawsuit – Paul Ceglia, a man in New York who claims to own most of Facebook, has been ordered to give Facebook access to his emails and computer. The company is set to accuse him of forgery.

American Express Launches Free Social Media Monitoring Tool - In a bid to help and attract small businesses, American Express launched a free tool called YourBuzz that lets businesses monitor mentions of them on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and other web services.

How the NHL Gained 2.2M Fans - AllFacebook reported an interesting case study detailing the National Hockey League’s efforts to grow its Facebook Page by 2.2 million Likes by targeting its affluent and tech savvy fans. [Screenshot Via AF]

Thailand Bans Facebook Before Vote – The Thai government has banned Facebook political campaigning the day before a Saturday vote for prime minister.

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