Singapore – With over 40% of consumers making purchases, the latest data from market research company YouGov revealed that Facebook emerged as the top social media platform for online shopping in Singapore.

Among the platforms, TikTok and Instagram are tied next at the same level, each securing an average of 26%, followed by YouTube at 20%. Notably, 40% of the respondents reported not having made any purchases through social media platforms.

In terms of purchase frequency, 52% of Singaporean consumers are classified as occasional buyers, shopping less than once a month, while 36% are frequent buyers, shopping more than once a month. Meanwhile, 11% are not sure about their shopping frequency.

Interestingly, a greater usage among Singaporean millennial buyers was also indicated, compared to Generation Z. In particular, millennials lead as frequent buyers (44%), and Singaporean Generation Z leans towards occasional buying (63%).

Furthermore, Facebook also ranked first as the most frequently used app for purchases, with 74% in favor, followed by TikTok at 58% and YouTube at 51%. On the other hand, the usage distribution shifts slightly among occasional buyers, with 61% using Facebook, 41% favouring Instagram, and 38% opting for TikTok.

Meanwhile, the data also revealed the factors affecting consumers buying via social media. This includes the risk of scams (70%), lack of trust (67%), and unclear return and exchange policies (49%). Many are likely to be hindered by poor customer service (42%), technical issues (36%), and unsuccessful payment methods (31%).

When asked what aspects may improve their social media purchasing experience, greater customer service came out on top (79%), followed by faster and more reliable delivery (74%), and secure payment methods (73%). 62% of shoppers prefer enhanced product search and filtering features.

Lastly, the integration of augmented reality (AR) for virtual product try-ons marks a promising frontier in the evolution of social commerce, with 36% of consumers saying this will enhance their overall shopping experience on social media.

Singapore – Integral Ad Science (IAS) has announced the expansion of its existing partnership with global tech company Meta. Through the expanded partnership, IAS will be rolling out its ad measurement tools for Facebook and Instagram Reels.

This now means that Reels advertisers will now have transparency into the performance of their ad campaigns. The adtech company has previously provided advertisers with measurement tools that include viewability and invalid traffic for placements across Facebook and Instagram.

The IAS and Meta partnership first began in 2016.

Yannis Dosios, chief commercial officer at IAS, said, “Facebook and Instagram Reels are enormously popular with advertisers, and based on the success of the existing partnership between Meta and IAS, we are pleased to broaden our work together and provide this deeper level of transparency for Reels ads.”

He added, “With more than 140 billion Reels played daily, smart marketers have already been placing advertisements on Reels and now they have even more measurement insights into which of their ads are being seen and driving results.”

Recently, IAS announced the expansion of its existing partnership with TikTok, which will bring its ‘Total Media Quality’ brand safety and suitability measurement product to advertisers in 23 new markets.

Global – Social media giant Facebook has announced that its Messenger feature will now be reunited with the main social media application after nine years of being a standalone messaging app.

It can be noted that in 2014, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the messaging feature will be separated from Facebook, requiring users to separately download the messaging application for a ‘better experience’.

In a blog post, Facebook Head Tom Alison said that they are testing the ability of the users to access Messenger inbox within the Facebook application, and this will be expanded soon.

“Over the coming year, we’ll build more ways to integrate messaging features in Facebook. Ultimately, we want it to be easy and convenient for people to connect and share, whether in the Messenger app or directly within Facebook,” Alison added.

Alison also reassures that Facebook is not dead nor dying, whilst implying that it remains to have 2 billion daily active users.

Aside from the reintegration, Facebook has also announced that it will also invest in artificial intelligence for better delivery of content, whilst supporting the creators to get a wider audience and monetisation opportunities.

Earlier this year, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta has announced new features for both platforms which are a broadcast channel for Instagram and Meta Verified, a paid verification service for both platforms.

California, USA  Parent company for Instagram and Facebook Meta has recently unveiled a couple of features for both platforms. This includes a new broadcast channel for instagram and Meta Verified, a paid verification service for both facebook and instagram users.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a facebook post that through the new broadcast channel on Instagram, Instagram channels will now be allowing creators to share public messages directly to their followers. Users must follow the creator first to join the broadcast channel to react and participate in polls and receive notifications about the channel updates.

Furthermore, the feature is supported by various content forms including text, images, and polls, amongst others. In the following months, the feature will also be made available in messenger and facebook.

Zuckerberg himself started his own broadcast channel and specified that it will be used for sharing news and updates about Meta’s new products and technology. 

Meanwhile, Meta will also start to roll out ‘Meta Verified’, a paid subscription service that will allow users to verify their accounts using a government ID and get the blue badge. The subscription starts at $11.99 per month on the web and $14.99 per month for iOS users.

For security and authenticity purposes, Zuckerberg added that the feature will also serve to be a protection for users against impersonators or ‘posers’ online. The subscribers will also have the privilege to directly access the customer support service.

The subscription service will be inaugurated in Australia and New Zealand this week and in more countries soon.

California, USA Facebook’s parent company Meta has recently broken the disheartening news that it’s now joining the slew of tech companies that have decided to downsize. In a message by CEO Mark Zuckerberg disclosed by Meta on its website, the chief said, “there is no good way to do a layoff.”  

Meta has decided to reduce its workforce by 13% or translate into a retrenchment of more than 11,000 employees. It is one of the largest layoffs this year for the company, and the firm cites low revenue, attributed to  ‘macroeconomic downturn’ and ‘increased competition’ as the reasons.

According to the company, when Covid initially started, the spike in online and e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth. Meta is one of the companies that predicted a permanent acceleration that would last even after the pandemic, which is not what exactly transpired. Meta said it significantly increased its investments, resulting in much lower revenue than expected once everything returned to normal.

This is the first time in Meta’s 18-year history that it has reduced its workforce. 

“I’m going to watch our business performance, operational efficiency, and other macroeconomic factors to determine whether and how much we should resume hiring at that point. This will give us the ability to control our cost structure in the event of a continued economic downturn. It will also put us on a path to achieve a more efficient cost structure than we outlined to investors recently,” said Zuckerberg. 

He added, “I view layoffs as a last resort, so we decided to rein in other sources of cost before letting teammates go. Overall, this will add up to a meaningful cultural shift in how we operate. For example, as we shrink our real estate footprint, we’re transitioning to desk sharing for people who already spend most of their time outside the office. We’ll roll out more cost-cutting changes like this in the coming months. “

The company stated that it will share more information in the coming weeks about how it will operate as a streamlined organisation to achieve its priorities.

Recently, Big Tech Companies have struggled to deal with setbacks, with other tech firms cutting off staff count such as Oracle, Twitter, Snap, and Netflix

Singapore – Social media giant Facebook has announced that it is shutting down its podcast platform, less than a year since it was launched in June 2021. While the date has not been specified for the discontinuation of the service, the social media platform stated that it is slowly removing parts of the podcast business in the following weeks.

“After a year of learning and iterating on audio-first experiences, we’ve decided to simplify our suite of audio tools on Facebook. We’re integrating Live Audio Rooms into Facebook Live and we will discontinue our other audio products. We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

Some of those components that will be discontinued include Soundbites, Podcasts and the Audio destination on Facebook.

The company clarified that while the podcast platform will no longer be in service, they will be integrating Live Audio Rooms features into their Facebook Live product so that they can offer a comprehensive live broadcasting solution.

“In practice, this integration will make for a more streamlined experience so that, when using Facebook Live, you’ll have the option to go live with audio and video, video-only, or audio-only,” the company added.

Facebook’s podcast platform was launched in dedication to the platform’s growing number of online creators tapping into their platform for online reach. The company aims at growing a creator’s planned show through a social experience that drives discovery and fandom.

Vietnam – Popular social media platform Facebook has gained new grounds in Vietnam as an alternative to e-commerce services, according to data from marketing research company Decision Lab.

According to their report, Facebook Commerce grew by 2% and 4% for Gen Y and Gen Z respondents respectively during Q4 2021. In addition, around 31% of Hanoi citizens picked Facebook as their choice for e-commerce services. This figure marks a 11% points increase among consumers from Hanoi compared to Q3 2021. 

The report also noted that Facebook Commerce was also utilised by 9% more consumers from Ho Chi Minh City and other key cities such as Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hai Phong, and Can Tho in Q4 2021. In contrast, throughout the rest of Vietnam, Facebook commerce only grew by 2% points, standing at 24% in this time period.

Despite its popularity as an e-commerce platform, Facebook is losing ground as a social media platform in the country. The platform lost 11% of its position as Vietnamese’s primary app in Q4 2021–a continuation of a negative trend starting early 2021. Worse, Facebook seems to be losing Millennial and Gen Z users, who are increasingly favouring other platforms such as Zalo and TikTok.

“The general rise of Facebook as an e-commerce platform reflects Facebook’s push for commercial activities. In Vietnam, consumers can trade goods through not only Facebook Marketplace, but also Facebook groups, shops’ pages, and individual merchants,” the report stated.

California, USA – In line with the company’s vision in bringing the metaverse into life, tech conglomerate Facebook has announced the company’s new name called ‘Meta’ during its recently-concluded Connect 2021 conference last 28 October, where they laid out plans on the vision of the metaverse as the successor to the mobile internet.

Prior to the company name change, Facebook had already revealed interests in developing metaverse-related endeavors, such as their recent US$50m investment in research programs that will explore how to develop the digital metaverse responsibly.

In a company statement, they noted that the metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. They also added that it will let audiences share immersive experiences with other people even when not being together — and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.

“The next platform will be even more immersive — an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. We call this the metaverse, and it will touch every product we build,” Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, now Meta, said in an online letter posted on Facebook.

He added, “The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence — like you are right there with another person or in another place. Feeling truly present with another person is the ultimate dream of social technology. That is why we are focused on building this.”

Zuckerberg further added that their role in this metaverse journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms, and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social media apps.

“The metaverse will not be created by one company. It will be built by creators and developers making new experiences and digital items that are interoperable and unlock a massively larger creative economy than the one constrained by today’s platforms and their policies. We believe the metaverse can enable better social experiences than anything that exists today, and we will dedicate our energy to helping achieve its potential,” he stated.

As part of the ‘Meta’ announcement, the company has also announced new tools to help people build for the metaverse, including Presence Platform, which will enable new mixed reality experiences on Quest 2, and a US$150m investment in immersive learning to train the next generation of creators.

Singapore – TBWA\Media Arts Lab, the Los Angeles-headquartered creative agency solely dedicated to Apple, has named a new executive creative director for the Asia-Pacific region, Kenny Blumenschein. Blumenschein was most recently from advertising agency Energy BBDO, and before that, worked for Facebook as its creative strategist for the Greater China Region for almost three years.

TBWA\Media Arts Lab currently operates in 25 markets globally, with five regional hubs outside its HQ—London, Miami, Singapore, Shanghai, and Tokyo. The agency solely creates work for the tech and smartphone giant Apple.

As the new ECD for APAC, Blumenschein will be based out of the Singapore hub and will be partnering with Managing Director, Michaela Futcher and reporting into Global Chief Creative Officer, Brent Anderson.

At Energy BBDO, Blumenschein held the same role of ECD alongside being the agency’s senior vice president. During his time there, he notably worked on the award-winning Wrigley’s ‘For when it’s time’ campaign. Meanwhile, at Facebook, he assisted global brands in crafting their stories and reaching business objectives through Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, according to his LinkedIn.

Blumenschein said that joining Media Arts Lab is a no-brainer as he always had a ‘crush’ on the agency.

“It’s a very rare opportunity to work on such an iconic brand with the smartest and nicest people in our industry. To do this in APAC, which is one of the most diverse, fastest-growing, and exciting regions is a further privilege,” he said.

Blumenschein is of Thai and German descent. He has amassed experience across multiple continents, including Europe, North America, and Asia, bringing with him valuable global perspective to his work. Aside from his most recent roles at Energy BBDO and Facebook, he also previously held posts at Ogilvy as ECD Digital & Content, and as head of creative at VMLY&R. Back in Germany, Kenny has also spent time at BBDO and Isobar.

In the new role, he will be working with teams stretching across the APAC, from India to Australia, to develop business building and culture-defining work for one of the world’s most recognizable global brands.

Futcher commented, “This part of the world couldn’t be more important to us, and ensuring that we have the creative firepower to deliver on our ambitions has been a critical focus. I’m so excited to have found someone of Kenny’s creative caliber, humanity, and experience to help us do that. His background as a ‘cultural chameleon’ is critical to us unlocking the diverse opportunities across a region as vast as APAC.”

Meanwhile, Anderson said, “Kenny is a strategic, innovative, and artful creative leader with great instincts and taste. He’s led dynamic, modern teams across agencies both in Asia and North America. He’s spearheaded cultural, integrated work that breaks through for challenging clients. Kenny is a creative soul with a reputation of mentoring, building atmospheres wherein creativity thrives and protecting great ideas.”

Australia – Business Council of Australia, the association of business leaders that gathers and engages in professional, intellectual, and leadership development, has launched a new campaign, aimed at bringing together employers of all sizes from across the economy to boost vaccination rates in the country.

Titled ‘One Shot Closer’, the campaign, which was created in collaboration with creative agency M&C Saatchi and supported by Facebook, seeks to reach at least 80% of Australians and give every business in the country access to a toolkit of messages and assets to let them speak with a united voice. 

The Business Council’s CEO, Jennifer Westacott, shared that the campaign is carefully researched and geared to complement existing state and federal advertising with messages that remind Australians that safe and effective vaccines are their path back.

“This is critical to the economy and the mental health and well-being of all Australians, as businesses across the country are pulling out all stops to reach our vaccination targets and put Australia on track to reopen. We have shown we can bounce back if we plan now to safely reopen, but that all depends on our ability to get Australians vaccinated,” said Westacott.

Meanwhile, Will Easton, Facebook’s managing director for AUNZ, noted that they have supported Aussie businesses and the community in staying connected during these challenging times.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer our support to the ‘One Shot Closer’ campaign and help the Business Council of Australia amplify this important message on our platforms,” said Easton.

Alexi Boyd, the CEO of Council of Small Business Organizations, believes that without a clear roadmap out of COVID restrictions small businesses will struggle to reopen and stay open.

“This initiative will help small businesses by encouraging more Australians to get jabbed, get our communities flourishing again and support Australian businesses,” said Boyd.

The campaign comes as more than 160 businesses employing millions of Australians sign the Business Council’s joint letter backing the National Plan, which is to help the residents to be freed from the pandemic lockdown.