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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok launches online marketplace, TikTok Shop, in PH

Manila, Philippines — TikTok, the popular short-form video platform, recently launched its online marketplace, TikTok Shop, in the Philippines. Through this brand new e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop aims to open up more business opportunities for brands and small- to medium-sized enterprises. All these, whilst providing a fresh new shopping experience for users and opportunities for local content creators alike.

TikTok Shop in the Philippines aims to provide local businesses with a new avenue for reaching out to customers. It also aims to make purchasing possible and more accessible for Filipinos without leaving the mobile entertainment platform. At TikTok Shop in the Philippines, users can purchase items from various categories of products including fashion, home and living, beauty and personal care.

Meanwhile, merchants will be able to enjoy zero commission fees on the platform for selected products whilst payment service fees are capped at one per cent to payment service partners. TikTok Shop products can be purchased through product anchors embedded in short videos, live streams, and the TikTok Product Showcase tab of a merchant’s TikTok page, making it easy for users to be entertained and yet shop at the same time.

Last June 15 to 21, TikTok Shop held its maiden mid-year sale in the Philippines, highlighted by super deals and users enjoyed up to discounts and subsidised shipping and first-time buyers received coupons and discounts.

Celebrities and top content creators joined the very first sale, including actress Glaiza De Castro, TV host Macoy Dubs, and content creator Alfea, who did key live sessions and short video posts via TikTok Shop.

Kimberly Duyag, CEO of local cloth and garment brand KILY.PH, shared her experience, “Many sellers have been surprised by the platform’s support, especially the free shipping vouchers and discount promotion. Plus it also enables merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell their products directly on TikTok via feed, content or live stream.”

The week-long mid-year sales campaign saw TikTok Shop Philippines gain a 33% growth in its daily gross merchandise value. The e-commerce platform’s number of daily orders likewise jumped by 29%, while the volume of live stream climbed 36% compared to the previous week.

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Marketing Featured Global

Shutterstock Studios expands into documentary filmmaking

New York, USA — Shutterstock, a leading global creative platform for transformative brands and media companies, has announced that Shutterstock Studios, the company’s creative and production arm, is broadening its offering to include original documentary films and series.

Led by Aiden Darné, VP and global head of Shutterstock Studios, formerly a VICE Media executive, one of the first projects is a docuseries featuring Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion and American professional racing driver. This docuseries was produced in partnership with Carvana, a Fortune 500 company that fosters an intuitive and convenient online car buying, selling, and financing experience.

The eight-part series, titled ‘Reinventing The Wheel,’ gives global viewers an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at Jimmie Johnson as he navigates his second INDYCAR season after an exceptional career in NASCAR racing.

Darné said, “We are so excited that our first entry into the high-demand world of documentary storytelling is in partnership with Carvana. It’s been amazing to capture the intimate moments of the career switch of Jimmie Johnson – one of the greatest race car drivers of all time.”

‘Reinventing The Wheel’ is just one of several shows that Shutterstock Studios currently has in production. A second show, titled, ‘The Money Shot’ follows celebrity photographer Miles Diggs, the man behind famous images like Rihanna’s pregnancy photos. Both ‘Reinventing the Wheel’ and ‘The Money Shot’ will be hitting TV and streaming services soon.

Shutterstock Studios has other shows in various stages of development and production like ‘Behind The Lens,” which chronicles Diana, Princess of Wales and the ‘History of Boy Bands’ – a unique look into the 90s biggest boy bands.

Jamie Elden, chief revenue officer at Shutterstock, said, “Since Shutterstock Studios’ inception in November 2020, the team has rapidly established itself as a key player in the industry, and as a premier end-to-end creative content solution partnering with some of the world’s biggest brands and companies like Amazon, ITV, BBC and Microsoft.”

He mentions that what’s unique to Shutterstock Studios is that their content is powered by one of the largest archival collections in the world, including exclusive access to the Condé Nast Collection, A+E Networks Archive, the LIFE Collection and more, enabling producers to create compelling content for all platforms and production mediums.

Meanwhile, Ryan Keeton, chief brand officer and co-founder of Carvana, commented, “We continue to be inspired by Jimmie’s commitment as he’s forged this new path in his racing career. Our team was excited to collaborate with such talented partners on the Reinventing the Wheel docuseries to bring such unique and exclusive access as Jimmie faces this exciting next chapter. Carvana has always stood for challenging the status quo and we see that same drive and passion in Jimmie.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Grab launches new enterprise service, GrabMaps

Singapore Grab announced its new technology GrabMaps, a new enterprise service that Grab can leverage to capture the US$1 billion market opportunity in Southeast Asia per year for its mapping and location-based services. First developed for in-house use, GrabMaps was created to address Grab’s need for more hyperlocal solution to power its services.

Currently, GrabMaps offers location-based services for all Grab verticals in 7 out of 8 countries it operates in, and Grab expects to be fully-sufficient with GrabMaps by Q3 2022.

Tan Hooi Ling, co-founder, Grab, said, “Grab’s focus is how we can always deliver technological innovations that address the needs of every Southeast Asian region appropriately, and GrabMaps is one example.”

According to Ling, the narrow roads and alleys commonly found in Southeast Asian cities, frequented by their driver and delivery partners often do not appear on conventional maps. “We have invested in turning this intelligence into a competitive advantage, enabling us to serve our customers and partners with the best possible experience, while driving efficiency and cost savings for the business. We are very pleased that soon we will be fully using our own mapping technology,” added Ling.

Mapping, pick-up point technology such as points of interest (POI), and route intelligence are vital parts of the core features that platforms like Grab rely on. Currently, GrabMaps supports more than 800 billion API calls per month across various Grab services. 

Internal data also shows that for countries that have made full use of GrabMaps, the ease of finding the right pick-up point for transportation bookings has increased by an average of 3%, while the accuracy of estimated travel time (ETT) has increased by 1% regionally, with some countries experienced an increase of up to 7.8 percentage points.

The growth of street images in GrabMaps in a span of a year in Jakarta.

The main advantage of GrabMaps lies in the principle of community-based mapping that involves consumers, business partners, and Grab’s fleet of driver and delivery partners.

The GrabMaps solution draws on new data from millions of orders and rides served every day, where feedback from partners is obtained directly real-time information, from road closure information, business address changes, and more. Driver-partners and delivery-partners also have the opportunity to contribute to developing our maps, collecting pick-up points and other data such as street images, street names, traffic signs and more to earn additional income. With this, GrabMaps is not only superior in terms of accuracy, coverage and updates but also cost-efficient.

Philipp Kandal, head of Geo, Grab, said, “As superapp The leading company in the region, GrabMaps supports Grab to serve the daily needs of millions of consumers every day. With our track record and deep understanding of Southeast Asia, we believe GrabMaps can be the best mapping platform of choice for Southeast Asia.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

MoEngage launches new WhatsApp business integration for enterprises

Philippines — In recent years, there has been a pivotal shift in consumer buying patterns – consumers have started making more important buying decisions on their smartphones. According to a study by Google, mobile searches for ‘best place to buy XYZ’ have increased by 70%, and 59% of consumers mentioned that the convenience of shopping on their mobile device is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.

With this trend, it is crucial for enterprises to keep up and capture a touchpoint with their customers at the right stage in the buying journey. Since smartphones have become an integral part of this journey, enterprises need to expand their available communication channels to include WhatsApp.

MoEngage’s insights-led engagement platform allows enterprises to learn what their customers are looking for on their mobile app or website, use AI to predict what next steps their customers are going to take, and help them automatically send contextually relevant recommendations, alerts, and reminders on multiple communication channels.

Through this collab, enterprises can have personalized communication with their tech-savvy, mobile-first customers on WhatsApp. WhatsApp is used the most by consumers in the age group of 26 to 35 and is present in almost 180 countries.

Another report shows that, while 54% of consumers prefer using WhatsApp to receive shipment status and delivery updates, 50% of consumers use WhatsApp for appointments and to get notifications of upcoming events and 23% of consumers want to receive promotional offers from their favourite brands via WhatsApp.

As more enterprises adopt WhatsApp, the WhatsApp team is improving how businesses can communicate with their customers. For example, earlier enterprises were limited to sending timely notifications, making it difficult to follow up with their customers outside of a 24-hour window. To enable seamless and timely interactions between enterprises and their customers, WhatsApp now supports more types of messages, for example, to let customers know when an item is back in stock. The team is also working on a periodically-updating service available for more types of conversations.

MoEngage is also studying behaviours and how they can integrate personalized messages to keep customers reminded and engaged on their shopping needs albeit with a very busy schedule as long as they consent to it.

Raviteja Dodda, CEO and co-founder of MoEngage, said, “By teaming up with Meta, we aim to bridge the gap between enterprises and their customers by allowing them to leverage insights about their customers, their journeys, and the long-term impact of WhatsApp campaigns on key business metrics like LTV, revenue, retention, and product stickiness.”

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Platforms Featured South Asia

Evergreen Club launches first ever social networking platform for the elderly

India Online community app Evergreen Club has rolled out a social network exclusively for the elderly on the app. The idea behind this platform is to accentuate community bonding and help the elderly network, learn and share their creations with likeminded people especially the ones they meet during the Evergreen Club sessions. 

On this platform, users can share pictures, videos, create polls, etc. and also interact with other posts and fellow members. 

As per a recent report, more than 90% of elderly internet users utilise social media platforms primarily to connect with family and friends. The ‘Club’ feature has been designed specifically to create a safe space for the elderly. It is a space for peer learning, exchange of ideas and sharing moments of joy for this community. This dedicated social media space will help in creating a niche community where people will be able to share their learnings, motivate others to practise them and also stay connected with our experts. The feature also keeps a close check on the negative noise through automated moderation capabilities.

Founder of Evergreen Club, Tapan Mishra, said, “A lot of our members felt a need to share their creations, learnings etc. with our larger community and they all have communicated this desire through both implicit and explicit signals. This led us to create this space and platform.”

Tapan mentioned that during their research, the company found that even though there are numerous social media platforms out there, none of them provided a safe space for the elderly or catered exclusively to the needs of Indian community members. “With ‘Club’, we aim to provide a wholesome experience to our Evergreeners – a space where they feel belonged and heard by fellow members,” he added.

With more than 20x growth in the user base in the past year, Evergreen Club has grown at the rate of ~40% M-o-M. Evergreen Club was awarded by Google – “Playstore’s Best App for Good, 2021” & was also selected to the Google for Startup Accelerator program 2022.

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Platforms Featured East Asia

Lootex partners with OneOffs for the first metaverse NFT fashion show in Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan – Cross-chain NFT marketplace Lootex collaborates with NFT shopping platform, OneOffs for the “Fashion in the Metaverse” project. 

Lootex was recently invited to help curate the journey through art and fashion with OneOffs at the Breeze Center in Fuxing Taipei. Simply yet deftly labelled, “Fashion in the Metaverse” collected some of the most prominent NFT collections as well as physical art. A breath of newness is being created as the world moves forward in its understanding of the metaverse and what it means to the various artists’ creations. Lootex, filled with accomplishment as the adoption and integration of NFT artwork and GameFi is gaining more traction throughout Asia.

The collaboration with Lootex and OneOffs is a step in the right direction for the first metaverse NFT fashion show in Taiwan. Talented artists from The Sandbox Foundation, An An, TongYangChicken, Nest, Beryll Chen, Carina Chen, and game art designer Nora C. were invited to design a futuristic sci-fi fashion catwalk with the avatars created in The Sandbox’s VoxEdit. Each avatar is casted into a limited-edition NFT and put on the Lootex website for sale. The exclusivity of each avatar will only enhance the collector’s experience in the ever-growing metaverse.  It is still to be given a date but buyers of these avatars can expect some cool perks that will allow them to show off not just the art in the real world but also flex their stylistic choices in the metaverse.

The latest collaboration extends the existing partnership between Lootex and The Sandbox, which started in2018.  This is part of a broader partnership between Lootex and The Sandbox that also adds The Sandbox Co-Founder Sebastien Borget as an advisor and investor of Lootex

CEO and Co-Founder of Lootex, Justine Lu, said, “Lootex is proud to be a long-term partner with The Sandbox, and expects to see more game developers and creators utilising The Sandbox to make the next generation of metaverse assets and games.” Lu is the organiser of the Global Blockchain Game Alliance, also co-hosted the VoxEdit NFT creation event and Game Jam game design competitions for The Sandbox. The support from such a huge contributor to the future of the metaverse and its assets makes it clear that Lootex is on the path to not just being pioneers in their field but a major player in NFT marketplaces.

Beyond The Sandbox, Lootex’s player-centric, cross-chain NFT trading platform is constantly updated to reflect the latest developments in blockchain games. The creativity interwoven with both physical and virtual worlds is the reason Lootex is on its way to being the one-stop shop that can’t be denied. Providing their 80,000 active users with a decentralised multi-chain NFT marketplace, Lootex will surely open the path to more impressive projects.  Coupled with the appreciation for the artists that are showcasing their amazing works, we would not be surprised to see more collaborations of this calibre.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Klook unveils expanded integration with search engine KAYAK

Singapore — Klook, a travel and leisure e-commerce platform, alongside the travel search engine company KAYAK, has announced an expanded integration that will enable KAYAK users to access one of the largest inventories of Things-to-Do (TTD) across the Asia-Pacific region.

KAYAK will draw on Klook’s leading supply strength to enable its users to have seamless access to the APAC region’s best TTD. KAYAK users will benefit from a wider range of attractions and experiences as they will now be able to discover over 490,000 activities in over a thousand destinations through Klook on KAYAK’s TTD vertical.

Elia San Martin, VP and GM of KAYAK APAC, said, “We’re excited to be expanding our integration with Klook which will enable KAYAK users to have greater access to an extended variety of attractions and experiences. As travel continues to rebound in the APAC region – we are helping travellers access more travel options than ever before.”

Marcus Yong, VP for global marketing at Klook, commented that they’re delighted to announce this global integration with KAYAK and the enhanced API-connectivity between the two companies will enable the post-pandemic traveller to have seamless access to the best TTD and car rentals globally.

Yong added, “Borders in APAC are gradually opening up as measures ease. This is an opportune time for us to be at the forefront of travel recovery in the region and build on that momentum with KAYAK – especially as it brings more travellers over from the US and Europe to experience joy in Asia.”

Since the integration of car rentals last year, KAYAK users have access to Klook’s car rental coverage that spans over 9000 destinations across 500 vendors, unlocking one of the largest inventories in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Cryptovoxels is rebranding to ‘Voxels’

Wellington, New Zealand Cryptovoxels, one of the most significant players in the metaverse space, is rebranding to Voxels.

One of Web 3’s most renowned communities, Cryptovoxels is a metaverse on the Ethereum blockchain where players can own land, and build and develop online experiences. The user-owned virtual world already hosts a number of art galleries, stores, and party spaces.

The rebranding to Voxels represents a pivot to a wider-spread audience that caters to those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency for the New Zealand-based platform. Web 3 promises a whole new internet experience and the metaverse stands at the epicentre of that promise.

As interest in the metaverse expands, it is attracting the attention of more and more mainstream brands, companies, and sectors. With the rapid growth of metaverse platforms, Cryptovoxels is broadening its user base horizon from those familiar with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to a more mainstream audience.

Founder of Voxels, Ben Nolan explained, “Cryptovoxels was founded on April 1st, 2018, before NFTs hit the mainstream. We are honoured to have released around the same time as Cryptopunks and Cryptokitties. The word “crypto” can have a negative connotation in the public’s mind, and yet the future of decentralization is bright and we believe in user sovereignty. Cryptovoxels is Voxels. We are rebranding to match our focus of embracing the growth and cultural of Web 3.0.”

Cryptovoxels land is more scarce than that of its competitors, allows users to build on free spaces and submit wearables to public collections for free, and is also mobile-friendly. Voxels promises to retain the indie feel of Cryptovoxels while pursuing further growth and development. 

Lead Developer and Product Owner Benjamin Larcher commented on the rebrand, “As a brand, Cryptovoxels grew extensively and maintained an image as the most user-friendly and accessible metaverse. I have been privileged to be a part of this growth, both as a player and as a developer. Today, Cryptovoxels becomes Voxels. We have been fortunate to work with brilliant minds in the community and in the company, and are grateful as they’ve made us what we are today. I am committed to continuing to enhance the Voxels experience. This includes performance improvements, more accessibility, more features, and most importantly, more value to the community. As a player, I am eager to see Voxels become a better Cryptovoxels.”

Voxels’ new website is set to launch by the second half of the year, the rebrand will be celebrated with the launch of VoxCon, the newly created Voxels headquarters in the metaverse, on Andromeda Island.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

sooka’s new campaign features social media validation amongst millennials

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – New streaming platform sooka, releases its latest campaign together with Reprise in commemoration of this year’s Raya celebrations, the festival of the ‘breaking of the fast’ celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia. 

The film titled ‘Krisis Social Media Anis’ (Anis’ Social Media Crisis), directed by P. Prem Anand Pillai of ‘Love Child’, features the trials of social media wannabe, Anis, as she laments the loss of two followers the day before Raya. Her family, who happens to share a similar obsession with social media and calls each other by their social handles, rallies together with a social media guru for tips and insights to help her gain back lost followers, urging more followers for Anis through their own social media accounts. All to no avail.

Head of Brand & Communications of sooka, Hilda Shamsul Bahri, said, “The idea came from a series of real stories on the challenges of this generation who see ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ as their social currency. But it’s not always about the ‘Likes’. We want younger Malaysians to know that your self-worth is not dependent on social media perception. Rather, it is about giving thanks, and improving connections with our family and loved ones this Raya. We love the freshness of this festive film by Reprise for us as it falls very much in line with what we stand for as a brand.”

Kevin Le, executive creative director of Reprise Digital, said, “The film was inspired by millennials, who crave social validation. This quest to belong on the social sphere through the best content, more likes, and followers sometimes comes at the cost of what’s real. This Raya, we wanted to show that the best followers are your family, so embrace your true selves and appreciate the people who have always been supportive of you.”Le also added that the central character of Anis is relatable to the younger generation, whether they celebrate Raya or not.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

AirAsia makes available flights from Air New Zealand on super app

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia The list of airlines available on the airasia Super App’s Online Travel Agent (OTA) platform continues to grow as Air New Zealand become the latest airline to authorise the sale of its flights on the region’s growing super app. 

Through this commercial collaboration, Air New Zealand’s flights will be available under the ‘Flights’ section of the airasia Super App, aimed at bringing the authentic Kiwi experience to everyone and connecting travellers to discover over 20 New Zealand destinations such as Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch and more. With its innovative ideas, onboard products, aeronautical design, brand identity and customer service, Air New Zealand has won numerous awards, most recently crowned the World’s Safest Airline 2022 by AirlineRatings.com.

Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App said, “The airasia Super App is a robust and complete OTA platform which is underpinned by a wealth of data that we have gathered over the past two decades, making it the perfect marketplace for airlines around the world to reach the right target audience. Since our completion as a full-fledged OTA in October last year, we have been observing double digit growth month-on-month for bookings of other airlines through our OTA platform.” 

“We would like to welcome Air New Zealand onto our OTA platform, and we look forward to providing all travellers with the best deals with our airline partners through the airasia Super App,” Woo added.

General Manager Asia of Air New Zealand, Jonathan Zhang, commented “With borders reopening, we are excited to welcome back international travellers onboard Air New Zealand through the airasia Super App platform. We continue to offer wide choices, flexibility and our unique Kiwi experience for our customers to fly comfortably and confidently.”

Aside from Air New Zealand, the airasia Super App OTA platform also includes over 700 other airline partners, such as, Air Canada, Air France, Air Mauritius, BQatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Philippine Airlines, amongst others.