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Facebook, Instagram, shape SA social media

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The South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study has revealed that a quarter of South Africans use Facebook while Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in the country.|The South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study has revealed that a quarter of South Africans use Facebook while Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in the country.

Facebook is now used by a quarter of all South Africans, while Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in South Africa over the past year.

These are two of the key findings from the South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study, released today by World Wide Worx and Fuseware.

The study is based on access to consumer data from seven major social networks and a corporate survey conducted among more than a hundred of South Africa’s leading brands.

It showed 13-million South Africans now on Facebook, with 10-million, or 77 per cent, using it on mobile devices. Smartphones are used by 7,9-million South Africans to access Facebook, while 1,6-million are using basic feature phones to do so. Tablets are being used to access Facebook by 1,4-million people – many of whom are also using their phones.

“There is a misperception that Facebook numbers are dwindling. Numbers show the opposite,” says Gil Sperling, co-founder and chief technical officer of Popimedia, Facebook Marketing Partner in Africa. “Solid growth of daily active users was recorded even in Facebook’s most mature and saturated markets. Social media applications are maintaining their relevance across all demographics and regions.”

Sperling points out that Facebook as a whole has seen dramatic evolution.

“It’s grown from the ‘single blue app’ on mobile phones to a strong family of applications through its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, and the launch of Messenger and Groups. As a collective, revenue in excess of $12 billion is indicative of a healthy ecosystem and a thriving user base, which keeps returning.”

 

The big surprise in the results came from Instagram more than doubling its user numbers in South Africa, from 1,1-million in 2014 to 2,68-mlllion in 2015 – 133 per cent growth compared to an already high 65 per cent growth in 2015.

“The big trend last year was the impact of all visual networks,” says Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of technology research organisation World Wide Worx. “Now we are seeing not only the impact of Instagram refining its offering, but also of users finding fascinating new ways of making it work for them.”

The biggest Instagram followings are claimed by media personalities, who post photos that give fans a glimpse into both their private and public lives. Minnie Dlamini leads with 517 000 followers and Bonang Matheba is close behind with 512 000. Among those who are not focused on posting images of themselves, professional photographers lead Instagram. Gareth Pon is the leading South African photographer on Instagram, with 246 000 followers, ahead of Gareth Howes, who has built up a 195 000 following.

Instagram also shows the highest planned use by major brands for social networks not currently in use, with 24 per cent saying they plan to do so on the coming year. At present, 42 per cent of major brands are using it, with Mr Price and Mercedes Benz having been the most successful with individual images.

“As brands become more comfortable with specific social networks, they become far more effective at using them as marketing and positioning platforms,” says Mike Wronski, managing director of media analytics organisation Fuseware. “Instagram is already the big winner among users. Brands want to tap into that enthusiasm.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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