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Social media indispensable in SA in 2017

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According to the 2017 edition of the SA Social Media Landscape, next year social media will become an indispensable tool for South African marketers and politicians, artists and activists, reporters and media personalities. 

According to the 2017 edition of the SA Social Media Landscape, released this week by World Wide Worx and Ornico, the next year will see the use of as many as four social media platforms becoming pervasive marketing tools in South Africa. The study included a survey of 116 major South African brands, making for a representative sample of the country’s major brands.

Already, in 2016, 91% of these brands were using Facebook, 88% were active on Twitter, and 66% were on YouTube. LinkedIn slipped from 70% to 63%, as brands struggled to get to grips with its more serious nature. Meanwhile, Instagram increased sharply from 42% to 62% of brands making use of it,

When asked what additional platforms they would embrace in 2017, no less than 26% said they would use Instagram, while YouTube was set to attract a further 16%. This will see the image-sharing and video-sharing networks join the top table currently occupied by Facebook and Twitter.

“The message is clear for anyone wanting to communicate with the public, consumers or large groups of stakeholders,” says Oresti Patricios, CEO of Ornico. “If youre not using social media, you’re not reaching your audience. If you’re not on social media, your stakeholders are.”

Ornico became a partner in the Social Media Landscape study after its 2015 acquisition of Fuseware, which has been conducting the research with World Wide Worx since 2011.

On a consumer level, growth for most networks has slowed down, but engagement by users has intensified. In 2016, no single social network has redefined the social landscape, in the way that Instagram and YouTube did in the previous two years.

Nevertheless, says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, social media is not waning: “The fact that Instagram continued to grow at a high rate – by 32% up to 3.5-million users – and that YouTube has seen a massive increase in engagement with brands, confirms that the social media is hardly stagnating. Rather, it is maturing into a more stable and measurable environment that can be leveraged more effectively by brands.”

Facebook is now used by 14-million South Africans, while YouTube has moved firmly into second place with 8.74-million users, well outpacing Twitter’s slower rise to 7.7-million. LinkedIn maintains its energetic rise, now standing at 5.5-million.

One of the most significant trends uncovered is that Facebook, with 14-million users, now has 10-million, or 85% of its users, using mobile devices. This is significantly up from or 77 per cent the year before. While a significant number of these users are also accessing Facebook on computers and tablets, it is clear that the mobile phone has become the primary form of accessing social media.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to three readers.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers. To enter, first follow Gadget and Gammatek on Twitter. Then click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite), mention @GadgetZA and the link to this article (bit.ly/FPFortnite) to be considered valid.

Click here to see the Funko Fortnite characters and to select the one you want to tweet.

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CES: ThirdEye X2 mixed-reality glasses

The X2 mixed reality (MR) glasses, unveiled at CES last week, are the smallest mixed reality devices yet. They boast a 42-degree field of view, HD resolution, and run on the Android platform. The glasses are not connected to wires or tethered packs, and boast a built-in VisionEye Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) system for accurate environment tracking. The UI allows the user to wear it while completing tasks indoors and outdoors.

Click through to read how the software makes these glasses a reality.

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Nick Cherukuri, founder of ThirdEye, said: “The goal of the X2 was to integrate SLAM into a small glasses form factor – that is the future of making MR Glasses mass produced.”

ThirdEye has also partnered with a major manufacturer, which will enable the X2 to be shipped in mass scale, which is currently a significant hurdle for many startups.

The glasses have built-in software like the ThirdEye App Suite, which provides a full MR software platform built into the units. The App Suite includes live audio and video streaming, AR data communication between remote users in the form of a “see what I see” application, and 3D scanning capabilities.  The glasses run on Android 8.0, creating a platform for a worldwide community of developers to submit AR, VR, and MR applications to the ThirdEye App Store. 

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