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Market Watch

Invite Codes, Opening Rooms? Why Clubhouse Has Become So Popular

The latest wave of new social media apps has exploded onto the scene. “Who has an invite code?” and “Go open a room” are common refrains heard recently when the subject is “Clubhouse,” the latest hot app. When one enters a room on Clubhouse, the audio chat experience is quite similar to that of a remote meeting. Each room has a moderator who decides who gets to speak, but users can also select topics and freely participate in chat rooms they are interested in as a speaker or listener. The invites, which are limited in number, are so valued they are actually being auctioned on ebay for more than US$100.

Image: Reporter Huang Hsiao-ching

Full article…

Facebook-Apple War Intensifies, Zuckerberg Tells Staff to ‘Inflict Pain’ on Apple

The privacy battle between Facebook and Apple is intensifying. In comments made on International Data Protection Day on Jan. 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a swipe at Facebook when he criticized companies that exploit personal data for profit, that aggregate data from different websites and apps and turn it into huge advertising revenue. In contrast, Apple is rolling out a privacy policy change for its iOS14 system in which apps must obtain the user’s consent when they want to track a user’s behavior and data. That means that when you open a Facebook app, the system will ask you if you are willing to share your browsing history, personal data and behavior pattern with Facebook. Facebook responded by accusing Apple of a double standard and adopting policies that benefit it. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even told his staff back in 2018 in a dispute over data-collection practices that they need to “inflict pain” on Apple. The two companies are following different approaches toward users that seem to be turning into irreconcilable paths.     

Photo: Tech News

Source:Tech News
Full article...

Canada Follows Australia, Vows to Make Facebook Pay for News

The Australian Parliament voted recently to pass a new paid news content law that forces the online news platforms of social media giants Google and Facebook to pay for news that they display or face fines. Canada has announced that it would follow in Australia’s footsteps, vowing that even if Facebook blocked all Canadian news content on its service, the country would not be deterred.

Full article...

New 2021 Trend: A Digital Ad World without Cookies

Leading browser brand Chrome expects to stop supporting third-party cookies by 2022, which means that digital advertisers will face a major change to their targeting technology within a year. Some conspiracy theorists have expressed skepticism over Google’s determination to kill off third-party cookies, believing there is no way the search giant will part ways with them in 2021. But digital advertisers are taking no chances and doing everything they can to find viable substitutes, as follows:
◆ Using “contextual targeting,” which involves putting the most appropriate ad within the right context so that the ad is closely correlated to the content in an article on the consumer’s browser and appears there seemingly naturally
◆ Build their own “walled garden” or “closed platform” in which every ad media platform attracts advertisers to the platform based on the firsthand user data it gathers


Source:The News Lens
Full article…

As Bitcoin Soars, Here’s a Dog-related Coin You Should Know About

The virtual currency “Dogecoin" that uses the image of the Shiba Inu dog Doge has soared more than 800% in value recently, leading many to wonder what is so appealing about this cryptocurrency. Taiwan’s central bank explained the origins of Dogecoin on its Facebook page and noted that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a loyal fan of Dogecoin.

Image:Storm Media

Source:Storm Media
Full article…

Middle-aged Taiwanese Men Have Highest Stress Index in Asia: Wearable Device Data

A review of big data information collected from smart wearable devices in 2020 has found a decline in the number of steps walked per day during the year among Asian users, reflecting lifestyle changes seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Taiwan, there was less of a drop-off in steps because the outbreak had only a limited impact. But among men aged 45-55 and 55 and above, Taiwanese had the highest stress index in Asia, ahead of the same groups in Thailand and Malaysia.

Photo:Central News Agency

Source: Central News Agency
Full article…

The Appeal of ‘Lucky Bags’: Why Convenience Stores Are Jumping into the Fray

According to a report in Nikkei, the concept of lucky bags – grab bags filled with unknown items at the beginning of the Lunar New Year – is undergoing a change. In the 1990s, the focus was on value for money, while in the 2000s stores revealed ahead of time the items in their lucky bags so that customers could be assured of what they were buying. Now, the focus has turned toward bags with cheap food items that can be shared by the whole family and do not lead to idle inventories. That trend has led retail brands selling food items, including convenience stores, to aggressively get in the game and embrace “lucky bag economics.” Breaking down consumer psychology on lucky bags, there are three main reasons why they appeal to shoppers.

  • Daily commodities are used up quickly, so even if consumers do not snag the bags with the biggest prizes, regular bags are still worth it.
  • A small amount of money can be spent to buy a sense of suspense and uncertainty
  • There is less of a Lunar New Year atmosphere than in the past, and lucky bags provide a sense of ritual for the occasion.

Source:Manager Today
Full article…

The 4 Microtrends Hiding Big Opportunities in 2021

In his book Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today, author Mark Penn proposes several microtrends to help companies plan their marketing approaches. Here are four of them likely to be felt in the coming year:

  • Love and relationship microtrends: Independent marrieds
    Marriage is being redefined by couples living in separate bedrooms and separate beds. In this new-generation arrangement, beyond spending time enjoying each other’s company, people in marriages are also maintaining their independent tastes and quality of life.
  • Technology microtrends: New addicts and new Luddites
    New addicts → The growing mass of technology can collect data on your body every minute of every day through smart watches and other devices. New addicts are happy to turn over their daily data to machines and improve their lives or bodies by tracking their results.
    New Luddites → The New Luddites choose at a certain point to shut off their machines or simply fall back on the technology services of a previous age.
  • Work and business microtrends: Work with limits – being willing to work fewer hours
  • Lifestyle microtrends: Single with pet, nerds with money
    Single with pet → Single millennials love pets. They take the responsibility of acting as pets’ parents seriously, and are very concerned about their pet’s nutrition, leading to the rise of a pet economy.
    Nerds with money → The idea of “nerds” staying in their homes used to have somewhat derogatory connotations. But as these individuals have aged, their economic power has grown. They are more willing to spend money on themselves, becoming important target consumers for many companies.

Source:Manager Today
Full article…

Korea Fever on the Decline Overseas as In-person Events Affected by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically limited the number of shows Korean pop bands have been able to perform overseas. That has led to a decline in interest among overseas fans in Korean creative content over the past year compared to the previous year, according to a Korean government survey. The pandemic, however, has also given a boost to the “stay-at-home economy, and the percentage of Korean creative content consumed by overseas consumers as a share of total content consumed trended higher for dramas, beauty products, variety shows, comics, games, music, animation and books in 2020. Only movies, down 21.8 percentage points, and food, down 0.4 percentage points, trended lower. 

Picture:Central News Agency

Source:Central News Agency
Full article…

Tourism Industry Update

Taiwan Outbound Departure Statistics, January 2021

1. Taiwanese went aboard 20,969 times in January 2021, down 98.52% from the 1,412,220 times they went abroad in January 2020 because of the travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. The two top destinations for outbound travelers in January 2021 were the United States (7,147) and China (5,144). The next top destinations were Hong Kong (1,135), Japan (1,047) and Vietnam (881). Travel to all five destinations plunged from a year earlier due to COVID-19, falling by as much as 99.77% to Japan.

3. Outbound departures had declined month-by-month during the pandemic since peaking at 37,786 in August, but the January departures were slightly higher than the 20,318 departures seen in December 2020.

Charts:Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications
Charts:Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications

Source:Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications

DGBAS Latest Economic Indicators for January 2021

Chart:Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS)
  1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) in Q4 2020 grew 5.84% from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis and 5.09% on a year-on-year basis. For 2020 as a whole, real GDP grew 3.11%, and it is expected to grow 4.64% in 2021.110年1月消費者物價指數(CPI)年增率跌0.16%,躉售物價指數(WPI)年增率跌2.86%。
  2. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.16% in January 2021 compared to the same month in 2020, while the Wholesale Price Index fell 2.86% in January from a year earlier.
  3.  The average regular salary of workers in Taiwan (including full-time and part-time Taiwan nationals and foreign nationals) in December 2020 was NT$42,947, up 1.07% year-on-year. The average regular salary for 2020 as a whole was NT$42,498, up 1.47% from 2019.
  4. The number of employees in the industrial and service sectors averaged 7.955 million for 2020 as a whole. Average monthly earnings (including bonuses, overtime pay and other irregular income) totaled NT$54,320 in 2020, up 1.24% from the previous year.


Source:DGBAS Leading Indicators

How Tourism Sector Needs to Redefine Itself in the Post-pandemic World

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the global tourism industry, it has also presented an opportunity for change in how it operates. Economies that are dependent on tourism need to concentrate their efforts on attracting fewer, but higher-spending tourists to promote healthier businesses.

Source:CommonWealth Magazine
Full article…

High Volume Tourism Posing Challenge to Travel Quality in Taiwan

Unable to travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwanese have flocked to domestic tourism destinations, often putting a strain on local resources and the quality of the travel experience. That cannot be repeated when Taiwan reopens once the pandemic eases and overseas travelers flow in because of its success in keeping COVID-19 at bay. Taiwan should not just be a hot destination for a year, and must find a better balance between quality and volume. It should aim to draw 10,000 people who want to keep coming back rather than 1 million visitors who only come once.

Source:United Daily News Op-ed
Full article...

Seeing No Loosening of Travel Restrictions, Airlines Selling Everything but Tickets

The aviation industry is doing everything it can to survive and transform itself as cross-border travel restrictions due to the coronavirus remain in place. From last year to the present, several strange phenomena have emerged. Airlines have not only diversified their operations, but are repackaging corporate resources that were not used for business purposes in the past and turning them into marketable assets. This trend has created much needed cash flow to keep companies afloat and given professionals in the sector more chances for development.

Photo:China Airlines

Source:Apple Daily
Full article…

Eight Hotels in Taiwan Named 2021 Forbes Travel Guide Star Award Winners

The prestigious Forbes Travel Guide recently issued its Star Award Winners for 2021. Of the 1,870 properties that made the cut around the world, there were eight hotels and two spas from Taiwan. The only hotel in Taiwan to get the top 5-star billing was the Mandarin Oriental Taipei, while the Regent Taipei, Taipei Marriott Hotel, W Taipei, and Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei were given 4-star honors.

Source:Central News Agency
Full article…

Media News

Ad Trends to Watch in 2021

The changes brought by COVID-19 to the digital advertising field are likely to continue to have an effect on the industry in 2021, including people spending more time on the internet and shifts in how consumers discover new products and buy daily necessities. Brands should be aware of the following four advertising trends:

  • Google’s leadership status in advertising technology
    Google has monopolized the digital advertising market for many years, and voices opposing that dominance are louder than ever. It is expected that digital publishers will on many levels have had enough of the pressure put on them by Google in 2021, and antitrust investigations will give emerging competitors some room for maneuver. Google could respond by providing more favorable solutions and even transfer some of its video advertising services to a company like Freewheel.
  • A move toward a third-generation programmatic ecosystem
  • Retail advertising squeezing Facebook revenue
  • Outdoor ads becoming in vogue again
Photo:Brain News

Source:Brain Magazine
Full article…

Four Ways Brands, e-Commerce Vendors Can Take on New iOS 14 Privacy Policy

When Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2020 that the iOS 14 operating system would include an “App Tracking Transparency” feature, it appeared to be a major blow to the digital advertising industry. The move sparked resistance from ad targeting and retargeting companies and app developers, leading Apple to delay the move until the beginning of 2021. Faced with the huge number of iOS users around the world, what questions should e-commerce vendors be asking and how should they respond to the challenge?

  • How exactly has the new iOS 14 privacy policy been updated?  
  • What effect will the iOS 14 policy’s IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) have?
  • What steps should e-commerce vendors and app developers take to meet the challenge?
    1. Conduct a domain verification of the brand’s official website;
    2. Open Facebook conversions API
    3. Make preparations in advance for changes to the attribution window
    4. Continue to manage members of your brand and nurture followers

Full article…

Survey of Social Platforms, Influencers Shows Dark Horse Media Soaring

As social media platforms and influencers have grabbed the attention of consumers, alternative media has emerged as an indispensable tool in marketing campaigns. A survey by social media monitoring and analysis service OpView has found that user preferences and interactive models related to social platforms underwent changes in 2020. Among Facebook’s top 500 channels, government channels gained a larger share, from 1% in 2019 to 4% in 2020, and total comments soared from 1.61 million to 4.30 million. Meanwhile, Instagram saw interaction on its platform increase 18.4% in 2020, while interaction on YouTube declined, and podcasts soared in popularity.
Full article…

Twitter, Facebook Want In! What’s the Next Step for Clubhouse-like Voice-based Social Media?

During the Lunar New Year break in February, you may have come across the Clubhouse craze.

Clubhouse, which relies on voice as its only medium and consists of a variety of chat rooms stacked together, has gained global popularity in just a matter of months.

But the rise of Clubhouse is not an isolated phenomenon. Many in the industry think the concept has a bright future and want to replicate it. Former L.A. Boyz member Jeffrey Huang, one of the first in Taiwan to use Clubhouse, said he was interested in setting up a similar platform. Before the Lunar New Year, Taiwanese podcast platform SoundOn introduced an identical function on its own app, and even big social network players Twitter and Facebook are planning to forge similar products. 

Image:Business Next

Source:Business Next
Full article…

LINE Offers New ‘Create OpenChat’ Function

LINE announced on Feb. 8 that it has expanded its LINE OpenChat feature to allow anybody to create a group and experience being a group moderator and managing a chat room. Reflecting the many functions that have been created, LINE’s Hometab page has added a dedicated LINE OpenChat portal that when clicked on lets you browse the OpenChat home page. There you will find “hot” and “recommended” sections, making it easier for users to find and join chats they are interested in. LINE also indicated that it will soon introduce chat room emoticons that people can use to make chat rooms livelier and praise the chats they like.


Full article…

Case Studies

Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center – Digital Promotion

Campaign Background
Promoting “organ transplants” has generally required more intensive forms of communication, often involving in-person activities such as drives held at hospitals or at outdoor fairs to get people to sign organ donation consent forms. But the demographics those events tend to reach lean older. At the end of 2020, the center wanted to use digital tools to raise awareness of organ transplants and organ donation among younger people.

Looking at the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center’s website, information was displayed in great detail, and it was impossible for digital natives to quickly and accurately understand the significance of organ transplantation in a short amount of time. On the center’s fan page, the website’s information was incomplete and relied mostly on articles re-posted from the news media, and it was not helpful to the target audience’s understanding of the issue. So the idea was to create a platform to more effectively reach target audiences, and go beyond just the landing page to achieve that. See how CheeseAd took this to a new level.

Ads Playing on Old Dilemmas Used to Attract the Interest of Target Audiences
Created polling ads and placed them on Facebook and Instagram to catch the eyeballs of digital natives

Limited-time Dynamic Ads Promote Interaction
Interacted with netizens by posting limited-time dynamic questions that users answered in real time, allowing us to see what people were thinking.

Using Instagram Multiple Image Posts
Multiple image posts were used on Instagram to convey many moving stories of organ transplant cases, hoping to increase interaction with target audiences and accounts.

Chunghwa Post ibox Image Campaign

Campaign Background
The goal was to promote Chunghwa Post’s ibox services. Besides educating consumers and communicating with e-commerce vendors and small businesses, the campaign sought to build a strong impression of ibox services in consumers’ minds and get them in the habit of using ibox services in their daily lives and recommend them to their friends.

Main Visuals
First phase promotion: Image visual

First phase promotion: Website visuals

First phase promotion: New member drive

Online period: July 1 to Aug. 31

Activity instructions :
Join EZPost as a member and get 70 points and the chance to draw for a NT$10,000 prize and nice gifts. Tell your friends about the activity, and if you successfully get them to join EZPost, you won’t have to enter the draw. The 10 individuals who have the most friends become ibox members will automatically collect a cash prize.

Activity impact:
Activity page views: 98,987
Activity participants: 4,411

Second phase promotion: Website visual

Second phase promotion: Website activity

Activity period: Oct. 30 to Dec. 13

Activity instructions:
Daily log-in draws: Log in to the activity’s website and answer the system’s random questions (a total of 20 random questions). Answer a question correctly and get a chance to claim a prize – reward points you can redeem on Chunghwa Post’s online PostMall. If you win you will receive immediate confirmation, and the reward points will be sent to you right away.
Bonus draw for NT$10,000: Any participant can also take part in a lucky draw for NT$10,000.

Activity impact:
Activity page views: 81,893
Activity participants: 5,033

Media Promotion:
Used Google Display Network, LINE, Facebook and native ads to create exposure online. The rich content and strong activity incentives attracted clicks from target audiences.

Micro influencer Support:
Enlisted the backing of 60 micro influencers to describe their experiences in using ibox services and post articles recommending their use on Instagram, Facebook and blogs. The campaign resonated on social network platforms, enabling information promoting ibox services to reach more people.


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