Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Facebook Users in Nepal [INFOGRAPHIC]

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The social networking giant Facebook has around 4 Million users in Nepal, thanks to the smartphones and internet penetration. Back in 2011, there were only 0.85 Million Facebook users from Nepal.


According to Facebook Ad platform, among 4 Million Facebook users, 2.8 Millions are male and 1.3 Millions are female. Just a fun fact that, among 2.8 Million male users 0.64 Millions are single whereas 0.22 Million female users has a relationship status as single.

The rise in number of smartphones have also fueled the growth of Facebook. Out of 4 Million users, around 3 Million users have accessed the Facebook from mobile devices. Data reveals that, around 1.8 Million users have accessed the Facebook from Android devices -- phones and tablets. And 1.3 Million users use the feature phone to access the Facebook. So far, only 0.19 M users have accessed the Facebook from iOS devices -- iPhone, iPad etc. And 0.032 Million users own the Windows phone. These numbers tell that, Android smartphones and tablets are popular here in Nepal.


Disclosure: The data is an approximate figure collected using Facebook's Ad platform.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ncell Launches Mobile App Development Competition #AppCamp14

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Nepal's leading private telecommunication company Ncell has unveiled the "Ncell App Camp" -- a mobile app development competition for mobile app developers and enthusiasts.


Mobile app developers and enthusiasts can take part in the competition for free by registering their teams and ideas around the four thematic areas -- Agriculture, Education, Tourism, and Corporate solution. The app can be created for any platforms, including Android, Apple iOS, Windows.
Issuing a statement on Monday, Ncell said first 150 best workable ideas will be selected and the teams will be invited to take part in capacity building seminars. During the seminars the teams will undergo coaching on various aspects of app making and business development.

Once the teams submit their refined ideas, 6 best ideas from each category - that is 24 teams in total - will be selected for the final competition, which will be held through December 9-11, 2014.

These finalists under the mentorship of national and international experts would come up with working prototypes, present them and pitch their ideas to independent jury, comprising of experts from different sectors. After evaluating the usability and viability of the app prototypes, the jury will select four category winners and one overall winner.

The thematic winners would win a cash prize of Rs. 250,000 each, and the overall winner will bag additional Rs. 500,000 in cash along with Ncell sponsorship to participate in a similar overseas app camp.

Any development team with an initial idea, or an idea in development stage, can register to participate in the competition. Registration closes at noon on October 28, 2014.
Hello, developers! Did you register for the Ncell App Camp? Register from here: ncellappcamp.com

(via Ncell App Camp Image:  @SomeshVerma
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Nepal Load Shedding Android App Acquired For 2 Million Rupees

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Shiran Technology has acquired the most popular Nepali Android apps "Nepal Load Shedding Schedule" for $20,000 (~Rs 20 Lakh). This is probably the first time that Nepali App is acquired by a company in Nepal.


According to Hello Sukrabar, Shiran Technology will pay $20,000 in cash to Nepal Load Shedding App developers Chandra Man Shrestha and Eliza Shrestha. Besides that the developers will also get the 10% of the revenue generated by the app every year for the next 10 years.
The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times from the Google Play Store in last two years. The app is generating ~ $500 per month from the display advertising. For some, it's crazy to pay this much amount for the app that doesn't have the future, [The Finance Minister has said, there'll be no Load Shedding in Nepal in the next 3 years :P]. I think Shiran Technology - the maker of 'Cash on Ad' might have bigger plans for the app. I must say, this is an exciting news for the app developers here in Nepal.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

World Cup Football App for Android

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The World Cup 2014 is here. There are so many matches, that it's hard to keep track of all of them. Wouldn't be great if there's an app that keeps you updated on the match fixtures (in local time), live scores, ranking etc.


Bang! "Football World Cup" android app has arrived at the Google Play Store, that keeps track of all 64 matches that is happening in Brazil. The World Cup Football (Soccer) app that was launched on 7th June by Hamro Patro (maker of popular Nepali Keyboard - Hamro Keyboard for Android) has been installed around 50K times and has 4.5 ratings from 650+ users. It has multiple language support, including English, Espanol, Nepali and Hindi.

Here are the main features of the app:
   1. Calendar and Game Fixture.
   2. Schedule of all matches in local and customizable time-zone.
   3. View matches by teams.
   4. Group tabular scores and ranking.
   5. Notification for matches.
   6. Live score updates with push notification support.
As the app says, this is the "perfect companion app to keep up with football World Cup 2014 in Brazil".  If you love the team / the World Cup, then it is the must have app in your Android mobile and tablets. Enjoy the World Cup 2014 with "Football World Cup" Android app. Incase, if you just want to have the match schedules synced with your Google calendar, then you can use this Google calendar.

➤ Install: Football World Cup
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Twitter is FREE on @Ncell for 3 months

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Good news for Twitter users in Nepal, now Twitter is FREE for three months on Ncell.


"Respecting your right to expression, socializing and information, we have made Twitter free on our network for 3 months", said Ncell in a private message (DM) that was sent to a few Twitter power users.


Similar to Wikipedia zero, now Ncell customers will be able to access the Twitter, free of mobile data charges for three months using mobile.twitter.com or official Twitter app for mobile (Android/iOS etc). But this offer is not available on Opera mini and other thrid party apps and browsers.

Later, Ncell confirmed via a tweet.


Good job Ncell! Make Twitter free forever. A few weeks back Ncell has introduced Wikipedia Zero - where Ncell customers are able to access the Wikipedia, free of mobile data charges.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mount Everest in 3D - Experience the Trek to the summit

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The Discovery channel has launched a new site "Everest Avalanche Tragedy" following the Khumbu Icefall Avalanche that happened on April 18th at Mt. Everest, which killed 13 people and left three Sherpas missing.


The best part of the site is that, you can experience the 3D trek to the Everest summit, sitting infornt of your computer. The trek starts from the base camp and ends at the Mt. Everest summit, from where you can see the breathtaking view of the Himalayas. Here are some snaps from the 3D trek.

Basecamp

Khumbu Icefall

Deadly Avalanche at Khumbu Icefall

Camp 1

Camp 2

Camp 3

Camp 4 / South Col

Hillary Step

From the Mt. Everest summit



The Discovery channel has also launched the "Sherpa Family Fund" to support the families of Sherpas who died on Mt. Everest in that Avalanche. Start the 3D Trek to the Mt. Everest with your headphones on.
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

#WomenTechMakers in Kathmandu Nepal (PHOTO)

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Google Developer Group (GDG) Kathmandu in association with GDG Women Nepal, and Robotics Association of Nepal and supported by Google Developers have organized "Women Tech Makers" event today here in Kathmandu. Women Tech Makers is a global event happening in more than 90 cities world wide.


March 15 also marks the "Hardware Freedom Day" and +GDG Kathmandu's third anniversary. GDG Kathmandu was started in 2011 March 15.


Software and hardware hackathon have also organized in association with Karkhana, PHP Developers Nepal, Mobile Social Networking Nepal and CashOnAd.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

5 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools [SWOT Analysis]

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What started as an opportunity to track social media chatter and carry out basic reporting, has created an entire social enterprise software eco-system. Social Media Monitoring is no longer a good to have feature but a must have feature in all the social enterprise platforms. This change in the industry has given rise to a gamut of social business functions in an enterprise: social marketing, social crm, social selling, social research, social hiring and so on.


Today in the market, there are multiple social media monitoring platforms with variety of benefits, functionalities and use-cases. But out of all, there are specific use-cases, which are of highest importance to an enterprise, which not all the platforms have. Hence, many enterprises spend in various tools to carry out their operations. Most of these decisions are driven by cost and usability factor. With ever increasing social networking sites, it is a challenge for all the social media monitoring vendors to track all the conversations from new emerging sites. In addition to this, the growing interest towards data policy and privacy are also making it difficult for social media monitoring platforms to track all the data. This was not the case few years back, but now it’s extremely difficult for application developers to access public data. They have to either be limited to few data samples or have to partner with global data vendors.

For this article, we are taking 5 popular tools in the industry which are making news with their associations and market reach. They are :

  1. Sysomos
  2. Salesforce
  3. Simplify360
  4. Brand Watch
  5. Lithium

Before we get into the analysis of these tools we need to understand what are the most important use cases of social media monitoring platforms. Most enterprises today use social media for marketing and customer service. These two are the core applications of social media compared to any other use case present out there.

Inorder to cater to the marketing and customer service department of an enterprises, following are the most important features that needs to be present:

  1. Ability to monitor social web
  2. Ability to segment social media chatter automatically
  3. Ability to create custom dashboards
  4. Strong rule engine creation
  5. In-depth social media analytics
  6. Complete CRM functionalities
  7. Ability to create knowledge repository for customer service
  8. Lead/Case Management ability
  9. Engagement and Publishing Units
  10. Enterprise Integration

The above features are the most important ones that need to be included in the platform. All the five platforms mentioned above are the leaders in the industry, which has all these features to different levels in their advancement, and though every one will say that they have the features, enterprises need to look at its complete road map to make any investment.


SN
Features
Sysomos
Salesforce
Simplify360
Brandwatch
Lithium
1
Ability to monitor social web
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
2
Ability to segment social media chatter automatically
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
3
Ability to create custom dashboards
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
4
Strong rule engine creation
N/A
Advanced
Advanced
N/A
Advanced
5
In-depth social media analytics
Medium
Medium
Advanced
Medium
Medium
6
Complete CRM functionalities
Medium
Advanced
Advanced
Medium
Advanced
7
Ability to create a knowledge repository for customer service
N/A
N/A
Yes
N/A
Yes
8
Lead/Case Management ability
Basic
Advanced
Advanced
Basic
Medium
9
Engagement and Publishing Units
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
10
Enterprise Integration
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes


Feature Analysis

Monitoring

Most of these tools have a strong ability to monitor keywords using different logic combination and search pattern. The only difference that exists is in the source which all these tools monitor; some will have few sources while others reach out to millions of sources. Among these tools, Simplify360 has a unqiue ability to monitor even custom list of facebook pages, twitter channels, linkedin groups, google plus and youtube channel. This feature is interesting because it allows enterprise to create their own custom list of important channels.

In terms of languages most of the above tools has the ability to track multiple languages.

Publishing and Engagement

All the tools have similar strength in terms of basic publishing and engagement console. This will allow enterprises to easily manage their social media marketing.


Social Media Dashboards

All the tools have a standard social media monitoring dashboards with ability to export data and graphs/charts. But not all the tools have ability to create custom dashboards with respect to their needs. In addition to this, most tools have different ways to displaying dashboards. It is either static dashboards, widget based or customizable based. But there are not strong indicators of anyone winning in this category.

Social Media Analytics

Among all these tools, only Simplify360 has a dedicated channel analytics reports for facebook pages, twitter profiles and linkedin groups. Other have integrated facebook and twitter reports. But not all have dedicated channel reports. In this particular category there are other independent players like unmetrics, social bakers and sprout social. But in terms of keywords based social web monitoring capability they are not strong.

Social CRM

This is the most important function required in social media monitoring platform. Sysomos and Brandwatch only have a basic task assignment and follow up features. But Salesforce, Lithium and Simplify360 have much advanced features like work flow automation, rules engines to segment messages and case management. In addition to this features, only Lithium and Simplify360 has the facility for admins to create complete knowledge repository so that customer agents can access FAQs at the as when they are responding to messages.

Integration

Out of all the tools Salesforce has a very strong reach to enterprise eco-system making them the giants in the enterprise software. Thereforce, they obviously have a strong connection to other platforms. Even then Simplify360 and Lithium do show strong ability to connect to any enterprise platform through their open API framework. In this terms there aren’t much cases of brandwatch and sysomos, which are basically used as a standalone software platforms.



Sysomos
Salesforce
Simplify360
Brandwatch
Lithium
Weakness
Mostly targeted only for PR purpose.
Rather than a standalone system, it’s a collection of multiple platforms making it difficult for users to use.
Doesn’t have much features in social campaign management compared to Lithium/Salesforce.
Mostly targeted for only Research department.
Has a very weak social media monitoring capability compared to others.
Strength
Good dashboard capability.
Strong access to enterprise eco-system.
Strong CRM features and completely integrated tools.
Better ability for analyst to filter data.
Better reach to customer experience department.

Based on the requirement of an enterprise, most companies prefer different social media monitoring tools. Some of the important reasons for decision processes are:

  1. Number of sources being captured.
  2. Business model of the platforms
  3. Existing relationship with other enterprise platforms
  4. Local support teams
  5. Urgency in the enterprise for implementing social monitoring tools.

Most enterprises are still using free tools to track mentions and respond using Twitter or Facebook page. Moreover, most are still satisfied with free or low paid tools for managing their social media management.

But most enterprises have implemented social media much deeper into their business process making it difficult for them to use free or low paid tools. Industries like Telecom, Airlines, Banking and Retail have a much matured enterprise tool adoption hence they require more customization and support ability. This has made them prefer more enterprise friendly tools like Salesforce and Simplify360. In addition to this, their strong partnership with BPO centers and software integrators make them highly competitive compared to other tools.

Through SMBs are still comfortable with paying less and using low feature tools, in the larger enterprise market we are seeing revolution in terms of adoption of social enterprise platforms.

Disclosure: I'm a former employee of Simplify360.
Image credit: tedxvienna.at
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