Our Story on WhatsApp in Asia

Quick note to share a WSJ story I helped out on Thursday about challenges Facebook may face in Asia following its acquisition of WhatsApp:

Facebook Inc. ‘s $19 billion deal for WhatsApp in part is a move to bolster the U.S. company’s position abroad.

But in Asia—which has the world’s largest, and possibly most avid, social-media audience—Facebook still has its work cut out for it.

That is because in Asia, even more than on Facebook’s home turf, the big, growing social-media market is on mobile phones. And if Facebook wants to be as dominant on smartphones in Asia as it has been on personal computers, WhatsApp will need to lure users away from three popular apps in the region: Naver Corp.’s Line, Tencent Holdings Ltd. ‘s WeChat and Kakao Corp.’s Kakao Talk.

Visit WSJD for more stories on the deal.

Self-Promotion: New WSJ Southeast Asia Real Time Story about Facebook’s Popularity in Bangkok

The story is here, and begins:

There are more Facebook users in Bangkok than in any other world city. That is the somewhat surprising finding of a global ranking of the social networking behemoth’s users based on their metropolitan areas.

Bangkok has some 8.68 million Facebook users, followed by Jakarta (7.43 million) and Istanbul (7.07 million), according to a list published by the well-known international social media analytics company Socialbakers.

Please give the piece a read and — you knew this was coming — consider “liking” it on Facebook.

A Facebook feud between Korn and Nattawud

Today’s Bangkok Post on a Facebook feud between Thailand’s Finance Minister, Korn Chatikavanij, and Nattawut Saikua, a red shirt leader:

It all started simply enough with a post on Facebook by the finance minister after taking his wife out to an innocent dinner at at unnamed restaurant on Thong Lor.

He was told that he had been seated at a table that had just been vacated by Nattawut, prompting a little swipe on his FB page remarking that he was amused how the person who called himself prai (peasant) actually had the same kind of lifestyle as the person he accused of being ammart (elite).

Within a matter of seconds, there was a response, and by Monday morning, he had received over 800 comments and almost 6,000 “likes”.

On Sunday morning, Nattawut posted on his own Facebook page how his dinner the previous night had become an online issue.

“Listen, Korn, because there are people like you that oppression still exists. Why do you have to define prai as being poor, stupid and accepting their downtrodden plight. What can’t prai eat at the same restaurant as the capitalists? Long live the people!”

(Emphasis mine.)

Around the web: August 25th to August 30th

Some links that have caught my eye of late:

Newley.com traffic stats for 2008

A quick look at my Google Analytics traffic stats for 2008 reveals the following:

Visitors and Page Views
31,480 people visited Newley.com this year (an average of 2623 per month) for a total of 50,901 page views

– Visitors from 162 different countries came to Newley.com during 2008. The top ten countries were the United States, Thailand, the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. And folks from small countries, like Tuvalu, Palau, Bhutan, and Kiribati also came to the site.

Traffic spiked1 in late November, as you can see in the graph above. That’s when anti-government protesters shut down Bangkok’s airports, leading to a flurry of folks finding the site via Google searches for news about the situation.

Most Popular Posts
Some of the most viewed pages were:
Jalapeno Hands: A Cautionary Culinary Tale (10,104 page views). This post, about my friend C‘s cooking accident2, ranks highly in a Google search for jalapeno hands and jalapeno burn. Judging from the 179 comments on the post, this epidemic has been simmering in the cooking world for some time…
Waffle coated hot dog: Consumed in Kanchanaburi, Thailand (1,321 page views)
Ecuadorian slang (1,220 page views)
How to use Skype: A Tutorial: (1,054 page views)
About me (888 page views)
Bangkok airport closure: Fri. update (872 views)
Journalism — my page of clips (560 page views)

Other Posts
Some posts from 2008 (and a few from 2007) that I like — but which haven’t attracted as many eyeballs — include:

Our Northeast India Trip: Top 10 Images
How to Learn Thai
The Asus Eee PC: 10 Things You Need to Know About the World’s Coolest Gadget
Why I Love My Grandmother
Best Burger in Bangkok
Audio Slide Show: State of Emergency in Bangkok
Newley.com Exclusive Video: November in Bangkok
StateStats: Analyzing Google search patterns
My Favorite Podcasts: Updated

RSS, Twitter, and Facebook
– According to Feedburner, which I use to manage my RSS feed, Newley.com has 692 subscribers. But I reckon that a glitch has inflated this number artifically, and that the actual number of subscribers is in the neighborhood of 250. (Not a subscriber? Grab the feed here.)

– I’m happy to report that my recently-launched Newley.com Facebook page has attracted 51 fans in just a couple of weeks.

– And Twitter, which I began using in 2008, has quickly become indispensable for me. I have 183 followers. You can find me on Twitter here.

Thanks to all of you for reading. If you have any suggestions for how I can improve the site, please leave a comment on this post or email me (newley [at] gmail.com).

  1. The dip in October occurred when I changed the site’s design and neglected to include the Google Analytics traffic code, resulting in a lack of data for a time. []
  2. Moral of the story: always wear kitchen gloves when peeling jalapenos! []