Why The Presidential Elections Of 2016 Were Also Social Media 101
The General Data Protection Regulation Reform: Europe Steps Up for Digital Age
Equalisation Levy of 6% or Google Tax – All You Need to Know About It
Hello from the bots side – Conversational Commerce ft. Facebook Messenger Chatbots
Around the Globe: Data in DNA, The Times of Facebook and more
#AroundTheGlobe: Snapchat, Instagram and Windows
Business Beyond Boundaries and more at the CII Annual Meeting
#AroundTheGlobe: Week of Google and Couch Potatoes!
#AroundTheGlobe: New Feeds, Interests, Social Commerce and Like
#SXSW 2016: Hey Austin, be good to us

If the election of Donald Trump was a revolution, then it was un-televised.

It was posted, tweeted and live-streamed.

To give you an estimate of the extent,  a survey of US adults shows that 44% reported having learned about the presidential election from social media.  

Presidential campaigns are no different from brand campaigns really, so social media as a medium should not really surprise anyone. In fact, it’s nothing new. Barack Obama’s campaign was actually the first campaign to truly harness the power of social media, as it was utilized to help spread his message, gather grassroots support and empower people through engagement.

As recorded in an article, the Obama campaign reached 5 million supporters on 15 different social networks over the course of the campaign season. By November 2008, Obama had approximately 2.5 million (some sources say as many as 3.2 million) Facebook supporters, 115,000 Twitter followers, and 50 million viewers of his YouTube channel.

“No other candidate has ever integrated the full picture the way [Obama] has, that’s what’s really new about his campaign,” said Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute.

Then why is everyone hailing  Trump’s election as the “first real social media Presidency”?

There are three ways we can decode that. We study the size of social presence, the notable trends, and the overall impact. Understanding these will help you realize that social media is no longer just the medium for the message, but the driving force of any campaign – presidential or otherwise.

Let’s delve into it:

Social Media by the Numbers

When Barack Obama took office in January 2009, Facebook had a user base of 150 million, now it’s a mammoth 1.8 billion. The second most popular social media was MySpace, and Twitter closely trailed in third.

The above information might have made you feel two things:

  1. Was it really just 8 years ago?
  2. I’m getting old.

Jokes aside, the numbers also give us a clear idea how much space social media has come to occupy in our lifestyles and culture.Still, when we look back at the numbers from the election this year, it feels surreal.

Andreas Sandre compiled these important numbers in his brilliant medium post. We’ll  leave some here for you to take in.

Election night was “the most-Tweeted election day ever, with more than 75 million global election-related Tweets sent from before the polls opened to just after the president-elect Donald Trump’s 3am ET speech,” according to a joint press release by Twitter and Buzzfeed.

CNN reported, “8.8 billion posts, likes and comments were posted between March 23, 2015, when Ted Cruz became the first politician to declare his candidacy, and November 1. The company said the second presidential debate, held in early October, was the most talked about event of the campaign. It generated more than 92 million “interactions” by almost 20 million users.”

Snapchat, “which on any given day reaches 41% of all 18- to 34- year-olds in the U.S., its younger users have been immersed in the election, too, with nearly two-thirds following it closely, according to USA Today.

Notable Trends

Election Campaigns have always been torchbearers when it comes to adapting to new technology and engaging in their creative usage. The usage of social media to their benefit was no different. Here are three ways in which campaigns were leveraging their social presence.

Vertical Social Media

The practice of blasting the general message is done and dusted. Social gurus have been preaching about ‘vertical social media’ for some time now. The election campaigns showed the world how it’s done. Content was tailor made for each platform. No matter the volume of content distribution – using unique content for each medium, you could easily identify the platform of every candidate.

“The crossover between the audience on Snapchat and the audience on Instagram is pretty high, but they respond to different content in different ways. On both we hope to forge an emotional connection with [Secretary Clinton], but the Snapchat audience is more intimate, and Instagram is way more quirky.”

– Clinton Campaign Staffer

Micro Targeting Through Social Data

The election campaigns were high on data – and they drank it from the fire hose that is social media. Social network data, voter information and sentiment analysis were all used to drive key campaign decisions on the go. Social media also made it very simple to customize communication for micro portions of the demographic. They interpreted everything from Tweet Copy to Instagram videos to script campaign messages that were delivered by the candidates and surrogates.

Social Media – The Ultimate Amplifier

Till now, the general practice in the advertising world was crafting  campaigns for traditional media, which were then adapted for digital purposes, but election campaigns are anything but traditional in this area. Most of their campaigns seem tailor cut for social and digital distribution and, if need be, the same was optimized for other platforms. From voter turnout to raising money – social media ruled all campaign agendas.

Social Media Influence:

The Rise of Post Literate, post Truth World

“Did social media ruin the election?”

“President Trump, thank Facebook”

The aftermath of Election Day can be well captured in a similar series of headlines that popped up every 2 seconds. Marketers and political pundits alike  frantically trying to post their conclusions about how social media may have been the major force to tilt the election this year.

While numbers were debated, and polls took a beating – there are some inter-related points that every sane person agreed on,

social media has brought us to the edge of a post literate, post truth world. Social media, known for being the messiah of the voiceless, apparently gave voice to the ‘fake’ and ‘untrue’ as well.  In addition, the social media algorithm formed a classic case of echo chambers that prevented people from having a full and factual picture of the scenario.

Such is the situation now – that most tech giants are being forced to understand their responsibilities as news bearers.

We can really go on and on about the impact of social media on Elections 2016. Heck, even Wikipedia felt the need for a separate page due to its unprecedented influence.

There’s a reason why everyone is documenting it, and why we have been babbling about it for almost 1000 words now. The elections of 2016 make an elaborate case for the do’s and don’ts of brands in social media.

The European Commission had proposed new regulations on data protection in the wake of a high-profile security breach that occurred in 2011. The incident where a technological company leaked personal data of 77 million customers, including their names to credit card information, had shocked citizens of the European Union. The regulation proposed in 2012 was adopted by the council on April this year, after which it was adopted by the European Parliament. The regulation that will supersede the laws of all the EU members will come into effect from 25th of May, 2018.

What changes have been made?

The European Union has made the changes to guarantee the privacy right of citizens in the digital age, giving them more control over their personal data. This reform is focused on strengthening the internal market of the EU while setting global data protection standards along with making an international transfer of data more efficient.

Here are some points about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) you need to know:

Consent – When the new regulations will come into force, citizens of Europe will be empowered to withdraw their consent easily. This means, if they do not want their data to be processed anymore, the data must be deleted by the organization or company holding it. This helps in strengthening the rights of a citizen by allowing them to be erased from the data records. Sensitive data must be handled explicitly. The data that is provided must be given out of free consent, i.e. the data provided under any conditional contract, where it is not necessary, will not be considered as a free consent. Children under the age of 13 cannot provide free consent, and hence, the same should be provided by their parents or custodians. Thus, it might affect some e-commerce services. There will be a right to object, in case the data collected has to be processed for direct marketing. Also, the person providing the data should be informed about the same.
Data breach notification – The GDPR gives a citizen the right to know when the data was breached. This means, companies and organizations must inform both the user and the national authority in case of data breaches, especially if the individual is at risk.
Data protection by design and by default -These two will be the essential elements of the reform. The products and services will safeguard the data from the earliest stages of their development. The social networking sites, mobile apps, etc. will have to maintain the high standard of privacy settings by default. The privacy of users should be a top priority.
Data Protection Officers – It will be mandatory to appoint a Data Protection Officer or DPO by data controlling organizations and companies that process a large amount of data. The person to be appointed must be someone with expertise and knowledge of latest laws and practices. DPOshave to ensure compliance of regulation within an organization or a company.
Risk Assessment – According to new reforms, it will also be mandatory for the organization and companies to conduct an analysis of the impact that the breach of data will have, and steps that should be taken to minimize it.
Data Portability – The citizens of Europe will be given a new right. The right will allow the individuals to port their information from one service provider to another. It will also allow the start-ups and SMEs to gain access to data that is available only to bigger enterprises and use it to attract customers within the limit of the privacy policy. This will also benefit the European economy.

What is the one-stop shop in GDPR?

When the GDPR was designed, the council had a one-stop shop in mind. Before the GDPR, identical rules on paper were enough for data processing within a single market. New regulations state that the rules should be applied in the same way everywhere. One-stop shop will ensure that data protection authorities across the continent of Europe have co-operation. Thus, companies will deal only with one authority rather than all the authorities individually. The decision-making process will become faster and eliminate multiple contact points. This will reduce red-tapism.

Why do businesses need to pay attention to GDPR?

After the commencement of the regulation, the changes that are made in the existing ones will make an impact on many organizations around the world. As the penalties are high, it will become necessary for the business organizations that are operating in the EU, to have knowledge about the incoming regulations. If you get familiar with the changes, you can comply with your obligations in a better way. Any company that is processing the data from the citizens of the European Union, will have to comply with the GDPR, irrespective of their location.

Penalty for offenders

This is the section where the European Council made clear that they are very serious about the protection of citizen data. If you think that your organization can forgo the GDPR, think again, because the stakes are high. As per the new regulation, any organization found guilty of breaching the regulation will have to pay a heavy fine that will be levied by the council. The fine can be up to four percent of the annual global turnover of the organization or 20 million Euros, whichever is higher. The point that must be noted here is that the fine will be calculated on the turnover and not on the profit. There will be a different tier of fine for those who haven’t caused serious offense. In this case, the fine will be 2% of the global turnover or 10 million Euros. Periodic data protection audit will be conducted as per the new regulation. Companies or organizations that have committed their first non-compliance unintentionally will be warned in writing.

Digital single market and benefits for business

The data protection reform will help in attaining a single digital market in many ways. This will be very beneficial for businesses. With a single law throughout the Europe for data protection, companies will be able to save around Euro 2.3 billion per year (estimate). As discussed previously in this article, a one-stop shop will help businesses make faster decisions, as they will have to deal with only one authority. All the companies will adhere to the same set of rules, irrespective of their size and location.

In conclusion, it could be said that it is a major step taken by the European Council to protect the rights and personal information of its citizens in this age of digitalization. The strict new framework will help in building trust among citizens again, which faded after the 2011 breach. There will be a wide set of benefits for everyone.

According to a recent proposition by the Indian government, an Equalisation Levy of 6% has come into effect from June 1st. This levy is applicable on services pertaining to cross border digital transactions and only on business to business transactions.

The reason for the government to take such a step is because it wants to make big players like Google and Facebook pay taxes on the income they are supposedly making from the local advertisers. But, there is a catch. Most of the foreign companies do not have a permanent establishment in India. This does not make them liable to pay any tax to the Indian Government. Also, since they are already paying taxes to their local government, they could not be taxed twice.

In the light of this, what the Indian Government has done is that they have levied a tax on the fees that advertisers pay rather than putting a tax directly on digital advertising platforms. This, they have termed as ‘Equalisation Levy’.

As put by the Finance Minister, payments of more than 1 lakh a year for online advertising to foreign companies who are non-residential would attract a levy of 6%. Some of the services that would attract this Equalisation Levy includes online adertising, hosting or maintenance of websites, digital space for website, facility for online sale of goods, online payment collection.

Put in a nut-shell, one has to look forward to the following as per the Equalisation Levy is concerned:

1. This levy will be charged on all payments made towards advertising on Google, Facebook etc or payment made for the purpose of online advertising.

2. As proposed, 6% of the total advertising has to submitted to the government. There will be no underpayment on the invoices raised by Google. You will have to pay 6% over your billed amount to the Govt. Consult your consultant for more details on how to deposit the tax and calculations of the same.

3. Only those accounts where an Indian resident is paying to a foreign entity is liable to pay this levy.

4. Accounts where an Indian advertiser is billed to an Indian entity is already paying 15% service tax and this levy is not applicable on them.

5. You are eligible to pay this levy only if in a financial year you are billed more than 1,00,000 INR.

CN_Blog (1)

“Chat apps will come to be thought of as the new browsers; bots will be the new websites. This is the beginning of a new internet.”

Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik made this ambitious claim in his medium post The Future of Chat Isn’t AI where he talks about the possibilities that a bot-revolution will bring and the very visible trend of conversational commerce.


Source: Medium

We have spoken about businesses forming contextual, convenient and deeper engagements with customers through conversational commerce as well.

So when Facebook launched their Messenger Platform (beta) for Facebook Messenger at the F8 Conference, we could not help but delve right into the kind of opportunities that it brings for content distribution and engagement.


Source: Techcrunch

Here are some numbers from Messenger that make us more excited about the potential of chatbots helping businesses in reaching more customers

* Over 900 million active users
* Over 60 billion messages daily (between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp)
* Over 15 million businesses on Facebook Messenger
* More than one billion messages are sent to businesses each month
* Fastest growing app in the U.S.
* Second Top App on iOS (globally behind Facebook)

Now how do we harness these bots for the benefit of the brands? According Adam Hirsch, Edelman Digital Global, we exploit the following 3 key social consumers’ experiences:

air bnb

Source: Medium

* Content consumption (informational and entertainment)
* Customer service
* Productivity (including shopping experiences)

From instant and personalized customer service response to lead generation, the possibilities are numerous, like everything in marketing; it all depends on how creative you can be with programming the bots, and how accurate they are with driving the conversations.

As for the scope of these bots in the long run, and if they would find takers in the mass, let’s leave you with saying right from the horse’s mouth

“I’ve never met anyone who likes calling a business, and no one wants to have to install a new app for every service or business they want to interact with,” Zuckerberg

There is a maze of solutions and options available if you are building out an online store. You need options that meet your business requirements and fit your budget.

At Capital Numbers, we are able to implement a range of ecommerce packages, ecommerce software and shopping cart systems that provide you with the best value for your investment.

To know how we plan to use the chat-bots to your benefit too, contact us at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/contact_us.php


Capital Numbers_AroundTheGlobe_29-04-16

It’s been quite a week for the tech fraternity. Most companies released their quarterly earnings, and we had a couple of interesting conferences lined as well (eg. Collision Conf in New Orleans). We had a full plate.

Let’s review some of the major updates of this week:

Snapchat: User `Stories’ Fuel 10 Billion Daily Video Views


Trend in a Quote

“People’s behavior is changing so that photos are being used as speech instead of a repository for memories.”
– Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

Amazon Web Services: approaching a $10 billion-a-year business


Trend in a Quote

“AWS generated $2.6 billion in revenue during the first quarter, representing 64 percent year-over-year growth.”


Microsoft: Genetics startup Twist Bioscience is working with them to store the world’s data in DNA


Trend in a Quote

“[Using DNA,] you could fit all the knowledge in the whole world inside the trunk of your car.”

Emily Leproust, CEO, Twist Bioscience

Facebook: Beats estimates for Q1’16, With 1.65 Billion Users And $5.38 Billion In Revenues


Trend in a Quote

“Today, people around the world spend on average more than 50 minutes a day using Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger…and that doesn’t count WhatsApp.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook

Skype: for Business Hits Mac in Preview Mode


Trend in a Quote

“This new app offers a simple yet powerful experience that brings our Mac customers into the modern era of Skype for Business,”

Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Office

Any other update in the tech world caught your fancy this week? Do let us know in the comments.

Friday - Arround the Globe
So the connected generation has 2 high points (or is it one high and one low) to discuss this weekend!
Image source: Techcrunch
Snapchat has added video notes, audio notes, auto-play of stories, and awesome range of stickers … it is no more Snapchat now as rightly mentioned by Techcrunch..it is Snapphone now!
Instagram (uh oh, here comes the high-low debate) managed to get an update which erm.. didnt go down well with the audience. The uber-popular platform is migrating to a algorithmic feed, which has not gone down well with brands and users both. They managed to post a statement (sounds more like we-know-stay-calm though) on twitter but it is still a long way for the platform regarding its switch.
However, as of now, we are confident that things will be better from here, since the good photos right now manage to get lost among the less-good photos..so why not!
Image source: Techcrunch
And last, Microsoft has embraced change finally, and are bringing the BASH Shell to Windows 10.. time to say All Hail Nadella then?

Capital Number_CII Annual Meeting

Eastern India has been historically hailed to be very strongly ingrained with the country’s economic adventures.  In fact as mentioned by economic historian Angus Maddison in his book, The World Economy: A Millennial  Perspective, India  had  the  world’s  largest  economy  till  the  early  17th  century  and  Eastern  India contributed 15% of the world GDP.

But today Eastern India’s contribution if still good is not good enough. It’s 17% despite the demographic dividend, rich mineral reserves, the vast coastline and its close proximity to the East and South East Asian Countries.

Eastern India has a lot of potential to be a headlining writer of India’s growth story. To deliberate on this further the  CII  Eastern  Region organized a conference on  “Building  East:  Driving  Development” coinciding  with  the  Annual  Regional  Meeting  on  17  March  2016  at  Hotel  ITC  Sonar,  Kolkata.

We as an organization connecting Eastern India to the world saw it prudent that we attend the conference to discuss ways of promoting overall development in the region such that the benefits percolate to all sections of the society thereby playing an important role in India’s development story.

Apart from the conference, various other sessions like Good Governance, Taking Business of Entertainment beyond Boundaries etc. were a part of the Annual General Meeting as well. The speakers, some of the most eminent names in this part of the country shared intriguing and unique perspectives.

Some of the notable names at the event were

Mr T V Narendran
Deputy Chairman, CII Eastern Region & Managing Director, Tata Steel Ltd;
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee
Director General, CII;
Mr Ajay Shankar, Chairman
Expert Committee on Ease of Doing Business in India, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP)Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry;
Mr Sumit Mazumder
President, CII & Chairman & Managing Director, TIL Ltd;
Mr Sumit Dutt Majumder
Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs;
RAdm A K Verma (Retd)
Chairman, CII Eastern Region & CMD, GRSE Ltd
Dr Saugat Mukherjee
Regional Director, CII Eastern Region


We were honoured to be a part of such an ambitious confluence, we especially enjoyed soaking in the convergence of like minds from various industries; and we liked explaining our leading-edge service model to transform digital production services and how it can help mobilize industries as a whole.

Capital Numbers’ commitment to leading the profession in digital production and digital marketing was recognized last year by CII with its prestigious “Top 10 Promising Startups”. To know more about it, read here

If you are a business house looking to make your mark in Eastern India, bring us your ideas. We can help you achieve your digital production and marketing goals, talk to us at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/

Friday - AroundTheGlobeWhen it comes to tech, too much keeps happening around us at a ‘breakneck’ speed. #AroundTheGlobe is a space where we do a quick recap of the tech developments that caught our eye during the last 7 days.

Here we go…


RIP Google Chrome App Launcher

Chrome is getting streamlined and simplified and that calls for an end to the Chrome App Launcher that was launched 3 years ago. New Chrome downloads will not have the launcher bundled.

“We’ve come a long way from where we began. Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”

Say Hello to Google Cloud Speech API

Google’s machine learning technology and related initiatives have received a great fillip, thanks to its recent announcement at GCP Next event in San Francisco. Acc to this recent development, Google’s Speech recognition tech can be used by developers in powering an app.

Woot woot!


Meet the Couch Potatoes

Deloitte’s latest survey points out to the fact that almost 70% of Americans binge watch.

God bless Netflix, Hulu and likes and God bless United States of America!


If anything in the tech world interested you last week as well, do share it with us in the comments below

Friday - AroundTheGlobe

You must have spotted a #RIPInstagram somewhere this week? What about the news of Google and Apple making strange bed fellows? And you obviously know about the new algorithm update to Google Search?

We know that you come across several new updates in the tech world, but seldom get time to read about them in depth. Though, it’s rather important that you are up-to-date with any changes that might directly/indirectly affect your work
So here’s a list of updates from this week that you don’t want to miss:


Instagram is testing algorithm to re-order feeds as per interests


Google announces Enterprise Market Suite Analytics 360


Messaging app We Chat is becoming a mobile payment giant in China


Apple looks to Google’s Cloud Platform as it diversifies its infrastructure


Uber India Is Working on Offering Ride-Booking on Snapdeal


Google’s latest mobile search algorithm update makes having a mobile-friendly site even more important

Blog Post

It’s the mid of March, and there’s no place we’d rather be in than Austin. The South by South West (SXSW) starts from this 11th and has us hooked even before we have set foot in the city. You can practically hear the city buzzing with SXSW from anywhere in the world.

It’s as huge as its history

One of the things that make SXSW so special is that it’s huge! Not just the Obamas as Keynote Speakers huge, but huge in number of events and locations as well.

Last year the event had

2,266 Showcasing Artists

233 Panels, Workshops & Sessions

107 Venues & Stages

The excitement is only growing over the years.

This year they already have 72,000 registrations and counting. SXSW’s Director of Tech, Scott Wilcox even teases into the event and says that there’s a lot to look forward to. “This year we expect to produce 6,000 events at 600 distinct locations when you add it all up. A big part of what makes South by Southwest special,” he told TNW.

The SXSW is your oyster

But the size of the festival is not a deterrent at all. In fact it is just indicative of the humongous convergence of global minds. SXSW organizers dub it as premier destination for discovery, and we are excited to do just the same. We are eager to meet likeminded entrepreneurs and exchange our ideas of digital production outsourcing and evolving technologies.

To tap into the opportunities of global networking, we are setting up a booth (Stand 1530) at the festival where we will exhibit ways in which we help organisations save cost and scale up their digital production capabilities cost effectively.

A live wire in the festival

We will be doing a live pitch on Monday, March 14 from 2PM-3PM. It will be done by our US Country Head, Jason Dodd. We are pretty excited to let people know about all the progress we made in the last few years and what how we can help them in their businesses

Legend has it

The legend around the event is just unbelievable. The organizers claim that the event continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion. We cannot wait to be a part of such history and would like to contribute to the palette as much as possible. Here’s hoping that we make the most of Austin this time around, including catching up on the night life on the 6th Street.

Hope to see you too.


We offer In-Demand Skills, On-Demand.  Our in-house team of over 300 experts consisting of designers, web application developers, mobile app developers and digital marketing experts are available to hire on an hourly basis.

For more details, visit http://www.capitalnumbers.com/

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