WeChat (also known as Weixin) is a mobile text and voice messaging app developed by Tencent. Launched in 2011, WeChat now is one of the largest standalone instant messaging apps by MAU (monthly active users).
Founder of Tencent: Pony Ma (WeChat lead developer: Zhang Xiaolong)
Core Business: instant messaging
- In April 2012, Weixin re-branded itself as WeChat for the international market.
- As of July 2014, 69% of WeChat revenue was from mobile ad sales.
- From 2014, business accounts were required to have 100,000 followers in order to advertise on WeChat.
- In 2015, the average daily time Chinese users spent on WeChat was over 40 minutes.
- As of August 2015, WeChat had over a billion accounts, 600 million active users including 70 million outside of China.
- The first major company to implement ecommerce on WeChat is McDonald’s.
Wechat provides a number of ways to communicate, including text/voice messages, walkie talkies, and stickers. Users can send pictures and videos, online money, or current GPS locations. When users share their GPS locations to the brands’ official WeChat accounts, it tells the user where the brand’s nearest shops are.
WeChat allows brands to register as a public account (subscription & service account). This service enables brands to push feeds to their subscribers. By the end of 2014, the number of Wechat public accounts had reached 8 million.
Wechat lets users transfer money into and out of its “Wallet” through any UnionPay bank card. Users can purchase group discounts for activities (similar to Groupon), pay for taxis, transfer money to friends, pay their utility bills, and recharge their mobile SIM card.
Moments offers users a way to share their newsfeed to their contacts. It allows them to like and leave comments under shared news.
Key Opinion Leaders
Key opinion leaders, or KOLs, play an important role in Chinese digital marketing strategies. Ranging from fashion bloggers to travel photographers, KOLs generally have a large and loyal audience due to their high-quality content and unique perspectives in a given category. With this combination of influence and reach, KOLs have become a favored marketing tool to amplify social awareness.
The world’s most popular messaging apps are mirror images of each other. Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook Messenger and Whatspp will now handle customer support queries similar to WeChat and LINE.