Tencent’s WeChat has followed Instagram and Twitter’s footsteps by allowing advertisements in their app. It announced a few weeks ago that they will be launching a new self-serve advertising system.
The system is now in open beta and it is only open to official accounts with more than 100,000 followers so WeChat can get feedback about the service and make adjustments before a wider launch.
Official accounts are operated either by freelance writers, celebrities or media companies.
According to Tech in Asia, many of WeChat’s 400 million monthly active users follow the various types of official accounts, allowing advertisers to reach a wider audience.
Official accounts with the self-serve advertising system will be able to apply for and shut down the system online, set up blacklist of advertisers, block ads from some industries, get access to WeChat data report of impressive, click, revenue sharing and are able to withdraw cash per month automatically.
According to a statement by QQ, official account owners can also target these ads based on a number of criteria including age, gender, region. In order to gain more potential users, they can refer to the statistics of click-through rate and revenue earned and make the proper adjustments to their advertisements.
The self-advertising system had dozens of accounts joining the 10-day beta trial and the click-through rate is 3.5%.
Weixin, the chinese version of its popular messaging app has evolved to include other services such as mobile shopping, mobile payments and finding a nearby taxi. This is Weixin’s efforts to create a multi-platform app where users can do everything without exiting the app. Since Weixin is increasing its focus on e-commerce, advertising will play a more important role to attract users to make purchases.
The advertisements will only show up as text links at the bottom of the page of official accounts and will not show up in users’ personal messaging. Users can then click on the link to find out more about the advertisement.
With the launch of a new advertising system that benefits both the user and advertiser, WeChat is on track to expand its lead over other popular messaging apps in the region such as WhatsApp, Line and Kakaotalk.