Tag Archives: wechat

Facebook is Getting Users but also New Data

With the deal, Facebook enlarge its user base in countries in many countries and particularly in Brazil and India where Whatsapp is very strong. Owning the messaging service will give Facebook access to additional data.

Facebook Users & New Users from Emerging Markets

Facebook will get more information & data on users in emerging markets thanks to the acquisition: Whatsapp is more popular than Facebook in Brazil, India & Mexico.

With the acquisition, Facebook aims for better engagement with users, in particular in emerging markets. If Facebook succeeds in maintaining and building high user engagement with WhatsApp, it could drive those users to Facebook where they will see ads, potentially targeted with data enriched by WhatsApp use.

Whatsapp Privacy Protection & No Advertising Policy

In a June 2012 blog post, Jan Koum explained why the messaging service doesn’t sell ads. “Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it,” & “Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.”

The privacy policy says the app doesn’t gather names, addresses, emails or location data, and the only contact information obtained from users’ mobile contact lists are contact numbers. The service also purges message content. “The contents of messages that have been delivered by the WhatsApp Service are not copied, kept or archived by WhatsApp in the normal course of business,” states the policy.

For now, WhatsApp promises the service will remain free of advertising. In a February 2014 blog post, the firm reaffirmed its policy: “And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication”.

However, WhatsApp’s terms of service in the Android ecosystem requires users to approve access to lots of other types of information including geographic location, contacts stored on the phone, personal profile data from contact information, and device ID. Apple iOS users are asked to approve collection of contacts and allow push notifications such as alerts.

Data in general was not really WhatsApp’s focus but this could change…

Sharing data with Facebook

Facebook’s revenue streams, in part, depends on the massive storehouse of data it harvests on its users around the globe. Therefore, Facebook could decide to alter Whatsapp privacy policy or establish data collection permissions to facilitate sharing of user data with Facebook.

The main piece of data WhatsApp needs to enable its service is a mobile phone number. Facebook can use this piece of data for its services like Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Facebook may be interested in determining degrees of closeness among people. Many people have submitted their mobile phone numbers to Facebook and the firm could connect that information to data from WhatsApp to learn more about which users interact more often with one another based on how frequently they are in contact on WhatsApp.


The price of acquisition of Whatsapp is justified by the will of Facebook to keep the lead in global social network. For sure, Whatsapp has to improve the service to make it more social because the competition is strong. WeChat & Line are successful in Asia. Telegram has been strongly downloaded even more since the purchase of Whatsapp by Facebook. Whatsapp could decide to do money transferring and electronic payment and the app would be competing succesfully with WeChat (微信 in Chinese)


The coming months should be very interesting.

WeChat Value and Money-Maker

In 2011, WeChat (微信 in Chinese) started off as a messaging service, similar to WhatsApp but with more functions, and has grown rapidly into much more. We already explained that year 2014 will be the year of monetization for WeChat.

Free CRM Tool for Brands

At the moment, the application allows companies to send occasional, targeted messages to some users without charge. In the future, VALUE2020 predicts it might ask for a fee.


Payment & e-Commerce

The application integrates money-making services like online-payment functions into it. Customers can do their banking through it and a wealth-management service has just been launched. It is also promoting e-commerce: during a recent sale held exclusively on WeChat, Xiaomi, China’s hottest smartphone-maker, is said to have sold 150,000 of its latest model in under ten minutes.

WeChat payments are accepted in locations all over China. For example, you can find vending machine using WeChat. Instead of using cash to pay, the buyer opens WeChat and points its smartphone camera at a QR code. The app then reads the QR code, and charges the WeChat user for the price of the product. Then the product comes out.



We can say this Chinese application is the most advanced messaging application in the world.

2014: the Year of Monetization for WeChat

The VALUE2020 predicts that year 2014 will be the Year of Monetization for Chinese mobile application WeChat.

In addition to exclusive sales on WeChat like the operation for Xiaomi smartphones, WeChat added in 2013 a store to buy stickers, and above a payment system which open the door to mobile commerce as expected by VALUE2020 back in 2011.

Last year, we predicted the introduction of mobile payment and continuous growth. Almost all the predictions are reality today and next year will be fascinating as well.

What to expect in 2014:

  • Development of micro-payments, Tencent great strength
  • Additional applications within the WeChat app
  • Partnerships with big names (We cannot talk today ;-))

WeChat in French / WeChat en français


Since the last version, the French speaking community, lovers of Twitter, are now able to use WeChat in French. The potential is huge in France, the country of Minitel, bip bop, Concorde… Believe it or not French people love technology and innovation. The Chinese app has 500 million users of which half active. The chat app is ranked second after Line (this ranking does not includes Facebook).


Depuis la version mise en ligne le 24 octobre 2013, la communauté française, adepte de Twitter, est maintenant capable d’utiliser l’application mobile WeChat qui connait un succès phénoménal en Asie. L’application de messagerie instantanée a une base de 500 millions d’utilisateurs dont la moitié active, elle se place juste derrière Whatsapp et devant Line.



Laiwang, New Chat Application by Alibaba

Laiwang is a new mobile application now launched and will compete with wechat, whatsapp, wemeet, line, twitter, sinaweibo, and facebook. It is very similar to WeChat.



The Promotion of a Foreign Brand in China must include Chinese Social Media

Getting to grips with social media in China means learning new platforms and methods of communication. But it’s a good way to build a brand, because the Chinese have a high level of trust in the Internet.

A foreign brand wishing to successfully launch its own products in China should absolutely benefit from the great potential offered by the Chinese social media.


According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), in 2012 the Chinese regularly using the internet were 564 million (42% of the population), with a 10% increase in comparison with the previous year. The Chinese Ministry for Industry and Information Technology has estimated that within 2015 there will be over 800 million Chinese users on the internet, i.e. the total of the inhabitants of the United States plus the European continent.

Why the Use of Social Media in China is more important than anywhere

Social media and search engine optimization is different in China. The same presence of social media marketing than the rest of the world won’t work. Having a social media presence is essential: a social media presence in China is a basic marker of legitimacy that reassures the consumer, when needed, that the brand is real and established. In China, online sources of information play a much larger role for consumers in China than they do in many more established markets.

Social Media in China are the most influential and interesting media for Chinese consumers, who believe what they see on the internet far more than they do in a newspaper, magazine, radio or television.

A Need for a Specific Marketing Strategy for China

Social media in China have a feature that is unique in the world: they are different from other countries. Global social networks like Facebook and Twitter are blocked and can only be accessed through VPN technology.

Even though Chinese users don’t have access to all American social media, they have at their disposal at least a dozen of virtual networks made in China and quite innovative compared to the United States.

Many foreigners are still making the mistake of licensing contents in English and not in Chinese. It is enough to do a search on Baidu (or Qihoo) or on Soku (main video search engine) to realize how ineffective is a strategy that does not aim directly at the use of Mandarin.

A strategic figure for an efficient promotion is the local community manager, a Chinese person expert in social networks who has the object to make the uploaded contents dynamic: she/he establishes relationships, creates debates, moderates forums, acquires information, and delivers contents from the official accounts opened on all social media.

In China the social networks are mostly … Chinese

Compared to many countries, Chinese Internet users mostly communicate with national services and not American services like most of the rest of the world.

“QZone” is a very popular social net created in 2005 by Tencent Holdings, the firm of the most popular program for instant messaging in China: QQ. the service allows  users to use avatars, write blogs, keep a diary, send photos and listen to music. At present over 600 million accounts are active.

“SinaWeibo” known as “Weibo” is the major Chinese website of micro-blogging, a kind of hybrid between Twitter and Facebook. With around 500 million accounts, 2 million of daily issues and 100 million of messages each day, it is the most visited social network in China after QZone (including QQ). On Weibo a public opinion has formed over time, which, having no other platforms where to express itself, brings its requests onto the Internet concerning themes such as TV shows, entertainment but also issues like pollution, and food safety, often with results.

WeChat (called Weixin in China) is lately one of the most successful platforms. It is a mobile application of Tencent, launched at the beginning of 2011 and it is the first web application created for the Chinese market, but available in English since 2012. Presently, it has reached over 400 million registered accounts, and internationally it has 100 million users (of which a few millions are Chinese overseas and including mostly Malaysia and India). Competitor Sina launched a similar application called “Wemeet” (Weimi) and China Telecom with Netease “Yixin”.

Renren is a social network created in 2005 with a style similar to that of Facebook. Currently it has more than 200 million accounts and it is visited mostly by university students and people under 30 living in the first- and second-level.

It is also worth mentioning other social networks like  Pengyou (150 million accounts), Kaixin001 (100 million accounts), Douban (100 million accounts) and DianDian (5 million users).

In China there are also different types of video sharing websites (Youtube is blocked).

The most important one is Youku.com with 30 million single visitors each day (second in the world only to Youtube.com), visited in particular by young people and graduates living in the first- and second-level cities. The second most popular video sharing website is Tudou.com, which merged with Youku in March 2012, creating Youku Tudou Inc. At present Tudou.com has currently 18 million single daily visits and about 100 thousand videos are uploaded every day.

The third most popular one is 56.com with 10 million single visitors each day.

What type of Social Media should you use?

A good example with wines from Provence

We heard about the strategy of wines from Provence: it is a good example.