Do China's WeChat Users Like Brand Accounts? - eMarketer

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Do China's WeChat Users Like Brand Accounts?

One-quarter of WeChat users primarily follow brands, companies

February 12, 2015

WeChat is the second most popular social or messaging app accessed by internet users in China, according to GlobalWebIndex, and past research from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) indicated users were much more interested in news and celebrities than in brands. But data also suggests a substantial number of users do focus on following brands.

Primary Type of WeChat Official Accounts Followed by WeChat Users in China, June 2014 (% of total)

Nearly 19% of WeChat users in China counted companies as the primary type of official WeChat accounts they followed, according to data analyzed by the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) and Tencent. Another 5.9% primarily followed brands. Together, these numbers were comparable with those following independent or verified media accounts.

And while not everyone on WeChat uses it to follow marketers, engagement is high—presumably translating to lots of exposure among those who do follow such accounts. According to Analysys International Enfodesk, users in China spent nearly 11 billion hours collectively on WeChat in Q3 2014, vs. 7.6 billion hours on QQ during the same time period.

The data from Tencent and CAICT indicated WeChat’s audience is primarily male, at 64.3% of the total, and young. Nearly half of all users were ages 18 to 25, while another 40.8% were 26 to 35. And WeChat users appear to be fairly committed, at least on their smartphones: On average, 27.7% of all their smartphone internet traffic went through the app.

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