Messaging App Marketing and Advertising: Putting WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Line and WhatsApp to Use - eMarketer
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Messaging App Marketing and Advertising: Putting WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Line and WhatsApp to Use

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: July 20, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

This report examines how businesses worldwide are using four of the biggest mobile messaging apps to raise brand awareness, distribute content, advertise, generate leads, drive sales and conduct customer service. While the leaders each have unique strengths, none of them is a slam dunk for global-minded marketers.

  • WeChat’s strengths lie in its audience size—938 million monthly active users in Q1 2017, according to its parent company, Tencent—and its ability to drive online and offline sales for businesses. Its weakness is that it is primarily used in China. For businesses looking for a truly global platform, WeChat doesn’t fit the bill.
  • Facebook Messenger has the global footprint many businesses are looking for—1.2 billion users worldwide in Q1 2017, according to Facebook. However, the app has a long way to go before it will be considered a full-fledged marketing tool.
  • Line’s strengths and weaknesses are similar to WeChat’s. On the positive side, it has a large and engaged audience and the capabilities for businesses to drive mcommerce and in-store sales. Where it falls short for some is that it’s mainly used in just four countries: Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.
  • WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, has as many users as Messenger but doesn’t provide any support for businesses using the service for marketing purposes. Some users show interest in engaging with brands on WhatsApp, however, so companies are developing clever ways to use the app, mostly for branding at this point.

"When it comes to communicating with a brand, more than half of US social media users polled in August 2016 said they preferred messaging channels, including Messenger and WhatsApp, over email and online chat."

Table of Contents

The Marketing Conundrum

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WeChat

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Facebook Messenger

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Line

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WhatsApp

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22 charts are included in the full report:

Messaging App Marketing and Advertising Worldwide: Putting WeChat, Facebook, Line and WhatsApp to Use

Preferred Channel for Communicating with a Brand According to US Social Media Users, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

The Marketing Conundrum

Mobile Phone Messaging App User Penetration Worldwide, 2016-2021 (% of smartphone users)

WeChat

Top 20 Mobile Apps Among Android Users in China, Ranked by Reach, March 27-April 2, 2017 (% reach)

Client-Side Marketers in Asia-Pacific Who Agree with Select Strategies for Engaging with Customers over Mobile, Oct 2016 (% of respondents)

Social Media Platforms that Luxury Goods Companies Must Prioritize in the Future According to Luxury Brand Professionals in France, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Brand Awareness and Engagement

Leading Social Media Marketing Tactics According to Marketers/Media Agency Professionals in China, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

Mini Programs (Mini Apps)

Usage and Awareness of WeChat Mini Programs* According to Mobile Internet Users in China, March 2017 (% of respondents)

Content Distribution

WeChat Users in China Who Are Willing to Pay for Content/Info on WeChat, March 2017 (% of respondents)

Advertising

Types of Content Marketing Channels/Tactics in Which Marketers/Media Agency Professionals in China Are Likely to Invest, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

Sales

Mobile Payment Transaction Value Share in China, by Service Provider, Q4 2016 (% of total)

Facebook Messenger

Usage of Facebook Messenger Among Brands Worldwide, by Vertical, Nov 2016 (% of total)

Sales

US Internet Users' Preferred Method of Contact with a Digital Retailer While Making a Purchase, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Customer Service

US Internet Users' Preferred Method of Contacting Digital Retailers to Resolve Post-Purchase Issues, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Line

Smartphone Users in Japan* Who Use Select Smartphone Social Media/Video-Sharing Apps, 2015 & 2016 (% of respondents)

Line Monthly Active Users (MAUs) Worldwide, Q3 2016-Q1 2017 (millions)

Line Revenues Worldwide, by Segment, Q4 2015-Q1 2017 (billions of ¥ and % of total)

Brand Awareness and Driving Engagement

Social Media Platforms Used by Retail SMBs in Japan, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Advertising

Social Media App on Which Social Media App Users in Japan Most Frequently See Ads, by Age, July 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Social Network Users Ages 15-34 in Japan Who Broadcast Live on Facebook, Line and Niconico, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

WhatsApp

Retail/Social Media Sites Where Digital Buyers Worldwide Share Reviews, by Generation, May 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Ways in Which Mobile Messaging App Users in Brazil Would Like to Interact with Brands via Select Messaging Apps, July 2016 (% of respondents)