5 reasons why Facebook Messenger is better than WeChat

Tingyi Chen WeChat news

WeChat is legendary as China’s “one-stop” platform.  Brand are able to carry out their complete sales cycle all within WeChat: from user acquisition, to payment collection, to customer service.  Facebook now is giving a similar CRM experience for brands to connect with its page followers.

How is Facebook Messenger doing compare with WeChat? Short answer: it’s doing great, maybe better!

A few numbers: Facebook has 50 million active business pages while WeChat only has 10 million Official Account. Marketing on both platforms is extremely competitive.

Here are 5 things Facebook Messenger is doing better than WeChat.

Facebook dynamic gif library

WeChat: On WeChat you can access sticker library and download gif stickers.  You can also make your own sticker by saving a gif file to your sticker library.

Facebook Messenger: Facebook takes gif sharing to another level. As you type an emotion or keyword, for example “Happy”, the App will automatically browse its extensive gif library and display all the gif that are related with your keyword.  You can simply select the right gif without downloading them.

Facebook messenger vs WeChat

Less limitation to send customer messages on Facebook Messenger

WeChat: In order to protect users from spam, WeChat gives brands a 48-hour window to talk with users after the user initiated a chat.  WeChat also limits the types of files brands can send to their users:  text, voice message, video, picture and pre-saved articles.

Facebook Messenger: Brands can send unlimited messages to users after the user initiated the chat. Brands can also transfer any type of file to users: pdf, doc, zip…

Another advantage of Facebook Messenger is that all brands appears like friend and can send direct notification to their followers. While on WeChat, only the service accounts can get on to the friend list while the subscription accounts are all nested under the subscription folder.  It’s however it’s likely Facebook will create filter for brands once more brands starts to use Facebook for CRM.

Facebook Messenger has better backend to manage customer message

WeChat: As big as Tencent is, its WeChat Official Account backend is poorly designed for handling customer service messages. Messages are stored for only 5 days, and the backend has a very clunky chat interface. Most brands rely on a third party WeChat CRM system to better manage their chat history.

Facebook Messenger: It’s a much better user experience to manage a chat on Facebook Page. The backend is designed like a chatroom to encourage brands to intuitively respond to user request. It also has a user profile on the left side to remind the brand about the particular user. Brand will not need to find a third party CRM platform just to store the chat history of the user.


Easier to get user information with Facebook Messenger

WeChat: You can’t tell much about the user from the basic WeChat backend.  You will only be able to get the profile picture, profile name, gender, and location of the user. To track users, brands will need to leverage the WeChat API and a third party data analytics backend.

Facebook Messenger: brands can see the user profile information for example, current city, company, university, local time, as well as the user’s interaction history with the brand.  Brands can add tags and notes to make it easier to manage responses later.


Facebook enables deep linking with other Apps

WeChat: You cannot have deep linking with another App on WeChat. Brands will need to develop a mobile website version of  the App in order for user to access it directly within WeChat. This means the information on WeChat website won’t easily connected with the native App.

Only one exception case is Dianping, the restaurant review App which Tencent owns large amount of share.  User can jump to Dianping App directly from WeChat.

Facebook Messenger: it provides deep linking option to a lot image creation Apps.  For example, users can use an App to create their own gif and send it to friends on Facebook Messenger.


Facebook Messenger does not block its competitor

Last but not least, Facebook is not blocking its competitors.

Here is a list of services that are blocked on WeChat because they belong to competing companies (mostly to Alibaba group):

Uber, Alipay, Taobao, Xiami Music (虾米音乐), Ttpod (天天动听) …..


Facebook provides a better experience for marketers in many ways: better gif library, unlimited customer service messages, targeted user information, and deep linking to other applications. WeChat on the other hand has a lot of limitation on its backend. Despite that, as the most popular application in China, WeChat is still the best social tool to market to Chinese user.

Whether you like it or not, if you’re in China, you have to make the most of out WeChat.

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