WeChat releases self-service Moments Ads platform

Thomas Graziani New WeChat features, WeChat news

WeChat released just last week a new platform enabling to manage moment ads via a self-service platform.

The features

Accounts with “Moments ads” enabled can now be invited to a self-service platform enabling them to send targeted Moment ads by themselves

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Users will also be able to automatically “top-up” their account without having to reach out to Tencent ads sales team.

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And monitor ROI / click through rate / cost per click through an analytics dashboard.

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Who is the new feature available for?

The feature is so far a test feature available (through an invitation-only process) to accounts who already have signed up to WeChat moments via Tencent sales team

However, the feature is likely to be made available to a growing number of users as Tencent is loosening the requirements for WeChat ads.

Moments ads now start at 50k RMB

Tencent just announced that the limit for Moments ads is going to decrease from 200k RMB last year to 50k as of Q1 2016.

This is a sharp decrease from the initial 10M RMB price tag on moments ads. It shows the continuing trend of Tencent opening WeChat advertising system to a growing number of advertisers, including SME’s.

Tencent announced LBS (location based services) Moments ads

During the same release, Tencent also announced it will enable advertisers to target Moments ads based on the user physical location.

It is likely you will start receiving discounts for a nearby Starbucks while walking around.

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This new feature answers one of the major concern of advertisers when considering Moments ads: their lack of targeting. Moments ads so far had only enabled advertisers to target users based on their gender, age, city and general interest. Tencent is, step-by-step, taking this targeting to the next level.

WeChat introduced new targeting matrices for banner advertising

The current WeChat banner advertising scheme already added new ads targeting options such as:

  • Target users with history of in-APP game purchases
  • Target users who already purchased online via Tencent & Jingdong products
  • Select users education level (undergrad, grad, PhD, etc…)
  • Select users martial status (single, married, kids, etc…)

Tencent shows focus in social advertising

It is well known that viral marketing is forbidden on WeChat. But this might well change.

Zhang Xiaolong, VP of Tencent, announced last week that Tencent will introduce a new type of coupon that enable brands to have better social advertising.

Tencent revealed it will start a new “viral marketing” program, enabling users to get discounts in exchange for re-shares.

So, why this change of mind from Tencent? It is likely the new incentive scheme will require advertisers to leverage WeChat payment and WeChat embedded discounts, thus providing a new stream of growth for Tencent’s payment solution TenPay.

The challenge ahead

Tencent has a major challenge to address as it strives to monetize the WeChat platform. According to a study by Deutsche Bank, revenue per MAU (Monthly Active User) is only 2 USD / year for WeChat, against up to 23 USD / year for competing APP’s such as Kakao Talk.

Opening WeChat ads will be game-changing in increasing this monetization. But after the failure of ad banners appearing at the bottom of Public Accounts, Tencent doesn’t want to alienate advertisers nor users.

In any case, the pace of change seems to be accelerating, and we are expecting to see a lot of exciting developments over the course of 2016.

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