[Infographic] A Snapshot of How Over 1 Billion Users Behave on WeChat
So a lot changed in 2018. The United States and China started their trade war, Prince Harry got married, and Mark Zuckerberg testified before a bunch of computer illiterate senators.
It was quite a wild year with plenty of ups and downs, but one thing I’m sure about is Chinese citizens were almost certainly discussing all of these topics and more on WeChat, China’s largest social media platform.
For the first time ever WeChat surpassed 1 billion users in 2018. While WeChat was big before, this definitely made the world take notice. Thousands of overseas businesses have been struggling to get started with WeChat marketing and struggling even harder to succeed at it.
Well, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled the latest data we could find from a variety of different sources into the infographic below. It includes data from Tencent’s own latest data report as well as several prominent internet research institutions in China like Jiguang, China Internet Watch, Youzan, and Newrank. Without further ado, check it out below!
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Key Takeaways and Analysis for WeChat Marketing
Son 1.082 billion users is pretty damn impressive, and it makes sense. You can’t go anywhere in China without using WeChat these days. Even 20% of the elderly population in China are using it, which is important considering China has an aging population.
What’s even more interesting is that China only has 751 million internet users meaning the remaining am0unt out of WeChat’s 1.082 billion users must represent either duplicate accounts or overseas users.
Most of the data we compiled for this infographic reinforces the idea that WeChat Marketing should be an integral part of most companies’ marketing strategies.
The amount of messages, voice calls, contacts, etc. shows that people are spending even more time on the platform. However, Bytedance’s Toutiao has been stealing users engagement time in recent months meaning we might see this start to change. For more on Toutiao read our blog here!
Unfortunately WeChat hasn’t yet released complete demographic information for 2018. We’ll likely see them release it in the coming months, so stay tuned!
For More information check out our blog on WeChat for Business
WeChat User & Generational Behavior
This section was the most interesting to me personally. This data was taken directly from Tencent’s WeChat Data Report 2018, so it’s definitely accurate. It made me start to look into my own personal friends on WeChat’s behavior and I noticed it was surprisingly accurate.
While this information is interesting. It also gives some insights on how to create content and target advertisements based on age, which is always useful. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw bids for ads skyrocket for things like mobile games after 10 PM to better target the Post-00’s generation once this data was released.
It was also interesting to note that the older generations on WeChat have become the biggest readers of WeChat moments (which if you don’t know is similar to Facebook’s newsfeed).
This is similar to the phenomenon occuring with Facebook in the United States with older users beginning to dominate the platform.It’s even been noted that “boomers,” those born between 1946 and 1964,share the most content on Facebook. Perhaps we’ll start seeing this trend replicate itself on WeChat. We’ll need to wait and see.
WeChat E-commerce is an always interesting topic. Since it’s very easy to get started with a WeChat store, it’s naturally become incredibly competitive. So much so that only 1.6 stores out of 10 will survive after 2 years of operation.
Another unique change in the WeChat ecosystem in terms of e-commerce is the growing number of links to e-commerce stores from WeChat. With growth of 68% in the number of links from 2017 to 2018.
WalktheChat gave a full analysis on Youzan & Newrank’s Social Commerce report where they found that “Around 10-30% of Official Account are linking to a WeChat shop via the Read More button at the end of their articles.”
Regarding the most common products being sold on the platform we can see that most of the products are low value goods. This means that most of these purchases are likely made impulsively (aside from maybe shower heads, how did that get in there?).
WeChat Mini Programs
This one actually surprised me. I’ve been getting told by companies all over China that mini-programs, are…well not the best feature that WeChat has to offer. However, this data shows that the amount of people using WeChat’s mini programs has skyrocketed.
This puts this WeChat feature on par with some entire social media platforms. I believe this growth can be explained by the two biggest mini-programs JD.com (which is backed by Tencent) and Mobike (which was aquired by Meituan-Dianping, which is…also backed by Tencent).
These mini-programs fit in well with the WeChat ecosystem, allowing users to access a variety of apps and services without ever having to leave the platform. All of this means businesses can essentially create an entire buyer journey within WeChat. The potential of these mini-apps to shut out traditional apps and force the whole Chinese internet into the WeChat ecosystem is both amazing and terrifying at the same time.
For more on WeChat Mini-Programs check out our blog below, WeChat Mini-Programs: Revolutionizing the WeChat Ecosystem in 2018
This is one of WeChat’s greatest claim to fame, so it’s no surpise that it has been included here. WeChat Pay has had tremendous success and has rapidly gained market share in the last few years.
With nearly the entire mobile population using WeChat pay, Wechat has been rapidly expanding into different areas as a payment option. For example, as seen in the chart above, you can now use WeChat pay even for medical expenses!
Public transporation was one of the biggest growers, which was the result of Tencent continuing to make deals with city and local governements to accept the payment method for buses and trains. I’m silently hoping this doesn’t expand to Hong Kong as I can’t imagine people struggling to get their QR codes out at subway gates and buses.
For more on WeChat Pay you can check out our post: What is Alipay? WeChat Pay? How to Pay Like A Local in China
While this is not even close to an exhaustive list of the interesting statistics regarding user behavior and demographic information on WeChat, it was fun to compile into this infographic. We hope you enjoyed it! If you did make sure to share it!