Just over a week after introducing the Ephemeral Messaging feature, WeChat, China’s top messaging app, launched an open beta of its advertising platform on Monday for official brand accounts with over 100k followers to reach users via its self-serve advertising platform. These ads, however, do not show up in personal messages, instead only show up if users click through to read full-page posts from the official accounts that users subscribe to. Even then, the ads only appear at the bottom of the page.
This is just the newest effort from WeChat to create a “sticky” e-platform to monetize on its 400 million active users, aiming to encourage purchasing behaviors without its users leave the app. As WeChat continues to expand its ambition in e-commerce, we expect to see more functions and features fleshed out in all messaging apps in the near future.