Just six weeks after hitting 50 million, China-made messaging app WeChat has now reached 70 million users outside of China. Revealed this morning by Tencent (HKG:0700) president Martin Lau, it’s another interesting milestone in the progress of the hottest social media export from the Chinese tech ecosystem.
Just last night my colleague spotted that WeChat now has a big-name global ambassador in the form of Argentine – and FC Barcelona – footballer Lionel Messi (pictured above). With Messi promoting the app on TV, billboards, and across the web, it should help accelerate WeChat’s progress even further – and way beyond its previous focus on India and Southeast Asia.
WeChat’s total user-base is well over 300 million, and is theoretically due to hit 400 million soon.
Lau pointed out – as has been said before by Tencent – that WeChat is doing well in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Mexico. The Spanish-speaking ads featuring Messi will surely help further in gaining more users in Mexico and parts of South America. Messi will be pushing WeChat in fifteen countries.
The Tencent president was speaking at a corporate event in Beijing this morning where most of the focus was on developers – especially those on the WeChat platform. So far, WeChat has mostly been used by brands and media for engagement and social marketing – but mainly in China. Lau said that 400,000 ‘apps’ have thus far integrated with WeChat in some way. It wasn’t mentioned if that will become available in any other languages besides Chinese.
WeChat’s v5.0 update for Android and iPhone is in the works and will possibly bring long-awaited mobile commerce features like in-app purchases and a social gaming platform to rival those from Line and KakaoTalk.
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