Some WeChat users started seeing ads on their Moments news stream today, similar to Facebook’s ads in mobile news feed.
WeChats in Moments news feed is tagged with grey color text “Promotion”
Tencent previously launched news feed ads in QQ and QZone with success; now WeChat news feed is logically the next gold mine for Tencent considering its 468 million monthly active users as of the of Q3 2014 and that each WeChat user on average reads 5.86 articles per day with 80% on WeChat Moments.
This might be a bad news for those already utilizing WeChat as mobile sales channel selling products, who are called “micro-sellers” in China, as their activities might be banned once WeChat officially launch Moments news feed ads. Even so, will they stop sharing Paipai micro-store product link in Moments considering Paipai is now managed by Jingdong who’s Tencent’s strategic parter?
Tencent already integrated their ads on WeChat official accounts back in September 2014 allowing advertisers to drive app downloads, grow WeChat followers, and drive traffic to external websites. More on WeChat official account development in 2014 here.
According to news from Sohu, the internal evaluation of WeChat Moments ads is RMB10 billion. It’s currently being tested. WeChat business unit proposed to launch their own ad system which was rejected by Tencent senior management.
Only fortune 500 brands will be accepted in the first phase of Moments ads testing according to multiple Chinese news. And, a WeChat user on average will see no more than four promoted posts per day.
Update: according to Weibo user Fenng who often leaks valid information, the starting ad budget is RMB5 million with CPM of RMB40; Moments Ads can reach 100 million accounts in one day. The targeting options only include geographic location, education level, and age. CPM goes up to RMB140 if a key city like Beijing is targeted; sharing option will charge extra 20%. The ad is displayed as from a WeChat official account.
Update 2 (22 Jan 2015): according to a document from WeChat ad team, Moments ad allows up to 50 advertisers only and minimum budget is RMB10 million at the moment. CPM is RMB 40 if no targeting is used; or RMB 140 if Beijing or Shanghai is targeted.
For CIW Premium subscribers, you can download CIW E-Book “WeChat Mobile Advertising Guide” for free here.