WeChat users start seeing mini-program advertisements after searching since 16 June 2017 as shown in the screen capture below:
This shows an ad of eLong mini-program after searching “hotel” on WeChat. WeChat search ads for mini-programs are still being tested and not available to the public yet.
WeChat Mini-Program is light programs that do not require download or installation; check out the quick guide here if you are not familiar with mini-programs on WeChat.
Tencent’s social networks revenues grew by 56% YoY to 12,297 million yuan in Q1 2017 while its online advertising revenues increased by 47% YoY to 6,888 million yuan, ranking third in China’s online ad market in Q1 2017.
WeChat team added a “Search” entry in WeChat Labs in May 2017; and it announced a new feature over the weekend that makes WeChat Mini-Program discoverable by keywords searching in early June 2017. In less than a month, it’s testing search ads.
WeChat recently upgraded a store management feature, originally part of WeChat Official Account, to Store Mini-Program. WeChat Mini-Program has high penetrations in mobile payment, online videos, maps and navigation, e-commerce, online music, group buying, and Weibo according to data from QuestMobile.