If you ask, what is Tencent’s biggest open platform, the answer may be astonishing for most of you. It is not Wechat which is the hot topic on media. Qzone is Tencent’s number one open social platform.
Qzone is the biggest open platform from Tencent, either judging from its revenue or shared revenue from the third party. Tencent opened Qzone platform two years ago, it surpassed competitors like 51.com, renren and kaixin001.com and made lots of money.
Qzone was created in 2005. It allows users to customize their blogs, keep diaries, send photos and listen to music. Gradually, Qzone has transformed from a personal space to the biggest social network open platform, and its monthly active users grew to more than 600 million.
By the end of 2012, more than 540,000 websites used QQ connection, resembles Facebook connection, to log in Qzone and gain basic QQ user information and add QQ share buttons on their websites. It has brought in 2 billion yuan (USD 324 million) accumulated income to Qzone third party developers. Apps registered on Qzone surpassed 350 thousand. It has more than 80 thousand registered developers, 90% of which have made money.
The question is: How can Tencent nurture a cash cow like Qzone?
It goes way back to when Peter Zheng, vice president of Tencent, joined Qzone crew in 2006. As soon as he joined, Zheng launched Web 2.0 space model-blog. This was a successful transformation, and soon its users reached 1 million by the end of 2006.
The number kept growing , and monthly active users broke 100 million at the end of 2007. At the same time, 51.com and renren attracted large number of users, Web 2.0 social network became a hit. Facebook was not so well known in China then.
Qzone crew made a second attempt just as most Chinese internet companies were considering social network business model, with strong money and traffic support from Tencent. Like, comment and repost sharing model became mature and catered to the emerging micro-blogging need. In 2009, Qzone users hit 300 million.
In 2011, Qzone users reached 500 million and it transferred to an open platform. Before, the crew tried some small games to test the Qzone open platform. It was not until the popular game QQ farm, that sped up Qzone’s transformation to open platform. When Tencent announced its open platforms, Qzone had formed its own operating model. Since then, Qzone crew was in charge of Tencent open platforms design, QQ connection was also created by them.
QQ is the biggest traffic entrance, and Qzone is the biggest traffic distribution platform.