Asian countries are being taken over by mobile messaging apps. Along with the local countries, these apps are now proving their mettle in international waters too. WeChat, the mobile messaging service from the Chinese Internet giant Tencent has revealed that the global overseas number has now touched to 50 million registered users (News Source: Tech In Asia).
The mobile messaging service that has more than 300M users had also revealed recently that the app is witnessing 190M active users each month. The latest numbers of active users came at a very interesting time when WhatsApp had credited itself to be bigger than Twitter. Speaking at the All ThingsD Dive Into Mobile conference, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum revealed that with 200 million active users, the messaging app sees an average of 8 billion inbound, and 12 million outbound messages per day.
But then the recent figures don’t highlight the active numbers on the app across the borders of China. And the numbers are not a bigger threat to other competing apps like Line, WhatsApp. WhatsApp has a more international dominance and Line approximately has 105M registered users outside of Japan out of its 150M base.
In fact Line has been working on its international expansion and it is aiming China and US. It has also started working on censoring specific keywords on its China specific service. A move that is quite obvious in order to do business in China otherwise one has to be prepared to feel the burn. Last year, Sina Weibo, a Twiter like service had to suffer a similar action from the Chinese government when its commenting system was shut down for three days after it was adjudged to have been slow in responding to coup speculation that had emerged on its platform.
The Indian push by WeChat
Nevertheless, the international numbers of WeChat has to be credited to its ongoing push in the Indian market along with the markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia. To target the Indian youth, WeChat had integrated with recent Bollywood movies and endorsed latest Bollywood heartthrobs Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan.
The marketing initiatives have been broadened in the country as the app will have to compete with home grown players like Bharti Softbank’s app Hike which has crossed 5 million users globally and Nimbuzz, which claims to have 150 million users. Partnership with Cafe Coffee Day, Big Bazaar, Goibibo, Yahoo Cricket, Tradus and Santa Banta have been made but a monetization model has to be still put in place, commented Dennis Hau, GM, international business group at Tencent, while speaking to TOI.
“We will first look to get as many users as possible and then move on to getting commercial alliances in place,” added Hau, who is also interested in tying up with telecom operators for bundled services going forward. A move that was recently endorsed by Hike which has partnered with Nokia to preload the messaging app on selected devices such as Lumia 510, Lumia 720 and all Nokia Asha full touch phones sold in India. WhatsApp had also recently partnered with Asha 201 to have a dedicated WhatsApp button on the handset.