Five Friday Facts #76


WeChat now has 190M monthly active users
WeChat is a giant amongst chat apps. It has a user base of over 300 million users with projections that it will surpass 400 million in a few weeks. So it comes as no surprise that WeChat has reached 190 million monthly active users. As noted by TechInAsia, this number suggests that WeChat is closing in on Whatsapp territory, which has 200 million monthly active users according to the most recent data. On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of WeChat users are based in China, whereas Whatsapp–and even other Asian chat apps like Line–enjoy greater success on an international level. Nonetheless, WeChat has experienced growth at breakneck speeds in the last two years, an incredible accomplishment as illustrated in the graph below.

70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is user-generated
Mashable cited a recent study by Digitas and Curalate and found that 70% of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users as opposed to brands. The disparity between brand- and user-generated content is much larger for some industry categories. With brands in the fashion industry, for example, only 18% of content engagement comes from the brands, while 82% comes from the community. Similarly, 75% of content engagement for the automotive industry came directly from the users. By contrast, the study found that brands in the electronics industry were split more evenly, between user-driven and brand-driven engagement; while 47% of content engagement came from brands, 53% came from the community. Ultimately, these findings indicate that there is massive potential for brands to join the conversations and direct engagement on the platform.

In India, PC users watch 3.7 billion online videos per month
According to TheNextWeb, 54 million PC-based internet users in India watched videos online in March 2013. This number has increased from 32 million in March 2011, indicating a rise of 69% over the last two years. Equally significant is the growth in the total number of videos watched each month; the figures have risen from 1.8 billion in 2011 to 3.7 billion last month. It is interesting to note that the top two platforms for video consumption are social to some degree; Youtube and Google sites ranked first with 31.5 million video viewers, while Facebook came in second with 18.6 million. When it comes to the average time spent on video consumption, DailyMotion outranks Facebook’s 21.9 minutes by a significant margin, with 59.6 minutes spent on average.

Google+ has 359M users, ousts Twitter as second largest social network
A recent report by Business Insider details the recent growth of Google+. Citing new data released by GlobalWebIndex, the findings suggest that Google+ is growing at a rate that may ultimately oust Twitter as the runner-up for largest social network (with Facebook and its 1.1 billion users remaining at the helm). Google+ currently has a staggering 359 million active users. This is up by 33 percent from June 2012, when they had 269 million active users. Twitter is growing at a faster rate, however, as it experienced a 44 percent increase during same timeframe, from 206 million users to 297 million users today.

Chat app Zalo has 2M users, plans for 5M soon
While well-known Asian chat apps like WeChat have continued to gather a massive following, this trend has also been demonstrated as strong in other Asian markets. According to TechInAsia, Vietnamese chat app has passed 2 million users, and has stated plans to reach 5 million in the near future. With 10 million smartphone users in the market, 5 million seems like a lofty goal at first glance. Vietnam is currently at the threshold of rapid mobile growth, however, and given Zalo’s recent uptake in growth, 5 million may not be such a stretch after all.

[Bonus Fact] Chat app to cash cow: Line revenue is up by 92% this year
The Japanese chat app Line has recently revealed that its first quarter revenue for 2013 was 5.82 billion yen (71.1 million SGD), The company’s revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 stood at 3.03 billion yen (37 million SGD), indicating a staggering 92% increase on Q4 2012. The results were retrieved by TheNextWeb, as shown in the graph below:

Roughly half of these earnings come from in-app payments and social gaming features–components of the chat app that have been heavily developed in recent months. In particular, Line’s gaming feature reached the milestone of 100 million downloads earlier this year. Stickers raked in 1.7 billion yen (20.8 million SGD), or about 30% of the revenue for Q1 2013. Ultimately, these numbers suggest that there is serious potential when it comes to the monetization of chat apps.