Thursday, January 3, 2013

The battle of Weibo and Weixin(WeChat) in 2012 and 2013. Each challenge and emerging.

2012 has already past, and 2013 already came. 
So today, I would like to think back on the trend of Chinese Social Media market that is focusing Weibo and Weixin(WeChat) last year, and survey the trend of them this year.

It can be said that 2012 was the year that the growth power of Weibo was decreasing, and the growth power of Weixin was dramatically increasing. About the fact that the growth power of Weibo was decreasing, we can make it clear from the history of reports from CNNIC.

Its indication was appeared from the second half of 2011, but its decrease was more remarkable in this year. The report of the second half of 2012 was not published yet, but I expect that the growth rate of this period will also remain at single digit figures.

Furthermore, I personally feel that the rate of active users is also gradually decreasing. There are two reasons for this.

1. The online user of friends was decreasing.
For example, we can find that how many users is now online on Sina Weibo as follows.

Today's number is only 27 people... Actually today is still holiday in China, but my friend on Sina Weibo exist about 600 people. The rate of online user is only 4.5%. 
It is a extreme example, but the daily average online user of last year was about 70 people, and the average of the year before last was about 130 people.

2. The traffic from Weibo was decreasing.
Our company was continuously posting the information on each social media of WW for marketing purpose. Weibo, especially Sina Weibo, brought the largest traffic to us, but this number was suddenly decreasing from the second half of 2012.

On the other hand, the growth power of Weixin is dramatically increasing as I explained before. And many companies already started the promotion activity on Weixin, and they started to post their QR code of Weixin on the other social media platform too.

For example, Starbucks also started their promotion activity on Weixin to Chinese people, but it's a one of representative example of O2O marketing.

Weixin will certainly accelerate their O2O marketing solutions this year, so more companies will start their marketing activity on Weixin this year.

I think that 2013 will become the challenge year for Weibo, and it will become emerging year for Weixin.

Weibo, for example Sina Weibo already started the monetization like "WeiboWallet", Ads on their platform, "Weibo Club" and so forth. But these can not get the success without increasing the number of user and online active user rate. This is also true for other Weibo provider, such as Tencent.

But on the other hand, Weixin also cannot relax their guard.

Because the similar service, such as LINE and Kakao Talk also watch vigilantly for a chance to enter Chinese Social Media market. And furthermore, there is a possibility that completely different social media platform may suddenly appear like a comet this year.

I would like to continue watching the trend of Social Media in China, mainly Weibo and Weixin(including other IM tools) this year too. But in the last, I would like to introduce the service that I personally expect in 2013.

1. LBS advertising
Actually, it is similar to O2O marketing by QR code. But I would like to define that O2O and LBS is separately. The market of LBS advertising in China was rapidly growing in the 2011 as I explained before. The report for 2012 is not published yet, but according to the report by CNNIC, mobile device became the top of all method connecting to the internet on 2012 Jun.
And the growth speed of mobile internet user in 2013 will be faster than last year. So mobile Ads, especially this LBS Ads will be more popular in China.

2. Enterprise Social Networking (Enterprise Collaboration tools)
As I explained before, the Enterprise Social Networking(ESN) market in China is rapidly growing, and it is estimated that this market growth rate will be 246% in 2012 by CCW Research. And ESN tool is suitable to the circumstance and culture for business in China.
More and more many company started to provide the ESN tools in China. And foreign company such as Salesforce, Yammer, IBM also may be watching vigilantly for a chance to enter this market in China.

So watching from the point of view by the user side and the provider side, it can be said that the popularity of ESN will be more and more rising this year.