Tencent has just revealed its Q1 2014 financials. Before we look at those, it’s worth focusing on WeChat, its hit messaging app. WeChat has now grown to 396 million monthly active users.
That’s up from 355 million at the end of 2013, and has nearly doubled from 195 million exactly a year ago. Here’s our updated chart:
Because Tencent reevaluated the way it calculates monthly active users (MAUs) for WeChat in Q4 last year, it’s not safe to say that WeChat’s growth has slowed dramatically, although it appears that way in the graph.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp still leads the way with 500 million monthly active users around the world, but it’s impossible to make a direct comparison between the two apps – or, indeed, any messaging apps – due to their different geographies. For example, most of WeChat’s users are in China, and close to half of Line’s users are in Japan; WhatsApp is huge across several parts of Asia, Europe, and South America, but is not so prevalent in the US.
Tencent is pushing WeChat into markets like India, Mexico, and Brazil, but the company has not provided any country-specific numbers.
Tencent’s financial report today says that WeChat-linked games have seen their paying user-base double during Q1. Mobile games tied to WeChat and QQ brought in RMB 1.8 billion (US$289 million) in revenue in Q1, which tripled from Q4 last year. Six of the WeChat social gaming titles have hit the ‘highest grossing’ top 10 in the China iOS App Store at some point in Q1. Bigger-name games like Candy Crush are coming to WeChat sometime this summer.