WeChat and Line Are Now Asia’s Fastest-Growing Platforms For Social Marketing

Steven Millward
3:05 pm on Aug 2, 2013

WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk for social marketing

Facebook is not, of course, the only destination for brands looking to engage with consumers. While Facebook has 339 million monthly active users across Asia, companies – especially luxury brands – still need to pursue higher-income shoppers into whatever apps they’re using most. In Asia, that means WeChat and Line.

In new data from a report by the L2 Think Tank, WeChat and Line are the fastest-growing social networks in the world, and are quickly growing their social marketing prowess. With both Facebook and Twitter under-performing in terms of turning social fans into e-commerce shoppers, the smash-hit messaging apps are now go-to destinations for luxury brands. Line’s mobile userbase is up 900 percent in one year, while WeChat’s is up 500 percent:

WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk for social marketing by brands, 2013 report

At present, 19.8 percent of the luxury brands analyzed by L2 – across beauty, fashion, retail, and high-class hotels – have official accounts on Tencent’s WeChat, which has close to 400 million registered users, with about 70 million of them being outside China. 2.8 percent are on KakaoTalk, while two percent are on Line. It’s still relatively early days for these messaging apps, so they’re dwarfed by more established Asian social networks such as China’s Sina Weibo and the video site Youku.

WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk for social marketing by brands, 2013 report

Most social brands

The L2 researchers find that the best performing brands on WeChat are Clarins and Coach, while Uniqlo and Clinique are rocking Line’s Japanese and Southeast Asian user-base:

WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk for social marketing by brands, 2013 report

(See also: China’s Online Clothing Sales Hit $50 Billion, But Luxury Fashion Brands Lack Commitment)
WeChat and Line still have lots of room for growth – and lots more to offer brands. WeChat already supports loyalty cards in the app, and might soon expand to mobile payments and serve as a sort of digital wallet. The Line and Kakaotalk platforms are also infinitely extendable, and both are currently trying out things like digital publishing. There’s a lot more to come from Asia’s messaging apps.

Check out this nicely animated video summary of the report’s findings:

(Statistics: L2 Think Tank)

(Editing by Anh-Minh Do)

  • Wilson Ng

    Great article and accompanying video. It’s fascinating to see data emerging from the next big social networking platforms, the chat apps. As a marketer for a social e-commerce site myself, it’ll be exciting to explore these fast rising marketing avenues. I hope it’ll not be long before Line (one of my personal faves) comes up with more marketer-friendly data. Can’t wait to see Instagram’s next steps, too. Thanks TIA!

  • Andrew

    interesting article, congratulations! Anyway I think you have you left an app in the report: ZUMBALEH! is a new concept that combines the concept of instant messaging and social network (facebook-line cocktail-twitter) ZUMBALEH! is completely free and available in multiple languages.

  • Giulia

    Thank you for the great article, very well structured. I’m thinking about opening an official wechat account for my small business and I really would like to know more about all the functions that at the moment wechat platform can support, like as you mentioned the loyalty cards. Can someone suggest me where to find out more about it? Thank u all!

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