One of the reasons users spend more time on WeChat than on Facebook is because WeChat is less disruptive. On Facebook, a lot of the disruption comes from ads which are constantly vying for attention and clicks.
The reason for this simple: advertisers on Facebook (and Google), buy either views or clicks. If you click on something in Facebook (or Google), your attention is disrupted, and you are taken somewhere else, to watch a video, or to download something. Your original train of thought is disrupted, and your attention becomes shorter. This is a major problem, especially in the US, where even the President has a very short attention span, and uses Twitter to say what he thinks!
WeChat doesn’t work that way.
Part of the reason Allen Zhang, the original designer of WeChat, introduced the concept of Mini Programs, was that he wanted a small, lightweight program to download in the background without disrupting the user’s flow. The Mini Program would open up in WeChat, and you, the user, would perform your action (buy a movie ticket, get a table at a restaurant, etc.), and then once you have performed your action, you would be returned to WeChat. This makes for a much more intrusive way to do things which does not interrupt your attention span nearly as much.
Since Mini Programs are developed by businesses with independent developers, and are then submitted to WeChat for approval and then publication, WeChat usually does not know what happens in the Mini Program. This is especially the case when the Mini Program is connected directly to the business’ back-end programs. In most cases, they do not know how many views and clicks are made in each company’s Mini Program! User data is directly collected in the backend program, instead of going through WeChat’s servers. This would be inconceivable compared to the automated advertising systems prevalent in the west, which are always vying for new ways to count views and clicks, and charge the advertiser for them! Another benefit of this system: advertisers and WeChat don’t need to argue over click fraud numbers!
This is the reason why WeChat users spend more time on WeChat than they do on Facebook or Google. Chinese users like WeChat because it gives them the chance to work and play without disruption and perform efficiently what they want to do, and they reward WeChat with more of their attention.
Of course, if you have experience advertising in the west, and want to run CPA and CPM campaigns on WeChat because that is what you are used to doing, you can do that. WeChat is very happy to take your money and run a western-style campaign even if that is not the right way to use WeChat. In reality though, these campaigns are not really effective because that is not the way the WeChat ecosystem works, and that is not how Chinese use WeChat. Instead, you are better off creating a Mini Program which is linked to your Official Account and your backend and launches inside it.
When you are in WeChat, you are basically in a Chinese ecosystem, and it always makes sense to use it the way the Chinese use it. In China, do as the Chinese do.
Have more questions about WeChat and your WeChat plans? Feel free to contact me, and I will try to answer them.
ChinaBridge Marketing helps your organization to reach Chinese customers, in the Chinese language, on their favorite mobile platforms.
Not on WeChat yet? Download it, and connect with me at pdenlinger!