Sohu IT, 1/28/14
An insider at Chinese internet and mobile services firm Tencent (0700.HK) has confirmed that the company will integrate the public accounts platform of its WeChat (Weixin) mobile app with Tencent's Guangdiantong (GDT) ad exchange platform. The integration will see a GDT channel added to the list of back-end account management tools available to subscription account operators on WeChat, allowing account operators to buy and sell ad space on WeChat. GDT is operated by Tencent's Social Networking Group (SNG).
GDT has invited a small number of subscription accounts to test the new ad placement system, with the feature eventually to be rolled out to service accounts on WeChat's public accounts platform as well. According to a Tencent insider, trials are limited to subscription accounts only due to limited GDT display space and strong branding of a number of subscription accounts. GDT's target users on WeChat are primarily subscription accounts, especially media accounts.
During the testing stage, subscription account operators will receive 100% of advertising revenue after taxes. Cost-per-click (CPC) prices during the testing stage range from RMB 0.5 to RMB 1.
GDT currently offers three types of advertisements on WeChat:
1. Subscription accounts can promote other WeChat public accounts to increase subscribers;
2. Subscription accounts can display ads that can be linked to product pages on other WeChat public accounts;
3. Upon opening of e-commerce functionality on the public accounts platform, subscription accounts can send advertisements to followers linking directly to e-commerce public accounts' shopping pages.
GDT can also send targeted push notifications based on subscribers' particular characteristics (age, gender, region), and place advertisements on suitable accounts based on advertisement content, such as recommending climbing boots on a skiing account.
WeChat's public account platform is currently in the process of promoting subscription account verification.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "WeChat Opens Public Account Verification to Subscription Accounts" MD 1/26/14 issue.