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Tencent's Guangdiantong Unveils WeChat Public Account Ad Product

Tencent Tech, 2/14/14

Chinese internet and mobile services firm Tencent (0700.HK) today announced that the company's performance-based Guangdiantong (GDT) ad exchange platform has partnered with the public accounts platform of its WeChat (Weixin) mobile messaging application to release a performance-based advertising product. A small, clickable text-based ad is now purchasable at the bottom of subscription account articles on WeChat's public accounts platform. WeChat will consider other ad display methods moving forward. Upon clicking in-app ads, users are directed to the public account page of the ad placer, or the details page of an article promoted by a particular public account. In the future, WeChat will consider providing links to m-commerce product pages on other WeChat public accounts.

WeChat has invited a group of public account operators to participate in closed beta testing of the service, including several dozen media sources and independent bloggers. From the start of internal beta testing on January 27 until February 14, the average click-through rate of the text-based ads on the bottom of articles was 3.5%, and as high as 13% for one operator. One-third of the participating public accounts had average click-through rates exceeding 5%. In the first ten days of beta testing, a number of public account operators have seen ad revenue exceeding RMB 10,000.

GDT has released temporary requirements for WeChat public accounts wishing to sell ad space on the platform:

1. Public accounts cannot have violated any of WeChat's public account operating rules;

2. Priority will be given to accounts with 50,000 followers, daily average article views higher than 10,000, or strong influence in an account's respective industry;

3. Account content must be upright and lacking sensitive material. Ads cannot lead users to malicious content.

According to a GDT insider, Tencent VP Zheng Zhihao has revealed that Tencent is not collecting commissions during the closed beta testing phase, with all ad revenue going to public account operators. Company management is also considering launching an additional rewards program for outstanding public accounts.

WeChat currently features more than 2 mln public accounts, with more than 8,000 accounts added daily.

Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Rumor: Tencent to Connect Guangdiantong to WeChat Public Accounts" MD 1/28/14 issue.

Keywords: Zheng Zhihao Tencent 0700.HK WeChat ad exchange Guangdiantong mobile IM mobile advertising business model

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