To understand how China's consumer market is evolving, one must understand how the digital media landscape is growing thanks to Weibo and WeChat.
Chris Baker, Founder of Totem Media, compares the two in this short video and shares why WeChat, in particular, holds great promise for introducing new opportunities in mobile e-commerce.
WeChat Is Built For Mobile & Addictive
''WeChat is often compared in China to Weibo, which has been the predominant social media for the last 5 years. As of last year it has displaced Weibo as the singlemost important social media in China.''
''The main reason is that it is mobile, and native to mobile format, whereas Weibo was built for the web and online. WeChat is a native mobile app, and therefore the functions and user interface make it something that people can use at any time of their day, from early morning until last thing at night.''
''A number of the studies that we have come across show that right before bed is one of the peak times in terms of WeChat. With Weibo it is unlikely that you are going to sit in front of the computer right before bed, but with your mobile phone you are more likely to do that.''
''The other key times in terms of using WeChat are after means, during your commute, so it gives much greater access at all times during the day.''
WeChat Came Out of Weibo's Shadow
''It is fundamentally a different type of social medium than Weibo, with the fact that Weibo is basically like Twitter and streams media from high-powered influencers down through a chain of people. WeChat is much more of a grassroots social media in that it is you and I connecting point to point and it is my close circle of friends sharing information in a much more intimate way.''
''I think early on it became powerful with the first set of functions on WeChat - without cost they allowed people to send text messages, the equivalent of an SMS, but it has grown into much more than that in terms of being able to send voice messages, have group chats, and more recently they have included a lot of e-commerce functions which are really exciting.''
''Functions that will allow in an intimate environment where people are sharing point to point, where you and I are close friends, I may share a link to something that I have bought, and you would have the opportunity inside of WeChat to buy that product without ever leaving WeChat.''
Weibo Relies On Ads, WeChat Powers E-Commerce
''Where Weibo has monetized itself by selling ads and doing a lot of tie-ins with brands, the WeChat interface is clean and there are no ads. They will try to monetize and bring revenue from e-commerce.''
''For brands it holds the possibility that they can sell products and link socially in e-commerce.''
''We are doing a lot of work right now in consulting for brands to give them a clear idea for how to, one, manage the content that goes into a stream, and how to link that content to the possibility of sales.''