Private messaging apps continue to evolve content strategy

With private messaging apps rapidly growing, the dominance of Tencent's social platforms continues to have significant impact on content strategy.

One of things that is front of everyone's minds at the moment is the growing popularity of private messaging apps.

Particularly at this time of year, where people are analysing trends to try and focus energy on the right things, the fact that these are the fastest-growing and most active platforms is changing the way we consider channel planning, content strategy and much more. And if it's not already doing that, it soon will be.

WeChat is the sixth largest social platform globally, just behind Facebook, QQ, Qzone, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Note that four of these are private messaging apps, and three of them are controlled by Tencent (QQ, QZone and WeChat) - giving them extraordinary dominance in this space.

WeChat login

H+K China has put together this infographic, which delves deeper into the numbers behind this massive growth. 

There are a few interesting things of note here for brands. As conversations move from public to private spaces, your content needs to be more dynamic than ever if you've got any hope of infiltrating them. More importantly, it's got to have meaning. To jump the gap, whatever your brand is creating needs to fulfill an emotional need, or else there's no hope of resonating enough for people to want to share something within their private groups.

The launch of a web version of WhatsApp is a fascinating insight into the way Facebook plans to integrate this into its social network, and it will no doubt be looking to Tencent for learnings on this, as the Chinese company also manages multiple, similar services. That said, the 'private' aspect still remains.

WhatsApp web browser

As well as getting your creative hook right, better and more creative use of paid services to get content seen by people within private messaging apps, within the context of their everyday conversations, needs to be a factor. Publishing and promotion of content has to be an integrated effort.

Lastly, with WeChat's platform alone now covering 20 languages, we see the potential for truly global infiltration from the Chinese platforms. While Europe has typically been influenced by US-led platforms and services, the steady expansion from the East is something marketers *must* be aware of. Europe is now a more open playing field.

Vikki Chowney

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search