Tencent has announced that it is putting more news feed ads inside WeChat to increase monetization.
According to the TechCrunch web site, the company first tested advertising inside Moments, the app's social network like feed where users share photos and links with friends, earlier this year. Now, it is going to expand the program.
James Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer is quoted as saying on an investor call that they will progressively expand the number and range of advertising formats as they move through the year. Advertisers are very happy with results of the first sequence of ads.
The app is hugely popular in China. Unlike WhatsApp, WeChat has a lot more features than messages and calls between friends.
WeChat users can hail taxis, play games, buy items from online retailer JD.com, share content with friends via Moments and more.
Addressing a concern that advertising can ruin the user experience, Mitchell said that an important component is making each ad interesting enough that users will share it.
With WeChat user growth slowing new revenue generation initiative is important for Tencent.