Snapchat is preparing a new feature that includes advertisements, but Asian messaging apps like Wechat and Line have already started integrating ads into their services.
Popular Asian messaging apps like Wechat (developed by Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, with about 400 million users) and Line ( developed by a Japanese subsidiary of Korean Internet firm Naver) nowadays have already replaced the standard text messages and become the mainstream mobile communication tools because its free to download and can share updates and photos. While for business, they use these apps for marketing and of course making money by offering mobile games or promoting various advertisements.
WeChat recently launched a new service in mainland China that allows companies using the app to place ads on other companies’ Wechat accounts. Those ads can be seen by the followers with the brand’s accounts. Line collects fees from companies open official accounts, which the companies can use to send a limited number of messages to followers each month.
Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion and has so far kept ad-free. Although the company claims that it will charge 99 cents after the first year use, the revenue generated by WhatsApp is still tiny compared to Asian messaging apps. According to analyst, the estimated revenue for WhatsApp last year was $20 million while Line was more than $500 million with corporate accounts also contributed.
Do you think it’s the time for Snapchat to include advertisements or it should first figure out how to get more users to let people away from text messages? If they will soon adds advertisements, how do you think they can use that to make money for both the companies do advertising and Snapchat itself?