WeChat upgrades ad platform with expanded ad formats and analytics

Tencent is focused on growing ad revenue.

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China’s biggest messaging app has updated its ad platform to giving brands new ways to reach customers and manage their leads.

One major improvement is an upgraded analytics suite for advertisers. WeChat’s newly-unveiled “Gravity plan” makes data from a number of new sources available to analyze and manage in one CRM tool. These include forms inside WeChat moments ads and mini-programs, Official Account followers, and two forms of customer service—online consultations and one-touch dialing.

WeChat’s parent company Tencent is increasingly prioritizing advertising revenue as it seeks to reduce its reliance on gaming — a sector that was hit hard by a regulatory crackdown by China’s government last year.

Tencent said in June last year it wanted advertising to account for 40% of revenue in a few years. Last year it raked RMB 13.4 billion (USD 1.9 billion) in ad revenue, up 25% year-on-year, which accounted for 34% of revenue growth and 16% of total revenue.