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The Rise of Asias Mobile Messengers


Discover how to connect with the new connected consumer
Alice Hu
@alicehu
Manager, Social & Digital
MSLGROUP Asia

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Why should CMOS CARE ABOUT MOBILE MESSENGERS?
What do you need to know about mobile messengers?
What does it mean for brands?
Key Takeaways
Future of Mobile Messengers


Table of Contents

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Mobile messenger apps such as WhatsApp and LINE are projected to
account for 75 percent of all mobile messaging traffic, ahead of SMS
or mobile email in 2018.

We need information now, fast and designed for mobile.
Source: Statista

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What are mobile messengers?
In the simplest sense, mobile messengers are text and voice
messaging smartphone applications. But within the last few
years, various messengers have evolved to include more
capabilities. WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk are some of the
fastest growing mobile messengers.

The recent explosion of mobile messengers shows that these
platforms have become the de facto tools for the socially
connected consumer. They allow the user to express
themselves in more ways, such as sending photos, stickers,
videos, voice messages, locations and making calls.
Sometimes all you need to express yourself is a goofy smiley
face.

With some applications including mobile payments and
commerce capabilities, mobile messengers will change how
we go about or daily lives, not just how we communicate.


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Over 40 percent of the worlds Internet users live in Asia.
They are socially connected consumers, accessing Internet via mobile.
it is no surprise mobile messengers are already the most popular
social networks in many Asian Countries.


MOBILE MESSENGERS ARE THE new way to connect
Source: Statista

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How will your brand stay relevant with the evolving
connected consumer?
By Understanding mobile messengers now

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WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk are Replacing
many of the applications we use daily with
one that houses everything. These platforms
are where people go to pay bills, book taxis,
catch-up with friends, create multimedia
content, buy things, and much more.
What are mobile messengers?


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What are mobile messengers?

Japan China Korea
Asias Mobile Messengers Are from.

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Comparing Mobile Messengers

WhatsApp Line KakaoTalk
500M
Monthly
Active
Users
355M
Monthly
Active
Users
175M
Monthly Active
Users
140M
Registered Users*
WeChat
* Monthly Active Users: Number of people using the platform each month. KakaoTalk has not provided these numbers.

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Comparing Mobile Messengers


How do WeChat, Line and
KakaoTalk stack up amongst each
other?


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Each has their own special point
of differentiation
Comparing Mobile Messengers




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WeChat wins at mobile payments and commerce

Line leads in games and overall international users

KakaoTalk wins in content; users love access to K-pop celebrities
Comparing Mobile Messengers


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WeChat
Tencent is China's largest
and most used Internet service portal.
Established
2010
600M Registered
Users

355M
Monthl
y
Active
Users
17%
International
users
Largest WeChat User
Base
Next Largest
User Base
China
Indonesia Malaysia India
WeChat or Weixin () mobile messenger is arguably Chinas most popular social network. it is
quickly being adopted in other Asian countries.
Mobile payments
& commerce
Parent Company
users
Coolest Feature
Company Information Global Footprint

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Line

85%
International
users

Naver leads the korean internet industry. Line Corporation, a
Naver spinoff, operates line in japan.
Largest Line User Base
Next Largest User Base
Thailand Taiwan
370M
Registered
Users

175
Monthly
Active
Users
Line launched as a response to the 2011 Japan earthquake. Its Internet-based mobile messenger platform enabled
people to connect and mobilize quickly though national telecommunication infrastructure was damaged.
Company Information Global Footprint
Established
2011
Parent Company
Japan
users Coolest Feature
Customized Stickers
& Games

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KakaoTalk
40%
International
users
Kakao has the most popular mobile messaging and gaming service
in south korea.
Largest KakaoTalk User
Base
Next Largest User Base
Philippines
Indonesia
140M
Registered
Users

N/A
Monthly
Active
Users
KakaoTalk is on more than 90 percent of smartphones used in Korea and is by far the most popular
mobile messenger & social networking platform there.
Company Information Global Footprint
Established
2010
Parent Company
South Korea
Coolest Feature
users
Group chat features

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Features to Watch?


Mobile payments
and commerce
Customized
Stickers and
Games
Group chat
features

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WeChat Mobile Payments

WeChat has a variety of mobile payment
options for Chinese users to make their on-
the-go lives easier. From booking and paying
for taxis in-app to splitting a meal with
friends, WeChat has evolved from a social,
chat-based mobile messenger platform into
powerful multifunctional one.
Purchase more cellphone credits
Shopping
Purchase Movie Tickets
Manage Finances
Purchase QQ* Virtual Currency
Book and Pay for a Taxi
Send a Chinese New Year Red Envelope
Request and Track Payments from friends


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WeChat Red Envelopes


During Chinese New Year, red envelopes containing
money are given out to family and friends. For the first
time, these red envelopes were digitized by WeChat for
Chinese New Year 2014. More than 40 million red
envelopes were sent, totaling an approximate value of
400M RMB ($65.5M USD).

Users can choose to gift money to individuals or to send
a lump sum to a group of friends who then draw for
money. WeChat randomly selects how much money is
won by participants. For example, you send $100 dollars
to 6 friends. Some may draw $5 while others may receive
$25. It all depends on luck. But before you give and
receive money, you must link your bank card to WeChat.

By having users link their bank cards, WeChat now has a
base of users who can use mobile payments and has
increased potential users of this mobile messenger
feature by millions.



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Line Stickers and Games


Lines popularity quickly spread in Japan and Asia after its
launch in 2011, in part because of the expressive stickers.
Now there are over 1 billion stickers sent every day via Line.
Key sticker characters Brown the bear and Cony the rabbit
have entered mainstream culture and the real world via plush
stuffed animals and other paraphernalia. Line even opened a
theme park in Taiwan in February 2014.

Brands, celebrities and organizations can open official
accounts on the mobile messenger and share customized
stickers with fans to increase engagement and brand affinity.
Line mobile messenger users can download Hello Kitty,
Disney, Real Madrid and many more stickers to express their
moods in chats.


20 percent of Lines revenues come from sticker sales (2013)

60 percent of Lines revenues are from games (2013)


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KakaoTalk Group Features

Korean celebrities and games have attracted most of South Korea
to the mobile messenger app. KakaoTalk is different from WeChat
and Line in that it has more group chat features.
Group Calls: Up to
5 people can chat
on a group call
Voice filters:
Talking Tom and
Talking Ben voice
filters
Scheduling: Use the
schedule feature to
find a time to
meet-up with friends
Vote: Not sure what
to do with friends?
Take a vote!

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Who is using mobile messengers?

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children to grandparents
Rural to urban
Blue to white collar
Beijing to Sao Paolo

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Becoming the most popular social network within
Asia and gaining traction around the world,
especially with developing countries

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All 4 mobile messengers are being used in countries surveyed*
We used jana to ask about Whatsapp, WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk in some of these countries
People are using
the most mobile messengers
(on average 3 different platforms)
highest in mobile commerce
and mobile payments usage
WeChat, Line and Kakaotalk are
more popular than Whatsapp,
but there is no clear winner
WeChat is the second most
popular mobile messenger in
Nigeria
Whatsapp is the most popular,
but wechat and line are
gaining users
Philippines
BRAZIL
VIETNAM
Nigeria
indonesia
*Real-time mobile surveys conducted via Jana.

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Are consumers willing to engage with brands
via mobile messenger?

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From our real-time Jana mobile surveys,
the answer was a resounding YES.
Philippines
87%
Brazil
75%
Indonesia
70%
India
65%
Vietnam
63%
Nigeria
80%

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Lionel Messi
Real Madrid & Barcelona
Football Teams
K-pop Stars and
Celebrities
Celebrities are helping mobile messengers expand internationally

WeChat partnered with
Lionel Messi in July 2013 to
attract international users.
This campaign launched in
15 countries.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have
official accounts to interact with
fans, share real-time news and
customized stickers. They have
attracted over 9 million and 3 million
fans respectively.
There are over 400 brands,
businesses, celebrities, artists
and media connecting with the
140 million user base.

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So what does this mean for brands?
FANS THAT MATTER
To even receive messages from
brands, users need to actively search
for them and opt in to start the
conversation. Users are in control, but
brands benefit. Users who opt in truly
want to receive information from
them.
REAL ROI
With these platforms exploring
varying mobile payments and
commerce integration, brands
are able to make it easier for
consumers to purchase.
Relevant CONTENT
Content matter more than ever. Mobile
messengers are a more intimate medium.
Users are on-the-go and expect
information shared to reflect that.
Messages are pushed to the user the
fastest way to communicate is via mobile
messenger.

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Key Takeaways

M-commerce & CRM
Relevant engagement Diversification & integration
Expect more m-commerce and
mobile payment options across all
platforms in 2014.

With all platforms adding more m-
commerce capabilities , there will
be more opportunities for the
integration of social, mobile and
commerce. CRM from the mobile
messenger can be linked to a
companys bigger system to
provide even more insights such as
real-time sales data.
In China, brands can customize official
accounts to create special tabs on
WeChat. Plus Friends was introduced
as an advertising platform with less
emphasis on engagement, but it is very
possible it will be a much more
dynamic platform to communicate
with fans who are more heavily
engaged with the brand because they
choose to receive notifications via
KakaoTalk.
In China, Japan and South Korea, it is
obvious that WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk
lead in their home turfs, but when we look to
other Asian countries, its not so clear cut. As
these mobile apps battle it out for the
number one spot, brands may need to have a
WeChat and Line strategy for the same
market. From an Asia perspective, having
one WeChat strategy for all of Asia will be
impossible because official account
functions and features vary across the
region.



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Best Practices



How will my strategy differ from
platform to platform?
Strategy will differ from app to app within a market
and also from market to market for an app. Theres a
reason why each app is popular in its own right and has
found a strong following in various niches and
countries. Look at these differences and keep abreast
on changes to adjust strategy. What will remain the
same is remembering that mobile messengers are the
most intimate dialogue you will have with your
audience. Be personable and strategic about what you
share. Share mobile-friendly content.
How do I know which one to use?

Some brands may find that they need to use multiple
platforms in one market and all three across Asia.

Target audience, objectives and capabilities will
determine which ones need to be put in play. Some
functions and features arent available on some apps.
For example, WeChat currently does not offer
customized brand stickers.

How will my strategy differ from
platform to platform?

Theres a reason why each app has found a strong
following with various niches and countries. Look at
these differences and be aware of platform changes to
adjust strategy.

Mobile messengers facilitate an intimate dialogue
between brands and consumers. Be genuine to add
value!

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Global Implications
expansion
Cross Pollination
Mobile First
WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk are expanding
within Asia and around the world. Line
already has 16 million users in Spain and just
started its first French partnership with My
Little Paris. It has also started advertising in
the US. WeChat has recently created a buzz
with its new South Africa TV advertisement
and radio personality partnership. After
Facebooks acquisition of WhatsApp, mobile
messengers across the board saw surges in
users. Maybe well see WhatsApp growth
slow as other platforms increase in
popularity.
When Facebook introduced stickers
in July 2013, mobile messengers
already had them for years and had
been monetizing from them. We may
see other social networks integrate
mobile messenger features before
these apps gain more international
traction. For now they are incubators
of how to connect with the new
generation mobile connected
consumers who are mobile first.
Platforms made for mobile are growing
in users. Just look at Instagram and
Snapchat. We already see many teens
leaving Facebook, choosing more
private communities such as Kik.

There is an opportunity to engage more
users in real-time in more relevant ways
by interacting with them via mobile. To
see mobile, social, digital can be used
to drive sales, awareness and provide
valuable customer information.

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How will mobile messengers evolve?

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Mobile Messengers as Content Creators and Publishers
Mobile messengers have highly active users. They currently enable users to create their own
multimedia content (photos and videos) to share with their network and consume content from
official accounts. With so many users creating and digesting information, there is a big
opportunity for content creation and publication. Mobile messengers are doing this by giving
individuals and businesses the tools to create, build and share more on their platforms.


Tencent, WeChat
parent company,
launched Fengling, a
WeChat-based mobile
website creation tool
for mobile marketing
in December 2013.
Over 80,000 websites
have been created.
KakaoPage is an open
market where any
individual can upload
and sell their own
content. Individuals or
a publishing companies
can distribute content
through KakaoPage.
One of Lines
automated
accounts, the
English-
Spanish
translator,
translates in
real-time.
Kakao announced
in January 2014,
it plans to launch
a news content
service in spring
2014.
Line Manga gives
users access to
30,000 comics and
lets them share with
friends. Currently
only offered in
Japan, but has the
potential to expand
to other types of
content and
countries.

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MSLGROUP is
+Building new online communities on mobile messengers.
+creating, Sharing content that matters most to users. when they want it, how they want it.
+Developing social CRM solutions.

We know how to Engage with the new social consumer.

Connect with us to learn more
Alice hu | alice.hu@mslgroup.com | @alicehu | mslgroup.com | asia.mslgroup.com

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Insert alices bio
About the Author
Alice brings with her marketing communications experience with a focus
on social media and digital to MSLGROUP Asia. A native of the
Washington, D.C. area, she has worked in China for four years and speaks
fluent English and Mandarin Chinese. For two of those years she also
managed Shanghai Daily Secret, an email newsletter dedicated to sharing
local insights about bars, restaurants and shops. Daily Secret is the
fastest digital media for young professionals around the world.

At MSLGROUP, Alice works to build social and digital capabilities across
Asia and consults on key regional accounts.

In her previous role, she created the online distribution department at
Hilton Shanghai where she developed the hotels digital strategy and
managed online travel agency relationships.

Outside of work, Alice is figuring out how to master the chaturanga yoga
pose, creating healthy food that is still deliciously satisfying and planning
her next travel adventure that will let her indulge in food and the great
outdoors.
Alice Hu
@alicehu
Manager, Social & Digital
MSLGROUP Asia

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Appendix

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Comparing Mobile Messengers
Features Whatsapp WeChat Line KakaoTalk
Messaging x x x x
Group Chats x x x x
Photo Albums x x
Voice Calls x (soon) x (walkie talkie) x x
Video Call x x x
Voice Notes x x x x
Location Sharing x x x x
Timeline x x
Polls x
Schedule Events x
Stickers x x x
Read Receipts x x x
Send Gifts to Friends x x
Short Video Creation x x
Private Timeline with Friend(s) x (notes) x
Desktop Accessible x x
Browser Accessible x
Mobile Commerce x x x
Mobile Banking x
Games x x x
Brand Account Function x x x