Massive WeChat growth in South Africa

… but can it hold onto its new users?

By - January 27, 2015 Share on LinkedIn
WeChat logo

Mobile messaging service and social platform WeChat has seen tremendous growth in South Africa during 2014 according to the latest estimates from World Wide Worx.

World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck couldn’t say exactly what the growth was until they had completed their annual research into the mobile habits of South Africans, but current estimates suggest that WeChat grew its subscriber base by over 4 million.

This represents growth of around 400%, up from over 1 million users towards the end of 2013.

“Bear in mind that it has had heavy TV advertising, which is how WhatsApp got its first growth boost on the back of Nokia campaigns against BBM,” Goldstuck said.

He went on to caution that WeChat’s real challenge was not just signing on new members, but keeping them active.

Information from within South Africa’s communications technology sector suggests that the number of active users on WeChat is actually far lower than 5 million, but confirms that its active user base has likely grown larger than Mxit.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests [WeChat] has massive sign-on rates but not equally massive active levels,” Goldstuck said.

On the other hand, the success of M4JAM (Money for Jam) shows that there is a strong core user base of its ancillary services, he added.

“Ultimately, it is the most broad-based of the social platforms from a value-added services perspective,” Goldstuck concluded.

This new estimate is shown along with World Wide Worx’s earlier stats from September 2014 in the table below. A figure for WhatsApp is also included to give an idea of where it fits in, but it should be noted that the statistic is a few months older than the rest.

Social Platform Millions of SA users
Facebook 11.8
WhatsApp (Feb 2014) 10.6
YouTube 7.2
Twitter 6.6
WeChat Estimate: 5m
Mxit 4.9
LinkedIn 3.8
Instagram 1.1
Pinterest 0.84

WhatSim: free WhatsApp chat anywhere in the world

WhatsApp from your PC

South African WhatsApp upgrade SMS warning, investigation

WeChat boasts with top spot in SA iTunes

Astonishing WhatsApp, WeChat moves in SA

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Have you ever been the victim of online fraud?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

South African editors slam SABC decision to ban coverage of violent protests

SABC logo

The SABC’s decision not to broadcast footage of the destruction of property during news bulletins was nothing less than censorship, the SA National Editors Forum said on Monday.

FNB putting you at risk of online fraud: forensic expert

iPhone 6S FNB

Forensic expert Dr David Klatzow says FNB is putting its clients at risk by sharing their banking details with third parties, and is planning a class action lawsuit against the bank for how it treats its clients.

Fire at ICASA offices – these are the sections affected

ICASA logo on glass

ICASA has confirmed that its head office in Sandton was damaged by fire this afternoon.

Why me&you mobile moves Unlimited Talk subscribers to worse packages

me&you mobile

A number of me&you mobile Unlimited Talk subscribers have complained that they were moved to a worse package without much warning.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
×