NEWS3 February 2015

WeChat targeted ads amount to ‘commercial harassment', say users

Asia Pacific News

CHINA — More than 80% of WeChat users feel the app’s new targeted ads amount to “commercial harassment”, according to new research.

The ads, launched just over a week ago as a test, look like a regular update but feature a small ‘sponsored’ button, inviting users to like them and post comments. Three brands – Coca Cola, BMW China and Chinese smartphone brand Vivo – took part in the test.

However, according to an online survey conducted by China Central Television, more than 80% of users thought the ads amounted to commercial harassment.

“I am disgusted with it. WeChat Moments is a platform that should help me learn what’s going on with my friends and let my friends know what I am doing now,” said one user. “Ads among my friends’ feeds is an annoyance.”

WeChat, owned by Tencent, has over 450 million monthly active users but has struggled to monetise its user base.