Seniors embracing WeChat faster than any other group

The ubiquitous WeChat is continuing to expand its reach across all age groups – especially among people aged 55 and above.

According to the 2018 WeChat Data Report released at the WeChat Open Class Pro 2019 event in Guangzhou this week, seniors recorded the fastest growth of any age group last year.

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WeChat says more people are sharing more content on the platform: users are sending more messages, making more voice and video calls, and posting more frequently on their WeChat Moments timelines.

Figures for September show WeChat had 1.082 billion monthly active users and 45 billion messages were sent daily on the app, up 18 per cent on the previous year. The number of calls daily – 410 million – was double the previous year’s number. From 2015 to last year, the volume of text messages rose 110 per cent, voice messages rose 212 per cent, image volume by 255 per cent and videos by a massive 1900 per cent.

WeChat Pay is taking an increasing share of payments at retailers, with monthly transactions up 150 per cent in September, compared with the previous year. Transactions by consumers aged 55 and above in department stores rose by 320 per cent year on year.

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More people are using WeChat for work and more businesses are using WeChat to connect with customers and staff, according to the report.

The company said WeChat Mini Programs, launched two years ago, has been widely adopted by users and businesses with more than 600 million people using Mini Programs at least once a week on services or products from more than 200 industry segments. The number of transactions (by volume) increased sixfold last year.

In a statement, WeChat said it would continue to create more advanced tools, open APIs and enhanced cloud services so developers can help businesses build Mini Programs more efficiently.

During the past year, WeChat has introduced features such as Scan-to-Buy enabling users to pay without queueing at cashiers and Smart Recommendations based on users’ past purchases to help merchants increase conversion and operational efficiency, grow their membership programs, reduce manpower costs and deliver more personalised services to customers.

The WeChat Open Class Pro event is for merchants and developers. The photos accompanying this story are from the event.


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