SHANGHAI — A few years ago, digital-marketing strategists were buzzing about how brands needed to tap into Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, as a platform to communicate with the country’s more than 500 million Internet users.
But now there is an alternative. While Sina Weibo, the most popular Chinese microblog site operated by Internet giant Sina Corporation, still remains an important component of brands’ digital marketing mix, a new social networking service has emerged that is rapidly becoming the next must-use tool to communicate with tech-savvy Chinese consumers. It is called WeChat, and since Tencent Holdings, also a Chinese Internet behemoth, launched it in late 2011, the service has amassed some 300 million users, 70 million of whom are located outside the mainland.
In its August report on social media use by brands globally, digital innovation think tank L2 called WeChat the “hottest platform on the planet.”
WeChat (known as Weixin in China) is similar to Whatsapp, a mobile messaging application popular in the West that enables users to send messages using their phone’s 3G or Wi-Fi connection. What makes WeChat unique is that it has rolled into one application popular features from other social networking services as well as a few distinct innovations.
Similar to Facebook’s activity feed, users can share photos, videos and music with WeChat contacts who can post comments about the content. A walkie-talkie function allows users to send real-time voice messages; there is a live video-chat feature, and subscribers can enable a “shake” function to locate users nearby. Users can also form chat groups of friends or with those who have similar interests. Most users are white-collar urbanites between the ages of 20 and 39, according to Tencent.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)