WeChat – the Chinese messaging app giant – is growing bigger by the day. It now has 438 million monthly active users, which puts it within spitting distance of WhatsApp’s 500 million. That’s a 57 percent improvement from the same time last year, according to the recent earnings report of its parent company Tencent.
Here’s why you should care about WeChat: Aside from the fact that it’s WhatsApp’s biggest competitor, WeChat also provides a glimpse into how American messaging apps can possibly monetize their users. It’s not easy to stick ads in personal messages between people, but WeChat has found creative new money making solutions.
It helped Tencent net $3.2 billion in revenue this quarter in the process, an increase of 37 percent from last year. Some of that money comes directly from the WeChat app itself, which provides “premium features” that customers love buying, like special stickers and emoticons…