Chinese internet giant Tencent's social apps growing faster than Facebook

Chinese internet giant Tencent's social apps growing faster than Facebook
'Pony' Ma Huateng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent Holdings Ltd.
PHOTO: Bloomberg

One number stood out in internet services company Tencent's latest earnings report, which posted overnight in China.

The company, known for its messenger app WeChat, revealed that its social media platforms are growing faster than rival Facebook in terms of monthly active users numbers, or MAUs.

Between WeChat and payment platform Weixin - also owned by Tencent - MAUs reached 889 million in 2016, up 28 per cent from one year earlier.

To put those numbers into perspective, Facebook's MAUs climbed 17 per cent in 2016 to 1.86 billion, compared to its largest year-over-year user increase of 25 per cent in 2012.

When you factor in other platforms owned by Facebook, though, that company is still far ahead.

Photo sharing service Instagram, bought by Facebook in 2012, said it added 100 million new users in 2016, driving its total MAUs over 600 million.

And that's not all for Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's basket of media companies - Facebook-owned WhatsApp surpassed 1 billion MAUs in February of last year.

Tencent said it plans to continue on a fast growth trajectory into 2017, by adding more services within its branded social platforms and by expanding smartphone game offerings.

This quarter, Tencent solidified its position as the leading game company globally, CEO Ma Huateng said.

Like Facebook, Tencent has diversified its service offerings outside of social media and chat apps.

The Chinese internet services company has a gaming segment, a news distribution platform, exclusive video content and a music streaming service.

On Wednesday, Tencent reported total revenue of $21.9 billion for the fiscal year 2016, up 48 per cent year from one year ago and its biggest increase since 2012.

Read also: WeChat dominates China mobile app use​

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