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Facepalms, Black Holes and Government Services Top WeChat’s 2019 User Trends

By Dave Yin / Jan 10, 2020 05:31 AM / Business & Tech

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WeChat users relied on the “facepalm” emoji above all others and were most fascinated by black holes in 2019, according to the company’s report on the past year’s trends.

The report (link in Chinese), released Thursday, unveiled findings based on what the social media platform described as “anonymized data” collected from its 1.15 billion users in the first nine months of 2019. The company said its total users grew 6% in 2019.

Beyond the facepalm emoji, WeChat users also used the grin, chuckle, thumbs up and rose emojis to express themselves most often.

The most-searched news term of the first three quarters in 2019 included “black hole,” which scientists photographed for the first time in April. Second was “Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral,” which suffered a major fire last year; followed by “sweep black and eliminate evil,” which refers to China’s intensifying crackdown on crime; Beijing’s gigantic new “Daxing International Airport”; the “70th anniversary” of the founding of the People’s Republic; the “supermoon”; “garbage sorting”; and famed architect “I.M. Pei,” who died in 2019.

According to the report, government services experienced the largest increase in users that paid with WeChat’s digital transactions, growing 190% year-on-year. Health care was second with 107%, and education grew 80%.

WeChat did not disclose any other digital payment data.

In terms of peak hours of use, core app use spikes just before lunchtime and during after-work hours. Public WeChat accounts, belonging to content creators that users can “follow,” were accessed most at 9 p.m., and mini-apps, basic versions of applications that reside within WeChat and can be accessed without installation, were most used around lunchtime and after dinnertime.

Contact reporter Dave Yin (davidyin@caixin.com)

Related: WeChat Pay Targets Chinese Students Abroad in Cross-Border Service Expansion


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