Why Kik Raised $50 Million From Tencent

What Happened
Tencent, one of the biggest internet company in China, has invested $50M in Kik, the Canadian company behind the messaging app of the same name. By working with Tencent, maker of the immensely popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, Kik will no doubt benefit from WeChat’s experience building the most sophisticated messaging platform in the world and aggressively pursue similar strategies. The competition with Snapchat and Facebook Messenger will get more intense.

What Brands Should Do
As the messaging apps continue to diversify their services and revenues, brands, especially those eager to connect with the millenials and younger audiences, would be wise to realize the vast potential that messaging apps hold as full-fledged media platform, and develop a communications strategy for messaging platforms.

Last year, the Lab developed a campaign on Kik for Sony Music to promote a new album launch of popular boyband One Direction, which later earned us a Smarties Award from the Mobile Marketing Association.


Source: TechCrunch

Global Watch: China’s Tencent Launches TOS+ And Bets On Mobile Gaming

For years, apps created by Chinese Internet behemoth Tencent has run on all major operating systems, including iOS, Android, and even Windows OS. But propelled by the potential for its uber-popular messaging app WeChat to become a full-fledged platform, Tencent is now looking to develop its own operating system, specifically to capture the nascent IoT market.

Earlier this week, the Shenzhen-based company launched Tencent Operating System, or TOS+ for short. Designed to run on a wide range of connected devices including smart TVs, smartwatches, gaming consoles, and even virtual reality headsets, the Android-based OS will be free to use for manufacturers and developers if they agree to share revenue with Tencent. Unsurprisingly, it also comes with its own mobile payment system. With its own operating system, Tencent is now in direct completion with Alibaba (which developed YunOS) and Xiaomi (which also touts their own MIUI firmware) for a rapidly growing Chinese market.

In related news, Tencent has continued its push for mobile gaming with a minority stake in Glu Mobile, the game publisher behind popular iOS games such as Deer Hunter and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. In addition to its online and mobile gaming clout in Asia, Tencent already owns two mobile game companies Epic Games and Riot Games that have been quite successful in the US market. Whereas TOS+ obviously has a long way to go before it can compete with the likes of iOS and Android, it looks like mobile gaming could serve as a nice entry point for Tencent to break into western markets.

Header image taken from Tencent’s TOS Site

Tencent Scores Exclusive Deal To Stream HBO Content In China

Read original story on: Hollywood Reporter

HBO and Tencent have unveiled an exclusive content deal that will make the Chinese Internet giant’s streaming service the official online home of HBO films and series in the country. As Chinese officials continue the crack down on popular pirated-video websites, China’s major online video sites, including Sohu, Youku and Baidu Video, are reportedly locked in a billion-dollar battle for legally hosting foreign shows. Tencent might have gained a valuable head start with this deal, but it still remains to be seen how much censorship will be imposed on HBO’s mature content.