Two months ago, sogou input method, QQ input method, Xin-Fei input method and many other input methods were removed from distribution channels such as App Store and Android App stores because they did not fully meet the rectification requirements of the CaC's May 1 notice on violations of personal information collection.
After rectification, a few days ago with sogou fei input method has been re-shelf. However, users found in the update log of Sogou input method that the official version 11.0, released earlier this month, has announced the "removal of all annoying ads," namely advertising window information, browser ads, and activity ads.
In fact, sogou input method advertising is not user-friendly, in the search engine to "sogou input method + advertising" as the keyword results, except for sogou advertising space, in the first page of the results are almost all to teach users how to block this AD. After all, no one likes an input method as a tool that pops up ads while the user is typing, or adds ads directly to the input field.
To advertiser, input method serves as almost every user essential tool, it is undoubtedly the best advertisement display platform, and advertisement is indeed a business that sogou is very difficult to give up. For example, according to the official 2019 financial report, its annual operating revenue exceeded 8 billion yuan and its net profit reached 730 million yuan. Among them, users of Sogou input method used hundreds of millions of recommendation content every day, and the revenue related to the input method recommendation system increased nearly 90% year on year. Sogou CEO Wang Xiaochuan has admitted that the recommendation service has become a new growth driver for Sogou.
Since advertising is so important to Sogou's input method, and it's not being overhauled this time because of pop-up ads, why do we have to "do something" about advertising in the latest version? The mystery may begin with sogou's latest earnings report. In the second quarter of 2021, Sogou reported a 44 percent year-on-year decline in revenue, but more importantly, sogou and Tencent's privatization deal is expected to be completed in the second half of this year, after which Sogou will become an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Tencent.
Therefore, in the outside world, sogou input method to cancel the overall advertising, the most direct reason may be to join Tencent's big family, with Tencent this market value trillion giant as a "backer", natural also no longer need to reduce the user experience in exchange for advertising revenue. And a very important point, it may be in Sogou was privatised by Tencent, most of its business will be merged into Tencent PCG, the core team will also be merged into Tencent.
Sogou will join Tencent PCG business group in the future, not to mention the QQ input method that has been operated by Sogou, perhaps with the previous wechat business group (WXG) leader Zhang Xiaolong revealed that he will do an input method. This also means that sogou input method after joining Tencent, will face a "horse race" mechanism.