What are WeChat’s latest updates?
WeChat has recently pushed a series of updates to improve the official accounts system. The updates include a reformation of the subscription accounts folder, updates in reposting and also the tipping function. We will guide you through WeChat’s latest updates while exploring why they may affect your current strategies.
#1: Reformation of subscription accounts folder
Originally, the subscription account folder consisted of a list of accounts. Now, it is very similar to a Facebook newsfeed with the recent update.
Instead of clicking on each account, users may now browse articles from all subscription accounts they are following in one feed. So how does this impact your marketing strategies on WeChat?
- Reading Behaviour
- Before: In the past, active accounts with frequent updates had an edge as the followers were getting more frequent notices to explicitly open the account page. Yet, accounts which do not update frequently will fall to the end of the accounts list.
- Now: The new update helps to balance the article reading rate between accounts with different publishing rates. In fact, this new feed showcases articles in chronological order, so every account gets to be at the top of the list. As all articles are now on display in the content feed, users are more likely to unfollow accounts that publish content that are irrelevant to them.
- Before: As users need to click on the account page to read the articles, they can easily discover the menu tabs of the accounts.
- Now: The new content feed look & feel allows users to directly access the articles without entering the account. This lowers the visibility of e-commerce shortcuts from account menu tabs. On the other hand, WeChat enabled mini-program shortcuts that can be placed in articles. Mini-programs might further increase its presence in WeChat e-commerce field.
- Before: WeChat KOLs might collaborate with brands in some of their articles, where the pricing differs according to the order the article in one notification.
- Now: The feed now only displays the first 2 articles by default. Users have to click to read the remaining articles. Therefore, the price of advertising in the third article onwards is likely to significantly drop.
#2: Re-posting options
WeChat’s latest updates highlighted re-posting of original articles as well. Prior to this update, official accounts could only share the articles with a preview card that links to the original article, but they could not implant another article into their own ones.
WeChat now allows different ways of re-posting articles. Apart from reposting the full article with your own message, you can also edit the look and feel of the article if you are in the “white list” of the original account. For both ways, a tipping card for the original author would appear at the end of the reposted article, but the source of the article – the original posting account – can be set as invisible if the reposting account is in the “white list”.
Why is this important for brands?
- Encourage original content from brands
- Now: The renovated reposting system promotes the author instead of the account. In order to get promoted through re-posting by other accounts, brands would need to build their own content creation team to enhance exposure. This might encourage brands to build their own content by publishing relevant original articles.
- Reinforce connection between brands and KOLs
- Now: Brands can easily re-post the collaboration articles from KOLs. This extends the relationship between brands and KOLs while making it easier to highlight the collaboration between both parties.
#3: Exploring the Tipping Function
Another new feature in WeChat’s latest updates would be the tipping function in any re-posted articles. This adds to the 2 ways for authors to get tips: in the original article and in the shared articles. This new feature joins forces with the above new reposting option to further encourage authentic content production. At the same time, it also facilitates communication between content creators and account owners. How does this change your WeChat strategy though?
- Monetising rewards for authors
- Before: The reward system only works on the original article page.
- Now: Monetizing the rewards for helps to facilitate the creation of authentic content. Brands may leverage their own audience and treat the rewards authors receive from the Brand’s re-post as an asset to attract KOLs to work with them.
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