WeChat just announced the release of a new “WeChat comments” function for subscription account.
What is the new function?
The new WeChat comments function enables users to comment at the bottom of messages from subscription accounts (which used to only features the number of views and “likes”)
The WeChat comments will have to be first approved by the public account before being displayed (like for instance is often the case on WordPress blogs)
As of today, the feature is only available on a few accounts for testing purpose.
Click the link at the bottom of the article to see an example of article with comments enabled.
WeChat: the content platform of the future?
With this new feature, Tencent is showing its intent to make WeChat more of a content platform. The minimal display of WeChat messages is changing pretty much every other week to include more functions. Here are some of the additional features which have been added over the last few months:
– Display of views
– Display of “likes”
– Customised CSS
– Ability to integrate GIFs
– General upgrade of subscription accounts (see post from last week)
It is clear that Tencent is making slow but pragmatic steps into improving the platform for content providers. Although the WeChat back-end is still criticized as not being user-friendly, there has been obvious work in improving it over time.
Toward social search
The willingness of WeChat to improve the quality of the content on the platform is also linked with its tremendous potential for monetization.
Last September, Tencent invested $448 millions in search engine Sogou. By combining its content, search and social features, WeChat could reach the Graal of profitability: social search. A search engine which would fully leverage the connexion and experience of friends in order to drive more relevant search results, and higher ad prices for Tencent.
This vision will not become a reality for some time. Yet Tencent is making important strategic moves into achieving it.
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