WeChat Launched Mini Shop, a Native Store System & 4 other news

Tingyi Chen New WeChat features

Here are 5 interesting news this week in the Chinese Digital world!

Bilibili added direct links to Taobao

Bilibili finally enabled authors to add e-commerce links taking users to Taobao. 

Users can click on a Tabao product link located at the bottom of a video or live-streaming session.

KOLs can also add their own store on their profile page, similar to Douyin’s personal stores. The KOL can also select products from different 3rd party stores and promote them to get a commission. 

Brands no longer need to register a WeChat Official Account to run WeChat Moments Ads

Tencent launched a new advertising platform combining WeChat ads and Tencent Display Network resources. The new platform is https://ad.qq.com/ 

Prior to this, WeChat ads were managed under https://a.weixin.qq.com/. Tencent Display Network ads were managed under https://e.qq.com/ads/, covering all of Tencent’s other display network resources such as QQ, QQ News, Tencent news, and hundreds of other apps and websites.

With the new platform, here are a few updates: 

  1. Brands can now top up the same account to run ads on all Tencent’s ad placement sites
  2. Brands no longer need to create a WeChat Official Account to run WeChat Moments ads. Supported ads include WeChat Moments Ads, Mini Program Ads, Official Account ads 
  3. Brands can use the same targeting group to run ads on both WeChat and other platforms.

WeChat Mini Programs can finally be shared on WeChat Moment

Mini Program developers will need to activate this “sharing to Moment” feature with the following command.

wx.showShareMenu({
withShareTicket: true
})

Read more about this rule here.

Sharing a Mini Program on WeChat Moment

WeChat Moment is one of the largest social traffic pools. Although without proper incentive, users are getting more hesitant to share anything on WeChat Moment. Moreover, incentivized sharing is against WeChat’s Terms of Use.

Finding a good balance between following WeChat regulation and providing incentives to users will be the key to grow Mini Program traffic via Moment sharing.

WeChat Channel Daily Active Users reach 200 million 

On June 22nd, Allen Zhang, the founder of WeChat, announced the Daily Active Users (DAUs) of WeChat’s short-video feature WeChat Channel now reached 200 million. 

Lately WeChat channels had many feature updates.

Top tabs are updated into Follow, Friends, and Trendy, with the Friends tab as the default tab. This is a feed showing the most liked videos by WeChat friends. This helps to push the content that’s popular within your own friend’s circle, making it more relevant. This also helps users to discover more accounts instead of focusing only on the ones they follow.  

Added bullet comment feature, the users’ comment will display at the bottom of the video, encouraging more users engagement

Enable additional iOS users to apply to upload videos on WeChat Channel. For Android users, this feature is still invitation only.

WeChat to launch a native Mini Shop plugin 

WeChat is planning to launch a native SaaS platform call Mini Shop. The main feature of the store is the ability to launch WeChat live-streaming linking to the store. 

Right after the release of Mini Shop, Youzan and Weimob’s stock fell 10% and 12%. Investors see this feature as a threat to the 3rd party WeChat store business model.

The live-streaming feature is great for stores with existing Mini Program traffic. For SMEs, traffic generation will still be the key to success.

Compared to Youzan and Weimob, this beta version of Mini Shop lacks many advanced features such as promotion features, CRM, API, and integration with other platforms. And compared to WalktheChat’s store system, Mini Shop does not support cross-border payments or integration with Shopify/Magento.

In 2017, WeChat already launched a native store feature. But it didn’t gain traction due to the lack of features and flexibility. If the new Mini Shop platform is successful, WeChat could open up the store API to welcome 3rd party developers to build plug-ins to support the store. 

We will be following the evolution of this new platform closely.

The WeStore feature is application-only at the moment. Click here to apply (Chinese only).

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