WeChat tests feature to delete inactive friends (and 2 other news)

Thomas Graziani New WeChat features

WeChat testing a way to delete your inactive friends

WeChat is testing a new filter to delete WeChat friends. This filter can select:

  • WeChat friends that you haven’t talked to for the past 6 months
  • The friends that don’t share same WeChat groups with you
  • Contacts with no WeChat moments interactions within half a year

As soon as the test feature leaked out, it became a trendy topic on Chinese social media. Since personal WeChat accounts can only have 5,000 contacts, many WeChat users are interested in trimming their friends list.

Ever since its creation, WeChat has been conservative in terms of adding friends. For example, users could not import all friends into WeChat from QQ. This strategy made WeChat a tool for communication with your closer inner circle. As your friend list is diluted with people you only met once, such filters can help to delete the “lost connections”.

New Ads format for mini programs

Tencent is testing a new format of banner advertising.

These ads will be:

  • Displayed in the middle of WeChat Official Account articles
  • Linking to Mini-program Shops

Requirement:

This new ads format can only link to Mini Program shops (e-commerce experiences built with WeChat new mini-program programming language).

It also requires that other influential WeChat accounts agree to manually place the ads within a specific section of their article.

Ads placement:

Instead of the usual banner ads at the end of the article, this time, WeChat Official Accounts can place these ads wherever they want (only on requirement: their should be at least 300 characters both before and after the banner ads)

Advertisers will therefore have the choice of putting the ad toward the end of the article (so it doesn’t bother their readers) or toward the beginning (so that there are more clicks and they get more revenues from the advertiser)

Targeting:

Targeting will enable to display ads on WeChat Media accounts relevant to your industry. For instance, if you’re selling a brand new fashion product, you might want the ad to be displayed on WeChat Official Accounts listed in the Fashion & Lifestyle section.

Eligible industries include: clothing, bags, shoes, jewelry, sportswear, cosmetics, electronics, home appliance, construction material, mother & baby, daily supply, F&B, furniture, car, entertainment, travel, education, and local life-style product.

Cost:

The new ad format will be billed on a Cost-per-click (CPC) model. CPC is limited to 0.5-20 RMB per click. The ad spend should be between 50 RMB and 4 million RMB per day.

Ads placement:

The influencer WeChat Official Account owner will need to manually insert the ads into a specific area of the article.

Performance based pricing

The “ad banner within an article” format has been existing for several years. It is simply an image linking to an e-commerce web page. But the significance of Mini Program ads is to make it possible for brands to run KOL ads on a performance basis.

Before, brands had to agree on a fixed price before placing ads on a KOL’s account. This created huge uncertainties for brands as some articles might be very popular, while others might be complete failures.

Brands can now pay only for the clicks they get.

Easier to track

Brands used to need to track the performance of the campaign on their own analytics backend, like WalktheChat’s shop analytics backend. Now brands can view the performance on Tencent’s system.

More $ for Tencent

For years, Tencent has been missing out on most of the advertising revenue spent on its own platform. It’s an attempt for Tencent to get a cut from KOL advertising and increase ads revenue.

Challenges:

It is unclear how many KOL’s will be willing to go for this advertising option. The most successful KOL campaigns very often involve close cooperation between the KOL and the brand. Under this model, a KOLs won’t have any certainty about which kind of brands will end up being advertised inside their article (as the ads will be dynamically placed).

For most overseas businesses, the traditional KOL banner ads would still be the best option. It is more powerful in terms of brand endorsement and less restrictive in terms of administrative application constraints.

Apple revenues fall in China. Analysts point to WeChat.

Tim Cook’s firm just reported a 10% decrease of YOY earnings in China. Apple’s CEO stated that he was “very encouraged by the results this quarter”, which seems unlikely to be true given most of the competitors (Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, etc.) saw double-digit growth.

But most analysts don’t point to “traditional” competitors such as handset manufacturers to justify Apple’s demise. They point to WeChat.

By becoming an ecosystem in itself, WeChat is making iOS and Android phone very interchangeable. No more worry about losing your list of contacts or access to your Apps when you switch phones: it’s all within WeChat.

Apple also made a strong push for its payment solution late-July by giving huge (up to 50%) discounts to people using Apple Pay. But the hype seems to have died out shortly after the promotion.

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