WeChat has developed a new dedicated space for video content, similar to Instagram Reels. It is targeted towards content creators, brands, businesses and individuals who want to reach out to a new (or existing) audience beyond their circle of WeChat followers.
This new touchpoint can potentially be a great convergence of opportunities, especially since the short video market is on a steep rise.
1. Introduction to WeChat Channel
What is WeChat Channels?
It’s not a new app. It’s a new feature inside WeChat that allows users, influencers and brands to create short format videos (or carousel, up to 9 pictures) and distribute them on their feed. Other info that can be added to the post is
- Hashtags to improve discoverability
- A WeChat Official Account article link, if any
- A location
A video feed on WeChat Channels looks similar to the type of feed on other popular short-video Chinese apps like Douyin (Tik Tok as it’s known internationally) or Kuaishou. Users can scroll through the feed infinitely to discover what their friends & their favourite brands have posted as well as content from the other users, influencers and public accounts.
As with any feed, this feed too is ruled by an algorithm that displays content not only from your WeChat contact or the WeChat Official / WeChat Video Account you follow but also from the rest of WeChat, depending on your behaviour on the app. That means WeChat users are able to explore content and follow users that are not in their contact and WeChat Official Accounts that they are not following.
This brings a new trajectory to increase discovery on WeChat, which has been a relatively closed ecosystem before (in terms of privacy settings and discoverability).
Here are some important algorithmic factors to determine content display:
- Number of likes = Popularity
- Your WeChat friends/contacts’ engagements and activities
- Followed accounts
2. Posting on Channels
How to register to WeChat Channels to start posting on the timeline
You can apply to post by clicking on the camera icon on the top right top of the screen from your WeChat personal account.
Here is the information to fill in during the registration of your Channels profile:
- Brief description
Once completed and created, you are able to start posting.
Functions that are accessible from the WeChat Channels Dashboard are:
- List of WeChat Channels Account you follow
- List of followers
- Number of views
- List of interactions (comments / likes / notifications) with your WeChat Channels Account
3. How to access the section ‘WeChat Channel’?
There are 2 main opportunities to drive traffic:
From the ‘Discover’ section
This feature is accessible from the ‘Discover’ section in the main menu. The ‘Channels’ item is just below the ‘Moments’ item.
There is a ‘Go to Channel’ CTA in the landing page after clicking on the Channels-related Post shared card.
WeChat channels provide a great opportunity for KOLs and brands to up their short-video game and leverage the huge WeChat user base at the same time. With the boom in the short-video market, many brands have already started leveraging WeChat Channel’s features, and more are pushing their marketing plans to accommodate it.