WeChat has been pretty clear on its position as a user-first platform since its inception. Recently, it announced that it’s testing a new feature which allows users to add paywalls to their posts.
Paid online content is still a niche business for internet users in China. With over 1.15 billion monthly active users, WeChat decided to step up its efforts to monetize its services with several recent major updates.
- Announcements about a number of retail-friendly features for mini programs sparked speculation that WeChat is trying to build a big online marketplace to compete with the likes of Alibaba, Pinduoduo and JD.com.
- Most Chinese media don’t use paywalls for access since they follow the advertising model. Implementing a subscription model will assist in better brand loyalty and also diversify their monetization models for better personalization.
- Tencent was recently affected quite heavily by the stricter regulation implemented on its gaming business. Ever since they have been trying to reevaluate and reestablish their financial structure.
As of Wednesday, it is confirmed that WeChat is testing out a ‘paid content’ feature for only a select number of users (qualified accounts).
- It will allow the account owners to add paywalls to a part or all of their content. Followers will have to pay for subscribing to the account for a recurring fee.
- Payment can be made through WeChat Pay for Android devices and Apple devices can pay through Apple’s in-app purchase service.