WeChat to Offer Paywall Feature for Official Accounts Platform

By Ryan Gandolfo, January 17, 2020

1 0

Most WeChat users are familiar with the app’s Official Accounts Platform, which hosts millions of subscription accounts, run by individual bloggers, news outlets, companies and government agencies, among other organizations.

WeChat announced this week that it will be testing a new feature that will allow publishers to add a paywall to their content shared on the app. South China Morning Post reported that the app’s content creators will be able to charge readers for selected original articles or all posts, with price options ranging from RMB1 to RMB208. WeChat will not receive a cut of the revenue generated during the feature’s trial period.

The paywall option will only be granted to a limited number of content creators, but it is expected that the feature will be rolled out to a wider group in the future. Notably, accounts run by media outlets, enterprises and government agencies will not be allowed to add a paywall, according to WeChat, as cited by SCMP.

It appears to be a logical step for WeChat as the Official Accounts Platform has grown into one of the most important channels for the Chinese online community to get information. The platform is accessible in each users’ messaging tab, and regularly flows to the top of users’ chat list as new subscriptions publish content throughout the day, with a large portion of content posted after people get off work.

WechatIMG342.jpeg
Screengrab via WeChat

The platform was released in 2012, and will be one of a few online content platforms in the Middle Kingdom to include paid content, Technode reports. In order to access articles or accounts with a paywall, Android users can use WeChat Pay while iOS users will need to make transactions via Apple’s in-app purchase service.

With around 1.151 billion monthly active users, the monetization opportunities for WeChat’s content creators – and we’d expect WeChat, later on – seem ripe for the taking.

READ MORE: 6 Interesting Things WeChat Knows About You

[Cover image: screengrab via WeChat]

more news

Win Gifts for Clearing Your Plate with This WeChat Mini Program

An app that rewards users for empty plates is gaining in popularity with the ongoing campaign to tackle China's food waste problem.

How to Track Typhoons Hitting China on WeChat and Web

Keep track of storms' paths in real-time as they hit China.

WeChat and Weibo Just Got More Strict on Content Rules

Goodbye spam accounts and plagiarists.

May 20 is Yet Another Chinese Valentine's Day, Here's Why

Are you wondering why your social media feeds are filled with references to the magic number '520?' Prepare yourself for yet another lovers' day...

Pandemic Pricing: Advice for Investing in Volatile Markets

We called on finance veterans based in Asia to provide sound advice for investors navigating this turbulent period.

Check Out This Map of Nearby Coronavirus Cases on WeChat

You can access a map that shows confirmed cases of the virus near your home.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsBeijing for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Beijing With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Beijing!

Visit the archives