What Is Wechat? Part 2: Step-By-Step Guide

Last week’s Weibo post was extremely well-received (here it is if you’ve missed it). I thought that I should do a similar one for the Wechat.

Comparing to the Part 1: What’s Wechat? How Do I Advertise On Wechat, in Part 2 let’s take a step back and get a really clear understanding on what Wechat application looks like to an average user.

Here is the step-by-step guide on Wechat:

Log In

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In order to log into Wechat, a user has to register using phone number. It is a measure to enforce the one-user-per-account policy. However, while there is always a work around, it does a really great job preventing multiple accounts owned by the same person. When the Wechat was first introduced, it was a very common problem…but not anymore.

What does it mean: while a person could have multiple emails, a Wechat user theoretically could have only one account – a better way to reach your targeted audience.


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After logging in, the user would be taken to the homepage, where s/he could:

  1. Read conversations by person or person(s)
  2. Discover what’s going on with friends (e.g., Moments – aka. Friends Feed)
  3. Catch up with 67 unread messages

Here is the fun part – Subscription Accounts

When I talked about advertising through subscription accounts previously, many people asked me – what exactly is a Subscription Account?

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Definition: A subscription account is managed by a company, organization, team or a certain group of people to communicate and interact with its followers through content.

On the homage page, you can see there is a Subscription Accounts row (1).

Clicking Subscription Accounts (1), a user would then be taken into a second page where all accounts that s/he subscribes to are listed.

For example,

2 – WSJ Subscription Account managed by the Chinese WSJ team

3 – Disney China Subscription Account managed by the Disney China team

4 – Other subscription accounts from Key Opinion Leaders in different industries

Of course, users have their own interests and hobbies, and as a result, they would see different content from their followed Subscription Accounts.

Identifying A Good Subscription Account/Key Opinion Leader

A good key opinion leader often publish good content and additionally, results high engagement on the content from his/her followers:

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Clicking the WSJ Subscription Account, a user would come to account’s content page – a history of all content produced by the WSJ. As you can see from picture 2, WSJ Subscription Account publishes content daily with a headline on the top and less important content on the bottom (2).

As a user read through the content, s/he would be counted in the Page View Data (4). This is one of the key metrics in determining whether a Key Opinion Leader is effective. It also display number of likes on the right hand side.

Next week, we will talk about how subscription account owners could build e-commerce platforms in Wechat… stay tuned.


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