WeChat has continued to produce powerful testimonies of its all-important place in the Chinese digital ecosystem. With new technological and digital features being introduced on a regular basis, WeChat parades itself as the place to be for brands looking for a deeper connection to engage in the Private Traffic Area and get first-party data from their followers.
The ITC team has cherry-picked some of the most significant highlights that have influenced WeChat's success during the past weeks. Get the details here!
WeChat Launches Comments on Time Capsule
Time Capsule is the possibility to share moments and videos on WeChat for 24 hours only. To record a Time Capsule, you just need to go to “Me” and Swipe Down. You can even add stickers, texts, songs, and your location to personalize your time Capsule. By clicking on the 3 small dots at the top, you also have the option to hide it from your Moments and download it.
What's new on the Time Capsule? You now have the possibility to interact with your friend’s Time Capsules in two ways: sending “bubbles” and comments. The comments will only be shared with the Capsule owner.
With this new feature, WeChat is getting closer to Instagram Stories, which also last 24 hours. The “bubbles” remind us of the emojis you can directly send when interacting with an Instagram Story. However, it is not possible to see who watched your Time Capsule and who did not, like Instagram permits to do so.
WeChat Tests Live Streaming: Some News
We announced it last month: WeChat has been trying out a new live streaming functionality for a certain set of inventors in the newest WeChat version. Following a screenshot from Jieman, the live-streaming feature present on WeChat -called Channels- provides a modest list of options where viewers can exclusively like, forward, and make comments on the event being live-streamed.
It is also possible to send notifications to relate the start of a live-streaming session to users. What’s more, the video length could be longer than expected, from a minute to close to half an hour. Companies can as well connect their virtual stores available on the main page of Channels to enhance exposure. However, when considered alongside other live streaming platforms, it doesn’t provide visual effects, clickable links, filters, and online gifts.
Although all the highlights are currently in beta mode and can be accessed by a selected crop of users, the update shows a part of WeChat’s potentials for Channels. Following reliable forecasts, the market size of the live streaming industry in China will reach 112Bn Yuan later this year.
WeChat Announced Parental Control Settings
The parental control function on WeChat remains one of the most important new features.
It enables parents to monitor the WeChat Mini games, Channels, Mini Programs, searches, official accounts, as well as stories that their child can have access to. Yicai, a frontline news outlet based in China, reports that Tencent has made applications to trademark the WeChat version that has kid-friendly features. According to the Firm, the objective was to create a healthy and secure digital experience for underage WeChat users. Enough, these remain iOS particular updates. We can only expect that sooner they’ll be accessible by WeChat’s Android users.
A Review of WeChat New Search Features
Following the numerous recent Search features updates on WeChat, we decided to summarize them for you this month.
Official Account Homepage Search Features
WeChat Official Accounts now have a “Homepage Search” label available.
Users will be able to come on the profile page of the account owner and click “Search” on the upper-left side may choose auto-suggested keywords available under the Search bar. By that, users will be able to click and find important related articles within the search results the keywords bring.
Keyword Search Function in WeChat Official Account Articles
Last month, we introduced the new hashtags function. Also incorporated into WeChat articles is the keyword search features.
WeChat readers can visualize a keyword search bar from the start of each post. When clicking on the bar, it jumps to the WeChat Search page. Moreover, the keywords show as autosuggestions below the bar pop up for users to click and get the search results. The WeChat SERP usually shows the related articles, mini-programs, WeChat Circle groups, and so on.
If the Official Account has set hashtags, they will also appear as suggestions under the Search tool. Six (6) hashtags can be set per Official Account.
WeChat Search Function in WeChat Official Account Album
The WeChat Album for WeChat official accounts has been updated as well to comprise hashtags. However, this is still exclusively available for local WeChat official accounts. If users like to read content associated with that hashtag, they can click “Learn More” just under the hashtag subject.
WeChat Search In Chat Function
Presently, even while conversing via chats, users can also make use of the WeChat search feature. To search, you only need to long-press the relevant keyword and select “Search” available in the pop-up window. After that, WeChat will screen and outline associated keywords and display the search results too. To get better search results, users may click on any of these relevant keywords.
WeChat Search Includes Mini Programs
Not only did Tencent update the search feature found in WeChat, but they also incorporated WeChat Search with Mini Programs, including CTrip, Weibo, Zhihu, and others.
We tried it by searching “Mulan” on the WeChat Search bar and we noticed that results appear in a certain order: for some reason CTrip, the travel Mini Program, appears among the first results, with some definitions, photos, and other Mini programs results such as the video platform Weibo. There is here a real choice to put Mini programs forwards.
Kudos is Now Tracking WeChat Publications
Kudos, the leading service utilized for enhancing research success via planned communications management, recently declared that it now monitors and considers the publication sharing effect through WeChat and Weibo. Every publisher alongside readers and authors can now enjoy a better assessment of the way these mediums are utilized to facilitate awareness of published books and articles. Moreover, they can have some insights into the comparative value of every medium as an apparatus for creating readership plus engagement.
Interestingly, this newest development from Kudos stands to say that people can now track publication links that are shared through Weibo and WeChat in the same manner as the links that are shared through virtual platforms such as Academia.edu, ResearchGate, and so on. Moreover, they can also share them via sharing mechanisms like email, business cards, and presentations. This simplifies the task of understanding which mediums can best be of help to reach an array of research audiences.