June 9, 2023

WeChat quietly released two “big tricks” | Geek Park

WeChat’s big move is here.

On the afternoon of April 20th, WeChat released version 8.0.36 update. In the introduction, this version update only involves a few bug fixes, but according to Geek Park, WeChat has also launched two important functions at the same time – “WeChat Music” and “Video Account Members”, and a small number of invited Open testing between creators and users.

“WeChat Music” will set up an independent channel in WeChat, including two sub-channels of music and audio. Among them, the music channel will be linked and connected with QQ Music. Users can play songs, search for albums, and view their own and friends’ playlists; There is a more centralized display window and traffic entry for audio and podcast content.

In addition to music, the payment function of the video account that has been preheated in the WeChat public class is also quietly launched in the new version for testing. This function is currently called “video account membership” within WeChat at this stage. The payment entrance for members of the video account will be displayed on the homepage of the video account, and the payment will also be made with the “WeChat Bean” in the WeChat system. When the creator of the video account opens the member area, users can browse the relevant “member area” content after paying to become a member, including exclusive videos, live broadcasts, and live playbacks.

Long audio content and video account payment are all new ideas of the WeChat team for products in this year’s WeChat open class.According to their plan, in the future, the video account will become a “personal business card”, and different forms of content such as text, audio, video, and live broadcast can be displayed here.

Although the WeChat team’s plan is still at the blueprint stage at this stage, after the audio content and paid content are loaded, the plan has taken a new step.

According to Geek Park, “WeChat Music” has provided internal test users with a VIP free function for more than two months. In QQ Music, only members can listen to music, and there is a free listening platform.

This is not the first time that WeChat and QQ Music have been connected. As early as 2021, WeChat’s “Let’s click the ringtone” has been connected to QQ Music. This is a rare cross-departmental interconnection within the Tencent system.

After that, the linkage between the two became more in-depth, especially the upgrade this time. The new version of the music function has almost become a mini version of “QQ Music”. The homepage includes music shared by friends, “Top Shared Songs”, and also includes the “Today’s Personalized Song List” and “Recommended Song List” function recommended by identifying preferences. “. In addition, musicians who have settled in the video account also have a unique display interface.

Figure 1 is the video number, Figure 2 and Figure 3 are the WeChat music interface

The opening of QQ Music is from shallow to deep, but the audio content is from scratch, and there is a new centralized display place. Some podcast content creators are already experimenting. A podcast host “edited and compressed the content of the previous live recording and uploaded it to the video account in one go.” In the past, when he uploaded the content to the video account, he needed to manually slice and select the content, but now, “audio ’ enough to allow him to upload unlimited content longer than 30 minutes.

After using it, Geek Park found that part of the content in the audio function comes from creators who have synchronized related content with QQ Music; the other part comes from content creators in the WeChat ecosystem. Taking “Geek Park” as an example, the content is either extracted from the audio content of the video account, or from the audio content uploaded in the official account.

Compared with the content industry revolution brought about by the explosion of Douyin and Kuaishou short video content, audio content other than music seems to have been hiding in the corner. In China, neither a platform company with the same size as Douyin and Kuaishou has been born, nor has it triggered upsurge.

It was not until the birth of the podcast platform “Little Universe” that more people paid attention to this extremely niche field. Companies such as Himalaya, which entered the audio field ten years ago, finally began to regard podcasting as an important strategic direction. , thinking about how to attract more podcasters and let them make money.

For this group of podcast hosts, WeChat provides a distribution platform with all kinds of content from text, audio, video, live broadcast, official account, video account, WeChat music, and these functional components can also jump between each other. Transfer connection, this is the largest traffic field they can see for a long time.

In fact, the WeChat team has carefully considered whether to include audio content. What they consider is whether it can become an atomic component, that is, whether it can be distributed in video streaming and live broadcast squares in the WeChat ecosystem. Their answer to this is yes, the current WeChat music is the prototype product born in the process of WeChat exploring audio content.

Video account members: pay for knowledge of water testing

For any content platform, more and better content and making more money for creators always go hand in hand. Video accounts have long faced criticism that the content ecology is not good enough, and because there are no good commercialization cases, many mature content creators and production organizations have not entered the market for a long time.

Since the beginning of this year, the speed of commercialization of video accounts has obviously accelerated, and the commercial infrastructure has also been gradually built. At the beginning of April, the ad sharing function in the comment area of ​​the video account began to be tested online. The official account also has a similar function. Users browse articles, and traffic owners get corresponding benefits. The same is true for the advertisements in the comment area of ​​the video account, and the creators of the video account who join the sharing plan will get corresponding benefits. At the same time, the threshold for this incentive is extremely low, and high-quality original creators with more than 100 fans can participate.

The payment function of the video account, which was announced in the WeChat public class, was launched for testing after the new version was updated on the afternoon of the 20th. Compared with the “creation share plan”, the threshold for members of the video account is relatively higher. Users pay extra money to browse the content of exclusive members, which requires creators to have strong content production capabilities. For some knowledge content creators, this means the opportunity to build a long-term, commercialized fan system.

In fact, Weibo, Zhihu, Douyin, Bilibili and other products all have this kind of paid subscription function. Essentially, none of these functions can create big profits for the platform. What is more important is to encourage more creators to produce high-quality content, and provide them with commercialization opportunities by supplementing product functions. But based on these alone, it is difficult to say whether the motivation of creators will increase.

For the platform, the really important revenue comes from e-commerce and advertising. This is also Tencent’s high hope for the video account: to have more sources of income, and to bring e-commerce and advertising revenue to a higher level.

The change in front of them is that in the fourth quarter of 2022, they found that the proportion of WeChat advertising revenue generated by click-to-buy and click-to-message ads continued to increase, accounting for more than 1/3 in this quarter. The new content form contributed to this result, which also made the “video account” the “hope of the audience” on WeChat.

Judging from recent product updates, whether it is WeChat music or paid subscriptions, advertising sharing plans, or even the “Ask a Question” function of the WeChat search team, all of them are tilting resources to video accounts and opening up more traffic entrances. The atomization of video accounts in WeChat is still going on, which means that new opportunities are still lurking. In order to create a bigger outlet, there are still many problems that the video account needs to solve.

Ewen Eagle

I am the founder of Urbantechstory, a Technology based blog. where you find all kinds of trending technology, gaming news, and much more.

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