ZWC Focus | Words of the year from Zhang Xiaolong: A reflection on the 2 key failures of public account. WeChat’s shift of focus on short content.
January 13, 2020

2020 WeChat Open Course PRO was successfully held at Guangzhou Poly World Exhibition Centre on 9th January 2020. Themed ‘ Always Beta’, the event was kickstarted with a 12-minute video by Zhang Xiaolong, who has chosen to reside behind the curtain for 2 main reasons: let products speak for themselves, and a test for the team’s organization capability.

Zhang shared in the video his thoughts on information inter-transmission.

1.A sacrifice on privacy. The decreasing level of control on personal data privacy in the information era.

2.Passive access to information. The widening discrepancy between the dissemination of information from platform versus the intended information by audience.

3.Increasing complexity and expansion of social relations. There are close to 1 million WeChat users who have close to 5000 contacts in their accounts.

4.The speed at which information got disseminated.

5.Increasing difficulty to filter information. ‘Kangyikang’ focused primarily on expanding information network of users based on referrals from existing contacts.

6.The multi-dimension nature if information. Zhang expressed his desire on long-tailed small accounts having a space of their own.

7.Increasing difficulty in searching. WeChat search and Mini-programs are designed to support needs of long-tail search, increasing the abundance of content.

In his sharing, mini-program made 5 appearance, which is not surprising as Mini-program records a 800 billion RMN transaction in 2019, a staggering 160% YoY growth, denoting the program’s excellent monetization capability.

However, Zhang detailed 2 failures on WeChat public accounts. One being the limited operation terminal, as for a prolonged period, there are only PC and Web version. Two being monotonous format, as the intention of public account is to connect brands and users. By making it a vessel to contain articles, this has forbid other short content format to manifest. Zhang stressed that Public Account was not made for media but the mass users, so there is little surprise there is a lack of UGC content as a result on the limitation on terminal access and content format. This implies that WeChat would essentially focus on encouraging UGC in short content format.

Zhang closed his sharing by mentioning short content as the new focus in the coming version of WeChat, coupled with innovations on Red Packet features.