WeChat users read an average of six articles published on their subscription accounts every day as of September 2014, according to WeChat. One fifth of users read 6-10 pieces daily while 23% read one a day.
WeChat’s subscription account system enables content providers, news media, freelance writers or other content producers to publish multi-media articles which can be shared by WeChat users to their Moments, WeChat’s content sharing tool, or to their WeChat friends.
The channel for a user’s subscription accounts will jump to the top of their WeChat homepage whenever a new article is published. WeChat users, however, don’t often use the channel to read articles. Only 20% of articles were read through the channel, compared to 80% through Moments.
WeChat users are more inclined to share articles to Moments instead of their contacts. Some 61% of the shared articles were circulated on Moments.
The top categories of shared articles are psychology/emotion, health, politics, corporate management, domestic tourism, finance and cooking.
Advertising programs are been in place for businesses to buy ad placements at the bottom of WeChat articles. Sogou, the Chinese search service provider backed by Tencent, has the exclusive right to index WeChat subscription accounts’ content. It is expected that a search marketing program will be available with the Sogou-WeChat search service.
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)