WeChat has developed a set of APIs for businesses or public organizations to build custom features or interact with their audiences. Only a small group of selected WeChat Official Accounts have tried it out. As we introduced before, with the APIs, some businesses or organizations have developed services as powerful as some HTML5 web apps that users can do voice searches, book hotels, manage flights, subscribe to news services, etc.

WeChat updates the Official Account platform today that most APIs are available with verified Official Accounts today. It charges a 300 yuan (less than $50) annual fee.

Yes, most of them are must offerings to any nowadays social platforms, but WeChat has been reluctant to open those application programming interfaces to third parties in fear of any abuse of them. It is proven on Weibo platforms that businesses are obsessed with having more followers, no matter they are real or fake, pushing more messages to users, which in WeChat view hurts user experience.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com