WeChat unveils today a new self-serve advertising system for public accounts to monetize the traffic of their accounts or buy display ad placements in WeChat pages of other public accounts.

There are two categories of public accounts on WeChat platform, service account and subscription account. Both are able to deliver text and image messages to subscribers, and the major difference between the two is service accounts can take payments through WeChat Payment, a mobile payment solution. So far most subscription accounts are operated by content providers such as media, and businesses who’d leverage WeChat to do business would register service accounts.

Any verified account can sign up to be an advertiser and buy text link ads placed at the bottom of WeChat messages by other public accounts.

WeChat Ad Network
Text Link Ad (left) and Ads Pages (image: WeChat)

Earlier this year WeChat launched an advertising system based on GDT, the self-service social advertising system used by Tencent’s other social properties including Q-zone. The ads delivered by GDT direct users to advertisers’ websites. Shortly after the launch of the GDT one, we heard that WeChat began rebuilding the system.

WeChat has been building this and that to have users do as much as possible without leaving it. A lot of APIs have been launched to enable public accounts to build features for their accounts so that they can provide services or sell goods directly through WeChat.

The new ad system, like many others, has a dashboard for advertisers to monitor ad performance: impressions, click-throughs, new followers of advertisers’ accounts, etc.

Currently only public accounts with more than 100,000 subscribers are allowed to join the program. The dashboard for publishers shows the number of clicks, click-through rate, new subscriptions and, of course, revenue. The price is CPC-based.

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

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