WeChat launched an internal testing among key users on Monday for a new feature that would allow public account operators to insert advertisements into their posts.

The platform previously only supported ad positions that appear at the top or bottom of the post. The new function gives operators more freedom to choose the specific spots where they want the ads to be displayed with more targeted promotion and more context. This means stores like one KOL selling 100 cars in 4 minutes through public account promotions could be more common on the platform.

Wechat ad

Most of the ads are for single items from e-commerce platforms. Users will be redirected to the purchase interface through a single click on the ad. WeChat public account operators can insert ad positions in their post and the system will display corresponding contents according to the product category pre-selected by the operator, including clothing, jewelry, 3C products, food, tourism, education, and more. The accounts are paid on a per-click model.

For the time being, only one ad position can be inserted into a post and there must be at least 300-words before and after the spot. So, short text posts or those involving one video can’t embed ads.

Advertisement is a major means for public account operators to monetize. There’s a lots of channels for doing ads from bottom banner, native ads, and brand sponsorship, however, none of these goes through WeChat’s ecosystem.

Growth of WeChat social ads revenue (image credit: Kannimai)

Since integrating advertising program for Moments in 2015, the rate of growth of WeChat’s social ad business is slowing down. Launching more ad positions is not only in line with Tencent’s efforts to keep account operators’ ad business inside its own ecosystem but also to drive its own ad growth.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.

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