WeChat announced 2 new updates in its public subscriptions’ tipping function (赞赏功能).

The platform now allows tipping the original author in reproduced copies of an original article in other subscription accounts.

Further, according to WeChat, subscription accounts reproducing any original articles cannot modify either the content or the author, but a few extra words for comments will be allowed. After the update, the reproduction process needs no further human confirmation anymore. An article’s reproduction and related tipping procedures can be monitored and confirmed by machine alone.

This updated function is also available to a subscription accounts’ White List (白名单) reproducers – subscription accounts trusted by the original article’s author and account owner. A While List reproducer can modify the format and some content of an original article.

Open Reproduction is now available.

Any original article eligible for tipping can now use the Open Reproduction (开放赞赏) function. By enabling Open Reproduction, all public subscription accounts can reproduce the original article. At the back-end of a subscription account, a reproduction search function will also allow checking any available Open Reprinting articles.

An author or subscription owner can check the total tipping rewards and reproduction times in the tipping account’s mini program which monitors operation details.

The WeChat article system now allows three tipping methods: tipping in the original article, tipping in a shared article, and tipping in a republished article. By updating the tipping functions, WeChat hopes to optimize reward channels to encourage authentic content production and improve communication efficiency between content owners and content platforms.

The update of the function also aims to support the content ecosystem of WeChat and its commercial potentials. On November 9, 2017, WeChat released the 2017 data that the average monthly active public subscription account number was 3.5 million (in Chinese). The number is big but also disappointing: the total subscription account number is more than 25 million with an 800-million average monthly active users.

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email: runhuazhao@technode.com

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