WeChat announced on Monday (in Chinese) that tagging is now available for all advertisements in the social app’s News Feed-like Moments section.
Users can alert their WeChat friends in the comment section below individual ads by tapping an ‘@’ symbol followed by a friend’s name. Those tagged will receive a notification in Moments identical to that in normal posts or comments.
According to a post on WeChat’s ‘s ad helper official account, the function is now automatically available for all paid ads on Moments. Prior to the public release, some brands–including KFC in a Valentine’s Day campaign and Tencent itself–had already made use of the feature.
Ads on Moments were launched in 2015, and have slowly grown in function as well as accessibility for advertisers since then. In January 2017, an upgrade allowed brands to advertise in more interactive ways with multimedia-enabled ads. Due to WeChat’s wealth of user information, advertisers can also choose to target users based on their location, gender, age, industry, marital status, education level, and behavior, according to web agency WalktheChat.
On the whole, however, WeChat has been cautious to clutter up Moments’ social aspect with too much commercial activity. Compared to offerings like Facebook’s News Feed or Instagram, Moments hosts a relatively smaller proportion of branded ads. However, in part due to its ubiquity in both business and social life within China, WeChat’s Moments page has long been used by small-scale retailers for informal, social-powered advertising of various goods.