WeChat is popular because it has a lot of features besides messaging. In China especially, the app has evolved to include things like mobile payments and finding a nearby taxi. It has also become a kind of reading app.
One way that’s happening is through WeChat’s ‘official’ accounts, which are being used by a wide array of brands, small companies, media, and even celebrities. They’re a bit like Facebook Pages. In the WeChat app there are ‘subscription accounts’ , so called because people are effectively subscribing to updates that appear in the form of messages. You can then click through to a mobile page that contains the full content (pictured below). So far, there are more than two million official accounts on WeChat, with a mix of subscription accounts and brand-oriented ‘service accounts’.
WeChat is working on an advertising service that will allow anyone with an official account to place ads in their content and make money from clicks. That will be especially useful for content creators and media outlets who want to make money from their WeChat subscription accounts. The self-serve ads are currently in testing by Tencent (HKG:0700), the maker of WeChat, and are a part of the company’s Guangdiantong ad platform.