What is Wechat Channels?
WeChat Channels is a new feature launched inside WeChat APP in early 2020, finally allowing WeChat individual/official accounts to post short videos not only to their followers, but also to all other WeChat users.
With WeChat Channels, users can explore media accounts, videos from stars and bloggers, all from users that are not in their contacts. Based on the content preferences of users, WeChat Channels will push video content to users who might be interested in seeing that video. That means quality video contents and UGCs have better chance to be seen. This is quite different from the WeChat Moments feature, which only allows users to see posts from their WeChat friends.
What are the Advantages of WeChat Channels?
Imbedded in WeChat APP, Channels enjoys natural advantages in obtaining users. According to Tencent Q1-2020 Financial Report, the monthly active users (MAUs) of WeChat have surpassed 1.2 billion. It suggests that WeChat Channels could attract high amounts of traffic in its initial stages, and become a strong competitor against major short video APPs like Douyin (518 million MAU) and Kuaishou (443 million MAU)1 in the future.
Channels can be accessed directly inside the ‘Discover’ tab on WeChat, right below the Moments. Easy access to the feature guarantees considerable amount of daily active users (DAUs). Checking Channels every time they open the APP might become part of a WeChat user’s daily routine.
Channels is right below WeChat Moments
Can WeChat Channels Benefit Tourism Marketing?
The development of Channels feature facilitated the promotion of original video contents on WeChat. It offers an optimized and more user-friendly way for video display. Supported by other functions of WeChat, such as Top Stories (what your WeChat friends liked) and smart recommendation of contents from subscribed accounts, the short video contents could be promoted to both followers and non-followers.
Tourism boards, travel companies and KOLs who attach importance on content marketing are opening accounts in Channels. They all wish to catch the high dividend of the platform in early stage.
The short video posts of tourism boards in Channels are focusing on promoting beautiful sceneries and tourism information for consumers.
And the large OTAs, tailor-made tour operators and travel companies are majorly providing company updates, sales promotions and recommendations for travellers in their short videos.
In the meantime, the bosses/founders of travel companies also opened accounts in Channels to voice out for their own companies. The contents are mostly about sharing the stories of how they started their businesses, their experience in investment, job postings and etc.
There are many KOLs accounts in Channels as well. WeChat encourages and supports content producers with originality. But so far the contents produced by KOLs have not much worthy of a highlight.
In summary, Channels is born with a golden spoon as WeChat has opened up both public and private traffics for it. The Channels is a good platform for content marketing, thought the cost of its content development is higher. At this stage, integrated approaches like ‘Channels + Official Accounts’, ‘Channels + Mini Program’ and ‘Channels + Live Stream in Mini Program’ will do great for marketing.
And this is an opportunity should not be missed by travel industry. The game is on.