WeChat Channels, the latest feature launched by WeChat in 2020, enables users to watch and share video content through the Channels on the Discover page.

WeChat Channels recently exceeded 200 million DAUs, but WeChat founder Allen Zhang said that this is just the beginning. Tencent has launched more than 10 short video applications in the past few years to try to occupy a part of the market share in this field, but it is not as expected under strong competitive pressure.

Unlike Tencent’s previous product, WeChat Channel is not an independent application but embedded in WeChat which is China’s largest social platform. It’s also seen as another challenge to TikTok, the Chinese version generally called Douyin.

Amid the development of its final version, WeChat Channel has these privileges prior to its official launch.

  1. The huge traffic brought by WeChat

WeChat has 1 billion users in China, so it successfully extends to mobile payment, internet finance, games, and other fields. As part of the WeChat system, it does not need to worry about where the traffic comes from and the huge number of users can also provide a good sharing network. Other than that, WeChat users are going to willingly accept this new feature.

2. Strong support from Tencent’s various resources

As a Chinese internet giant, Tencent has a strong influence in media, games, streaming media, and other fields. WeChatChannel can obtain better promotion resources through the platform of Tencent.

However, the challenges are there waiting for WeChatChannels.

  1. Over-dependence on social

WeChat’s extremely strong social attributes often make users ignore WeChat’s intention to expand in short videos. Especially in the situation that most users are already used to watching videos on Douyin and Kuaishou.

2. User experience and quality content

WeChat has a lot of high-quality content on its official account platform, but short video creation will have higher requirements than text creation. How to make a good short video is critical to the retention rate of users. In the early stage, Douyin created tremendous popular content through simple and easy editing apps, attracting a large number of users. At the same time, according to user feedback during the current beta period, some users feel that the WeChat Channel experience is not good enough. It seems that users also need more time to adapt to its existence.

It is too early to think of WeChat as a Douyin challenge. like the video feature on Facebook, it is just to serve the social application itself, and now there are more than 4 billion views that take place on Facebook every day. 200 million DAU does not mean that it can continue to grow enough to compete with Douyin. The new feature at this stage is more like perfecting WeChat’s ecology. Maybe this is the next big thing in WeChat in the future

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].