【WeChat Features】How to Open a WeChat Official Account?

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WeChat has reached a global user base of 1.26 billion, with 77% of internet users in mainland China using WeChat. Since its launch in 2011, WeChat has evolved from a simple communication tool to a multifunctional platform, offering features such as messaging, video calls, payments, food delivery, hotel reservations, taxi services, gaming, and information browsing.

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In the past, the international version of WeChat was not interoperable with the mainland China version. However, in a 2019 update, these two platforms became connected, allowing information exchange between WeChat public accounts and official accounts, making it easier for Hong Kong businesses to enter the Chinese market through WeChat.

What is the WeChat Public Platform?

The WeChat Public Platform includes Subscription Accounts, Service Accounts, WeCom (WeChat Enterprise), and Mini Programs. WeChat Official Accounts, similar to Facebook Fan Pages, are used for brand promotion. There are two types of WeChat Official Accounts: Subscription Accounts and Service Accounts. 

Enterprise WeChat is designed for internal corporate use, streamlining communication and management within organizations. Mini Programs are embedded within the WeChat app, allowing businesses to offer various functionalities without the need for users to download additional apps.

Functions of WeChat Official Accounts

WeChat Official Accounts offer robust functionalities, including message management, mass messaging, user management, data analysis, voting systems, membership systems, automatic replies, and integration with third-party applications.

Subscription Account

Subscription Accounts can be used by both businesses and individuals. They can send one message per day, with a maximum of 10 articles. Users can interact with Subscription Accounts by sending messages and setting up automatic replies.

Service Account

Service Accounts are more focused on providing services to users. They can send up to four messages per month and are suitable for businesses like banks, food delivery platforms, and ticketing services. Service Account messages appear directly in user chat lists.

WeChat Enterprise

WeChat Enterprise is dedicated to internal corporate use, similar to Slack. It offers practical features such as attendance tracking, video conferencing, and a shared file system.

Mini Program

Mini Programs are embedded within the WeChat app, allowing businesses to provide various functionalities such as shopping, payments, reading, and gaming without the need for users to download additional apps.

Reading Aloud Feature

Through practical verification, we have observed that WeChat has introduced a new feature for its Official Accounts called “Reading Aloud.” This feature holds significant practical value for users who prefer not to engage in the laborious task of reading lengthy articles. It proves to be particularly useful in scenarios such as driving, commuting, or even before bedtime.

The operation of this feature is quite simple. Users only need to locate an article within a WeChat Official Account, click on the “…” button in the upper right corner, and then select “Reading Aloud” to enter the playback interface. The playback interface offers several practical functionalities, including rewinding by 15 seconds, fast-forwarding by 30 seconds, adjusting playback speed (ranging from 0.75x to 2.0x), adding to favorites, and sharing. If users are unable to listen at the moment, they can add the article to the “Listen Later” list. Later, they can find the audio in the “Recently Played” section on the WeChat interface for listening.


Upgrade on Official Account Image Messages

WeChat has upgraded the way image messages are displayed. Users can now swipe left or right to view nine images on mobile devices. The computer version does not support this left-right swipe feature. Titles and text content accompany each image, and interactive features are available in the lower-left corner for user engagement.


Subscription Account Display Redesign

The latest version of Subscription Account graphic text messages has been upgraded with new features. Users can now add more short content to each message, upload up to nine images with a 3:4 aspect ratio, and increase the character limit from 140 to 1000. Users can also add titles to messages, but the ability to mark original information or add authors is no longer supported.


Official Account Article Recommendation Redesign

After reading an article, users are recommended three related articles, usually from non-subscribed accounts. Users can find these recommendations under “Read” after viewing subscribed account articles. This change increases the visibility of Public Account articles in the open domain.


How to Apply for a WeChat Official Account

To apply for a WeChat Official Account, a legal business registration in mainland China or Hong Kong is required. If not in mainland China, there are three methods to apply: establish a company in China, have a mainland Chinese branch apply, or receive an invitation from WeChat (limited to major brands).

1.Create a WeChat Official Account: Visit the WeChat Public Platform, click on “Register Now” in the top right corner.

2.Choose the corresponding account type based on business needs.

3.Create an account with an unregistered email and verify it.

4.Submit business information for verification, providing necessary data for overseas and mainland companies.

  1. Email verification and password
  2. Business Registration Location
  3. Company Details
  4. Administrator Details
  5. Enterprise Proof Documents
  6. Official Account Information

After submitting all required data, approval from a third-party audit organization is expected within 5-10 working days. Once approved, the Official Account will be officially activated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Differences between Service Account and Subscription Account

Subscription Accounts focus on information delivery, allowing one message per day, while Service Accounts emphasize service interaction, permitting four messages per month.

Which one is more suitable for my company?

Choose Subscription Accounts for simple information dissemination and Service Accounts for additional WeChat functionalities like WeChat Pay.

Considerations for setting up a Official Account name

  1. The Official Account name can be set between 4 and 30 characters (1 Chinese character counts as 2 characters).
  2. The Official Account name can consist of Chinese characters, numbers, English letters, spaces, and some special symbols. Spaces cannot be placed at the beginning or end, and consecutive spaces are not allowed.
  3. The name does not need to match the company/organization name, but the Official Account name must not duplicate with other account names.
  4. Currently, individual-type Official Accounts can change their names twice within a year, while corporate/media/government/other organizational accounts have one opportunity to resubmit the name during the WeChat verification process.
  5. If the name is not available, the page will display relevant prompts. Please pay attention to the page prompts.

Note: Special characters should be in English half-width format.

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Last Updated on 2024-01-24

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