Would you pay to read WeChat?

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Two weeks ago a reputable source with Tencent released the news that a paywall feature for WeChat official accounts was soon to be introduced. Along with improved user interface settings, these new changes will allow content providers to begin claiming revenue from their reader database via a pay-to-read mechanism, whilst being able to custom design their interface themselves.

This is great news for both WeChat official account writers and readers.  Amidst the era of information overload, mass information is no substitute for high-quality content and it seems that paying for reading will automatically filter to mass content.Under this mechanism, subscribers will now be able to purge false and unwanted content, gaining control over their reading choices to seek out high-end content putting personal choice to market.

But how far can this pay-to-read mechanism go?

According to a recent report released by IResearch, it showed that more than 50 percent of Chinese netizens had or were willing to pay for online content, growing from 30 percent recorded two years ago. As domestic netizens are becoming more vigilant in their search for high-quality, user-intuitive products, Tencent is capitalizing on their willingness to pay for valuable content. To meet this inevitable rise in demand for quality over quantity, it’s safe to assume content providers will have to regularly produce high-quality content in order to maintain growth. These features are not just tweaks in the business model, they will fast become conceptual changes in the process of content production.

From the overall point of view, paid reading is a new channel for WeChat official accounts to turn a profit. Technology and commerce are now changing both the way online content is produced and how we acquire knowledge. Based on the huge amount of WeChat users, once the paying-for-reading feature is introduced, it’s expected to generate considerable profits, which can encourage the creation of eye-catching content to enhance loyal readerships.

Are you ready for that?

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