WeChat Video Channels to share revenue with creators

Tencent, parent of the super messaging app WeChat has unveiled a series of measures at a public event on 28 March in an attempt to protect and encourage original content creators on its Video Channels. This includes a brand-new revenue-sharing scheme and paid subscription feature for high-quality content creators, as per the official announcement.

Creators, whose content has been declared original, can enjoy benefits including comment ads revenue sharing, platform protection for original content, and priority recommendations. Creators will also be able to set up a paid content section, where followers will pay a monthly subscription fee to become a member and consume content, therefore, diversifying the avenue of monetisation for content creators.

The “Personal business card” of individuals’ Video Channels accounts is also set to be revamped to integrate the display of long audio and text-and-image content on top of existing features including the Video Channel homepage, products, videos, and livestream. This would allow a richer and more personalised presentation of a creator’s profile, increasing their online visibility.

In addition, it also incorporated a new feature known as “Ask questions” into the in-app “Search”. Bearing a resemblance to Zhihu, the Chinese Quora-like knowledge-sharing platform, the upgrade would allow creators to view questions most frequently asked by users and choose the ones they are interested in answering. Quality responses will enjoy priority display when a further search of the relevant question is conducted while users can like, share and follow involved creators.

Considering the number of monthly active users (MAUs) visiting the Search feature reached 800 million as of 2022, a 54% year-on-year increase, the new function would further the online exposure for content creators while also enhancing the interaction between creators and ordinary users.

The latest efforts show the crucial status Video Channels holds for WeChat, which was described as “the hope of the company” by CEO Pony Ma in a speech last year. The video arm saw online sales generated by its livestream surge by 800% in 2022 and an almost three-fold yearly increase in content creators who had achieved monetisation, according to Zhang Xiaochao, head of WeChat Channels. 

While the already large group of MAUs continued to grow into 1.3 billion (up 3.5% year-on-year), the time users spend on Video Channels has increased by three-fold, or 1.2 times longer than that spent on the basic feature Moments (a post-sharing feature known as “Friends’ Circle” in China), as per Liu Zhiping, former executive director at Tencent. In light of the progress, Video Channels is expected to produce an estimated revenue of 24 billion RMB by 2024 as per predictions from Zheshang Securities. And the latest endeavour will only accelerate the prospect.


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