WeChat just released its 6.7.0 version, and it just contains one update: The default view of subscription account has been changed from account list to content feed.

   

The WeChat official team has explained this: “To improve the reading efficiency.” And this is a huge impact for both users and operators.

There are up to two articles would be shown for one account in the feed. The rest is folded.

The unread count and red spot have been removed, instead, a star is placed on the sticked accounts.

Readers are more likely to consume

It has been awhile that people notice the user activation of subscription account is falling. One possible reason for this is readers have subscribed too many accounts over time, making readers unlikely click through from account list to consume the content.

With the new design, the content, instead of the account, is on the default view, and the newly published content is at the top. Readers are more likely to interact with the content as in most cases, text and images are more attractive than those changeless account names.

It is both an opportunity and a challenge for the operators of subscription accounts

  1. The headline, especially the image of the headline, becomes more important. The operators have less space to do a trial.

  1. The consumption rate and CTR of the articles after the 3rd position would drop dramatically, which brings an impact on the traffic and advertising value. However, the first two articles would benefit from this change.

  2. It requires the operators to adjust the publishing timing and frequency to get a better performance.

  3. Images and videos would gain more exposure than ever, which is definitely a good news for video creators.

  4. WeChat put “unfollow” button on a more visible position, which means the operators need to work harder on the content quality to maintain their subscribers.

  5. The usage of the menu bottom bar would drop too, as well as the interaction between users and operators. As an operator, content is the king.

Sum up

This change is a good move for the content. As a content generator, you can focus on creating quality content of various types, even your own IPs. For those operators whose updates are less often, or quality doesn’t meet the standard, the users might lose their patience. However, it remains to be seen the effects on the whole ecosystem, since the previous business model of WeChat subscription account has been changed. WeChat needs to offer features and policies to help operators form a new model.