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China’s WeChat Introduces a Tip Button to Reward Writers

Writers using WeChat can now earn tips from their readers. The online publisher, which has 600 million monthly users in China and abroad, has announced that it will introduce micropayments in the form of a ‘praise’ button as a way to reward writers who use ‘official accounts’ by piece.

Tencent’s messaging app, known as Weixin in China, amassed 300 million users in only 3 years – half the time it took Facebook (2004–2009) and Twitter (2006–2011). Tencent CEO Pony Ma revealed that WeChat was on the verge of monetising the messaging platform with micropayment options in March 2013.

Users will now be able to reward authors by choosing to donate between 5 yuan (less than $1) and 200 yuan (about $30) using WeChat Payments, the company’s Paypal-esque mobile wallet app. Andrew Schorr, CEO of WeChat platform provider startup Grata, says that the publisher’s near-monopoly on mobile messaging in China has put it in the best position to try the scheme.

The service has already tested allowing users to exchange small amounts of cash to groups of strangers, and it’s now being extended to a ‘praise’ button – basically a ‘Like’ button with cash attached. The feature is still in beta-testing and remains geared towards hobbyist writers, but Schorr says that it’s possible the micropayment system could have a big impact on the media industry.

WeChat has been a platform for self-made media stars throughout China, like Luo Zhenyu, who posts 60-second clips and earns money from his 19,700 followers by directing them to an e-commerce page which sells books.


Aaron Waterhouse

Aaron is a recent English graduate from Durham University who is now working as a content writer intern. An enthusiastic traveller, he hopes to become a journalist and report from around the world. Follow him @AaronAtSMF.

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China’s WeChat Introduces a Tip Button to Reward Writers Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 Rating: 5

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