The video account is not yet “adult”

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Text/Wen Yehao

Source/Photon Planet (ID:TMTweb)

In the past year, in Tencent’s business map, the strategic position of the video account has improved visible to the naked eye.

In the 2023 WeChat Open Class PRO, the video account, as Tencent’s “hope of the audience”, occupies the absolute C position. As far as the information disclosed in the WeChat open class is concerned, in 2022, its short video, live broadcast, GMV with goods and other data have all achieved soaring growth.

However, considering the limited base of video accounts’ “attacks” from zero to one in all aspects in the past year, the persuasiveness of the year-on-year growth at the data level is inevitably limited.

On the other hand, although the video account backed by WeChat has drawn a lot of traffic, its slightly fragile content ecology is not enough to allow it to accumulate this part of the traffic and undertake the important task of monetization.

Based on this, at the moment when the short video battle is becoming more intense, if the video account wants to fully exert its strength, it will still go through many tests.

The flow still needs to settle

For video accounts, the importance of traffic goes without saying. In the past year, video accounts seem to have done a good job in mining traffic.

According to the team of the video account, its total user usage time in 2022 has exceeded 80% of Moments, and multiple data such as the number of daily active creators and the average daily video upload volume have increased by more than 100% year-on-year, and the data is performing well.

However, the multiple growth of relevant data does not necessarily reflect its true appearance. After all, the most indispensable thing for a video account aggregated on WeChat is traffic.

Tencent’s financial report shows that WeChat, as one of the most successful mobile Internet products with the highest barriers, has a monthly activity of 1.309 billion in the third quarter of 2022, covering almost all domestic Internet users. As a short video platform integrated in the WeChat App, the video account can continue to earn traffic from WeChat as long as Tencent is willing.

Take the “customized red envelope cover” as an example, which once played a key role in the promotion of corporate WeChat. After the video account was launched, WeChat quickly introduced new regulations: In addition to corporate customers, individual users who have opened a video account and have more than 100 fans can also customize the red envelope cover.

With the improvement of the strategic significance of the video account, WeChat not only connects the video account with the videos of more than 30 seconds in the circle of friends, but also continuously expands the boundaries, and integrates with mature sectors such as corporate WeChat, small programs, and subscription accounts to increase the display space. In this context, if WeChat users don’t pay attention, they will be absorbed by the video account as so-called users and counted as monthly active users.

Based on this, the video account standing on the shoulders of giants can achieve a data counterattack in a short period of time. According to the data disclosed by the media at the end of last year, the monthly activity of the current video account has reached 800 million. In terms of data alone, it has already surpassed the veteran short video players such as Doukuai.

However, although WeChat continues to attract traffic to video accounts, it is difficult to cultivate users’ content consumption habits for video accounts. I don’t know, I only know that there are a lot of video content in WeChat now.

In other words, even though the monthly activity of the video account is already at the top level in the industry, compared with Douyin, Kuaishou, and even station B that has entered the vertical screen video, there is still a multiple-level gap in the user’s usage time. And this will directly affect commercial realization scenarios such as information flow advertisements.

But teaching WeChat users how to use video numbers is easier said than done.

From the user’s point of view, after years of development, most of the existing Doukuai B users have accumulated a “bill” in line with their content consumption preferences on their respective platforms, whether it is a dedicated account or personalized algorithm recommendations. assets”.

In contrast, the video account is more like a “whiteboard”, and the cost of user migration is not low. “If you have Douyin/Kuaishou, why do you still need to use video accounts?” has also become a “question from heaven” in the process of breaking the circle of video accounts.

Similar logic is also reflected at the level of content creators.

A simple example, after Bilibili launched the vertical screen video section, many content creators who originally focused on shaking quickly began to distribute videos to Bilibili. In the process, a lot of content is actually mixed with the “benefits” of creators to users.

It’s just that the final “place” of activities such as attention and comment lottery is often shaken fast-even for videos posted on station B, the creators will guide fans to Douyin to participate in the event in the comment area. And the video account, to some extent, is also in the situation of station B.

An insider of the short video MCN organization told Photon Planet, “Although we have a few big V accounts that continue to post video accounts, the content is basically moved from Douyin, and there is no differentiated operation. Some of the trumpets have stopped.”

This means that whether it is a user who already has the habit of consuming short video content or a mature content creator, platforms such as Doukuai have been regarded as “base camps”. In contrast, station B and video accounts are more like channels for seeking growth.

It is impossible for Tencent not to see this layer of logic. One of the key points of the live broadcast of the concert re-launched by the video account in 2022 is to cultivate the habit of WeChat users using the video account.

From the perspective of data and communication effects, online concerts are indeed a good attempt to educate users. The premise is that they must be able to compete with Douyin. He also spent a lot of money on this year’s World Cup, “anti-general”. Therefore, as far as video accounts are concerned, how to accumulate the huge amount of traffic provided by WeChat will still be a problem.

Objectively speaking, video accounts also have their own advantages, such as the social relationship chain of WeChat. It can be said that compared to Doukuai B, which has a weaker relationship chain, if the video account based on WeChat really converts users, it will be difficult for it to migrate to other content platforms.

However, user conversion and migration often depend on the quality of content, and the content ecology of video accounts at the current stage seems to be immature enough to undertake the heavy responsibility of monetization.

The content ecology needs to be completed

Although Tencent’s products have always been its advantage, in terms of content quality, the video account can be said to be “reckless”.

When the video account was launched, it was filled with a lot of low-quality and reposted content, as if the group of people who stalked Weishi wool had found a new project. Although in the WeChat public class, the video account team admitted frankly that it has screened out a large amount of reposted content through various means, in terms of content, the video account after management still seems a bit “messy”.

A simple example: the user tried to scroll down while watching the live broadcast of the WeChat public class – one second ago, I might still be watching the Hong Kong Web3 Innovators Summit, and the next second, I came to the Kuaishou Jianghu atmosphere. PK live room. The video account of “Hai Na Bai Chuan” seems to be a little immature in terms of content distribution.

On the other hand, the “information” core of the current video account content is not conducive to increasing the user’s usage time.

Take a content creator who focuses on “face value” as an example. According to the observation of Photon Planet, his past works are mainly biased towards the mode of Douyin’s “Looking at Miss Sister”. Perhaps it is because the video account is too strongly bound to the social ecology of WeChat, which makes users “converge”. These contents that are extremely popular on Douyin have a slightly bleak data on the video account, with the number of likes and reposts staying at three. about digits.

But what is quite strange is that when the creator added subtitles and fabricated interviews to the same content, and packaged it as “false information” directed and acted by himself, it quickly became popular on the video account, and all the data soared. , from hundreds to tens of thousands. It also seems to have found the “traffic password” on the video account, and recently the content has been switched to “pseudo-information”.

In addition, when the “personalized content recommendation” of the video account is turned off, the video account also reveals the most authentic side, that is, a large number of ordinary users record the long-tail content of life casually.

As mentioned above, a considerable number of users do not regard the video account as a content platform, but a “tool” for posting videos of more than 30 seconds in Moments. Therefore, you can not only get a video of a peddler buying chicken feet in the morning after picking out the bones, with the text “open for sale”, but also get a record of a mobile phone dealer going out to deliver orders, and at the same time say “old iron You can find me when you buy a second-hand mobile phone.”

Although the content of these records of life can be summarized into the category of “presence” in this WeChat public class, the exchange of strong social interaction is that the content is bland.

It can be seen from this that, compared with the fast-moving that emphasizes “entertainment”, the content ecology of the current video account is more inclined to “information” with stronger information and tool attributes. However, if “information” is the core, users are likely to leave after reading it, and it is difficult to form a stable content support for long-tail content produced by a large number of ordinary users.

Based on this, for the current video account, if you want to increase the user time, you must focus on more “time-killing” “entertainment”. And this is exactly the logic of the current video account’s development.

In the WeChat public class, the video account team revealed that it will upgrade the “North Star Project”. In addition to providing traffic support for qualified high-quality creators, it will also launch special incentive plans for key vertical categories such as music, funny, games, and plots. Obviously, the video account is trying to deeply match users with vertical content to improve user stickiness and content distribution capabilities.

However, the content ecology always needs to be “raised”, and there is no rush. If you act too hastily, the traffic bonus is likely to be divided by those “eye-catching” low-quality content, and bad money will drive out good money, which will damage the content ecology. Therefore, finding a video account in the right direction may require more efforts at the content operation level.


In addition to realizing its own short video dream, Tencent has another expectation for the video account, which is to graft e-commerce through the video account. According to Ma Huateng, it is “hoping to be closer to the transaction and do a good job in closing the loop of e-commerce.”

It is a pity that content e-commerce has high requirements for user stickiness, which is closely related to the content ecology of the aforementioned video account. Although it is supplementing the content, at this stage, the real high-stick users of the video account are still the middle-aged and elderly users who have not been shaken fast and “take it as their own” at station B.

A newcomer to the live broadcast of the video account once made such a joke: when the video account first started broadcasting, he still retained the habit of live streaming on Douyin, shouting “babies in the live broadcast room…” in the live broadcast room. As everyone knows, as soon as this remark came out, many viewers spoke one after another: “People who are already in their fifties or sixties are no longer babies.”

According to the above-mentioned MCN source, although the traffic of the video account is large, the ROI also fluctuates greatly. There seems to be a problem with the algorithm, and it is difficult to accurately acquire customers. In addition, the video account has high requirements for product selection, and the high-volume cost-effective products are not flattering. Some low-cost products aimed at middle-aged and elderly users are selling well.

This remark may not be groundless. Data from WeChat’s public class shows that the unit price of a video account’s live-streamed goods exceeds 200 yuan, and users in high-tier cities account for more than 60% of the user portraits, and female users account for 80%—a lot of data has been disclosed. Only the age level is weakened. But even so, Shunzi Shuocha, one of its live streaming cases, is a blogger who focuses on famous tea, tangerine peel and other fields, and the age structure of users is self-evident.

In other words, although the “middle age” of video accounts can bring certain opportunities to merchants in some fields, not all merchants can enjoy this wave of dividends. Although the logic of traffic trading and running ROI is narrow, it is an extremely effective way for many small-scale live e-commerce teams.

Therefore, if Tencent wants to graft e-commerce through the video account, in addition to supplementing the “infrastructure” such as streaming tools, the core is still to reverse the current content consumption of the video account, upgrading from “short videos with WeChat as the core” to “short videos based on WeChat”. A diversified content community with short video as the core.” Before taking off, the video number may need to find a clearer landing direction.

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