Tencent officially released a new feature called WeChat Index on 23 March, 2017. WeChat Index is a tool that tracks trending keywords in 7, 30, and 90-day segments, which is very useful for those interested in knowing what 898 million users are talking about.
WeChat articles are not currently indexed by Baidu or Google. WeChat content can only be searched on Sogou.com, a much less popular search engine in China compared to baidu.com. In contrast to Weibo, WeChat never opens the data source, which is why most third-party tracking systems can only provide estimated views and fan counts for market reference.
So while the search capabilities are limited, knowing that the data vault is slowly opening is a good sign for brands and marketers. So how does this feature work, and how it can be used by marketers?
How to find it:
WeChat does not provide an independent search box or prominent menu for the index. Users have to first input WeChat Index (微信指数) in WeChat’s search bar. Then, the index link will appear as the first result.
How it works:
In this new feature, users can search any topic(s) to get the “WeChat Index” results. You can input a keyword and track its popularity on WeChat within the last 7, 30 and 90 days.
Why it is useful for marketers:
There is no doubt that WeChat has the largest social media user base in China. According to the latest Tencent 2016 financial report, monthly active users on WeChat had reached 898million by Q4 2016. The Index results are based on search volume, presence and shares on WeChat, which can help marketers to identify trends and also decide whether or not to incorporate them into social content.
It is predicted that WeChat Index will overtake rival, Baidu, and become the most reliable indicator of trends in China because it is able to collect far more user behavior data. Marketers can look forward to seeing how this tool evolves.
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