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CHINA BRIEF | WeChat tests Q&A section in public accounts to encourage interaction

WeChat’s comment section was taken down in 2018 after a request by authorities.

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Tencent’s (HKSE: 0700) super app WeChat is testing an embedded Q&A feature for public accounts since August 18, in a bid to revive the content platform. The feature will allow account operators to ask questions and readers to answer, as an alternative to the disabled comment function.

Specifically, public account creators can insert a Q&A section within the article, with a question not longer than 40 words, inviting readers to reply. Creators can also sort, pin, and react to the responses.

The new Q&A feature could fill the void left by the takedown of the comment section. In March of 2018, Tencent disabled the section for new official accounts “upon the request of authorities in charge.” And it never came back, largely reducing the interaction between creators and followers.

As more netizens feel attracted by catchy and easily digestible videos on Douyin and Kuaishou, WeChat is widely expected to refresh its content ecosystem. WeChat is still the dominant social app in China with a userbase of 1.2 billion, up 6.5% year-on-year in the second quarter.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.