WeChat users welcomed the news with favourable enthusiasm
WeChat has banned external links that require users to “spam” content among friends to increase clicks.
The new rules could prove to be a blow to companies that rely on WeChat in an effort to acquire more customers. However, users of WeChat who responded to a Weibo post on the news have welcomed the change extremely favourably, stating that they are increasingly bombarded with unwanted spam messages.
The high cost for user acquisition is a serious sore point for Chinese Internet companies. The popularity of similar marketing functions based on WeChat, therefore, highlights the state of the app as the main source of traffic.
The Tencent app has updated four points in its guidelines
WeChat has updated four points in its guidelines on external links regarding social sharing features and user avatars which, according to what we learn, should start operating from October 28th.
WeChat has, therefore, banned posts that require users to republish or click to open a link within the post, to then benefit from a discount or participate in a marketing scheme.
Furthermore, another new rule prohibits companies from making unauthorized changes to user avatars and nicknames. Operations that require users to open another app or download a new app to obtain cash prizes, physical prizes and virtual prizes are also prohibited.
The update also extends its prohibition of fraudulent activity to include group purchase links, including lotteries or sales of goods with an obvious disparity in price and product value.
WeChat has also long been known for blocking external links to rival platforms
WeChat, the most popular social media app in China with over 1 billion active users, has long had a number of restrictions on external links, mainly with regards to the content or source of the link.
WeChat has also long been known for blocking external links to rivals such as Alibaba‘s Taobao e-commerce platform. Competitors, also for this reason, often criticize the company for “monopolizing behaviour”. The WeChat ban on audiovisual links, extended to May 2018, also sparked strong public protests.
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