WeChat Subscription vs. Service Account

The two types of WeChat Official are different in many ways: access path, purpose, features, rules, etc… This comprehensive guide is aiming at giving enough information in order to choose between WeChat subscription Account vs. WeChat service Account.

1. 101: what are the different WeChat Official Account types? What are the differences? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each type?

There are 2 types of WeChat Official Accounts, which are relevant channels in an external marketing strategy:

  • WeChat Subscription Account / 订阅号
  • WeChat Service Account / 服务号

What is WeChat Subscription Account / 订阅号 ?

subscription account wechat features

Content centric consumer activation and interaction. Limited features, but best content reach

  • 1 push articles per day
  • No push notifications to users, only a red dot beside the thumbnail
  • Piling up in “subscription ghetto”
  • Content is searchable on Sogou search engine (搜狗)
  • Original content can be certified and re-shared by other accounts with mention to the original publisher.
  • Revenue from reader “tips” and display ads on articles
  • Only frequently read account appear on the top of Subscription screen.
  • It works for individuals and companies alike.

What is WeChat Service Account / 服务号 ?

service account wechat capabilities features
  • 4 push articles per month (up to 8 eight articles each time)
  • Push notifications send to users as regular chats
  • Appears as how regular friend chats display
  • Content not searchable on Sogou search engine (搜狗)
  • There are more API and JS-SDK access that gives more flexibility to customized development. Eg.: native eCommerce features (shops, coupons and loyalty programs), WeChat login, WeChat payment, QR code tracking, follower input processing, geo-localization.
  • The basic menu customizations are available to verified and unverified accounts alike.

To sum up the differences

The type of WeChat Official is defined based on the pre-defined goals behind the Public Account

WeChat Subscription AccountWeChat Service Account
PurposeRegular sharing of information and contentProvide a service or tool to customers
Access pathFrom the subscription folderDirectly from the chat feed
Push sending rulesCan push once per day with up to 8 articles in each pushEach user can receive 4 pushes per month with up to 8 articles in each push

Can send personalized content with the help of CRMs
Use caseProduce high-quality (for your audience) content to push on a high-frequency (daily) basis– push notifications to users (order information, booking information, etc.)
– after-sales services
– access to a tool to sell online

All in one place – essential guides to learn the basics

The following reports cover the following scenario:

Features availableSubscription AccountService Account
Unverified
Verified

In the project of opening a WeChat Public Account, verifying it unlocks additional features.

Some unlocked features when the account is verified:

Subscription AccountService Account
Custom menus
Menu interface
Survey cards
Voucher cards (creation and management of coupons, boarding passes, gift certificates, loyalty cards)
WeChat Advertising
Advanced API
Push notifications
Voice recognition
WeChat and 3rd party e-commerce
Survey cards
WeChat Advertising
Online and Offline QR code payments Customer service software for multiple agents
Hardware interface

Here the advanced developer tools when the Service public account is verified:

Further readings on the different WeChat OA types

2. Other types of WeChat Accounts that can open from the Official Account Platform / 微信公众平台

There are 2 other types of WeChat Official Accounts:

  • WeChat Enterprise Account / “WeChat Work” / 企业号
  • WeChat Mini Program Account / 微信小程序

What is a WeChat Enterprise Account / “WeChat Work” / 企业号 ?

entreprise account wechat capabilities features

Office automation system embedded in WeChat and limited access for internal use

  • No limit for push articles
  • Push notifications sent to the users as regular chat
  • Appears as how regular chats display
  • Other than API provided to the service account, there is more office-automation-related API access such as to clock in, and to issue fapiao.
  • It’s been gradually updated to a separate application named WeChat Work (but also allowed to connect with Wechat)

More information about WeChat Work here: + WeChat Enterprise account: an epic Guide

What is a WeChat Mini Program Account / 微信小程序 ?

Account to develop a WeChat Mini Program

3. FAQ to operate a WeChat Official Account

Can I switch from Subscription Official Account to Service Official Account?

YES – two ways:

1/ from WeChat Public Account backend: migration feature to change the type of the account

Requirements:
– Subscription Account registered in 2016 or later | account is verified
– WeChat Official Account registered with a Chinese business license/entity
Be careful: upgrading can only be done once

2/ Transfer followers to another WeChat Official Account

Source: WalktheChat

Do you need a Chinese company to accept payments over WeChat in mainland China?

Yes

Are the articles published by overseas WeChat Official Account be visible to all Chinese mainland WeChat users?

Yes from July 2018
The content posted by overseas WeChat Official Account were not accessible to the Chinese mainland.

Learn more about the difference between a LOCAL and OVERSEAS WeChat Official Account here

Updated on 2020-07-06

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