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 ?
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 ?
- 4 push articles per month (up to 8 eight articles each time)
- Push notifications send to
usersas 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 Account||WeChat Service Account|
|Purpose||Regular sharing of information and content||Provide a service or tool to customers|
|Access path||From the subscription folder||Directly from the chat feed|
|Push sending rules||Can push once per day with up to 8 articles in each push||Each 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 case||Produce 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 available||Subscription Account||Service Account|
In the project of opening a WeChat Public Account, verifying it unlocks additional features.
Some unlocked features when the account is verified:
|Subscription Account||Service Account|
|Custom menus |
Voucher cards (creation and management of coupons, boarding passes, gift certificates, loyalty cards)
WeChat and 3rd party e-commerce
Online and Offline QR code payments Customer service software for multiple agents
Here the advanced developer tools when the Service public account is verified:
Further readings on the different WeChat OA types
- WeChat Official Account Platform | January 2017 [Grata]
- WeChat: the difference between Subscription and Service brand accounts | August 2014 [eConsultancy]
- Infographic | What are the differences between WeChat’s Service and Subscription Accounts? | April 2014 [Grata]
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WeChat for Business | 2018 [Dragon Social]
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 ?
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
YES – two ways:
1/ from WeChat Public Account backend: migration feature to change the type of the account
– 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
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