WeChat launched Search and Top Stories sections in the updated WeChat iOS 6.5.8. These two sections are not yet available for Android smartphone users.
The search results include articles from WeChat Official Accounts and WeChat Moments. However, some keywords could trigger “Current Events” category, which includes external news sources. According to WeChat, these external news sources are articles shared on WeChat.
Tencent set up a search application department under WeChat Business Unit last month. This new feature is the latest outcome. And, that’s not all. WeChat users can also now search the conversations inside the chats and filter by dates, images and video, file, URL, music, and group members.
This is a very useful feature as many users share files, images, and URLs with each other on WeChat, which can be more easily accessed with this new feature. The bad news is that it’s right now only available on the recently updated WeChat iOS version.
WeChat Top Stories is a section for personalized article recommendations. The algorithm includes factors such as followed Official Accounts, friends’ sharing in Moments, geographic locations, content quality, user experience, and etc.
Both Search and Top Stories are not really new features but an indication of the importance of search and content on WeChat. WeChat Search is not ready to take on Baidu in China’s mobile search market. But, it shows more potential what WeChat could bring to Tencent’s revenue growth in the future with its 938 million MAU and developing AI technologies.