Editor’s note: This article is from the micro-channel public number “Operations Research Society” (ID: U_quan), Author: Chen Weixian, 36 krypton release authorized.Yesterday afternoon, WeChat launched the “WeChat public account paid reading” feature. After reading the article, you need to pay to continue reading.This function is currently in the gray-scale testing stage. Individual accounts (non-enterprise, government, etc.) that meet the conditions may be enabled for payment.The opening of this function is tantamount to an earthquake in the new media circle.Some people mourn: No one pays, no one sees it, and I still want to pay to let others watch someone sing: how will the piracy problem of the title party “cut leek” be solved?It will be issued after theft, and the thief will be realized quickly. Some people think it ’s more frugal: It seems that serial novels are more suitable, and other types are difficult to use. However, many colleagues have expressed optimism about this feature, and also gave optimization suggestions: very goodIt will filter out many careless public accounts, and save readers a lot of time and knowledge payment, which is conducive to high-quality support output. It is best to increase the scoring function to avoid the title party ’s eloquent editors.The opinions of the users are more unified-do n’t you charge for it, and we do n’t watch the charge: So, is this feature really like everyone said, can it benefit the content creators?Public account pays to read, what does it look like?According to the official WeChat announcement, only some personal subscription numbers are currently open for grayscale testing, so we have no way to try something new.However, I still found a few articles that have been paid for reading, and personally tried the experience of “paid for money” and watching public tweets.Now I will take you to see what paid articles look like.First, there is a clear paid logo next to the title of a paid tweet.After opening the picture and text, the article will be exposed at a certain proportion, let everyone try a paragraph first, and then decide whether to pay for the purchase.According to the official announcement, operators can set trial reading ratios themselves in the background.However, the payment amount cannot be customized. It can only be selected from the official setting of “0-208 yuan, 35 price ranges”.For example, I read two paid articles, one of which is 14% for trial reading, and the full text is 1 yuan, the other is for 19% for trial reading, and 3 yuan is for full text.Then I paid to read one and found some interesting little details.Whether you pay or not, you ca n’t see the reading volume. For example, I paid for this article. Before paying, I can see that there are 4747 people paying and 875 people are watching. There is no reading.After payment, you can only see the payment and the number of people watching, but no reading.You can leave a message to pay, but anyone can like it. When the user does not pay, they cannot leave a message. The “write message” mouth below the article will be hidden directly.Only after the user has paid the money can leave a message under the article.Left: Not paid Right: Although users who have not paid can not leave a message, they can see all the messages, and everyone can like it whether they pay or not.But if I can see the messages of paid users, can those who haven’t paid can click like?This user message successfully aroused my interest, tried it, and found that I can really like it.(Inexplicable feeling of being cheated and praised) PS. Inexplicable feeling of being cheated and praised There is no paid logo on the shared link of paid articles. Although paid articles have obvious paid logos when they are pushed, they are not shared when they are shared.No tips.For example, I shared two articles with friends, the first one was a paid article, and the second was not a paid article.But there is no difference between the two sharing links. Only when a friend opens the article can they find that it is a paid article.At the same time, when sharing the article in the circle of friends and taking a look, the paid logo will not appear.Above: Circle of friends Below: Take a look at the paid reading function, who can benefit from it?The payment function of this grayscale test is presumed that the WeChat team has considered it carefully. After all, Ma Huateng promised to do this function 3 years ago.So the question is, who is this feature good for?Who can benefit from it?From the perspective of users, creators, and platforms, we find that this is far from simple.Is it good for users to pay for articles?As a user, we can imagine that you are willing to pay for the public account?Which numbers are you willing to pay for?Probably most of the users answered that they are unwilling to get the answer.For this part of the user, they don’t care if this feature is good for us.If your answer is yes, I am willing to pay for content that appeals to me.Maybe you will see more exciting headlines and more exciting beginnings.Because the current platform has no way to guarantee that the user paid content is of high quality, and there is no corresponding mechanism.If the quality of paid content does not improve, over time, users’ willingness to pay will be diluted.If your answer is yes, I am willing to pay for the public number I like.So how many times have you volunteered for these numbers?Let readers pay, creator spring is here?For readers, paid reading is not a good thing, so is this good news for content creators?After careful analysis, I found that this was not the case.We divide the creator of the public account into two parts, one is the head account (the average reading is more than 1w, the proportion is less than 10%, the data source is new list), and the other is the middle tail account.① For head account First, for head account, the existing monetization method is definitely better than paid reading.We can analyze this problem by comparing the “single reading benefit”.At present, there are two main ways to monetize the public account, either to promote (advertising) for others, or to promote themselves.If you help others to promote, as far as I know, the current quotations for advertising in the industry are basically more than 1 yuan / read, that is, accounts with an average reading of 20,000, and at least 20,000 of advertising revenue per article.The operating agencies do more to promote themselves, transform our courses, knowledge surroundings, year-end parties and so on.Earlier we also calculated the income that each reading volume can bring, except for the year-end party, which is basically more than 1 yuan.Let’s figure out how much income each reading can generate if it is paid to read.For an article with a reading volume of 20,000, 2k can be converted into paid reading. It is also good, and the average content user is willing to pay 1 yuan, the higher the conversion rate, the lower.In other words, the income of 20,000 reading articles is about 2,000 yuan, and each reading is only 0.1 yuan.what is this concept?Not even the cost of our creators.Routine editorial department costs about 3-4k per article.So, now that I can survive and become the account of the head, basically there are already better ways to monetize. If not, I would have been “starved” to death.In this age of valuable traffic, doing paid reading is simply too wasteful.② For the mid-tail account, let ’s take a look at the mid-tail account. Does everyone’s pain point make no money?At the bottom of yesterday’s new list, the most highly praised messages are these two: I do n’t charge, and no one sees the charge?I ca n’t wait to pay for others to see. The problem for these creators is that no one sees the content at all, not making no money.Why are many middle and long tail creators running to headlines, vibrato, and quick hands?It is because these platforms can help everyone solve the problem of traffic through a decentralized distribution method.There are many friends in the circle of friends, and the number of readings on the public account is over 1,000, but even heading to 10w +, they will find themselves valuable.For most creators, the first starting point for making content is not to make money, but to reap the interest of being followed and read.In summary, the paid readers ca n’t solve the problems of monetization or traffic currently facing creators.So what does paid reading bring to content creators?I racked my brains and thought of one.For example, our very hardcore guests share content, which is used to sell itself. You can use the paid function to sell it for 9.9 yuan, and then tell everyone to pack it for only 29.9 yuan.Paid reading can be used as a price anchor to transform this paid knowledge.What are the benefits of launching a paid platform?Finally, let ’s take a look, what benefits does this thing have for the platform itself?For the platform, the most valuable are the author and the client.On the one hand, the platform wants to retain a high-quality creative end, and desperately wants high-quality creators and high-quality content to benefit.On the other hand, the platform wants more users to stay because of premium content.Through our previous analysis, we found that for creators, the platform cannot solve their monetization and traffic problems, so there is no way to benefit high-quality creators and content; for users, the platform cannot guarantee that the paid content is high enough, The assumption of retaining users with premium content doesn’t hold.In addition, WeChat public account is an advantage for social content distribution, and paying does not solve the problem of social recommendation.What does that mean?Judging from previous WeChat actions, such as vigorously promoting and taking a look, it is hoped that more users will see the content recommended by friends.But with paid features, it can’t bring more people to pay.(We may not watch the content that friends are willing to pay for.) Furthermore, the platform may have some inevitable problems.For example, although paid articles cannot be copied, they can be screenshots of pirated copies.There are even users who have discovered “grey production” business opportunities.Perhaps, the WeChat platform will be further revised and upgraded based on the problems exposed by the test.The conclusion After so much research, in fact, it is obvious that this function is not good for anyone.Seeing this, some friends may have questions. Can you think of Zhang Xiaolong about these?Why did he do this?We have also tried to get the answer from Zhang Xiaolong’s speech in the WeChat open class the other day. Maybe this is a benefit for high-quality mid-tail creators. Want to “make everyone a creator”?But through the analysis above, you will find that what these mid-tail creators currently need most is not “monetization” but “focus”.If you want to motivate them, it’s better to replace this function with “half reading needs attention”, which is what Weibo does now.Therefore, we can only make a guess. This paid function may be related to the “short content” mentioned by Zhang Xiaolong last time.Let us wait and see..