Wechat is the most famous app in China, almost everyone has installed wechat app on their smart phone, even my mother. However, wechat is not just a chat app, it’s a real social platform for people to chat, share, and discuss. People can add others as friends by mobile number or scanning the QR code. Then they can start to chat with each other, or form a chatting group to discuss together, or share photos, states in the moment (a place to share information and see information shared by other friends), and leave comments on others sharing.

Wechat Official Account

Additionally, Wechat also provides another fancy feature for publishers, the Wechat official account, which allow you to publish articles and events. People who subscribe the official account will be notified. This provides a high efficient way for publishers to get fans and make business with their fans or old customers.

In Wechat official account, there is a backend to allow managers to upload images, audios, videos, and publish new articles. Wechat also provide a set of Restful APIs to do so. With these APIs, we can connect Wechat official publish functions with our existing backend system, for example, WordPress publish system. Basing on this scenario, I have made an insight on Wechat API and how it possible to integrate those API with WordPress system.

Publish Articles on Wechat Official Account with API

Wechat provides a very complete set of APIs for us to connect WordPress with it. One of the most usage is publishing an article on WordPress powered website, then the article will be synchronously published on Wechat official account.

It sounds like the sharing on Facebook or twitter. But the difference is that it will publish the whole article on Wechat, instead of just a snapshot of the article description. With Wechat API, it enables us to create a WordPress plugin. Here is the overview of the Wechat API.

Overview of Wechat API

Before we can use the Wechat API, we need to apply the Wechat official account first. In the admin backend, enable the API feature. Then we will get the APP ID, APP secret, APP token. These information will be used when we call the API in WordPress backend.

What Can We Do with Wechat API

According to Wechat development document, there are lots of features. After I checked all features, here I list the top 3 best features we can use with Wechat API:

Receiving Messages and Response

Wechat is a chat based app. All user interaction will be considered as sending or receiving messages. For example, when you subscribe the Wechat official account, the account will receive an event-based message “subscribe”. Regarding on the event/message name, the backend server can response this message programmatically, such as a welcome message with cover image, short description, and a link.

In the backend, we can response not only event based message, but also common message which is sent by users through the chat window. For example, users type in “help” in the chat window, and we can response them with a text, audio, video, or a link.

Publish Articles/Broadcast Interface

The Wechat official account also provides a broadcast interface which can send message to all subscribers. It can also be considered as “publish” an article in the Wechat official account. This will be considered as the best feature in Wechat official account, as we can use it to publish articles synchronously with our WordPress account.

Custom Defined Menu

Wechat also allow us to define menus for subscribers, instead of a common typing field. We can link the menu with an article, text-based message, image, audio, short video or a link.
I hope this article can give you a clear image on what Wechat official account is and how it can benefit the business. Your comments will be welcome.

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