Zhang Xiaolong’s 2-hour live speech: Spoilers on WeChat’s new features, talk about video accounts, and talk about the value of WeChat

Some people know that I wrote on "Fanfou" before, "How many functions a product needs to be added to become a junk product". If I knew that we were going to be WeChat later, I would definitely not write this sentence. Now that I have written this sentence, I must be worthy of it. Now I want to say "how many functions a product needs to be added before it is not a junk product."

At the beginning, we will also invite some stars to our platform (video number). The star said that no signing fee would not come, and we would not come if we said no.

You can see that the video account looks very much like Weibo. Many people say that the video account is the focus of our company's strategy, but this is not the case. The focus of our company's short video strategy is still on Weishi.

Ten years ago (me) had a very simple idea. I didn't use QQ very much myself, and I needed a communication tool. If there are many people who need it like me, in fact, the purpose of the year was to write something and send me an e-mail.

We have already summed it up a long time ago. If the things made by WeChat are not optimistic at first, it means that this thing is still in play.

On January 19, on the "WeChat Night" of WeChat's Ten Years of WeChat Open Class Pro, Zhang Xiaolong used a video account to live broadcast a "product seminar" with users. On-site golden sentences frequently appeared. Zhang Xiaolong not only shared a lot of his thoughts on the product, but also "spoiled" many new features of the next version.

The following is a record of Zhang Xiaolong's speech:

Good evening, friends!

Thank you to the friends who came to the public class. It made me feel that this is a face-to-face communication, rather than a live broadcast alone facing the screen.

2020 is not an easy year for many people. Including our public classes, they have also been changed to online. Although in an open class a few years ago, I said that the open class should be opened online, and the efficiency is the highest, but I did not expect that it was forced to do it today because of the epidemic.

At this time last year, we did not expect that this time we had already broadcast live through the video account.

Because of the epidemic, many companies’ annual meetings have changed online, so at this time, my colleagues are working hard to add a capability to the live broadcast of the video account, that is, only the whitelisted people can enter the live broadcast in the live room. Some help for companies that hold annual meetings online.

Looking back ten years ago, the idea was very simple at the time. I didn't use QQ very much, and I needed a communication tool. If there are still many people who need it like me, the purpose of the year was to write something and send me an email to use it. The starting point is very simple, so I started to do so. But at the time, I never thought that WeChat would be what it is now in ten years. In this regard, I feel very lucky. I think I must be the one chosen by God, because I cannot do this with my own efforts.

Let me share a set of data, to this day, every day–

1.09 billion users opened WeChat and 330 million users made video calls;

780 million users entered Moments, 120 million users posted Moments, including 670 million photos and 100 million short videos;

360 million users read official account articles and 400 million users use mini programs;

There are many more, including WeChat Pay, Enterprise WeChat, WeChat Reading, Search, etc. I won’t talk about them one by one. Like WeChat Pay, it has become a daily necessities just like your previous wallet. And WeChat has really become "a way of life."

Today is an open class. There should be many creators participating. So, I also thank every creator of the WeChat platform, the creator of the official account, the mini program, and the video account. Because of your creation, the WeChat ecosystem is full of vitality.

Everyone knows that the video number has changed significantly this year. I also want to share some thoughts on the video number.

The origin of the video number

Maybe in 2017, I told the official account team that our official account is only suitable for a few people to write long articles, but most people cannot write articles. We should add a "non-circle of friends" below the circle of friends, and only post short texts or photos and videos.

But then it stopped. It was indeed a big project. Because the account system may be completely different, it is a completely new system that is more complicated than the official account.

With the passage of time, video-based expression has become a habit of ordinary people. Looking at a few data, in the last 5 years, the number of video messages sent by users per day has increased by 33 times, and the number of videos posted in Moments has increased by 10 times. At this time, when we think about short content, we will think that it should not be based on short text, but should be based on video content.

Video expression should be a theme in the content field of the next decade. Although we do not know that text or video represents the progress of human civilization, in terms of personal expression and consumption level, the era is moving towards video expression.

So in 2019, we organized a very small team and started to develop a product like "Video Number".

You can see that the video account looks very much like Weibo. Many people say that the video account is the focus of our company's strategy, but this is not the case. The focus of our company's short video strategy is still on Weishi. We didn't ask the company what resources the company wanted to do it, and we did it quietly without setting up a project at a company meeting. I think this is very WeChat style. Basically, when doing things on WeChat, we start with small teams instead of large-scale corps operations.

And I said, if we want to do it, we must make it bigger. This is not a task given by the company, because it is boring to complete the task, and the action will be deformed. It should be said that we have to give ourselves some challenging goals, otherwise the work will appear very boring.

After the release at that time, many media were not very optimistic. We said to ourselves, in fact, we have concluded it a long time ago. If the things made by WeChat were not very optimistic at the beginning, it means that this thing is still in play. If they are very optimistic, it may be troublesome . So, its origin is very simple, what kind of thing is it going back to the video number?

What is the video number?

Video number is a short content platform that everyone can create.

Therefore, it is a content platform in the public domain and cannot be created based on WeChat ID.

Therefore, the first problem encountered is the need for a new ID (identity). For a long time, the greatest value of WeChat is everyone's WeChat ID. For example, WeChat payment can be very smooth, because the wallet follows the personal ID, which is very natural. Just like you can now withdraw money only with your ID card. But this ID is in the communication and social fields, so it is private. Therefore, users of WeChat cannot speak openly to non-friends. Even if you comment, others cannot contact you. This is of course no problem in the social field. But for the public domain, a new identity is needed. In a product, assuming two identities is actually very challenging.

And this new ID must be particularly convenient, so as not to encounter identity conflicts in various scenarios. Therefore, if it is not handled well, the dual ID will make the system very complicated. For example, if you comment, you need to choose which ID to use to comment.

But the significance of this ID is particularly great. Once this step is taken, it means that WeChat is no longer limited to the social field, but into the field of public information.

Therefore, the meaning of the video number is not so much a video as it is a "number". Because there is a public account, it means that everyone has a public voice identity.

For example, the live broadcast is very smooth in the video account. Before the video account, we couldn't do live broadcasts. At most, we could live broadcast within the group, which still belongs to the category of group communication. But with the ID of the video number, everyone can quickly open their own live broadcast. Here, ID is the cornerstone. It can carry video content, can carry live broadcast, can carry small programs, etc.

I remember that there was a plan that everyone who entered the video account had to create a video ID, and use this ID to browse and comment on the content. I’m not right. The viewer should be a WeChat identity, and should not force everyone to open a new identity to read and comment. Fortunately, I chose such a path at the time, otherwise there would be no subsequent social recommendation system. In fact, product iteration is composed of countless such choices.

Another important meaning of ID is for institutions.

Everyone knows that every organization in the PC era has an official website. In fact, WeChat has been looking for an alternative to the "official website" in the PC era. When making an official account, we hope that the official account is the official website of an organization such as an enterprise. When making small programs, we hope that the small program is the official website. Now, we hope that the video number is the official website of each institution. This is reasonable, and the official website needs to evolve. Therefore, in the future, the video account will undertake many services of an organization, not limited to videos. For example, the services of an enterprise can be displayed under the video number through a small program.

So I joked that if one day we can see the QR code of the advertiser's video number under every billboard, it means that the video number has been made into the desired official website.

The first version actually just built such an ID system. It is similar to the official account, but the threshold is much lower than that of the official account, and ordinary WeChat users can activate it immediately.

In terms of content performance, it is just a simple information flow, mixed with the following, the anonymous likes of friends, and the content recommended by the system.

But this effect is not good. Because it is grayscale and the amount is not large, it does not attract a large number of creators to contribute content, so the recommended content is also average.

But even so, we still hope that the quality of recommendations can be better. We have set up three teams to do recommendation algorithms, each with a dozen engineers. I hope that each uses a different method to find the recommended optimal solution.

It should be said that our precipitation in the algorithm field should still be very deep. Behind Sou Yi Sou is a search technology team of hundreds of engineers. At the same time, the speech recognition and machine translation developed by ourselves are of the first-class level in China. By the way, some people from the outside have always said that our speech recognition uses third-party technology. In fact, we have never used a third-party, and we have always developed it ourselves. Now the voice recognition in WeChat translates more than 500 million voice entries every day.

Although the search team has very strong algorithm technicians, I still transfer them from the search team to the video account team to work. Because the small closed-loop team can iterate quickly.

The recommendation team worked very hard, but scrolling in the first few months was particularly difficult. It seemed to be deadlocked. The content was not good-looking and there was no pageviews, which resulted in no one contributing content, so the recommendation system could not push good content, and then it continued to be unsatisfactory. See the content.

In May, we made the most significant change in the video number. Because after a few months of grayscale, it shows that under the existing content, the recommendation based on the machine will not work. Comparing the content liked by friends, although the likes of friends were still anonymous at the time, compared with the content recommended by machines, I found that machine recommendations are far less exciting than those recommended by humans (or friends). In this case, social recommendations with real-name likes should be the mainstay, and machine recommendations should be supplemented.

The reason I gave at that time was that most of the books we read were recommended by people around, not books recommended by online bookstores. It would not be a pity that you missed the content recommended by a few machines, but it would be a pity that you missed the content that your friends are watching. This is the reason why the video account can be recommended by social media.

So the two most frequently changed weeks began in May, and a version was updated almost every two days. Then released a new gray version based on friends' likes, and finally saw the rising data, and the user retention was very high.

So the users of the June video account reached an order of magnitude. Numbers are actually not important, but for a content-based product, a certain level of users means that the problem of life and death is solved, that is, the flow of traffic is circulating.

This is a typical WeChat-style product approach, that is, through the product rather than the operation method, find the tipping point of things, and make things work through product capabilities.

This user base indicates that you have survived, and you can start to improve basic functions, such as live broadcast capabilities. If there is no life or death line, no matter how versatile it is, it is no use.

Here, social recommendation played a role. At that time, the proportion of machine recommendations was very small, and the retention was very low. We almost gave up machine recommendations. However, it does not mean that machine recommendations are useless, but that they can only be effective when the content is rich.

Insert a short story. In June, the new version of social recommendation was still under development. I wrote an assertion on the blackboard: one day in the future, the amount of video playback, attention, friend recommendation, and consumption ratio of machine recommendation. It should be 1:2:10. That is, a person should watch an average of 10 videos of interest, 20 videos liked by friends, and 100 videos recommended by the system.

It was explained like this at the time:

There are two types of content, one is knowledge information that you need to use your brain to understand, which is learning; the other is consumer information that does not require brain power to understand the comfort zone, which is entertainment. Friends like it means that friends force you to obtain knowledge information that you may not be interested in. It belongs to the learning category; machine recommendation is a system that allows you to browse your favorite consumer information comfortably and belongs to the entertainment category. There are two kinds of information in the attention.

Because you already know what you are concerned about, it is not too attractive, so it is 1. Although friends like it looks tired, but can't miss it, so it is 2. The system recommendation, in line with the lazy principle, is information that most people can consume more easily and get a sense of comfort, so it is 10.

But our current market data is not in this ratio. Now the overall VV (short for Video View, referring to the number of videos played) generated by friends’ likes is twice the recommended value of the machine.

So I asked the data colleague to make statistics and only look at the users who are concerned. At present, there are very few users who have followed and are active users, so it represents the behavior of future active users. The data from the previous few days is that the VV generated by the users who are following each other in three tabs per capita is almost 1:2:9. I was very surprised when I got this result. It is only a rough estimate. It does not mean that the forecast is particularly accurate. It is that our habit of doing things is that if we do this, we should first infer a result, and then use the data to verify it in order to check whether the direction is right.

I estimate that this 9 will become even bigger in the future. Because this is related to content richness.

Speaking of this, some people may say that when the machine recommends this 9 to become bigger and bigger, isn't it inconsistent with running out. It has nothing to do with the length of time, but with efficiency. We never pay attention to the length of time users stay in WeChat, that is not our goal. When a user wants to watch content, whether it is an article or a video, if he spends a lot of time watching it, it can only show that there is a lot of content worth watching in WeChat, instead of deliberately consuming his time.

What is video

Another problem was solved in the process, namely, what exactly is the video problem.

When it comes to video, everyone will think of the video files in the phone album. Just like Moments, you can only upload videos from albums. We did use this method to hope that the videos in the circle of friends are more of the videos taken by the users themselves.

But the video file will actually disappear.

Users who switch from Windows to Apple phones will encounter a problem, where the previous files and folders have gone. In iOS, there is no concept of files. The file is defined by each application. This is the application of the file, that is, the file cannot exist without the application. Once it is separated, there is no meaning and unexplainable data.

This is a good concept.

The original video is just data, it cannot be associated with other information, such as creator, number of viewers, comments, etc. It also needs to be stored locally, and data is lost if it is lost.

Therefore, the future video should be a kind of structured data. It exists in the cloud, has all the creator information, and the interactive information of the audience, which can be easily shared.

The value of content such as text and video is that someone sees it, that is, it is shared. And sharing, if you still need to copy the entire original data, it is very backward. Sharing should be just the delivery of a link.

This will make me reflect, will upload videos in Moments of Friends use this original method in the future?

So in June, we need to share the content of the video account to Moments. We encountered a problem. Should it look like a link or a local video? In fact, it is classified, it should be classified to an article link, or a video file. My answer is that cloud-based structured videos are videos. Local video files, on the contrary, are bare data, which should be eliminated. So the video of the video number in the circle of friends you see is no different from the current local video.

Here, the video number is the carrier of structured video content. I believe that in the future, more and more videos circulating in WeChat will exist in the form of video number videos, rather than video files.

This change has actually been reflected once in the official account system. The official account is a carrier of articles. It makes articles valuable because of sharing. In addition, the official account defines the presentation form of the article, so that all users can read and interact with a relatively consistent experience when reading different articles. In my opinion, this is a big experience improvement to the reading experience in the web era.

Whether it is an article or a video, the value of their existence lies in being seen by others, or being shared. Obviously, articles and videos need a carrier to spread.

If you can understand the value of the official account for article sharing, then you can use the same idea to understand the value of the video account for video sharing.

The meaning of the carrier is also reflected in the fact that we do not make content ourselves, nor will we buy content. We do not pay attention to what the specific content is. We only carry and deliver content.

Long and short videos

We also encountered a problem with more than one minute video. Naturally, people think that long videos and short videos are two things, so they should be designed as two different content objects.

There is a version in the middle that does have a special long video column for the video number, and even the comments and likes of the long video and the short video are separated.

But if you think about it carefully, you should not make this distinction in the WeChat system. The difference between long and short videos is only the consumption scene. Short videos are suitable for continuous consumption of fragmented time, while long videos are suitable for viewing for a long time.

For the video account, the way to simplify this problem is to regard the video within one minute as a short video, and the first minute of the video over one minute as the summary or introduction of the video. I call it the cover. In this case, the video number does not distinguish between long videos and short videos, but it is compatible with the experience of short videos.

Regarding long videos, I hope that the video account will gradually accumulate more and more long videos and become a cloud warehouse for long videos. One day in the future, maybe we will provide a search or recommendation portal so that users can find rich and long video content.

This is actually very imaginative in the future.

The relationship between the video number and the individual

The original intention of the video account is to make it easy for everyone to express content publicly through video. But people who make products know that it is the most difficult for users to publish content.

At this stage, we have not managed to let many people publish their daily lives on the video account. But we have a move that allows us to see hope. We have launched the function of associating our video account content to our WeChat business card. We found that the results were much better than expected. Up to now, many people have displayed their video account content on their business cards, and it continues to grow. This is a good trend.

There is a very interesting topic here. Sometimes people think that WeChat is very conservative. In fact, it is not conservative, but that many things are wrong or should not be done. For example, we can put the content of the video number on the business card. Why didn't we do a similar function to display some of our selected photos and videos before? We have discussed it many times internally, because many people’s circle of friends has been set up for three days, and more and more, we can hardly see anything when we open the business card. Why not provide them with a function to put some selected photos there so that friends can at least see some when they come in.

We were reluctant to do this feature before because, once you do, you may just put the best photo in your history there and never modify it. This time we are willing to do this because if you link to the content of your video number, it is alive, because you will keep updating the content of your video number, instead of saying that I choose a few of the best in history As a beautiful decoration, your photos will never change.

After all, the video account hopes that everyone can express it, not just the performances of Internet celebrities and big Vs.

Ways of information presentation

The form of information presentation has always been the most basic part of Internet products and the most controversial. What I said here refers to the display form of the information list.

Common examples include waterfall flow, popularly called information flow, and full screen. The difference between them is how many pieces of content fit on one screen. Full screen means only one piece of content is displayed on one screen.

In my own experience, I summarized these style choices as a rough rule, which is –

The number of items in a screen should be inversely proportional to the hit rate.

The hit rate refers to the proportion of the number of content that users may be interested in. For example, of 10 emails, only one is what I want to see, and the hit rate is 10%.

Take Moments for example. Because you don’t want to watch the content posted by every friend, the hit rate is not high. If you change it to full screen, it will be a disaster. At the same time, if you add more and more friends, the hit rate will decrease, so you can't increase the display area of ​​each content. If we want to increase the display area, we must increase the hit rate. But it is difficult to improve the hit rate of Moments, because the hit rate of Moments depends on the relationship between your friend and you, not the content he posts, and it is difficult for us to know which friend you are more interested in.

And the more people who follow the content, the lower the hit rate. So when the official account was revised, the number of content on one screen was reduced. Although the number of clicks was reduced, people who followed more would still complain because the difficulty of selection was increased. But for those who pay less attention, the amount of reading has risen, because if you only pay attention to a few numbers, the hit rate is inherently high. Later, we added the display of the frequent reading number at the top of the subscription account, which actually increased the hit rate.

In the first half of the video account, the content of the platform was not rich enough, and the hit rate was very low. Therefore, a half-screen information flow was appropriate at that time. More than one item of content was displayed on one screen, and users had a choice. At that time, if you go directly to the full screen, you may die very quickly. In the second half of the year, the content began to be enriched, and the hit rate began to increase. And the full-screen display effect for a single video will of course be better than half-screen, we started to switch to full-screen mode in grayscale.

Here is an interesting data. We switch the focus and machine recommendation grayscale to full screen, and compare and observe with users who do not have grayscale full screen. After discovering the full screen, the vv per capita who followed the tab dropped, and the recommended tab rose. This should be deduced that the hit rate of the focus tab is not high enough, so that it brings a slight selection difficulty after full screen.

We sort the content of the following accounts in the official account, and in the video account, we will also sort the content of the attention through the algorithm, also to improve the hit rate. Especially after the full screen, because the user's choice is zero, algorithms are needed to sort.

Live broadcast

In the history of the Internet, the way individuals express themselves in the public domain has been evolving. At the earliest, you need to be able to write HTML to make web pages. Later there was a blog, followed by short texts like Weibo. Now it is pictures and short videos. The direction of evolution is to go in a direction that can be more produced and consumed by ordinary people. So it will be shorter and more fragmented.

So I was thinking, what other content format is more acceptable to more people than short videos.

I think live broadcast has this opportunity. Live broadcasting is easier than short video production, because shooting a short video requires content preparation. The live broadcast does not need to prepare content, it is daily chat. This is a very huge difference, which directly lowers the threshold for live broadcasting. This is a relaxed expression that ordinary people can produce, and friends are more willing to consume.

Although live broadcasting has been developing for many years, everyone's perception of live broadcasting is still the field of goods. This is considered as a form of content, that is, in terms of personal expression.

Therefore, live broadcast may become a personal expression that many people use in the future.

Make a vision for the future. In a long time, everyone’s WeChat business card should be alive. This means, I open your business card. If you happen to wear glasses that can be broadcast live, then I can see you directly. Arrived. This may be the ultimate form of personal live broadcast.

Not long ago, there was a live broadcast of a meteor shower, which was watched by more than 1 million people, which was a bit beyond our expectations. Because we did not do any centralized traffic distribution to push it, it naturally attracted 1 million people. Here, social recommendation is at work, spreading the crowd through circle of friends, group chat, etc. Of course, in the entrance of the video number and live broadcast, we will still use machine recommendations to recommend suitable live broadcasts to users. When there are more live broadcasts, in addition to your friends, we also hope that the system can tell you which live broadcasts are worth watching. This is a greater test for our machine recommendation. But social recommendation will still be a very important channel of transmission.

In fact, we don’t have a live broadcast entrance yet, and the next version may be available. We now have a nearby live broadcast and people, adjust it, it may be called live broadcast and nearby.

We are also enriching the capabilities of live broadcast e-commerce, including small programs that can be linked to third parties in live broadcasts.

The Spring Festival is approaching, and we are all used to sending red envelopes in groups to grab red envelopes for New Year greetings. But in fact, the traditional offline New Year greeting is a face-to-face behavior of going home. The live broadcast can actually simulate the traditional way of offline New Year greetings. So we did a little bit in the live broadcast this year. We hope that this year's Spring Festival will be able to have some people come to visit the New Year through live broadcast, which is particularly good.

About the creator

Many people care about what kind of support the platform will give creators.

As mentioned above, we prefer to be the carrier of the video and make the video account the official website of individuals and institutions. The role of the platform here is to connect, not to make content. But the difference from the previous official website is that the content of the official website in the WeChat system can be circulated by itself. So you don’t have to worry too much about making the official website and no one visits it. I just mentioned that there are a lot of products in WeChat that we might not be able to try. For example, for information access, we may have a follow-up relationship, search, recommendation, system recommendation and social delivery. I'm too worried that no one will read my content here.

At the beginning, we would invite some celebrities to come to the video account. The celebrities said that we didn't want to come without the signing fee. We said that if we didn't come, we wouldn't come. Because we don’t want to buy some content, but he should create content here to attract fans. Eventually you will be profitable, but the platform will not come forward to purchase content.

So here on the video number, we didn't spend a penny to buy content. I don't want to do this in the future. It's not to save money, but when we don't spend money on content, creators are still willing to come in. It shows that creators can get rewards for their own efforts, and it shows that we have established an ecosystem that can operate on its own. At the same time, I believe that the creative power of ordinary people is huge. On the contrary, the purchased content may not necessarily move people.

In the history of WeChat, we have not emphasized strong operations for this reason. Systems and rules will be much more efficient than operations. Just as we see WeChat Pay now, it actually has a very large coverage, but we don’t have a large number of WeChat Pay. For an industry that needs to contact offline, we may have one WeChat Pay in each industry. Two people are in charge of the entire industry.

The slogan of the official account can still be used on the video account, even the smallest individual has its own brand. In fact, it is also very suitable for you to put on the video number.

Some interesting experimental projects

We also have some interesting and fun experimental projects in progress.

As mentioned earlier, making a product is actually a process of verifying ideas. If an idea pops into your head, it may be unreliable, but it seems interesting. Then continue to think deeply, if after many choices, it can finally become a realization, and you will experience the joy of making a product.

I often have some whimsical ideas. For example, what would happen if you could take a picture of a person’s profile picture, what would happen if you could throw a bomb at your chatting friend on the screen and frighten him, if you could listen to a song What happens when you see other people who listen to the song? If you can see other people who have insomnia when you are insomnia, what will happen when you count the sheep together.

Even if you give a canvas and everyone draws a dot, if ten million people take turns to draw a dot, will a pattern be formed in the end? What does it mean if ten million people actually draw a pattern without organization?

All of these are very interesting things. So making products is by no means boring. Although most ideas will not work, a few will work, which is very good.

Here, I will briefly describe a few functions that the new version of WeChat will have. Before all functions are actually verified by users, it cannot be said that they will be popular, but as long as the direction of thinking is not problematic, continuous improvement can be made. Some functions will also undergo grayscale and will be released only after they are perfected. So don't expect too high. Here are some thoughts on these fun features.

One is facial expressions.

Expression is a basic element in expression.

Speaking of the basic elements of expression, this reminds me of taking a picture. Many people don't like being photographed, and many people are embarrassed to take the wrong person because of the wrong touch. But there are still 120 million people who have set a pat tail, and tens of millions of people use pat every day. Taking a beat is also a basic element of expression, and unlike all other methods, it simulates human behavior in real life, using the simplest body movement to complete a message transmission. I joked at an internal meeting that people's lives will become more and more online in the future, and people will miss this ancient way of interaction between people.

Back to facial expressions.

People's expressions reflect that emotions are getting stronger and stronger. So that it must be "cracked" often.

My thoughts may be more violent than splitting. One day I told my development classmates to help me make a feature. I threw a bomb and the other party’s screen cracked. Of course, it is the cracking of the animation effect, but it is very realistic.

Realization is possible, but when it is really used as an expression function, it will still encounter many obstacles.

I said to look for the basic elements, that is, the expression must be basic, not a special one.

In the end we did it.

One is status.

Now when you open a friend’s WeChat business card, you often see nothing except the name and avatar. Many people in the circle of friends also set the time limit.

But things shouldn't be like this. Every business card should be alive. The business card is our online life, and it should reflect our true state.

We have tried to dynamically express a person’s state through video before, but it’s actually quite difficult to express a person’s status in a video format. Because we did take a video for all friends to see, this pressure is still quite high, so the video dynamic is not considered successful. There are about 1 million people posting video updates every day, and we will also upgrade it. After the upgrade, we hope to go to the other side of the video. I used to say that it was difficult for everyone to post text. In fact, there is a premise that it is very difficult to post a text that many people can read. In fact, it is not difficult to say a word casually. The state is to say a word casually. A thing. So we will go to the other side of the video and express our status by saying a word and writing a few words.

And, at a certain moment, there must be other people in the same state as you, and you will want to see them. I saw people playing the same game, people in the same coffee bar, people traveling in the same scenic spot, and even people in the same mood.

I have always believed that the essence of social interaction is to find the same kind.

Status is for people to see, and it's best for people of the same kind to see.

So this time, we organize the status based on simple text.

I don't know what the result will be. For social products, because it is the result of group interaction, it is difficult to predict the reaction of the social function to the user group. However, such an attempt should be made. Because the needs of the individual's state expression have not been met. Even if it is a simple sentence "I am very depressed today", you will not post to Moments, and you will not specifically talk to your friends. Then, there is always a place to say.


Another new attempt is about listening to songs. A listener in the audience talked to me about how to see a song. The song is not for listening, but for watching. Since the Internet and mobile Internet, I feel that many people have become less listening to songs. They only listen to songs while driving, because at any other time, you would rather watch videos. WeChat is actually a thing that contains a lot of types of information, but one thing I have always been not satisfied with is that the experience of listening to songs in WeChat is not very good. For example, I really don’t understand why all players are a record player. Turn, because when I was in middle school, I had a record player in my family, and I went to buy records by myself, but I think most users will not have experienced that era, so why do they want something they don’t know, a turntable is in Go there.

What should we see when listening to a song? Many people say that we should not see anything when listening to a song, but just listen to it, but I hope to see something when listening to a song, because there is a little imagination when listening to a song, the reason why we want to Listening while driving is because your eyes can see a lot of things, making your imagination more active than usual. If these things, there are often many people listening to the same song. For example, you can imagine you are listening to this song here, another person is in another scene, and there are many similar people. If you listen to the song If the images in front of you are connected, there will always be people whose images are very similar to you, and they can impress you. So from this point, we will make a visual display of the experience of listening to songs.

But this difficulty is actually very difficult, because the technology has not yet reached that point. Our eyeballs have a camera that transmits to the cloud in real time. Sooner or later, we will reach that point. So at present, this step can only be achieved through other product methods. That is to say, some enthusiastic users may be willing to say that I can turn a certain song into a beautifully made, something like a MV. Share it with more people.

Floating window

I have always disliked floating windows. Because it is like a dog skin plaster. This is also one of the reasons why most web browsing experience in the PC era is not good.

In order to solve the need to read an article for a long time, and to constantly process WeChat messages in the middle, we have a floating window function. But it is not perfect.

In many cases, an article or a long video has to be watched many times, and it is very cumbersome to drag it to the floating window each time.

Now, WeChat provides a list of unfinished content so that you can retrieve the content at any time and continue to finish it. Especially for long videos, it is even more necessary to cut away at any time and then find them quickly. Live broadcast is also needed.


There is also a new product under development that can be mentioned, which is the input method the team is developing.

We often receive complaints about what we just talked about in WeChat, and we saw advertisements for this thing in other apps. Is WeChat betraying my chat history to advertisers? Actually not. We never analyze the user's chat history, even if it loses a lot of advertising revenue.

So when our technical team, the team that understands machine semantics, said that we might do better by making input methods ourselves, I certainly agree. Because at least, in terms of security, we can do well enough.

Our goal is not to acquire how many users at once. Because the input method is the entrance of text expression, and the input method is bound to become more and more intelligent, and new input forms may appear, it is worth investing in.


Many people say that the video number iteration speed is very fast. In fact, in the first two years of WeChat, we were at this speed. Later, it was sometimes fast and sometimes slow. In fact, I think making products should be fast.

One thing I often say is that if a question is not figured out in three days, then it will not be figured out in three months. Therefore, you must find a solution within three days, or give up and find a new path instead of spending it There.

Sun Tzu's Art of War said that marching and fighting should be "like the forest, and the speed of the wind." The same is true for products, or if you haven't thought about it clearly, it's better to do nothing. If it does, it must be iterated very quickly.

The video account team has so far only one or two hundred people, including three algorithm teams, front-end and back-end development, product operations, etc. This is very WeChat style. Internet products are about creativity, not about people. If a team of one hundred people can't make a product, it can't be made for one thousand people, or even worse, because the internal consumption of one thousand people is too great.

About Products

For ten years on WeChat, if we have to use two words to describe WeChat, I think one is connection and the other is simple.

The connection is beautiful. Because the operation of the world depends on the connection of everything. For products, making connections means making the underlying facilities of services, because the results that can evolve based on connections are the richest.

Many social products may also be connected, but it stops at people. WeChat has a larger connection range. The goal of official accounts and mini programs is to connect. Connecting people and content, people and services, including WeChat payment, can also be considered as a kind of connection. The connection of the currency, the target of the video number is also the connection. The focus is not on the content, but on the underlying connection, which is very important. This is why we will mention "decentralization" because connection and centralization are somewhat exclusive.

Let's talk simple.

I use simplicity as a synonym for beautiful, practical, reasonable, and elegant.

Simplicity is beautiful. From a physical formula to a daily necessities, simple is often better. There are a thousand ways to achieve the same goal, but only the simplest way is the most beautiful. Precisely because there are a thousand methods, it is difficult to be really simple.

Some people know that I wrote on "Fanfou" before, "How many functions a product needs to be added to become a junk product". If I knew that we were going to be WeChat later, I would definitely not write this sentence. Now that I have written this sentence, I must be worthy of it. Now I want to say, "How many functions must be added to a product to not be a junk product."

Over the past ten years, WeChat has added many functions. I am very fortunate that WeChat today is almost as simple as WeChat ten years ago. Although it is more versatile than ten years ago, these functions are already the simplest way to use, so the added complexity will be small.

Simple is easy to use. Especially when a product is used by one billion people.

Sometimes I think that many users don’t really care about the simplicity of the product. A shoddy product may still be used by many people. But we still pursue simplicity, because some people will agree with the beauty behind this simplicity.

Although WeChat is a product with such a large number of users, and it has been through for 10 years, I still hope that it can always maintain its own style, and it has always been like a small and beautiful product, with its own soul and its own Aesthetics has its own creativity and its own ideas. Not just a slave of numbers. In this way, my team and I will be proud of our work and feel meaningful. This is my last summary of WeChat’s ten years today.

That's all for my sharing today.

Thank you friends at the scene, thank you everyone who watched the live broadcast, and hope I did not waste your time. Goodbye.

Not too interesting, not too optimistic.

#Welcome to follow Aifaner's official WeChat account: Aifaner (WeChat ID: ifanr), more exciting content will be provided to you as soon as possible.

Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo