If you’re a fan of WeChat, and love reading on your smartphone, this one’s for you: last week, SPH announced that Lianhe Zaobao — its Chinese flagship newspaper — has launched a series of six new channels on WeChat.
The channels — ZBOLife, ZBOTravel, ZBOEducation, ZBOFood, ZBOFun and ZBOFinance — cover a diverse range of topics, and will bring readers breaking news as well as lifestyle articles.
This is how the channels will work: each of them will send daily messages to subscribers, informing them of news articles that are available for reading online. These new channels will not be simply a repeat of what’s already on Zaobao Online (Lianhe Zaobao’s existing WeChat channel), though. According to SPH’s media release, the channels will give readers more lifestyle content, and will be produced in a more casual tone to make for more readable articles.
Editor of Lianhe Zaobao, Mr Goh Sin Teck, explained the paper’s foray into the messaging service: “WeChat is getting more popular and has garnered a following in Singapore. Through the setting up of these 6 WeChat channels which tap on Lianhe Zaobao’s established news resources, we hope to provide readers with more relevant and categorised lifestyle information. At the same time, these useful information can also be shared conveniently on the various social media platforms.”
With so many publications and businesses making their foray into WeChat and other social messaging apps, it might seems excessive — and even a bit too ambitious — for Lianhe Zaobao to launch six channels on the app at once. But the promise of more lifestyle content and a lighter tone might be the paper’s key to gaining an edge over their competitors.
After all, easy reading is what most users of social media look for; no one wants to have to slave through lengthy, wordy passages while on the commute home from work. And with articles categorised neatly into six channels, users don’t have to sieve through numerous articles to get to the ones they want: they can subscribe only to those that interest them.
I must admit: the ZBOFood and ZBOLife channels seem pretty promising. With many Singaporeans being self-confessed foodies, I’m sure another food channel can’t hurt. As for the Life channel, which will supposedly send updates on transportation and cover things like life hacks?
Yes please, I’d gladly take all the life hacks I can get — if only to see what other bizarre, strange or amazing things the Internet can come up with.