It’s said that you can buy basically anything on Taobao and that definitely includes followers or friends on WeChat! A whole industry has sprung up around faking views and likes on WeChat articles using zombie WeChat accounts.
So how much does it exactly cost to buy zombie followers on WeChat? Read on to get the full price list for buying WeChat followers, and understand why people are paying.
Above is a pageview count (40,140) and likes (69) from a previous China Channel article. This information is visible to anyone who chooses to read an article on WeChat. The number of pageviews and likes is considered to be very important by those who run official WeChat accounts as it publicly announces the popularity of the content. If a global high end fashion brand such as Gucci or Louis Vuitton published an article on WeChat and only got around 100 views, this would be completely embarrassing.
Another key statistic that is used to judge the success of a WeChat official account (those used by businesses) is the number of followers. This information is not publicly available. Only those with access to the account login can view the follower numbers. Above is the number of followers for ‘WeCat’. Despite having never posted a single article on this account (we’ll get round to it one day), it has 79 followers. Many people have probably mistyped ‘WeChat’ when searching for another account.
You’ve cat to be kitten me!
For a marketing manager running his business’ WeChat account, the number of followers is probably the most commonly used yardstick of success.
Marketing: “Look boss, 10,000 new followers on our WeChat account!”
However, if you go to Taobao and type in the term 微信阅读 (weixinyuedu) ‘WeChat Reads’, you will be amazed at how easy it is to buy WeChat followers, pageviews, likes and contacts:
All these shops are selling fake zombie reads, likes, followers and friends on WeChat!
We decided to go further and speak to a couple of the sellers. We were able to get the following price quotations:
Views: 10 yuan for 1,000
Likes: 6 yuan for 100
Views and likes have to be bought together and are constricted to the following ranges:
Maximum of 80 likes per 1,000 views (8%)
Minimum of 5 likes per 1,000 views (0.5%)
Followers: 12 yuan for 100 followers added from ID search (automatically done through a computer software it seems)
1 yuan for 1 follower added through QR code scanning (these have to be done manually it seems)
Another shop that we found went even further and had listed an exhaustive range of WeChat services at even cheaper prices for those wishing to buy in bulk.
some of the terms used above aren’t completely clear but overall we get the feeling that almost anything can be bought!
Meipai, for those of you wondering, is a popular short video service, similar to Vine. It works similar to ‘WeChat sights’. Meipai however includes lots of filters and music. It also works across multiple social media channels.
Do it yourself!
We then went on to do a search on Baidu to see if we could find any of the software programs that these companies were using. Within 2 minutes we were able to find download links for software like the one below:
Input the WeChat ID numbers, input the article address and away we go!
Summary / Conclusion
Weibo (the Chinese Twitter) is notorious for being rife with zombie followers; so much so that the reputation of the platform was damaged badly. WeChat as a ‘closed platform’ has a reputation for being more reliable. This reputation is being put somewhat under strain by the questionable tactics that many brands desperate for WeChat followers will resort to.
Above: Baleno, a nationwide clothing store chain, resorts to the common tactic of bribery in order to increase their WeChat followers
Other notorious tactics include sending out large groups of people onto the streets and asking random people to scan QR codes and/or follow accounts in return for small sums of money. It seems buying WeChat Followers and article reads are just one symptom of a wider issue.
Final disclaimer: China Channel does not advocate the practice of buying any kind of zombie followers, friends, likes or reads. Our aim with this article is simply to draw wider attention to these questionable practices.