The wait is over: you can now buy fake reads on WeChat. We’re by no means supporting this practice; however, it’s interesting and prudent to observe how it’s done and how you can hold your team accountable. In attempts to grow accounts, a number of companies, predominantly local Chinese ones have taken to buying “fake reads” in order to create an illusion of popularity. This is how these groups are going about creating deceitful posts and how you can recognize what’s real and what isn’t.
Professionals in the social media world know that one of the major vanity stats that people often get hung up on is the “Reads” count, which on WeChat is traditionally found in the bottom corner of an article, right over here:
What some people in the social media world might not know is how easy it is to fake that number. Take a look at this article’s reads versus its number of likes.
An article with 10,351 reads and only 66 likes gives the post an engagement rate of .64%, a low number for a brand as big as Burberry.
Turns out it’s very simple and straightforward to fake WeChat reads. Here’s how you do it.
Buying WeChat Reads
If you visit Taobao, you’ll see that the online store that sells everything actually does in fact sell everything. Once on Taobao, search “weixin yuedu” (微信 阅读), and your screen will soon be populated with a number of ways for you to buy fake WeChat reads.
The options on this page are incredulous. 1000 reads for 3.6 RMB. 10,000 reads for only 50 RMB. The number of ways you can go is nearly endless.
So with two easy steps, you’ve successfully inflated your reads number and have successfully feigned popularity.
Spotting a Fake
It’s often difficult to spot the fakes that are out there, but as was shown earlier, a low engagement rate in terms of likes and favorites coupled with a staggering sum of reads is usually a red flag that something is not as popular as it seems.
Since the nature of WeChat being a closed network to your most trusted friends, family and associates ensures that content is driven mostly throughs social sharing, which insures the content is more likable. Therefore, you would expect to see a closer relationship with ‘likes’ and 'reads’. This relationship is so prevalent, that is is highly unlikely and uncommon for the reads statistics to be large without a high number of likes. This differs greatly from Weibo, which has become more of a broadcast platform, creating a weaker correlation between views, forwards and likes.
It’ll be interesting to see how WeChat goes about regulating this type of deceit. We’ll keep you updated on any developments in this arena.