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The use of WeChat and other social media by Chinese museums

Yu Zhang attended the ICOM ICEE / ICFA annual conference in Madrid on 13 November and presented about how Chinese museums make use of WeChat and other social media to engage with the audience.

She noted that China’s alternate internet has evolved from copycats to super apps such as WeChat, the digital Swiss Army knife, by adapting to the market specificity and user behaviour. Chinese museums, despite their lack of investment on websites, are making themselves more relevant on platforms such as WeChat and Weibo by telling meaning stories and by creating dialogues. She showed the example of Hunan Provincial Museum’s WeChat account, which integrated solutions such as audioguide, online forum, visitors’ book and collection management, while replacing the museum’s website with regular updates. She also added some examples of western museums on WeChat who intend to attract potential visitors from China. Finally she questioned the relevance of some campaigns while reminding of some limits and risks with Chinese social media such as data protection, privacy and intellectual property, which should make museums think twice before engaging themselves on such platforms.

You can find a short version of the presentation below.