WeChat has launched a new feature on its social media app, enabling users to view data on user trends. Named “WeChat Index”, the tool was launched on the 23rd March 2017 and lets users view information such as the use of particular words across variable time periods. Tencent, WeChat's parent company, said that WeChat Index is designed to enable people to “understand real-time social issues”. It also said that the tool would mean that brands could now make more informed marketing decisions, by monitoring “the effects by analysing users' interests”. An example of this was the spike in the platform's use of the phrase “national football team”, which hit 17 million after the Chinese team played, following a level of just a few thousand before kick-off. However, doubt has been cast on the new feature, after it was discovered a few months ago that some WeChat accounts could manipulate the amount of views their own articles were getting.