WeChat — The Matryoshka App

Posted on Posted in Blog

WeChat was launched in January 2011 as a messaging app for sending text, voice and photos to friends and family.

Since then, the app has boomed becoming a platform that plugs in all sorts of additional third party services which means everything gets done faster. In addition, one of the reasons for WeChat’s success in China is the all-inclusive WeChat Wallet, which enables the seamless performance of a very wide range of transactions on the platform once users link their bank account or credit card.

WeChat has focused his attention on building a mobile lifestyle and its goal is to address every aspect of its users’ lives, including non-social ones. In fact, WeChat is the best example of what a modern mobile OS can be: not just an app or static platform for apps, but a tight ecosystem for a connected web of services that cover almost every aspect of your digital life.

WeChat users in China can access services to hail a taxi, order food delivery, buy movie tickets, play casual games, check in for a flight, send money to friends, access fitness tracker data, book a doctor appointment, get banking statements, pay the water bill, find geo-targeted coupons, recognize music, search for a book at the local library, meet strangers around you, follow celebrity news, read magazine articles, and even donate to charity … all in a single integrated app.

WeChat users in China can access services to hail a taxi, order food delivery, buy movie tickets, play casual games, check in for a flight, send money to friends, access fitness tracker data, book a doctor appointment, get banking statements, pay the water bill, find geo-targeted coupons, recognize music, search for a book at the local library, meet strangers around you, follow celebrity news, read magazine articles, and even donate to charity … all in a single integrated app.

This makes WeChat more like a browser for mobile websites or a mobile operating system. The lightweight apps on WeChat are called “official accounts” which are approved by WeChat after a brief application process, there are well over 10 million of these official accounts on the platform.

Following WeChat success, western messaging Apps like Facebook’s Messenger, Snapchat, Kik, telegram and many others are all starting to act more like a multiservice central hub.

Messaging appears to be the next great platform for which developers will be building. The idea is that messaging apps are where people spend a lot of their time. People send 30 billion messages per day on WhatsApp alone. If people are already coming to the app to communicate with friends, why not give them everything else they might want to do as well, like games and commerce?

In the last years we are looking to the astronomical proliferation of chat bots that promise to be The Next Big Thing. Thousands of bots have been built by brands, media companies and developers on the platforms but still they are able to handle only basic interactions.

Despite these recent developments, the WeChat like opportunity for a Western company to create a superior operating system remains wide open.

In China, everyone is on WeChat and everything revolves around it.

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