WeChat’s New Mini-Apps

wechat-increase-userengagement

In a cluster of refurbished Mao-era industrial buildings in Guangzhou, developers at China’s top messaging app, WeChat, are redesigning key parts of its product to spread its tentacles to just about every aspect of Chinese life.

Around 1,500 developers, mostly twentysomething males, have been tasked with increasing user engagement through new ‘mini-programs’ on WeChat that look and operate much like apps on Apple Inc’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems – but are far less data-intensive.

WeChat, owned by Tencent Holdings, says it’s not a direct challenge to the dominant mobile platforms, but some analysts and developers say the new business could eat into that of iOS and Android app ecosystems.