Zhang Xiaolong, the founder of Tencent’s WeChat, delivered a speech on how the future of the company looks like. Tencent watcher Matthew Brennan looks at the way Tencent is doing things different than Apple, and why their mini-programs might be a winner, in Technode.
According to Zhang, the strength of mini-programs lies in its decentralized ecosystem. “Our team from now on will invest more manpower and resources in this area, so we can treat all companies equally, including the ones we’ve invested in.”
Matthew Brennan, co-founder of China Channel said that the concept of decentralization was “a bit counterintuitive” compared to Apple’s carefully-curated App Store. But mini-programs have proved a “great way to acquire users that wasn’t there before.”
The feature banks on WeChat’s widespread adoption to draw in older or less tech-savvy folks who don’t usually download many apps, Brennan said. It’s spawned successes like a popular mini-program for public dancing—a popular pastime among middle-aged people, particularly women—that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Their small size also lowers the barrier to entry for developers, saving them time and money.
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