Live Your Entire Live in Chats
WeChatÂ has pioneered the whole revolution of â€œchat as the universal interfaceâ€ â€“ ie you can, for all intents and purposes, live your entire life within WeChatÂ by simply having conversations or chats. In fact, other popular chat applications are learning from WeChat very closely to make their applications ‘omnipresent’ in our lives.
“The strategy of WeChat is they’re trying to embed themselves in your lives […] and make it so that you can’t leave WeChat,” Matthew Brennan, co-founder of WeChat Consulting and research firm China Channel.
WeChat managed to do this by crossing over to the offline world to facilitate transactions. It is no longer just about the online world which most chat applications are focusing on. They are doing this with a game-changingÂ feature called ‘mini-programs’. Â Google is trying to do a similar feature called Instant Apps for Android in May last year, but it has yet to launch.
What are mini-programs?
Imagine walking to the bus stop to take a bus. Instead of downloading a new app to check the arrival timings of buses, you can scan a QR code and an interface will instantly appear withinÂ your WeChat app to show you the list of bus arrival timings. Once you are done, you can just swipe it away to close it andÂ then continue chatting with your friends.
So the idea behind mini-programs is that you do not need to download a separate app to facilitate theÂ ‘offline’ transactions that you need to do. Everything can be done via WeChat without needing any installations. Just a simple scan of the QR code and once you are done with the transaction, just simply swipe it away.
This is revolutionary for sure. This stems from the motivation to make WeChat or the idea of chats itself as an essential part of both your online and offline lives.
How WeChat helps companies?
At the very basic, WeChat is a great service tool for companies. Customer service is a serious matter for every business. Especially for the Chinese, instantaneous customer service is an expectation.Â Therefore providing service via chat is a fantastic way of meeting this expectation. Companies are able to have one-on-one chat with their consumers/clientsÂ which are very personalized.
With the mini-programs within WeChat becoming more mature, companies can expect to look forward to a whole new way of modus operandi. As other chatÂ applications are learning (or even emulating) the WeChat model, it is high time that companies consider chats as a key component of interacting with consumers/clients.