We have learned that WeChat’s possible next move is an upgraded public account services called “App Account”, and it would be a threat to native apps since it’s more approachable to users in many ways. Currently, Services like food delivery, taxi ordering, movie ticket purchasing have already made their appearance on WeChat public account, and they are quite popular. Other than those mentioned, who else could really benefit if they become the early adopters of WeChat app account?
1. Photo editing
Photo editing apps like Meitu could easily be the beneficiaries if they hop on the “app account train” early. Here is how Chinese WeChat users use photo editing apps: generally, users edit their pictures through the app, and then share the pictures to WeChat Moment, which is also known as “Friend Circles”, one of the most popular features among all the WeChat function.
Imagine photo editing apps have adapted app accounts via WeChat: no more jumping around from apps and WeChat for users. After editing via app account, simply one click and your work will be posted in your WeChat Moment in no time. Who will say no to that?
2. WeChat emoticon making/gif making apps
Example: GIF Show
This also has a lot to do with the way users use WeChat: WeChat users LOVE emoticons. WeChat itself has a lot of emoticons already, but users still want more. You can see customize emoticons everywhere in WeChat conversations nowadays, either stickers or animated gifs.
But customizing emoticon is not that easy. Even after you made some great emoticon materials, it can still be tough to import them to WeChat system. So why not an app account that you can make your own emoticon via WeChat? Once you made it, you can easily add them to your emoticon arsenal. Whole world just got a little bit better after that.
3. Media/News Feed
Example: HUPU Sports
Phone users today do not check their news app often as before, since a lot of WeChat public account are doing the same thing. WeChat public accounts can help a media/news feed reach their targets better, and get more social effect with users. If that is the case, app account can certainly improve WeChat news reader’s experience by adapting app account: app account of a certain news feed will not only notify you whenever there is a breaking news via WeChat, but also enable you to search the news you want to read in WeChat.
For example, type in “sports score” in WeChat, the news feed will reply all the final score of today’s big game via WeChat conversation. What’s more, WeChat users can share the news straight to WeChat Moments, which will be another big reason for media to start their app account.
4. Video streaming
Example: Tencent Video
In United States, if you want to watch Seinfeld on your phone, you need Hulu; while you’re in the mood for House of Cards, go to Netflix. What if you feel like “The Wire”? download HBO Go. Since different video streaming companies have exclusive rights to different TV shows/programs, to install different native apps seem inevitable. Similar situation in China.
You love these shows and you appreciate those video streaming apps for the service, but you cannot deny that having so many video streaming apps can be a burden for your device. What if every video streaming company has an app account on WeChat? Theoretically, if you want to watch one show, just search it on WeChat, follow the video streaming account, and press the play button. Again, users can share the show they’re watching in WeChat Moments, which bring more attention to the video streaming services themselves. “WeChat and chill” could go viral.
5. Map Navigation
Example: Baidu Map
Map apps today work great, but I can’t stop thinking about the potential if they go to app account: Type in the destination in WeChat, and app account give users the best route through WeChat. While I’m driving, WeChat will “read” the message to me, which could also avoid the risk of text and drive.
6. Email services
Example: QQ Mail
This is actually the kind of account I’m expecting most. Personally speaking, it is always a struggle if someone send me a document via WeChat conversation, but I need to send it out via e-mail next. The common way to do it? 1) to save the document on the phone; 2) open the mail app; 3) attach the document in mail after spending 5 minutes looking for the folder the document was saved. There gotta be a easy way to do this.
If email services could be on app account, no matter what you receive on WeChat, you can directly move it to your email inbox, and vice versa. Since Tencent has its own mail service, “QQ mail”, it is expected to be the new feature for QQ mail to attract more users.
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