Chinese tech giant Tencent has unveiled the new version of their immensely popular messaging application, WeChat.
The new V5.1 update brings more in-app purchasing capabilities and ecommerce functionality, in addition to adding more social features. The update is currently only available for Android smartphones at the moment.
The application’s update adds in-app purchasing of credits for their popular fighter plane game which comes preloaded in the app. Other additions include the ability to gift phone credits to other user’s prepaid plans, similar to what Sendly is offering. The update also brings the option to add a shipping address to a user’s account, to simplify purchases made through the application. WeChat also offers in-app purchasing of digital and physical goods from their Yixun marketplace.
After their successful partnership with smartphone manufacture Xiaomi, Tencent is going forward with offering more Ecommerce possibilities. Tencent’s main competitor, Alibaba has noticed the potential and released its own mobile messaging application, They are also beefing up their Alipay mobile app for online and offline payments. Alibaba even went as far as disabling webpages from their marketplaces Tmall and Taobao from WeChat conversations.
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The update is currently available only through Tencent’s Android app store, MyApp. Chinese Android users use multiple app store applications, as local apps are not always made available through Google’s PlayStore. Offering the update exclusively through their own store will help convert users from China’s prominent app store, HiMarket, owned by local search giant Baidu.
WeChat has currently over 600 million registered users, and is the most downloaded messaging application in the world.
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