China’s Tencent Launches Cloud Based, iMessage App Store-Like ‘Mini Programs’ for WeChat

The parent company of WeChat, Tencent Holdings launched a suite of cloud based smart phone apps called ‘Mini Program’.

As iPhone marks its 10th anniversary, Tencent, the Chinese internet giant introduced its take on apps within WeChat, its best chat app with 846 million monthly users.

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The program launched is essentially more-basic, stripped-down versions of iOS and Android apps that downloads instantly and can be stored within WeChat. The programs provide small but useful functionalities, similar to the simplified apps on the iMessage App Store.

They look and feel like apps, but Tencent calls them ‘Mini Programs’ because Apple doesn’t let it to be called as an app.

Developers can use official accounts and bots to interact with users away from the mobile app. There’s no app store to house the program so instead, they are found by searching inside WeChat or scanning a QR code.

WeChat has absolute dominance in its focus market, which means that Mini Programs will surely become part of any developer’s strategy where the app can work with both iOS and Android WeChat users.

WeChat can provide a bridge between the two platforms that picks up additional users and in the future as mini programs become more sophisticated, it can compete head-on with iOS and Android.

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