Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg looks back over the business formula and influence of China-based Tencent Holdings triumphant app Wechat. Amidst of repercussions on privacy crisis, with the priority of privacy for its users, Facebook plans to launch end to end encryption of its messenger services and all its associated private messaging services like Whatsapp and Instagram.
In his lengthy privacy focussed blog on Facebook, without mentioning WeChat or Tencent, Zuckerberg quoted,
“If only I’d listened to your advice four years ago,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook
Do you know whom Zuckerberg is referring to?
His comment is in response to the article by Jessica Lessin, Founder of tech media The Information, written way back in 2015. She wrote that it is a submission by Zuckerberg that he should try learning from WeChat.
By disclosing the privacy-focused vision recently, Zuckerberg expressed more distinguished focus on the private messaging platform to build trust and integrity among its 2.3 billion users worldwide. He would accomplish it by creating more secure and effective ways for people to interact on top of social networking. This includes calls, video chats, groups, stories, businesses, payments, commerce, and turning Facebook into a single platform for many kinds of utilities in private services.
WeChat in China: It’s All About One Platform
WeChat governs the Chinese social media like a mighty power composing a palette of day to day utility services mainly digital payments, that enable users to shop, hail a taxi, order food, pay utility bills and even more. It is indeed surprising to know ‘What Not’ a WeChat can do. That kind of power it possesses in the Chinese market with a hefty 1 billion user base. Its earnings are predominantly from the commissions it earns from the payment gateway services, unlike Facebook’s dependency on Ads and baiting its users. Just to put things in perspective, Facebook ad revenue accounts for over 98% of the company’s total quarterly revenue in Q4 2018.
WeChat is committed to providing a safe and hassle-free environment to chat, pay the bills and sharing personal information over the web. WeChat forms as a Great FireWall in China’s social media cloud alike The Great Wall of China.
“We see mini-programs as an important tool to empower merchants and brands in acquiring traffic at a lower cost through WeChat’s large social network,” said Jefferies equity analyst Karen Chan in an earlier report.
By adding more and more palette of functionalities WeChat is foreseeing the market trends to make many efforts in reaching the users for in-vehicle voice assistant to facilitate a gamut of businesses.
WeChat has developed intriguing artificial intelligence tools curated exclusively for B2B businesses and industries that can easily connect and serve their end consumers on the platform. This is achieved through the use of mini-programs, which are utility web applications. These apps, ultra light in size, are estimated to be smaller than 10 megabytes, compatible to all devices and could easily be installed on WeChat’s API interface.
WeChat has also forayed into the education industry and has been partnering with public schools and private training centres to allow students to make easy payments at canteens, check test scores, and do other utility functions on the app.
It is reported that Tencent holdings retail partners, that includes Walmart, facilitates shoppers to skip the queues at the cash counters by scanning the barcodes on the products and paying for them on their WeChat app.
Isn’t all of it sounds great!.
It could save plenty of time and helps people to dwell in a more productive environment.
Facebook’s new approach of looking back to its competitor sounds its thirst for establishing itself as the best platform for its billions of users worldwide. Whatever move Zuckerberg makes next, will be good for society, as far as he respects the privacy of users. Indeed it’s important, and a perfect time as well, to have an optimum balance between monetisation of its users for revenue and safeguarding their personal information.