WeChat gets even closer to becoming an operating system… and 2 other news

Thomas Graziani New WeChat features

WeChat releases 7.0.5 version

Ability to minimize Mini-programs and other assets

WeChat released a new version… and it is becoming even more like an operating system.

The main update was the ability to minimize content into several floating windows so that users can easily add temporary tags and switch between contents. This ability existed previously limited to just one article, and it now extended to all kinds of assets.

Users can easily minimize a Mini-program they are looking at and get back to it later.

When clicking on the side button, users can access all of the assets they have minimized. The limitation is 5 assets (mini-programs, articles, files) + music.

This change is a new step toward WeChat becoming more of an operating system. Users are invited to stay within WeChat while accessing various applications, and can conveniently navigate between these “Apps within the App”.

Improved support for videos

The new update of WeChat also comes with better integration with video assets. For instance, the display in the “看一看” section of WeChat (which regroups most popular articles) was upgraded.

The display of videos is now more native, and the total number of views for the video is publicly displayed.

This is a natural defense move as WeChat is pressured to improve its video-sharing capabilities.

While Facebook successfully made the transition to video (according to eMarketer, 24.5% of U.S video ads spending in 2018 was done on Facebook), WeChat’s market share is eaten away by short video platforms such as Douyin.

Upgrade of WeChat Official Account profiles

WeChat also modified the profile of WeChat Official Accounts’ information page for non-followers. The new interface is more compact and the article history display is a lot more user-friendly.

The new format also enables users to scroll through the account’s entire publishing history directly.

Douyu goes IPO on the NASDAQ

Douyu went IPO on the NASDAQ on the 16th of July 2019, raising $775 million in stock at a $3.73 billion valuation, and making it the biggest Chinese IPO of the year after Luckin Coffee ($645 million).

Game live streaming is one of the most popular types of content on Douyu

Douyu is the largest live-streaming company in China, and has distribution rights for all of the 29 live-streaming e-sport tournaments, including League of Legends.

Live streaming accounted for 90.9% of Douyu’s net revenues during Q1 2019, mostly through ads and virtual gifts. These revenues have been increasing exponentially over the last few years.

But the company has been consistently losing money, and net losses widened to 876 million RMB in 2018.

The poor financial performance combined with an uncertain global context raises uncertainties as to Douyu’s future stock price.

Xiaohongshu reported deleting 4,285 notes per day

Social e-commerce App Xiaohongshu is fighting a growing amount of fake notes and products on its platform. In a recent report, the platform mentioned it was deleting 4,285 posts per day on average.

  • Among the 4,285, 920 deleted content, an average of 920 notes were written by humans, but are still flagged as spam/inappropriate content.
  • Every 5 minutes, the platform deletes 18.6 accounts, 168 likes, 135 bookmarks, and 571 fake followers
  • Bots can be identified within 0.1 seconds of joining the platform within 99.9% accuracy

In the same report, the platform claimed 85 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs), generating 3 billion daily views on Xiaohongshu notes. 70% of the content on the platform is user-generated.

Xiaohongshu has been increasingly risking to lose its initial “upper-scale” edge. The platform was traditionally used by affluent female users in tier 1 and tier 2 cities. But the growing amount of fake or questionable content has undermined users’ faith in the platform.

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