The world’s first museum acquisition of a social media app should have been a big moment, and probably would have been had the V&A acquired the likes of Facebook for the collection, said Cormier, “But because it was WeChat we got a lot of shrugs as people don’t know it.” There may be an obligation to now acquire more apps for the collection. Subsequent editions of WeChat may be added to the V&A’s collection in future, possibly in ten-year intervals, but these would be standalone versions and not replacements.

Apps may seem an odd addition to a museum collection, but other similar objects have also been acquired. The MoMA acquired the “@” symbol in 2010 and the US Library of Congress had been collecting every single public tweet from its inception in 2006. But the library realized last year that it would have to start being more selective as of January 1 2018 due to space limitations and the increased multimedia aspect of Twitter.

The V&A is collaborating once again with Tencent for a video game exhibition that will be on show in London in September 2018.

Cover image: V&A Museum