Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg has publicly admitted to a serious case of WeChat envy. Late last week, Zuckerberg posted on his own platform that he regretted not learning the lessons of the Chinese super app sooner as Facebook apparently looks to ape the Tencent program with changes to its Messenger platform.
WeChat and Facebook may share many core functions, such as allowing users to share content and follow their friend’s and families lives’ on a singular board, but WeChat is so much more than just a messaging app and social media platform these days, incorporating many of the functions of not just Facebook, but of Messenger, Instagram, Uber, PayPal, Airbnb, Amazon, and more — making it a thoroughly addictive ecosystem.
Why We Can’t #DeleteWeChat
Zuckerberg’s comment suggests that he’s now ready to learn from Tencent, but quite how that will manifest in Messenger’s and Facebook’s future remains unclear. The platforms will seemingly face a hard time trying to become the commonly-used digital purse that WeChat now is for its users in China. We don’t see young travelers earnest to download Messenger as a crucial form of payment for stores, taxis, and online.
Another crucial factor is Facebook’s current issues over privacy. It surely doesn’t help that Westerners are far from excited about having the social media giant know anything more about their lives after news of Facebook mismanaging and giving away user data to third-party companies was revealed amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Chinese users may not be exactly enthusiastic about how much data WeChat has on them, but any concerns have failed to derail the platform’s phenomenal growth.
The Results Are In: WeChat is Taking Over the World
Lucky for Zuckerberg, it seems he has finally caught on and will likely now “borrow” directly from WeChat going forward. An eye-opening development for anyone still thinking that all Chinese companies do is steal their American counterparts’ IP.
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