On Friday evening (21 December), WeChat, the most popular social networking platform in China, has announced the latest update: version 7.0.
This is significant not only for the number of users (more than 1 billion, according to Pony Ma, Tencent’s Chairman) impacted, but also the scale of the update: version 6.0 was announced in 2014, and the changes have been incremental since.
In version 7.0.0, here are quite a number of updates from the previous version 6.7.4. Here is the release notes in App Store:
We think three updates are most significant:
The new design. Definitely more modern compared to the previous.
2. The “like” button at the bottom of each article published on Wechat has been replaced by “好看”, which means “good read”.
Anything that has been marked “good read” would appear in “Top Stories”, a section that is distinct from the normal “Moments” where you discover about what your friends share.
Under “Top Stories”, you will be able to find stories that your friends marked, with who marking them.
3. You are now able to take short videos under a function called “Record Your Day”.
The function can be discovered by pulling down the “Me” page. The short videos will be available for your friends to see for 24 hours.
Sounds very familiar, isn’t it?
Share price lifter
The new version is seen as an offensive to arrest the onslaught of ByteDance in capturing people’s screen time.
The new WeChat, coupled with the news that the Chinese government is approving some new game licences, will hopefully provide a good momentum for Tencent’s share price, which has been tumbling since early this year.