WeChat Launches "Mini Programs"

WeChat has launched its “mini programs” idea, in an attempt to change the way in which apps are used. After being announced as WeChat Mini-Apps, the renamed “mini programs” are now available to the service's 840 million users without having to install or download anything at all. The programs will act in the same way as conventional apps, except they will be smaller and will all be instantly available through the WeChat app itself. Users will be able to shop, order food, and book holidays through them, with start-up developers and large brands expected to add to the options that a user has. Matthew Brennan, co-founder of China Channel, said that they are also “deliberately meant to be discovered socially through friends or in the real world by scanning QR codes”. Google also unveiled a similar idea in May 2016, but a launch date for its so-called “Instant Apps” is yet to be announced.