One App to Rule Them All

In America we have a lot of different apps to do a plethora of different things.  Such as Facebook where you can share pictures, stories, comment on other users’ pictures and stories, as well as buy and sell things.  There is also Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter to name a few more apps that we use consistently to share our world.  In China, however they aren’t allowed to use outside apps as they are banned.  They have Weixin (pronounced “way-shin”) which is also called WeChat.  Weixin was founded in 2011 by Tencent and has quickly become the main social media platform that “allows its users to send messages, share news, and pictures via their mobile phone” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017)  I find myself fascinated by the thought of having just one app that would take care of all my needs versus having to use several apps that clog up my cell phone and if I’m honest can be a time suck. 

Reading the case study about Weixin, I have found out that the application is not only a “combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and eBay” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017), it is also user friendly.  One would think with so much packed into an app that it would be hard to navigate because of complexity. Mahoney and Tang state, “Weixin allows its users to record messages by simply holding on one button and talking, which saves the trouble of typing Chinese characters on the phone” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017).  To have such ease when trying to get a message out makes the app a dream application.  There is also the fact that when news is being read on the application it doesn’t send the reader to an outside website the reader is linked directly to the URL within the app!  Oh, how glorious that would be to have that function within the apps we currently use.  Shannon Liao from The Verge says, “WeChat has 902 million daily users, and about 38 billion messages are sent on the platform every day. Last year, Tencent added mini-apps to WeChat, creating an app store of sorts: inside WeChat, you can play games, pay bills, find local hangouts, book doctor appointments, file police reports, hail taxis, hold video conferences, and access bank services. State-run media and government agencies also have official WeChat accounts, where they can directly communicate with users” (Liao, 2018).  For instance, when I use Facebook a lot of the time the app will send me to the news website and completely take me out of Facebook.  A true annoyance to be sure, because if I’m, using Facebook I want to use Facebook and not be redirected somewhere else.

It’s amazing that this one application has so many functions that are just helpful in everyday life.  If this type of app came to America we would not need, Lyft, Uber, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, various news applications, banking apps and a whole lot more applications would become defunct.  I honestly don’t see this happening here or perhaps anywhere else because that would most likely mean those other platforms would be out of business.  There is also the fact that this app is a state-run application and as we know most of us don’t want the government in our business let alone in our applications.  Tencent also pays attention to what their consumers want and need by adding campaigns that speak to those needs.  One campaign in particular which had their users responding was their 2014 “Qiang Hongbao” campaign (Red Envelope), this campaign allowed for users to link their bank accounts to a Weixin account and send and receive virtual red envelopes.  Mahoney and Tang say, “Red envelope is a traditional Chinese culture that includes a monetary gift that Chinese people give to their family and friends during holidays” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017).

China seriously has one app that rules their world and I find it fascinating. Ge Wang, Wei Zhang, and Runxi Zeng state, “In China specifically, socializing on WeChat has become an indispensable part of users’ everyday lives, and WeChat is the most important social media application for maintaining users’ online interpersonal relationships” (Wang, Zhang, & Zeng, 2019).  What do you think?  Would you like an app that did all those things this app can do?  This application is part of China’s daily life because it involves all the things that they need to get through their day.  Do you think such an application would be successful here in America?  I’d like to think so, however as I stated before I think that other platforms would find some reason to not want it as it would interrupt our free enterprise.

References

Liao, S. (2018, February 01). How WeChat came to rule China. Retrieved December 07, 2019, from https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/1/16721230/wechat-china-app-mini-programs-messaging-electronic-id-system

Mahoney, L. M., & Tang, T. (2017). Strategic social media: From marketing to social change. Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

Wang, G., Zhang, W., & Zeng, R. (2019). WeChat use intensity and social support: The moderating effect of motivators for wechat use. Computers in Human Behavior, 91, 244-251. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2018.10.010

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About Author Nikki

Nikki Prince is a mother of two, who’s always had a dream to be a published author in the romance genre. Her passion lies in raising her children as readers, gaming, cooking, reading and her writing. Her mother can now breathe easy about the child who used to get in trouble because she was hiding books everywhere and reading when it wasn’t appropriate. Nikki’s a multi-published author with several epublishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres, but wants to let everyone know to not box her in, because there is always room for growth.

6 Responses to One App to Rule Them All

  1. Tamar says:

    One app for everything sounds like a very interesting concept. It would be cool if we had something like that here!

  2. Susan says:

    Unfortunately, it would cause a monopoly, which is suppose to be illegal in the States.

  3. Dan Beliveau says:

    Hey, Nikki –
    Great post. It got me thinking about how Weixin might work if it did make it to this country.
    If competition remained and companies made agreements with Wexin (or the U.S. all-in-one equivalent), then you could choose Uber or Lyft or your local Taxi company; Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Pinterest, PayPal, Debit or Credit card; Burger King, Roti, Red Robin or Taco Bell; Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile.
    Granted, that would require a lot of agreements, but if it could happen? While it might limit some of my choices some of the time, for many things, we don’t even consider another brand when buying. Nike or Under Armour? We’d only have that company as part of our app; Chipolte or Qdoba? We’d only have that company as part of our app.
    If all these brands were available and I could do all (or most) of my shopping (food, clothes, shoes, toys, etc.) then I’d have a customized single source to go for everything and it would be tailored to me by brand! We’re told by Mahoney & Tang that “It is imperative for organizations to promote themselves through internet structures to bring customers closer to the brand.” (Mahone & Tang, 2017. P. 153). , Now imagine the inbound marketing that could happen? If my choice company’s newest product wasn’t what I wanted, I’d already be on target to find the long-tail product that would suit my needs.
    Now add in the rewards programs that marketers use to draw us in? We’re near a Chipotle, signed into our Weixin app (always on, all the time!) and we get that tailored add enticing us in? (Free chips if you buy a burrito!) Now we’ve combined location-based technology with our all-in-one app. My mind is all aflutter with possibilities.
    And then I remember privacy and reconsider. Having an all-in-one could lend itself to a single point of failure for being hacked and our identities compromised. But I think we take that risk every day with so many apps, logins and passwords and so many points of failure for hacking. Mahoney & Tang also tell us that “It is important that the same mistakes are not repeated as we look towards the future of the industry. There are many areas in which practitioners should be cautious regarding integrating technology…” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017. P. 331). While they were specifically talking about integrating technology with marketing strategies, I think the point is also valid for the convergence of technological platforms. And that doesn’t even consider that if Weixin were to come to this country, we’d be (potentially) giving overall this data to a foreign government. YIKES!
    Okay, so maybe, you’re right and an all-in-one isn’t the best idea. But wouldn’t it be cool if it worked and you could order a taco, an Uber, and a pair of running shoes, and then post a picture about it to share with your friends all from one app? Maybe someday.
    Thanks for the chance to create a fictional world. Who knows? Maybe I’ll give it more thought and it’ll find its way into one of my novels.
    Dan ~

    Reference
    Mahoney, L. M., & Tang, T. (2017). Strategic Social Media (1 ed.). http://dx.doi.org/vbk://9781118556900

  4. Author Nikki says:

    Dan,

    Thanks for commenting. It would be great if tech could be put all in one for us. However the points that you made, I don’t think it would be a great idea either. But the thought is wonderful. It definitely would be cool if we could use one thing for “everything” without all the issues that most likely would come about. And that device would definitely be fun in a novel!

    Best,
    Nikki

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