Is Tencent Opening Up? Third Party Applications Now Available in QZone

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I had a conversation two months ago with Peter Zheng, the product manager of QZone, Tencent’s SNS which might be the No.1 social networking place in terms of the user base, traffic and revenue. I asked him, will QZone become an Open Platform like many other SNSs, and in general, will Tencent open up? He said, we will and we are working on it. But unlike others, we have our own strategy, will open up slowly, carefully and efficiently.

Now Peter proves it. Two third parties are ‘luckily’ picked up by Tencent, Five Minutes and Douban. The former is the leading social game developing company whose Happy Farm social game also conquers other leading SNSs such as 51 and Xiaonei and latter is the one of most popular web2.0 service focusing on books, movie and albums. Happy Farm is available in QZone for a while and today Douban app is also spotted (for QZone user, you can find it at http://user.qzone.qq.com/your_qq_number/501).

Also talked to another Tencent senior product manager recently. He said, “for Tencent to develop a game like Happy Farm is easy, but they decided not to. And everyone thinks Tencent is driven by revenue (Editor: Happy Farm is making $$$, but not sure how the two sides split the money.), but partnership with Douban is a sign that Tencent is opening up.” With Douban application, QZone users can share with friends what they are reading and comments and also search for books.

“We know Open is the trend and we are not against it. But look at those open platforms, everyone is still thinking of how to really benefit from the openning-up.”, Peter said, “we are open to third parties, but we now have to carefully decide on which one we should work with.”

If you have any thoughts on Tencent’s move to Open, please do share with us.

  • bleongcw

    The way for a win-win situation in opening a platform is to establish a fair and transparent way which the developers can engage them for approval of apps and the right to redress if the apps are not approved. I saw an interesting initiative during my visit to the Symbian Foundation where they helped developers to contact all related vendors (and their respective apps store) through one non-profit platform (Symbian horizon). At least if the basic setup is appropriate, open platform is the way to go. :)

  • http://www.startinchina.com/ Thijs (Shenzhen)

    I play the farm game on QZone, very addictive. Qzone is nowadays also working in non-IE browsers, so they are definitely moving in the right direction.

  • afriend

    Tencent is one of the more closed web company in China. I've worked on the B2C side with several and tencent is quite obvious very closed.The support for standards is appalling, prefering to simply design for IE. I know it's a simple question of most Chinese users are IE users, but building a site with technology that works in one monopoly browser is very unhealthy,Secondly, tencent is close because they choose not to talk to anyone and only innovate from inside. Well, no qualms because it's company culture. But it's always good to talk to your customer, competitor and anyone that is interested to send you a message.

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