As expected, it has added a game center, payment solution, and scan-to-do-a-lot-of-things capability.
- The game center, with 11 titles in porfolio, is expected to be the first revenue stream for WeChat.
- And revenue generation needs a payment solution, called WeChat Payment, to collect money. Bank accounts can be added and bundled to a WeChat account.
- The empowered scanner built-in that can read and recognize a book, CD or other goods is estimated to make WeChat a more useful tool in the e-commerce market. The scanner also can returns Soso Maps-powered street view, or recognize an English word and translate it into Chinese.
And there are more.
- It brings voice-to-text capability which currently only supports Mandarin. It is powered by the speech recognition technology developed in-house.
- Also there added an emoticon market, as everyone else, Mobile QQ or Momo, has had. Paid emoticons are priced at RMB 6 each (less than one US dollar.) As it is well-received in China and other areas in Southeast Asia, hopefully it will be another revenue source to WeChat, just like how those cute stickers generated income for Line.
Other changes and improvements include,
- Official accounts will show in a sub-channel which had some media people worried that articles they want to push to readers cannot show on the home screen anymore.
- WeChat messages now can be saved. Also it’s easier to add a contact.
The rumored video recognition feature, however, doesn’t appear with this update. The game center and voice-to-text feature currently are not available with the English version. So is the music recognition feature that was released in the former version.
It’s just a matter of time before WeChat becomes an almighty mobile platform. Behold.