19-year-old QQ is doing its best to stay young

The signature QQ penguin. Image Credit: QQ

During sub-forum New Content and New Social at Tencent’s global partnership conference in Nanjing this morning, the company introduced strategies to form a young community for 19-year-old QQ, one of China’s earliest social softwares and the precedent of WeChat.

The company hopes to bring content-driven social network themes including e-sports, live streaming, gaming, and beauty to QQ.

“The integration of content and platform, the merging of recreational and social needs, and the intertwining of technology and culture – these are the 3 assets that keep QQ young,” Li Dan, market manager at Tencent’s corporate platform and content business unit, said.

WeChat’s older sibling QQ plans to stay forever young

According to Tencent, QQ Highlights (QQ看点), an algorithm-backed content recommendation feature, now has a daily active user of over 100 million. Around 70% users of the feature were born later than 1995, the generation which Tencent considers as the new key power among Chinese netizens.

Meanwhile, QQ Light Games (QQ轻游戏), a mini program-like platform for casual games, will generate traffic and material gains by cooperating with young content contributors.

“QQ Light Games will be a bridge. We provide games, while contributors produce content and upload it on QQ Highlights and other QQ short video ad live platforms. This will allow potential users to play a game for user generated content (UGC), and further encourage games and contributors to innovate,” said He Biao, the general manager at Tencent corporate platform and content-based paid product unit.

QQ business unit’s strategy announcement at the forum may seem a bit awkward to many people, as Tencent’s flagship WeChat is dominating areas such as real-time communication, payment, and mini-programs. However, the “outdated” software available on both PC and mobile devices are a unique user ecosystem and is still active in China.

At a recent game development competition, a developer asked TechNode to add him on QQ instead of WeChat. He said checking mobile or web versions of WeChat distracts him from his work, whereas QQ’s back-end based notification feature allows him to read important real-time messages on his personal computer. “And using QQ then becomes a habit, instead of sticking to WeChat,” he added.