First WeChat, Then WeRun

By MoneyTimes

Aug 28, 2015 04:52 AM EDT

WeChat announced Wednesday its new fitness channel called WeRun, which is a step counter app.

WeChat is China's most popular messaging app that has more than 600 million users. The WeRun is not the first time WeChat moved into fitness. Tencent, WeChat's parent company, launched the WeChat Sports in February.

However, it was not widely promoted outside of China. Besides WeRun, WeChat introduced this year a host of other in-app accounts. One of which is a UNICEF-payment channel that lets users donate for the victims of the recent Nepal earthquake.

In the official WeChat blog, WeRun is described as an app that tells you exactly how many strides you've made every day and lets you see how well you keep up with your friends who also have WeChat accounts.

This friendly competition will give you the motivation to be fit. It records the number of steps you take every day. You will also be given a daily message that will notify how close you are to your goals. The official account can be paired with certain wearable fitness devices.

Many of the apps featured in WeChat are not available to users outside of China. But it is still important to notice this giant messaging tech company because what it offers may easily be the future of messaging apps, including Facebook.

It may also point to where mobile commerce is headed. It also is a combination of a platform and a mobile portal, which is something Yahoo should be.

WeChat is a testimony that an entire country, where 62% of its people using smartphones, skips the PC era, and jumps directly to mobile.

WeChat was developed into mobile, and from there, it flourished. It didn't start as a website, like most tech companies. WeChat's ARPU or average revenue per user is $7, which seven times bugger than that of WhatsApp, which is the world's largest messaging platform.

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