If there's anyone in Silicon Valley that just can't get a break, it's Snapchat. For one, Facebook decided to go on a copy-spree and unashamedly duplicate the features that makes Snapchat what it is over to its own services, which has greatly undercut user engagement in favor of Facebook.
Not only that, but Snapchat hasn't done so well following its initial public offering, dipping and tumbling in the stock market ever since. Suffice it to say that things aren't' looking so good for the embattled photo and video-messaging service, and there's a chance it could get worse.
WeChat Copies A Snapchat Feature
For WeChat, the new addition makes sense. Tencent, which owns a stake in Snap Inc., is making moves to fend off the increasing popularity of video service TikTok and news app Jinri Toutiao. Over the years, WeChat has evolved from a simple messaging tool to becoming what's essentially a multipurpose service with over 1 billion users. Users can do all sorts of things on WeChat now, including shopping, hailing a ride, paying bills, and more. Add sharing ephemeral videos to that list, of course.
The feature comes following criticism over WeChat in the context of being a social app. Some have expressed frustration that it's not social enough. A featured called Moments was once a haven where close friends can share articles, but the content in this section has grown to become duller and duller overtime as people's contact list now include all sorts of different folks a user might not necessarily be close friends with, such as their boss or a supermarket vendor.
Allen Zhang, the founder of WeChat, is known for being extremely cautious with tweaks and updates to WeChat. Given how major an update this is, it likely hints what direction the app is headed next — social.
WeChat Time Capsule
The feature in question, called "Time Capsule," effectively streamlines WeChat's video-sharing elements. Previously, users shared videos to three places: Moments, a group, or a friend. This still stands. However, Time Capsule will allow users to share short videos that disappear after 24 hours, much like Snaps.
Do you think Time Capsule will help improve WeChat's core social elements? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!